Understanding Wattage Numbers on Light Bulbs (LED, Compact fluorescent, and incandescent)
Changing a light bulb is not rocket science. You simply need to unscrew it, buy a replacement, screw it back on, and it is done. Being so simple and an almost ordinary fixture at home, many people seem to forget its existence until it dies out, and rarely does anyone pay attention to the numbers and letters printed on the light bulb.
However, these numbers and letters are not there simply to adhere to industry requirements. In fact, they play a big role in helping people choose the right light bulb for their particular needs.
Of those numbers and letters that you see on a light bulb, one of them refers to wattage, written as 100W or 100w. Simply put, wattage is the amount of energy or electricity that the light bulb uses per hour. This goes without saying that the higher the wattage of the light bulb, the more energy or electricity it consumes. There are people who believe that the higher the watts, the brighter the light emitted by the bulb. However, this is no longer the case, especially with the presence of new and more efficient light bulbs.
LED, Compact Fluorescent, and Incandescent Light Bulbs
There are various types of light bulbs that are available on the market, but the most popular of them would be incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL), or LED light bulbs. Each of these has their own advantages and disadvantages, but when it comes to wattage and energy consumption, there are some that fare better than the others.
Incandescent light bulbs are the oldest type among the three, having been invented over a hundred years ago by Thomas Edison. The issue with incandescent light bulbs is that they are not very efficient light sources, since they basically give away more heat than light (that’s why they are also used as heaters for chicks in chicken farms). The only reason why people still use this type of light bulb is because they are cheap.
Compact fluorescent light (CFL) are more efficient than incandescent light bulbs, since they are able to give off a bright light for fewer watts. For example, a 23W CFL gives off 1600 lumens (amount of light/brightness), while for the same lumens, incandescent light bulbs consume 100W. Thus, with a CFL, you get the same amount of brightness for less 25% of energy consumption.
A better option than CFL are Light-emitting Diode (LED) Light bulbs, which are presently is considered to be the most cost-effective and most efficient light source among the three, and is highly recommended by many experts as replacements for incandescent and CFL. Going back to the example above, we mentioned that for a 1600 lumens, 100W is consumed incandescent while 23W is consumed by CFL. An LED light, which gives off the same amount of lumens, only operates on 16W.
So, if you are still using incandescent light bulbs, you should definitely consider switching to LED lights – it may be expensive at the start, but the lower wattage can save you more money in the long run. Contact Winter’s Electric if you need help picking the right light bulbs for your house!