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Lumen Comparison Chart

The terminology used to describe light bulbs is changing as incandescent bulbs are phased out by law. Lumens measure the amount of light created by a bulb, whereas watts measure the energy used by the bulb to produce lumens.

Traditionally, we've referred to light bulbs by their watts because most people used incandescent light bulbs and knew the difference between a 60 and 100 watt bulb. Through the increased use of fluorescent and LED bulbs we use less watts to produce the same amount of lumens, saving us money on energy bills.

We want the correct amount of light for each setting in our homes. Therefore, we need to know the right amount of lumens and find the light bulb that will generate that light. The chart below shows the watts needed for each type of light bulb to achieve the lumens desired.

Lumen & Watt Comparison Chart

Actual Light Generated Incandescent Bulbs Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL) LED Bulbs (Light Emitting Diode)
Lumens Watts Watts Watts
250 25 4-9 3
450 40 9-13 4-5
800 60 13-15 6-8
1,100 75 18-25 9-13
1,600 100 23-30 16-20
2,000 125 28-40 20-25
2,600 150 30-55 25-28