U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Multimedia

Energy 101: Lumens (Text Version)

Below is the text version for the Energy 101: Lumens video:

The video opens with "Energy 101: Lumens: The new way to shop for light." This is followed by various shots of a store aisle featuring a variety of light bulbs, including close-ups of the packaging labels on various bulbs.

Today you'll see more light bulb options in stores. These bulbs will give you the light you want while saving you energy—and money.

The video shows various shots of lights being turned on in a home. The words "Watts –> Energy Use" appear onscreen. Next, the video shows a store aisle with a diverse light bulb selection.

Here's something to consider. In the past we bought light bulbs based on how much energy—or how many watts—they use. But today's energy-saving light bulbs use up to eighty percent less power to give you the same amount of light. So wouldn't it make more sense to buy light bulbs based on how much light they provide?

With lumens, you can do just that.

A box containing the words "Brightness: 450 lumens" appears on screen. The words "Lumens –> Brightness" appear.

Lumens are a measure of brightness. So if you know how many lumens you want, you'll buy just the right bulb for any spot in your home.

The video shows various shots of lights being turned on in a home. A graphic appears, showing the range of values of lumens (brightness) from ≈450 to ≈1600 that correspond to traditional incandescent watt values from 40 to 100. As the number of lumens increases, so does the number of watts. ≈800 lumens/60 watts is highlighted, followed by ≈1600 lumens/100 watts.

Instead of buying an inefficient sixty-watt bulb, look for an efficient replacement that gives you about eight hundred lumens of light. If you're replacing a one hundred-watt bulb, look for an energy-saving bulb that gives you about sixteen hundred lumens.

The video moves to a shot of two light bulbs. The light bulb on the left is labeled "800 Lumens" and appears to give off about half as much light as the light bulb on the right, which is labeled "1600 Lumens."

Just think: the more lumens, the brighter the light.

The video shows a graphic of the lighting label on a light bulb box, which is labeled "Lighting Facts." The various features on the label are highlighted as they are mentioned: Brightness, Estimated Yearly Cost, and Light Appearance.

To help you shop for the light you want, you'll find an easy-to-read label on light bulb packages. So you'll have a simple way to see the bulb's brightness, how much the bulb will cost to operate for a year, and other qualities like light color—from warm yellowish to cool bluish.

The video moves to a shot of a store aisle featuring a variety of light bulbs. Next, three light bulbs appear on screen, labeled "Compact Fluorescents," "Light Emitting Diodes," and "Energy-Saving Incandescents." This is followed by a montage of images of different light bulbs.

With more energy-saving choices appearing on store shelves, including compact fluorescents, or CFLs, light emitting diodes, or LEDs, and energy-saving incandescents, you'll have more options that save you money.

The Lighting Facts label appears onscreen. "Brightness: 800 lumens" is highlighted. This is followed by a montage of images of different light bulbs.

So when shopping for a new bulb, look for lumens—or how bright the bulb is. Remember lumens: the new way to shop for light.