Some years back, the strength of a bulb/lamp was only measured in watts. Watt is the measure of power or rather the rate at which electrical energy is dissipated. People would take the number of watts into consideration when purchasing bulbs. No one ever stopped to think of lumens, which are a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a bulb or a light source.
However, after the introduction of the energy-saving and efficient LED and CFL bulbs, wattage numbers have become obsolete. The incandescent bulbs have also gradually diminished from the market due to their high energy consumption rates. In other words, watts are no longer a valid reference point- lumens are.
Lumens vs Watts
As mentioned earlier, lumens like in the Shadowhawk X800 measure the total amount of visible light being put out by a bulb or a light source. Compared to wattage, lumens are a much more accurate measurement because they tell you how the light actually performs, regardless of the sources that produced it. On the other hand, Watts is a measure of how much electrical power a bulb uses. The amount of power a bulb consumes does not play in role in its brightness. That solely depends on the lumens.
To get a better understanding of what these two terms actually mean, here is an example. A standard 60-watts bulb gives out around 750-850 lumens of light. This simply means that if you need more light, you need to purchase a bulb with a high number of lumens. In this case, checking the wattage rating of a bulb may not be as crucial. This is because with the introduction of energy-saving bulbs such as the LED, it makes more sense to buy a bulb with more lumens, rather than the watts.
More Light, Less Energy Consumption with LED Bulbs
LED technology is one of the greatest inventions in history. LED bulbs are designed to produce more light with less energy consumption, thereby saving on energy bills. For example, a 6.5W LED bulb gives a similar light output as a 50W Halogen bulb. That translates to about 87% less energy consumption for the same exact light output.
The energy consumption rate of Halogen bulbs is quite high compared to the LED bulbs. If you have previously used these bulbs, you probably never saw the need to turn on the heater because these small bulbs can distribute heat evenly in a room. Their light output is not much compared to the LED bulbs. On the other hand, more energy is converted into light, rather than heat in LED bulbs. That’s where the whole difference comes from.
Understanding Lumens Per Watt Rating
If you’re out to buy a bulb, look for one that will produce an adequate amount of lumens. In this case, it’s important that you understand the lumens per watt rating.
Lumens per watt rating practically measures how much light a particular bulb produces per watt of power used. This rating will tell you how energy efficient the bulb is and will of course help you make an informed decision when purchasing.
Here is a simple guide on how to buy a bulb that produces sufficient light:
• Replace a 100W incandescent bulb with an energy-saving bulb that produces about 1600 lumens. To get the same amount of lumens, you’ll require an 18-22 W LED bulb.
• Replace a 75W incandescent bulb with an energy-saving bulb that produces about 1100 lumens
• Replace a 60W incandescent bulb with an energy-saving bulb that produces 800 lumens
• Replace a 40W incandescent bulb with an energy-saving bulb that produces 450 lumens
• Replace a 25W incandescent bulb with an energy-saving bulb that produces 200 lumens
How Many Lumens Do You Need for Each Room of the House?
Well, this depends on a number of factors. They include the room size and shape, type of lamps & fitting, height of the ceilings, color scheme of the room, task areas and the specific needs of the user.
Based on a 10.76 sq ft room, your living room may require 300-400 lumens. The bedroom may not require much lighting, so 300-400 lumens are enough. The best kitchen light is 300-400 lumens, with the exception of kitchen tasks that may require more light like, 700-800 lumens. The hallway light may be perfect with 300 lumens while the bathroom may require 500-600 lumens. If you have a reading area, the most appropriate light is about 400 lumens. If you need to perform tasks that require more light, then you can change the bulb to one with more lumens.
Federal laws are in place to ensure the right labeling for light bulbs. These labels help you as the consumer buy the right bulbs so that you’ll be able to identify the lumen per watt rating. The labels also help you understand the importance of switching from watts to lumens. With this information in place, buying the right bulb has never been easier.