As traditional incandescent and fluorescent lighting begins to be replaced by newer, more efficient technology like compact fluorescents and LEDs, manufacturers and consumer advocates have devised a way to solve the simplest question on the minds of bulb customers: “How much light am I getting?” Since newer bulbs use electrical power differently than older ones, a simple wattage to wattage comparison no longer works. For instance, a 13-watt compact fluorescent provides nearly the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent lamp.
To aid consumers, bulb packaging will now be labeled and grouped by lumen output, which is simply the amount of illumination that a light provides. As the new Lumen Coalition website illustrates, consumers can match up their old 60- or 100-watt lighting to lumen output: 800 lumens or 1600 lumens, respectively.
Lumens also lead the way to a great insight about the higher energy efficiency of newer bulbs. As mentioned above, lower-wattage CFLS illuminate just about as well as higher-wattage incandescent. In fact, as discussed in this article, LEDs are able to convert 80% of the wattage that they draw into light energy, with the other 20% emitted as heat. This is the opposite for traditional bulbs: only 20% of the input wattage is used for light, with the other 80% basically wasted as heat.
Stay up-to-date with Bulb Direct’s blogs, Twitter feed, and newsletter for more news on the latest bulbs!