Shopping for Light Bulbs Just Got A Little Easier

You’re probably used to looking at watt labels on light bulbs – the familiar 60 watts, 50/100/150 three-way bulbs, 40 watts with a dimmer, etc. But the labels are about to get a lot more useful:

Nutrition facts: coming soon to a light bulb near you!

As any electrician will tell you, watts don’t measure light. Watts are a measurement of energy transfer – how much electricity is being used. And green, money-saving CFL (compact fluorescent) and LED bulbs changing how we transfer energy into light. They’re making it much more efficient, so suddenly we don’t need as many watts to get the same amount of light.

Yep, soon all the kids will be talking lumens instead. Lumens, from the Latin word for light, actually measure how much light comes out of the bulb. And all bulbs will be labeled as above, so you know how bright they are, how much they’ll cost to use, and how long they are likely to last.

To learn more about lumens, here’s a handy little chart:

Photo credit: sookie, via Flickr. Both diagrams from our friendly neighborhood Federal Trade Commission. Head there to learn more!

Leave a Reply