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What is the difference between Watts and Lumens?

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If you are over the age of 25 or 30 you are probably used to thinking about the brightness of a light in terms of watts. “Watts” refers to a unit of energy and was actually never the ideal terminology for measuring a lights brightness. Regardless, the terminology was used for years since light bulbs performed similarly when supplied with the same amount of energy, or watts. As new energy efficient bulbs came onto the market (think: halogen incandescent, CFL and LED), watts quickly became a poor representation of the brightness of a light. The lights brightness was now independent from how much energy it took to run the light.

Lumens, which is the correct measurement for the brightness of a light, has now become the standard and should be included in virtually all packaging. Still, watts was used for so long, many of us have an inherent sense for how bright a 60W incandescent light should be. So, to help all of the old timers out there, we have included a quick lumen conversion chart from the FTC for some common wattages (click image below to enlarge):

Watts to Lumens Conversion Chart

Many people are doubling down on the energy efficiency and cost savings of these new lightbulbs by powering them with solar technology. Similar to the improvements in light bulbs, there have also been significant efficiency improvements in both the solar panels and the batteries used in solar systems that power these bulbs. All of these advancements have enabled us to produce some very high quality, high lumen output and low cost solar lights.

Solar Sphere, Inc. is a leading provider of alternative energy products with a special emphasis in solar lighting applications. We represent products from over 40 different manufacturers and would enjoy an opportunity to help assist you in finding the right products for your project. Our portfolio of solar products includes an extensive selection of options for solar lighting, solar power kits for your RV, Boat or Golf Cart, or all of the components necessary for a custom solar system.

For more information:


2.Federal Trade Commission video on light bulbs.


4.Solar Street Light ROI Analysis