How to Compare the Brightness of Light Bulbs


When comparing the brightness, or light output, of individual light bulbs, it is important to have a consistent standard of measurement. Not all bulb types employ the same technology to produce illumination. However, the brightness of all bulbs is measured in lumens, so comparing one bulb to another is a fairly simply task. It merely requires visiting a retailer who sells light bulbs, such a home improvement store, and examining two or more packages of bulbs.

  • Visit any retailer selling light bulbs, and locate the bulb display area.

  • Select two packages of light bulbs. For the sake of consistency, it may be helpful to compare two similar bulb types, such as compact fluorescent bulbs, with standard (E26) bases. These bulbs can be installed in many common household lighting fixtures.

  • Examine the bulb packaging until you locate the specifications. The light output, expressed in lumens, will be printed there.

  • Compare the lumen output level of the bulbs you selected. The higher the number, the more illumination it will produce.

  • Continue examining the various bulbs until you locate one that meets your illumination requirements.

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