October 5th, 2008
Like many people I bought a bunch of compact flourescent light bulbs to save energy. Like many people I took the label for what it said. I bought 60 watt “replacement” bulbs that were 13 watts. WooHoo!!! That is 47 fewer watts of power! That’s awesome! So I get them home and remove several perfectly good incandescent bulbs, flip the switch and Viola…. Wait, these aren’t as bright. Then I did a little reading. Here’s the jist. A 60 watt incandescent bulb puts out ~900 lumens, some say 870. The 13 watt CFL that I bought says right on the package that it puts out 830 lumens. That is less useful light. That is not what I would consider a “replacement”. Basically I think that marketing these bulb that produce less light as “replacements” will hurt the use of CFLs. Go with a 15 Watt CFL it is much closer to 900 lumens. That way you have an actual comparable bulb. You will have almost the same amount of light that you are used to. That sounds like a much better plan to me.