Lighting Guide | Power (Watt)
What is Watt or Wattage?
Watt (W) is the unit of power, representing the rate of energy transfer or conversion. In lighting, wattage indicates how much electrical energy a light source or fixture consumes to produce light. So the Wattage value of a light source gives you an idea of its energy consumption.
A higher wattage indicates the light source uses more electricity, and vice versa. Traditionally, a higher wattage also meant a brighter bulb, but modern lighting technology has changed this assumption. Especially with LEDs, you can have low wattage (low energy consumption) but high brightness.
Why Wattage Matters for Residential Lighting
When choosing lighting for your home, from an energy efficiency and sustainability perspective, a lower wattage is preferable since it means less energy consumption. Over time, this can translate to notable savings on electricity bills. However, while wattage indicates energy use, it doesn't always directly correlate with the brightness or quality of the light, which brings us to lumens.
Watts vs. Lumens
In the era of incandescents and halogens, wattage was often a proxy for brightness. Higher wattage typically meant a brighter bulb. However, today, especially with the rise of LEDs, lumens have become the more accurate measure of brightness.
While wattage tells you energy consumption, Lumens tell you the actual amount of visible light a source emits. In modern lighting decisions, lumens are the go-to metric for brightness. An LED might have a low wattage (consuming little energy) but produce a high lumen output (very bright). This distinction underlines the efficiency of LED technology and underscores why lumens have become a more relevant metric than watts for modern lighting brightness.
LED vs. halogen bulbs
LED bulbs produce a similar amount of light (lumens) as halogen or incandescent bulbs but consume significantly fewer watts. This lower wattage indicates that LEDs are more energy-efficient: they use less electricity to produce the same brightness. For instance, a 10W LED bulb might produce the same amount of light as a 60W incandescent bulb. This means you'd get the same brightness but with 1/6th of the energy consumption with the LED.
Incandescent and halogen bulbs are being phased out globally due to their inferior energy efficiency compared to LEDs. In the EU, their production and importation have already been banned, urging a shift towards greener lighting. This move aims to promote energy conservation, cut costs, and reduce carbon emissions. For homeowners, this means lower electricity bills, fewer bulb replacements, and a safer, cooler environment.
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