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 Lumens
Lumens measure the amount of light produced by a bulb. The more lumens in a light bulb, the brighter the light.
- 40-watt incandescent bulb = 450 lumens
- 60-watt incandescent bulb = 800 lumens
- 100-watt incandescent bulb = 1600 lumens
Source: Alliance to Save Energy: