How Bright Are LED Light Bulbs?

Brightness is an essential factor in choosing a light bulb. However, there are various ways to measure how bright an LED light is: the more brightness, the better. To calculate the brightness of a light bulb, consider two factors: lumen and wattage.

LED Lights - How Bright Are LED Light Bulbs
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What are Lumens?

Lumens are units of measurement that indicate how much visible light a lighting source produces per square meter over time. For example, the sun emits about 1 million lumens on average per square meter at noon on Earth at sea. It is one of the most frequent methods for determining the brightness of LED lights. It is a far more dependable and precise method of assessing LED light brightness since it measures output rather than wattage that only counts the input power.

What is Wattage?

Wattage is the measure of electrical power used by the bulb. You can also measure the brightness of a light bulb in watts. The more watts, the brighter the light bulb. For instance, a 100-watt light bulb is more brilliant than a 60-watt one.

However, people no longer use wattage to measure the brightens of a light bulb because they primarily denote the power input. For example, a traditional 60-watt incandescent bulb may emit 800 lumens, whereas a 13-watt LED may emit about 800 lumens as well.

Using the wattage to determine the brightness will give an inaccurate figure. For instance, a 60- watt incandescent bulb should emit 800 lumens, whereas a 13- wattage LED bulb should emit 173 lumens, which are inaccurate figures.

Therefore, lumens are a unit of measurement for light brightness that measures how much light a bulb emits over a given period. In contrast, wattage measures how much energy it takes to create that luminous flux in watts or kilowatts per hour (KWH).

Lumen-to-Watt Ratio

LED bulbs may have the same wattage but may have different lumens ratings. For example, a particular 5W GLS might emit 400 lumens, while another might emit 470 lumens. Therefore, using wattage to measure brightness may not be a good formula.

To calculate the brightness of a LED bulb light, divide the number of lumens the bulb emits by its wattage. For example, if a 5W bulb emits 400 lumens, divide 400 by 8 to get a ratio of 80 lumens per watt.

How Bright are LED Lights Compared to Compact Fluorescent Bulbs?

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs are one of the most energy-efficient lighting sources. They use around 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs to produce the same amount of light. For brightness, they are reasonably comparable to LED bulbs. These bulbs have lower efficiency. They typically produce more heat, which can be problematic in specific environments.

LED lights bulbs have no significant difference in the brightness output with compact fluorescents bulbs. The difference lies in the amount of energy they use to generate brightness. A LED light bulb generates the same brightness as a compact fluorescent bulb but uses less energy.

For instance, a 60-watt compact fluorescent bulb might emit 800 lumens, whereas a 13-watt LED light bulb might emit about 800 lumens as well. Therefore, for brightness, LED lights and CFL offer the same lumens (brightness), but Led light bulb uses less energy to provide the same amount of illumination.

Compact fluorescent bulbs are the ones that go dim at first when you light them and take a while to illuminate the entire room. In contrast, when you turn LED lights on, they brighten the surrounding immediately.

How Bright are LED Lights Compared to Incandescent Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs can provide a better brightness compared to an incandescent light bulb. They use the latest LED technologies and contain several types of LED that you can use as needed, such as white light, warm white light, cool white light, and natural color mix.

What makes LED light bulbs different from incandescent ones in terms of brightness is that they have a semiconductor with electrons inside them that converts electrical energy into light. This technology can make an LED bulb up to 85% more efficient than an incandescent light bulb that produces light when the electricity heat the filament inside them.

Therefore, LED light bulbs are much brighter than incandescent bulbs with the same wattage. However, LED light bulbs are not available in high wattage. Therefore, if you want to replace incandescent bulb lights with LED lights, install more LED bulbs.

For example, to replace a 65-watt incandescent floodlight with LED light, you will need to install two seven-watt led floodlights, but they will still use less energy.

The table below shows a different level of brightens and the number of watts needed to achieve it. Look at the lumens (brightness) in the far left column, then compare how many watts each light bulb type is required to achieve that level of brightness. The smaller the required wattage, the better.

Brightness (lumens) Incandescent watts Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) LED watts
400 – 500 40 W 6 -12 W 5 -7 W
500 – 800 60 W 12 -15 W 7 -12W
1000 – 1400 75W 18- 22W 10 -15W
1500 – 1700 100W 23 -30W 15 – 20 W
2700 -3000 150 W 30- 55W 25 – 30 W

 Bottom Line

Lumens measure how much light a bulb emits over a given period, whereas wattage measures how much energy it takes to create that luminous flux in watts or kilowatts per hour (KWH).

An LED light bulb is an energy-efficient alternative to the traditional incandescent light bulb. This light bulb uses only a small amount of power, which means it can last ten times longer than a conventional incandescent bulb.

LEDs produce as much as 25% more light per watt consumed than their standard counterparts, which means they use less power to make the same amount of light. Therefore, LED light bulbs are brighter than any other source of lighting.

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