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Understanding Watts Vs. Lumens

Understanding Watts Vs. Lumens

Lightbulb Close-upLightbulb Close-up

New developments in compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) are making incandescent light bulbs a thing of the past. These hi-tech bulbs are much more power-efficient. Instead of “watts”, these new lights include “lumens” on their packaging as another way to describe how much light the bulb produces.

We know that all these technical terms can seem confusing, especially when consumers look at bulbs in the store that advertise different amounts of watts and lumens. Here are a few of the most important things you should understand:

What Is Watts?

Watts is the amount of electricity a light bulb will use. The total electric used for the month will be shown as kilowatt/hours on your electric bill, which means how many hours you used 1000 watts of electricity. 

When purchasing new light bulbs, more watts means more electricity. Using watts as a deciding factor is only helpful to interpret the amount of energy the bulb will use, not to measure how much light the bulb will give off. For brighter light, you might want to use bulbs with more lumens.

What Is Lumens?

Lumens is the unit of light measurement found listed on newer styles of lighting. While lumens have always been a unit of light measurement, they have not always been available on the packaging for consumers to compare. Lumens are used to more precisely convey how much light is present. A larger lumens number on your light’s packaging means a brighter light.

Which Light Should You Buy?

The incandescent bulbs and the newer CFL/LED lights both have their strong points. If you want a smaller purchase price with a larger monthly electric usage, then the wattage rated incandescent bulbs should be your choice. However, if you are more interested in paying a slightly higher price for a longer-lasting bulb that is more energy-efficient and has a lumens rating that is easier to determine how bright it is, then you should choose the CFL/LED lights.

Lumens is a way to describe the brightness of a light, while watts implies the amount of energy the bulb will use. Now might be a great time for you to make the switch to more modern lighting that uses the lumens scale.


 If you are from Minneapolis, Minnesota or its surrounding counties and considering upgrading your lighting or have other electrical needs, then contact our professionals at Dean’s Professional Plumbing, Heating & Air to get help with your questions.

As of Thursday, March 26, 2020, Dean’s Home Services is OPEN to service customers with their plumbing, heating, air, electric, sewer, drain and duct cleaning needs.

Dean’s Home Services is taking every precaution to keep our employees and our customers safe through these uncertain times. We are training on best practices to keep everyone safe and healthy. If you have any immediate services needs or any questions about how Dean’s Home Services can help you and your family over the next few weeks, please call/email/text us right away. We are here for you!