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The emergence of LED light bulbs has made choosing replacement bulbs a lot more tricky than it used to be. Being a relatively new technology, LEDs are constantly and rapidly developing, becoming even more efficient and longer lasting. Among other changes, this has made the watt fairly redundant as a measurement of how bright a light bulb is.
Watts don't necessarily measure the brightness of a bulb, only the amount of electricity they use. With so many new bulbs giving out the same amount of light, but with different wattages, we need to compare bulbs by how much light they give out.
Lumens are a measurement of how much visible light a bulb gives out in all directions, and is now the predominant measure of a light bulb's brightness.
Wattage is still important, as the lower the wattage, the less electricity a bulb uses, just as the higher the lumens, the brighter it is. To find the most efficient bulbs, look for those with the lowest wattages but the highest lumen counts.
To reiterate, though, wattage alone is no longer any use as a measure of a bulb's brightness. If you're upgrading from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs, it can be a bit tricky finding the equivalent, now that the wattages are completely different. The table below should help as a rough guide, but note that individual bulbs may differ from the numbers below.
|Traditional||LED||Brightness in Lumens|