Lumens vs. Watts

What even are watts and lumens anyways? If you're used to thinking in wattage, you're definitely not the only one! We created this guide to help you determine the difference between the two.

Throughout many decades, people have associated wattage with brightness due to there only being one type of bulb - the incandescent. Before lightbulbs started adding varients in technology such as LEDs and CFLs, it was easy to associate the wattage with brightness. Now that we have a variety of bulbs to choose from, it is important to know that it is lumens, not watts, that measure brightness. 

In short - lumens is a measure of light output, otherwise known as brightness! Watts is simply a measurement of energy used. 

A watt measures how much electricity the bulb requires per second. The higher number of wattage on a bulb determines how much energy the light bulb uses and often how long it will last. However, this is not an indicator of how bright the bulb is. If you are looking to determine how much light a bulb will provide, that is where you should look at lumens, A lumen is the direct measurement of light output.

Lumens is defined as "a unit of luminous flux in the International System of Units, that is equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one-candela intensity radiating equally in all directions."

The number of lumens can tell you the degree of brightness, regardless of what type of light bulb it is emitted from.