What is the Difference Between Watts and Lumens?

Lumens kansas city

Table of Contents

Buying lightbulbs for your home has changed over recent years. We used to buy them based on what their wattage was. We knew the higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb. Right? Not really. The higher wattages don’t refer to the brightness. It refers to the energy used. But with LED lights, we need to know the difference between wattages and Lumens.

Lumens vs Watts

The first big difference is that watts have nothing to do with lumens. They are each their own entity and function as such. Watts refer to units of power and lumens refer to the actual brightness or the amount of light given off from the bulb.

We used to look for wattages when buying lightbulb, but with LED lights, we are now looking for lumens. LED lights have pretty much taken over from incandescent lights, so how we look at their numbers has to change, as well.

LED Lights

LED stands for light-emitting diode. LED lights can produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs. This is because they are built differently.

LED lights contain a microchip, like most technology today. When engaged, electric current moves through that microchip to illuminate the tiny light sources inside called LEDs and the result is visible light. Unlike regular lightbulbs, LED lights don’t get hot.

They use a heat sink to absorb the heat, rather than let it heat the surface of the bulb. It actually turns it into energy and dissipates it into the environment it is in.

LED lights are meant to last a long time, much longer than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. LED lights don’t burn out, but they will eventually lose brightness or lumens.

Why LED Lights are Different

Because of the way they are designed, LED lighting is more efficient, versatile, and lasts much longer. Besides the diodes, they are made to emit light in septic directions, as opposed to incandescent lightbulbs, which send out light and heat everywhere.

That means LEDs are able to use light and energy more efficiently in so many additional different ways. We still want our lightbulbs to illuminate in all directions, so they are a work-in-progress.


With lumens being the element that shines the light, watts are measured by how much energy it takes to do it. It used to be that the higher the wattage, the brighter the light.

But that no longer rings true. LED lights can produce more lumens using lesser watts depending on their type and design. When buying lightbulbs now, you must check for lumens per watt instead of just the wattage when buying LED bulbs.

The best part is that LED lights last much longer and use way less energy to do so. These bulbs have come a long way in recent years, are lower in price, and offer a larger range of options.

Many places don’t even sell regular old lightbulbs any longer, so most of us don’t even have a choice. Where we do have a choice, is the type of bulb and the lumens we require.

Need More?

If you have any questions or concerns about your current lighting, contact Fusion Electric or follow this link for more ideas. There are more and more choices for lighting in your home, and very few of them have anything to do with seeing better.

Lighting is a design choice. Set the mood, create an atmosphere, consider your options. If you are unsure of what you need, we can help you find the perfect lighting, including the types of bulbs you will need.

Jeff LeSuer avatar

Jeff LeSuer


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Amet porttitor eget dolor morbi semper duis tellus at urna condimentum mattis.



home safety inspection

*Applies to labor only. Must mention coupon at time of service. All repairs and installations require a trip charge of $85. Not valid with other offers.


off any residential service or repair

*Applies to labor only. Must mention coupon at time of service. All repairs and installations require a trip charge of $85. Not valid with other offers.


off panel upgrades

*Applies to labor only. Must mention coupon at time of service. All repairs and installations require a trip charge of $85. Not valid with other offers.

Get Fast, Affordable Electrical
Repair With The Service You Deserve

Same-day Service Available