Tips for buying the new style light bulbs

We are now basing the purchase of light bulbs on lumens that the lights provide not in the watts that they use. Lumens are a measure of brightness. The more lumens the brighter the light, the less lumens  the dimmer the light.

According to the US Department of Energy the brightness, or lumen levels, of the lights in your home may vary widely, so here’s a rule of thumb:

  • To replace a 100 watt (W) incandescent bulb, look for a bulb that gives you about 1600 lumens. If you want something dimmer, go for less lumens; if you prefer brighter light, look for more lumens.
  • Replace a 75W bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 1100 lumens
  • Replace a 60W bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 800 lumens
  • Replace a 40W bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 450 lumens.

What Should I Look For On The Package? The Lighting Facts Label

To help consumers better understand the switch from watts to lumens, the Federal Trade Commission requires a new product label for light bulbs. It helps people buy the light bulbs that are right for them.

The EPA website contains a free app to help you figure out which light bulb can replace your current incandescent bulbs.   It is easy to use and you can create and save a shopping list of bulbs that you use in your home.  I hope you find it as helpful as I did!

Beth Marrs

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Adult Home Economics Education. I love to cook and entertain and spend time with my family.

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