Remember those days when you used to measure light bulb powers by watts? Well, now we don’t anymore. Because with the introduction of LED and CFL, watts don’t give you an actual representation of how bright a light bulb can be. Because, while a traditional incandescent bulb will produce 800 lumens of light, modern-day LEDs can produce the same amount of light while using 9 watts of energy.
Read on to find out more about watt vs lumen and how many lumens you can expect from different types of 60-watt bulbs.
Watts have nothing to do with the output or the amount of brightness of light bulbs. In fact, it’s just a measurement unit, used mainly to track your electricity usage. You pay your electricity bill by the number of watts you’ve used over a month. So, when you see a light bulb labeled as 60 watts, it just means that the bulb consumes 60 watts of power.
However, after decades of being used to indicate brightness, watts are obsolete now when it comes to measuring the actual brightness of a light bulb. Because CFL and LEDs nowadays, produce so much more brightness using way fewer watts. Therefore, now when you buy a bulb, you need to check the lumens and not the watts.
Lumen is the unit to measure light. So, it has a totally different concept than watts. Because in the past the amount of light production was dependent on how much energy a bulb consumes. But that’s no longer the case with LEDs and fluorescents. So, now only Lumen is used to indicate how bright a light bulb is. The higher the lumens are, the brighter a light bulb will be.
Converting Watts to Lumens
Now that you understand what watts and lumens are, it is time to understand how to convert watts to lumens. How many lumens a light source produces per watt is called luminous efficacy. So, luminous efficacy is a clear indication of how effectively a light source or light bulb can convert energy to light.
Older incandescent light bulbs had an efficacy of 15 lumen/watt. This means an incandescent 60-watt light bulb would theoretically produce about 900 lumens of light. LED light bulbs, on the other hand, can produce 75-100 or more lumens/watt. So, LEDs are about 7 times more efficient than older incandescent light bulbs.
So, How Many Lumens In a 60-Watt Bulb?
With all that being said, now comes the part where we help you determine how many lumens you should be looking into when shopping for a new LED bulb to replace your older 60-watt incandescent light bulb. The general rule to do this is to apply the 7:1 ratio. Now before we dive into more details, here’s a chart indicating the efficacy rate of different types of light bulbs according to watts consumed.
- 40W Incandescent Bulb: 450 lumens
- 60W Incandescent Bulb: 800 lumens
- 75W Incandescent Bulb: 1,100 lumens
- 100W Incandescent Bulb: 1,600 lumens
- 150W Incandescent Bulb: 2,600 lumens
- 20W Halogen Bulb: 250 lumens
- 35W Halogen Bulb: 500 lumens
- 50W Halogen Bulb: 800 lumens
- 75W Halogen Bulb: 1,100 lumens
- 100W Halogen Bulb: 1,600 lumens
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs):
- 9W CFL Bulb: 450 lumens
- 13W CFL Bulb: 800 lumens
- 18W CFL Bulb: 1,100 lumens
- 23W CFL Bulb: 1,600 lumens
- 30W CFL Bulb: 2,000 lumens
- 4W LED Bulb: 250 lumens
- 8W LED Bulb: 450 lumens
- 12W LED Bulb: 800 lumens
- 15W LED Bulb: 1,100 lumens
- 20W LED Bulb: 1,600 lumens
So, although with a 7:1 ratio, you’d need a 9-watt LED to effectively get the same amount of light, in real life, this doesn’t convert exactly as expected. Because efficacy is different for different manufacturers. As a result, if you are looking to replace your old 60-watt light bulb, consider getting two 8 watts or one 10-12 watts LED.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
How many LED lumens is a 60 watt bulb?
As explained earlier, a 60 watt bulb should produce 700-800 lumens. So, to replace a 60 watt bulb, you need to go for an LED that is rated for 800 lumens or more.
How many lumens are in a 100 watt bulb?
As a general guideline, when seeking a replacement for a 100-watt (W) incandescent bulb, aim for a bulb that provides approximately 1600 lumens.
Can you use 60 watt bulb in 100 watt lamp?
Yes, you can use a 60 watt bulb in a 100 watt lamp. In fact, as long as the bulb doesn’t consume more than the fixture, you should be ok.
Can you replace 55w bulbs with 100W LED?
Contrary to the previous answer, you cannot exceed the fixture limit set by the manufacturer. So, you cannot and should not replace 55W bulbs with 100W LEDs.
Understanding watts and lumens can get really confusing, especially for people who are already accustomed to old incandescent light bulbs and their rating system. So, if you are in the market for LEDs, just get an LED that offers 800 lumens or more, to replace your older 60 watts bulbs. And if you are still using an old incandescent, consider switching to LED. Its cost will more than make up for in a month or two.
Hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.