Dec 12, 2008

CFL Equivalent Wattage (Compact Fluorescent Bulbs)

I tried sleuthing for what I thought would be simple answer. But, no. Everyone’s got a different answer as to what’s equivalent and exactly how much a CFL will save you over the life of the bulb.

But with all the numbers, I discovered that the rule of thumb seems to be to look for a CFL that’s roughly 1/4 (one-fourth) the wattage of the traditional incandescent bulb you’re replacing.

Based on the information I found, the chart below should be a good estimate:

Incandescent | CFL Equivalent
150W 42W
100W 23W
75W 18W
60W 14W
40W 11W
15-25W 3W

5 Comments

  • An alternative that leaves less guessing in the comparison is: look for a CFL or a LED that is rated at the same, or near same lumens (light delivered) as the incandescent you wish to replace. There may be some variation here, manufacturer to manufacturer, but there are supposed to be regulations governing the measuring and stating of the light output–and most lamp packages contain this information.

  • i’ve never noticed the lumens reating on standard bulb packages. Good tip! Thanks!

  • Thank you, thank you! This has been a minor frustration and your help is appreciated.

  • Hello,

    I got a question. Recently, I bought a floor lamp.

    On the top of the packing box, they said:
    ” To avoid a fire- use 100W type A bulb, or 13W CFL equivalent bulb. “
    But according to the equivalent grid above-
    100W= 23W (CFL)

    May I use 23W bulb with my floor standing lamp despite the label’s direction on the top of the box of lamp packaging??????????

    Thak you for your time.

    SZ

  • Hello,
    I got a question. Recently, I bought a floor lamp.
    On the top of the packing box, they said:
    ” To avoid a fire- use 100W type A bulb, or 13W CFL equivalent bulb. “
    But according to the equivalent grid below-
    100W= 23W (CFL)
    May I use 23W bulb despite the label’s direction on the top of the box of lamp packaging??????????

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