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How much light are you getting from a bulb?

Lumens, it is the unit of brightness. It is used to measure the intensity of light that you get from any light source like a bulb. Remember lumen is the unit of a bulb’s brightness, not the watt, which is a unit of energy.


To know how much light are you getting from a bulb, use and refer to lumens only. Modern-day LED and efficient lighting have low wattage but higher lumens than their conventional counterparts. Whenever you want to buy a light source, buy it in lumens not watts.



If you are looking to replace your old bulbs, try to replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 1600 lumens energy-efficient light source.


How much Light are you getting from an Incandescent Bulb?

The oldest among bulbs is the incandescent bulb. It uses a tungsten element to give out light and can become very hot with use as well. When on, do not touch the bulb nor try to remove it until cooled off. A warm tungsten filament will break easily, rendering the bulb useless. By nature, incandescent bulbs produce warmer light.


These lights were sold based on their wattage and not lumens. The higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb would be. However, in today’s energy-efficient LED and CFL bulbs, the wattage is not an accurate measure nor representation of the light and brightness it produces.


A 60-watt incandescent bulb would usually produce 800 lumens, while the same lumens are given out by a 12-watt LED bulb and a 15-watt CFL bulb. See, watts are no more equal to lumens!


How much light will a CFL Bulb produce?

Now that we have established that watts are no more equal to lumens, you might be interested in knowing how much brightness will be produced by a CFL bulb. A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) or compact fluorescent light was invented to replace the power consuming incandescent bulbs.


It uses significantly less energy as compared to incandescent lights and produces the same number of lumens for a fraction of energy costs. Inherently CFLs are on the expensive side, but over time, the savings in energy bills and the long life pay for themselves and even banks some savings as well.


The biggest issue with CFLs is the use of mercury in them, which makes disposing of CFLs trickier and even harder. For your convenience, we will show the most common watt to CFL lumens watts conversion here.


  • A 100-watt incandescent will generate up to 1600 lumens; you can get the same lumens with a CFL bulb that is 26 watts.
  • A 75-watt incandescent will generate up to 1100 lumens; you can get the same lumens with a CFL bulb that is 23 watts.
  • A 60-watt incandescent will generate up to 800 lumens; you can get the same lumens with a CFL bulb that is 15 watts.
  • A 40-watt incandescent will generate up to 450 lumens you can get the same lumens with a CFL bulb that is 11 watts.


How to convert incandescent bulb watts to LED bulb lumens?

LED bulbs are the most efficient source of light to date. It consumes significantly less energy and produces bright light and is very rugged compared to their incandescent counterparts.


The same amount of brightness is produced by a 75 watts incandescent bulb and a 20 watts LED bulb


LED stands for light-emitting diode. It is a semiconductor device that is made mostly from Silicon and in some cases, Germanium too. As with all semiconductor devices, an LED consumes significantly less energy, is more efficient, has a long life and can withstand a wide range of weather conditions.


First CFLs and now LED bulbs are both designed to fit into the existing light fixtures. You can use an LED bulb in the same holder that was designed to hold your old incandescent bulb.

Modern day laws require bulb manufacturers to list the number of lumens, energy consumption and approximate life span of a bulb on the packaging.


You can read the conversion on a bulb box or read below How to convert incandescent bulb watts to LED bulb lumens?


Approximate brightness in lumens Incandescent Bulb Wattage (Close Approximation) LED Bulb Wattage (Close Approximation)
200 25 3
450 40 5 to 8
800 60 8 to 12
1100 75 12 to 16
1600 100 14 to 17
2400 150 24 to 30
3100 200 32
4000 300 40.5
Table showing the conversion of watts to lumens between incandescent and LED bulbs


From the table, you can see how energy-efficient LEDs are when compared to incandescent bulbs and they have longer life span as well.


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Common Questions About Lumens and Light Bulbs:


Are Lumens and Watts Different?

Yes, indeed, lumens and watts are different. One is used to measure brightness and light (lumens), while the other is used to measure energy (watts) and its consumption.


Which Is the Correct Way to Measure the Brightness?

Unlike energy, lumens are totally different when compared. A light bulb consuming 100 watts may produce lesser brightness when compared to its modern counterpart. To measure the brightness of a light source, always refer to the number of lumens. The correct way to measure the brightness is Lumens.


Can an Incandescent Bulb Be Repaired?

An incandesced bulb uses a very fine and thin tungsten filament surrounded by inert gas in a glass chamber. Once that filament breaks, it cannot be repaired in an ordinary environment.


Can A CFL Bulb Be Repaired?

In most cases, a CFL bulb can be repaired. If the glass part of your bulb is broken, the glass can be replaced, or if the circuit gets damaged somehow, a mechanic can change the circuit altogether. The repairs aren’t always cheap but if you want to protect the environment, it is always a good idea to seek repairs.


Can an LED Bulb Be Repaired?

An LED bulb normally consists of an array of LEDs enclosed in plastic or glass. If one or more LEDs stop working, they can be replaced. If the whole array fails, even that can be replaced. The accompanying circuit in an LED bulb is also repairable (mostly) and replicable as well.

Always buy LED bulbs and save money because it consumes less energy and easily repairable.


Will A CFL Bulb Fit in My Old Incandescent Bulb Fixture?

CFL bulbs were designed keeping in mind that these energy efficient bulbs will replace the incandescent bulbs. These connectors on these bulbs are the same as used by the incandescent bulbs and normally you will find the CFL bulbs spiraled that is to be able to fit in the older bulb fixtures.


Will the New LED Bulb Fit in My Old Incandescent Bulb Fixture?

LED light bulbs come in a wide array of sizes and shapes. Some of these use their own fixtures and connections; however, most of the LED bulbs are designed to replace older bulbs and fit within the same light fixtures.


Can I Throw Incandescent Bulb in The Garbage Directly?

Normally an incandescent bulb has no harmful chemicals or elements in them. However, it is made of glass, which is sharp and can hurt someone, also the metal can cause harm. You can dispose of an incandescent bulb without any special treatment do mindful to the fact that the sharp glass or metal can hurt someone.


Can I Throw A CFL Bulb in the Garbage Directly?

No, absolutely not. You cannot throw a CFL bulb in the garbage directly. It has mercury in them which is very harmful. You should dispose of mercury containing garbage according to your city’s code and also be mindful to the sharp glass hurting someone as well. Please note, in most cases a CFL bulb can be repaired as well.


Can I Throw an LED Bulb in the Garbage Directly?

Yes, you can but you shouldn’t. See, a bulb in general is housed in glass. Glass is breakable and very sharp. It can seriously hurt someone or an animal going through the garbage. Even if it is not housed in glass the plastic housing when broken can be sharp and cause a wound. Be mindful to the people around you and your environment.


Take extra care when disposing off items that can cause injury. Did you know that an LED bulb can be repaired? Yes, in most cases your favorite and quite possible very expensive LED bulb can be repaired as well. Before you throw it in the garbage try repair and save some money and somehow the environment as well.


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