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What LED wattage is best?


What’s in a watt? A what? No, a watt.

A watt is a unit of measurement: it defines a unit of power equivalent to the rate of energy usage in a circuit where the potential difference is one volt and the current is one ampere.

Defining wattage for LED lights

OK, that doesn’t really clear things much, does it? How about this: it’s a measure of the work the electricity does per second. Or this: how much energy the item draws.

There’s something else you need to know when thinking about how to choose LED lights: when using the old incandescent bulbs, the watts don’t work the same as with the more current LED lights. LED lighting uses less power. They still draw energy so there’s still wattage, but the value is much less; you can’t compare LED watts to traditional bulb watts. You can try, and sometimes it works, but to add confusion (just for the heck of it), in the olden days you used watts to determine how bright the bulb was – how much light it gave off. That doesn’t work with LED bulbs, either, as they inherently use less power so their low watts don’t give you a true indication of how bright they’ll be.

Lumen is the unit given to describe the amount of light a bulb gives off – the more lumens, the brighter it is. However, for a true indication of how good your LED light is, compare lumens per watt: the lower the measurement, the better the efficiency and the more light it will throw for the electricity it requires.

LED lighting should be considered not only for their efficiency and safety (significantly less heat is generated, making them cool to touch) but they will always give more light for the electricity they use when compared to the older bulbs. So when looking at  LED bulbs for you home, consider not only the best wattage for your bedroom, kitchen or dining room, consider the lumens as well – better still, research the lumens per watt.

If you absolutely positively can’t let go of the watt, then here’s a few comparisons (when comparing lumens and watts – not an exact science, though):

  • 40W incandescent equals 6-9W LED
  • 75W incandescent equals 9-13W
  • 150W incandescent equals 25-28W LED.

Remember it’s not about the watt, but more about how much light you can get from the bulb and, more importantly, how much electricity those lumens require. And to answer our question – the LED wattage that’s best is the one that you want, that suits your budget and that will light your area to your satisfaction. 

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