Question of the Week: what’s a lumen?

Question of the Week: what’s a lumen?

It’s no secret that our home lighting choices have become significantly more efficient. Now, instead of measuring our old, incandescent light bulbs by the amount of energy they use (watts), we’re measuring them by the amount of light they emit (lumens). This new measurement helps ensure you pick bulbs that use the least amount of energy while providing the appropriate brightness you need! Here are some tips to make sure you get the right bulbs for you:

  1. Before your next trip to the hardware store, think about your home. What kind of lighting do you need? Are you looking for energy efficient light bulbs for reading, or a brighter bulb for your desk? Make a list of your lighting needs.
    Tip: There are also free mobile apps to help you while at the store, including Light Bulb Finder, the winner of the U.S. EPA’s Apps for the Environment contest.
  2. Bookmark this graphic from the FTC to help you remember what kind of light bulbs you’re looking for.
  3. Once you get to the store, take a look at each bulb’s packaging label. It will include important information you’ll want to consider, including:
    • Brightness (in lumens)
    • Yearly estimated energy cost
    • Expected bulb life (in years)
    • Light appearance (how warm or cool the light will look)
    • Wattage (the energy used)

For more information on other simple steps you can take to reduce your energy use at home, check out the Virginia Energy Sense Do-It-Yourself Guide, full of low and no cost projects to help you Value Your Power!