Does Bulb Wattage Determine Brightness?
It's a common misconception that a bulb's wattage is the only factor in its brightness. So if you've been buying lower wattage to get softer light, this is why it's not working.
Finding the right light bulbs can sometimes be an arduous process. Brightness, temperature, color and energy usage are all important considerations.
Struggling to find bulbs that aren’t too bright for your home? If this is the case, make sure you’re looking for the right information on the packaging.
Many people assume wattage is the only important factor to brightness. If you fall into this group, you’ve probably been frustrated when different wattages aren’t giving you the result you want. But watts don’t actually measure brightness at all.
What Do Watts Measure?
You might remember learning the equation to determine watts in your physics class: W=(A)(V). Watts are increments of power, the result of amps being under the pressure of volts. So a light bulb with a higher wattage will use more power than one with a lower wattage. But does this always correlate to bulb brightness?
Spoiler alert: No! Brightness is actually measured by lumens, not watts.
Different kinds of bulbs draw varying levels of power regardless of individual brightness. Take LEDs, which are popular because they draw much less power. This means they have a lower wattage, but not that they’re always dimmer than their incandescent counterparts.
How to Find a Lower-Light bulb
When looking for a lower-light bulb, check the lumens. That’s the key information. Wattage has more bearing on your power bill than brightness.
Look into incandescent and LED options. Often, LED bulbs use less power and last longer. You can even check out smart bulbs. These generally can change color, so you’ll be set no matter what mood you want to evoke.
No matter what type you pick, do your research to see how many lumens you need to light your space.