LED/CFL vs Incandescent wattages

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Old 09-02-16, 06:45 AM
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LED/CFL vs Incandescent wattages

When comparing LEDs to traditional incandescents in terms of the "wattage" are the watts "equivalent"?

1 LED watt = 1 incandescent watt? The reason I ask is when replacing incandescents in a fixture and the maximum capacity of the fixture is rated at 60 Watts - could I theorectically substitute an LED bulb that was anywhere up to 60 Watts (Not that I've ever seen one) in that same fixture without causing an issue or risk?

Some fixtures do have different maximum wattage capacitites for both LEDs and incandescents - which usually show the maximum wattage they can handle to be less for an LED bulb then an incandescent.

In terms of brightness for comparison purposes are lumens the only factor?
 
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Old 09-02-16, 07:30 AM
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Watts are measures of power consumption, lumens measure light output. A watt is a watt.
 
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Old 09-02-16, 08:03 AM
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Yes, if your fixture is rated at 60 watts you may install a 60 watt LED light bulb. Watts are watts.

Yes, you need to compare lumens and to be truly accurate you need to find out the details of how each lights output was tested. I've seen CFL bulbs that claim to be a 60w equivalent but were much dimmer and I've seen LED's stating to be 60w equivalent and seemed brighter.
 
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Old 09-02-16, 08:22 AM
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I've seen CFL bulbs that claim to be a 60w equivalent but were much dimmer
I haven't bought any LEDs yet but I have found every CFL I've ever used to be dimmer than the incandescent to which it claims to be equivalent. To that end, I go one 'equivalent' higher when I replace an incandescent with a CFL. As an example, if I'm replacing a 60 watt incandescent, I will do so with a 75 watt equivalent CFL.
 
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Old 09-02-16, 11:05 AM
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The reason for my odd question is this - In the past if someone wanted to make their lamp or fixture brighter they might choose to put a 100 w bulb in a 60 watt rated lamp. Yes it is wrong and risky but often that is what was done to increase brightness.

Now with the LEDs which seem to produce equivalent brightness at much lower wattages then incandescents, this should solve this issue. So if I wanted the equivalent brightness of a 250 W incandescent in my 60 W rated lamp I should be able to buy a 250 W LED equivalent bulb since it's wattage might only be 40-50 W.

Would my assumption be correct?

What gave me hesitation was that I did notice on a recent lamp I purchased it had different maximum wattage ratings depending on the type of bulb chosen - Incandescent vs CFL vs LED.
 
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Old 09-02-16, 11:16 AM
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So if I wanted the equivalent brightness of a 250 W incandescent in my 60 W rated lamp I should be able to buy a 250 W LED equivalent bulb since it's wattage might only be 40-50 W.
Generally speaking, you are correct. As you noted later in your post, though, sometimes this is not the case. Also, not all LEDs or CFLs are dimmable or able to be installed in enclosed fixtures so one does need to do some research before replacing bulbs with another type.
 
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Old 09-02-16, 11:40 AM
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What factor contributes most how much heat a bulb gives off?

Is it mostly a function of wattage vs lumens vs something else? Especially if you are putting something in an enclosed fixture.

Thanks
 
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Old 09-02-16, 01:03 PM
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It's a measure of efficiency - generally speaking, the more efficient the bulb, the less heat it emits.
 
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Old 09-02-16, 02:18 PM
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Thank you for all your answers
 
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Old 09-03-16, 05:48 AM
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The incandescent maximum wattage roughly represents the outside temperature that can be attained about the fixture. More efficient lamp types e.g. fluorescent means a lower temperature for the same actual lamp wattage.

But LED lamp and CFL lamp internal electronics cannot tolerate that temperature inside the fixture. So the fixture LED and/or CFL wattage rating can be smaller so the temperature attained inside the fixture won't be as high and/or the lamp will be restricted to non-enclosed fixtures.

It appears to me that a straight tube of the same diameter and length as the coiled tube of a 60 watt equivalent CFL would give off to the room about the same amount of light as a 60 watt incandescent. When coiled up as the actual CFL lamp, the adjacent coils of the tube shadow each other so as to reduce the light going out into the room.

A similar loss occurs with large straight tube fluorescent lamps in relatively compact fixtures. The tube itself shadows much of the light reflected back down into the room by the reflector just above the lamp.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 09-03-16 at 06:11 AM.
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