What to consider when choosing a light

April 29, 2019 By Prestige Framing 0


There seems to be some confusion these days about how to measure the brightness of a bulb. It was relatively simple when we all used incandescent lights. You could choose from a 40, 60, 75 or 100 watt bulb, and we all have a rough idea how bright that will be. With the introduction of CFL and LED technology, this now has got a little bit more complicated.

Nowadays it’s all about the lumens!

A lumen is a standard unit of light as it is perceived to the human eye. Essentially it will tell you how bright something is, unlike a watt, which is actually a measurement of energy consumption or output. The lighting industry has standardised ways that it measures the total emission of light from a product and this information is now included on most product packaging.

Bulb TypeBulb Efficiency (Lumens per Watt)
Standard Incandescent LampApprox. 15 Lumens
Halogen LampApprox. 25 Lumens
Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)Approx. 50 Lumens
LED LampApprox. 80 Lumens

Below is a easy to follow traffic light system on how to select your energy saving bulb option.



From March 2014, luminaries have had to carry an energy rating label in line with the EU Directive 874/2012

This label displays the energy efficiency range of the luminaire and the compatibility with the lamps on the market. The energy rating A++ (very efficient) through to E (least efficient) is calculated based on the lumen output and the wattage consumption. The more efficient the lamp, the higher the eco rating.

Where luminaires can be fitted with different rated lamps and/or the lamps are non-removable (LEDs) a bracket indicated compatible energy classes. Where some rated lamps are not compatible with a luminaire, these energy classes are marked out with an ‘X’.

A guide to current lamp types and their energy classes are as follows:

LED LampsCLASS A, A+, A++
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)CLASS A, B
Halogen lampsCLASS C, D
Incandescent lampsCLASS E