Everyone knows how to replace light bulbs, right? These days it's a challenge and here's why I'm mad. We grew up knowing how many watts each incandescent light fixture needed, and kept a supply of 40, 60, 75 and 100 watt light bulbs. In the past when I found a burned out 75 watt bulb, all I had to do was get a new 75 watt bulb and screw it in.
This morning I decided it was time to replace the light bulb that burned out in the guest bathroom, after my son who was visiting, rigged up alternative lighting so he could take a shower. I grabbed a chair and removed the 60 watt light bulb and went to get a new bulb, ugh. I found 13 and 23 watt bulb but nowhere did the bulbs or packaging tell me which was the correct replacement light bulb.
Help Replacing Incandescent Light Bulbs
Realizing if I'm having trouble, others are too. That's when I decided to create this table to help everyone figure out the right CFL or LED bulbs you need to replace your incandescent light bulbs. You can download a copy of our light bulb conversion table, to tape to the door of your linen closet or cabinet door where you keep your replacement light bulbs. It's just too hard to remember all the details when you only replace light bulbs every few months, and the newer ones are supposed to last a lot longer.
New Light Bulbs & New Light Bulb Terminology
We used to learn watts because that was how light bulbs were packaged and sold, but in fact watts never told us how much light the bulbs gave off. Watts measure electrical power while lumens measure the amount of light, or brightness, the human eye perceives.
More Than Light Bulbs, The 3 Types of Lighting
Still confused? When you want better lighting in your home, it's probably because you're relying on only 1 or 2 different types of lighting. Good lighting combines all three types of light in an area, to give you the function and feeling you want to create.
- Ambient lighting (800 lumens or higher) – or general lighting, provides overall illumination. This lighting lets you see and walk around your home safely with a comfortable level of light, without glare. You need ambient light in all rooms using a combination of ceiling or wall mounted fixtures.
- Task lighting (1,600 lumens) – helps you see well enough to perform specific tasks like reading, cooking, hobbies and paperwork. It should be bright enough to prevent eye strain and free of distracting glare or shadows.
- Accent lighting – creates visual interest, drawing your eye to houseplants, paintings and other decorating details. To be effective, accent light should be at least 3 times as bright as the ambient light in the room.