Advances in lighting technology continue to highlight the importance and inherent benefits of choosing energy-efficient sources over traditional incandescent bulbs. According to the Alliance to Save Energy, bulb packages are largely forgoing display measurements in watts (the old way of labeling bulbs), and transitioning to a more accurate measurement, lumens (the new way). It is important for consumers to understand the difference between these two labels to make an informed purchasing decision to adequately - and efficiently - light your home.
What's a Watt?Watts measure the amount of power a bulb uses – not how bright it is. Using watts to describe brightness is like using gallons of fuel to describe how fast a car can go. This practice wasn't a problem as long as we continued to use the more than 100-year-old incandescent bulbs. Traditional incandescent light bulbs waste 90 percent of their electricity to produce heat, and use only 10% to produce light. The solution: energy-efficient bulbs, which use fewer watts to give off the same amount of brightness.
Look for LumensLumens measure the amount of light produced by a bulb. The more lumens in a light bulb, the brighter the light. For example:
- 40-watt incandescent bulb = 450 lumens
- 60-watt incandescent bulb = 800 lumens
- 100-watt incandescent bulb = 1600 lumens