It can be challenging to determine the 'wattage' of LED lights. When incandescent light bulbs dominated the lighting market, it was easy to tell how 'bright' a bulb would be.
When using LED Lighting, we use the term lumens which is the power or strength of the light. A Lumen (lm) is the International Standard unit that shows the total amount of visible light emitted from a source. Like Watts, Lumens are a standard measurement within the lighting industry and can be found on the box of most light bulbs.
The next time you purchase a light bulb, remember to look for both Wattage & Lumens. Watts show the amount of power used & lumens show the brigthness of a bulb. The best combo to look for is:
LOW WATT & HIGH LUMENS = BRIGHT, ENERGY SAVING BULBS.
We understand it's tough if you are switching out from Incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs, we need to know the comparable light values.
Here's a quick and easy chart to get you started!
Need to know how to space your recessed lighting & how many recessed lights do you need?
Be sure to check out my most popular blog post.
We provide a simple formula to help you layout your recessed lighting!
How to calculate the distance & spacing for Task lighting
You hear about the different types of lighting. Recessed lighting, Ambient lighting & Accent lighting, but what is Task lighting?
In a nutshell, task lighting is extra lighting used to highlight spaces where you need either extra light, or specialized lighting.
You may want to add:
If you are using an articulating wall sconce for reading, like this brass beauty above, place the fixture approximately 60" off the ground, so that the light (not the base area that attaches to the wall), is in the perfect position for reading. Of course this varies depending upon the structure of the light, height of the bed, how far down it moves etc.
Office lamps are probably the most popular form of task lighting as they can be moved around easily.
Under cabinet lighting is the most important type of task lighting in my opinion, place them 8-10" from the back of the wall, under your 12" upper cabinets in the kitchen or elsewhere. These ones are from Amazon, note they are 4,000K, which tends to be blue-ish in colour. I recommend going with 3,000K for a soft white that is bright, but not glaring. Read more about colour temperature.
Where to position your pendant lights over your kitchen island?
Pendant lights can be so very important over your kitchen island. I suggest placing them 36-40" above the island, this may vary a little depending upon your height & the height of the room. Here's a good rule of thumb:
For spacing 2 pendant lights, measure your island's width, divide that by 4. That number is how far from the end of the island you should place your pendant light.
i.e. 8' wide island divided by 4 = 2. Place the center of each light 2' from each edge, this provides a 4' space, in between the lights, and works well for most standard pendant lights.
Have recessed lighting questions? Have a look at our popular blog Recessed lighting spacing - How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place my lights?
Are you wondering what's the difference between lumens and wattage? Look no further!
Lumens measure the total light sent out by the light bulb.
Watts measure the amount of power used by the bulb.
So watts do not tell you how bright the bulb is - but Lumens do.
However, since we are all used to discussing wattage often people use 'wattage' as their term denoting the brightness of a bulb, rather than 'lumens'.
Let me know if you have any other lighting questions, I'd be happy to help.
Here's a great post showing "How many recessed lights do I need?"
Here's a helpful Incandescent to LED conversion chart, to help you when selecting a new LED light bulb.
With the advent of the new LED light bulbs, there is much confusion.
It used to be just select the correct wattage for your lights and away you go, but now there are so many things to think about.
Rather than writing article outlining the 'do's and 'don't's of LED light bulbs, I thought I'd post links to great articles here. All links are from Waveform Lighting and are excellent articles.
What is the dreaded blue light hazard?
Are LED light bulbs safe?
Should I choose a 2,700K or 3,000K LED light bulb? What's the difference?
What is the difference between CCT and CRI and do I need to know?
Why is my LED bulb flickering? How do I stop it?
What is the difference between Lux and Lumens?
What is Colour Rendering Index or CRI?
Here's an article I posted several years ago. It's been very helpful to others!
How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place them?
If you need help with lighting, we'd love to assist you!
Would you like a few quick tips on how to calculate the correct size chandelier or pendant light for over your dining room table?
Here we go!
Add the width and length of your dining room ie. 10' + 14' = 24.
We need a light approximately 24" wide!
Or here are a few general dining room table sizes, and the width of lights that would complement the table nicely.
Oval table 42" long - light should be 18-20" wide.
Oval table 48" long - light should be 24" wide.
Square tables? Just take the table size and subtract 12" off each side.
ie. 42" sq. table. -12" and -12" = 18" wide light.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Of course there are variables, but this will get you in the right ballpark!
Confused about this new fangled lighting called LED? Which bulb do I now select?
Here's a little chart showing the "old' wattage from incandescent lighting, vs. LED, CFL and Halogen wattage.
The new item to look for is called Lumens, that determines the brightness of the bulb, wattage shows the energy of the bulb. Just remember that the more lumens you have, the brighter the light.
Check out this chart below, happy lighting!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.