Lightbulbs: Watt-to-lumen conversion guide

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We all know how much light a 60-watt bulb will produce. But the brightness of new CFL and LED lightbulbs are measured in lumens, not watts, so here’s a handy chart to help you do the conversion.

Lightbulb Watt-to-Lumen conversion chart

Watts

(Incandescent bulbs)

Lumens

(CFL, LED or Halogen)

40 450
60 800
75 1,100
100 1,600
150 2,600

Source: Energystar.gov

Lightbulb brightness in general is measured in lumens (not watts). Bulb manufacturers include this information and the equivalent wattage right on the packaging. Common terms are ‘soft white 60,’ ‘warm light 60,’ and ’60 watt replacement.’

To save energy, find the bulbs with the light output you need, and then choose the one with the lowest wattage. You can also look for an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb that is labeled as equivalent to the incandescent bulb you are replacing.

The color of light may also affect how bright a light appears, even if the lumens are the same. Since most people are used to the soft yellowish glow from incandescent light bulbs, ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs that produce light closer to the color of daylight (color temperatures above 3000K) may appear brighter because the color of the light is less yellow.

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