How Bright Is 100 Watts – For a long time, many people determined the brightness of a light bulb by looking at its wattage. A 100-watt bulb, for example, is expected to be naturally brighter than a 40-watt bulb.
While this works for incandescent bulbs (although it’s an imprecise way to measure brightness), when developing energy-efficient LED bulbs, wattage alone doesn’t necessarily indicate how bright a bulb is. But there are better ways to say it…
How Bright Is 100 Watts
The reason you can no longer use watts to determine the brightness of a bulb is that LED bulbs provide the same brightness as incandescent bulbs, but at a lower wattage. Below is a rough guide to the equivalent wattage of LEDs and other light bulbs.
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Lumens (lm) are a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a lamp or other light source. This is a more accurate way of determining the brightness of the bulb, as it is a measure of its output, unlike wattage, which only refers to the power source.
LED light bulbs for general use in the home are usually between 5W-15W and emit between 300-500 lumens. Some outdoor reflectors emit more than 20,000 lm.
LED bulbs of the same wattage may not always have the same lumens. For example, a particular 5W GLS might put out 400 lumens, while another might put out 470 lumens.
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The easiest way to measure the efficiency of an LED bulb is to calculate its lumens and its power ratio. To do this, simply divide the number of lumens it emits by the wattage: for example, a 5W bulb that emits 400 lumens has a ratio of 80 lumens per watt (abbreviated as lm/w). Live: Early Black Friday Sales Early Black Friday Deals Walmart Target Black Friday Amazon Black Friday Apple Black Friday Best Buy Early Black Friday Best Chromebook Deals
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Hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a text-based adventurer, horror lover, and enthusiastic but mediocre cook. Publisher since 2013, Ry’s beats include smart home tech, lighting, home appliances, and home networking.
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Most people think of 60-watt light bulbs as the basic standard for normal home lighting. If you want something brighter, upgrade to a 100-watt bulb, for example. The thing is, most 100-watt incandescent bulbs have long since been phased out due to increased efficiency standards.
That’s why you’ll find many “100-watt replacement” LEDs in the lighting aisle of your store. They promise as much light as the old incandescents but consume less energy. Replace it with the type of bulb they are designed to replace, and you’ll save an average of $10 a year on energy costs. They’re more affordable than you might think, while 100-watt switching diodes sold for $20 or more a few years ago, prices have dropped to the point where you can find decent dimmable options for less than $5 each.
This makes it the perfect time to upgrade your light bulbs, but which one is right for your home?
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With that question in mind, I hit my local lighting tunnels to find every 100 watt switching diode I could get my hands on. After dozens of hours of testing, here’s what I found, starting with the best of the bunch.
Dimmable 100-watt replacement bulbs from big names like Philips, GE, and Cree will set you back about $13 each, but in many cases you can save money with a smaller brand. Head to Lowe’s and you’ll find these bulbs from Utilitech, including a 100-watt LED replacement that’s now on sale in a two-pack for under $10.
As such, it’s the cheapest 100-watt replacement bulb I’ve tested, and while it’s not without some drawbacks, it’s easy enough to offer excellent value. For starters, this is the best bulb I’ve ever tested, putting out 1,574 lumens of amber light at just 14.5 watts of power, good for 108.6 lumens per watt. Use it 3 hours a day, every day, and it will only add $1.74 to your annual electric bill. Add in the price of the bulb and it’s still about half of what it would cost to run a 100-watt incandescent for the same amount of time. It pays off in a few months.
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It’s also pretty decent with a dimmer switch. I was able to dim it to an average of a minimum of 1.1 percent brightness on all of my test switches, which is better than any other bulb I’ve tested, and I never experienced flickering. I heard a slight hum when I turned it down to the medium setting on the modern sled-style switches, but it wasn’t loud enough to throw the game off. And it’s silent with an old-school rotary dial that wasn’t even designed for LEDs.
Utilitech ranks first in terms of value, with EcoSmart in second place. Current-generation 100-watt switches sell in two-packs at Home Depot for just over $10. Like the Utilitech LEDs, they offer impressive efficiency, with more than 100 lumens per watt. They’re also brighter, emitting 1,597 lumens.
The performance of the EcoSmart bulb is about the same as the Utilitech. It doesn’t flash, but sounds softly in some settings of some switches. I couldn’t dial it as low as the Utilitech LED, but it still managed a satisfying 6 percent average. It’s not the best dimmable bulb I’ve tried, but it’s good enough for most purposes and better than you’d expect for a $5 bulb. For something a little unclear… well, scroll down a bit.
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At $13, it’s one of the more expensive options in this roundup, but the Cree 100W replacement LED was the best in my dimming tests. In fact, it’s the only bulb I’ve tested that was able to dim up and down without flickering or buzzing on every switch on our test rig.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. While the dimming is smooth, quiet, and flicker-free, the Cree LED only dimmed to an average minimum of 14 percent across all of my switches, which is pretty high. The bulb’s claims of improved color quality seem a bit exaggerated – the light quality seems good to me, but it doesn’t seem any better than other bulbs I’ve tried.
Still, it’s a good bulb with no significant weaknesses, and I like that Cree offers a class-leading 10-year warranty. If you need a reliable bulb that actually dims, it’s worth the extra cash.
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The runner-up in my dimming test was Philips’ 100W Replacement Warm Glow LED. Philips LEDs have a pretty strong track record in my dimming tests, but the Warm Glow line, with bulbs that turn more “orange” as you dim them, is a bit of a standout. This one’s a winner, though: It goes down to a satisfying minimum setting of 7 percent and doesn’t flicker on any of my switches, though I did hear a slight hum on our old-school rotary dial.
However, there are some drawbacks. For one thing, the Philips bulb is as expensive as the Cree at $13, and the warranty is only half as long at five years. It’s also the least efficient dimmable LED I’ve tested for this roundup, putting out 1,605 lumens at a slightly above-average 18 watts. They’re gimmicks, mind you, but they’re enough to give Cree the edge. However, you could be fooled if the Philips bulb is on sale.
I’ve seen many bulbs in this category that claim to offer better color quality – the GE Reveal LED delivers. GE offers several different versions, including the new 100-watt Reveal bulbs in the “HD Light” line that sell for $15 each. I prefer the GE Reveal Bright Stik LEDs over the 100 watts – they’re just as good at creating color in your home pop, but you get two bulbs for the same $15, which makes them an even better deal.
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However, two big caveats with the LED Bright Stik. First, like most of GE’s Reveal bulbs, the special filter used to reduce the effects of the yellow part of the spectrum and increase color quality also means that the bulb isn’t as bright as you might expect. With just 1,168 lumens to name, it’s really more of a 75-watt switch than a true 100-watt switch, and it’s not that efficient either, putting out a worst 73 lumens per watt.
The other concern? The shining stick
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