When replacing incandescent bulbs with more efficient lighting options, it is important to understand the differences between various types of light bulbs.
Wattage, the amount of energy a bulb consumes, is not a reliable way to measure a bulb's brightness. Lumens are the measure of a bulb's brightness and are a more accurate way to compare bulb types. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs may have a similar brightness as an incandescent bulb but use much less energy (or watts) to produce the light.
The following table compares the light output (lumens) and the amount of energy used (watts) of common household incandescent, CFL and LED bulbs.
Note: The figures supplied in this table are approximate. You can find exact wattage and lumen equivalencies on the bulbs’ packaging.
Interested in learning more about lighting? Check out our Efficient Lighting Fact Sheet.
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