What Are Lumens — And How Can They Lower Your Light Bill?

Everybody these days is looking for ways to save money on energy — and energy-efficient light bulbs are an easy and excellent way to do that.

But while shopping for light bulbs, you may have noticed the word lumens appearing on the package. What does that mean, and why is it important?

What’s the Difference Between Watts and Lumens?

You’re probably accustomed to buying light bulbs based on wattage. And when it comes to energy efficiency, lumens and watts are both important numbers to know.

Lumens are an international standard unit of measurement for luminous flux, or the total amount of visible light emitted by a particular source — whether it’s a light bulb, a flashlight, or the sun. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light.

Watts measure the rate of energy transfer, in units called joules. The higher the watts on the package, the more energy it takes, and the more it will cost on your electric bill, to produce the amount of light you’re getting.

Lumens vs. Watts and Energy Efficiency

So now that you know these two basic terms, how can they help you when shopping for light bulbs?

Well, let’s say you’re standing in the light bulb aisle at your favorite store, and you notice several packages that say 1600 lumens. Any of the following bulbs will give you that exact amount of light:

  • A 100-watt incandescent
  • A 72-watt halogen
  • A 23-watt CFL
  • A 16-watt LED

As you can see, the 16-watt LED gives you the same amount of light as the 100-watt incandescent, but uses only 16% of the wattage of the incandescent. That energy savings will translate into lower utility bills over the life of the bulb.

Do you have questions about understanding lumens, or saving money with more energy efficient lighting?

Contact us at Complete Electrical. We’ll help you get the lighting you need without spending more than you have to.

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