Over the years, LED bulbs have become very popular. More and more people are replacing incandescent bulbs in their homes with LED bulbs. One of the most common questions, people ask is: “Is it Okay to use LED bulbs with higher wattage equivalents than my fixtures allow?”
The answer is YES.
You can use an LED bulb having a higher wattage equivalent than your fixture allows — provided the LED bulb consumes less wattage than the fixture.
Let us simplify the above explanation.
When you come across a label reading “60-watt LED equivalent”, it doesn’t mean that the LED bulb consumes 60 watt. Instead, what it means is that the bulb produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.
When a fixture says not to exceed a certain Watt limit, it is pointing to the dangers of heat output linked to incandescent bulbs. But unlike incandescent bulbs, LED light bulbs don’t emit a lot of heat.
Therefore, if the socket says “not to exceed 60-watts” but you wish to install a 100-watt equivalent LED light bulb, you could do so safely. However, keep in mind that a high wattage LED might not be suitable for enclosed fixtures. For example, if you use a 14W LED bulb, which equals 100W, in a 40W fixture, then the light bulb is very likely to fail early would fail early if used in a small fitting.
Another question that people often ask is: “Why are LED light bulbs so energy efficient?”
That’s because LED light bulbs don’t use direct heat for producing light.
The standard incandescent light bulb produces a considerably wider spectrum of radiation. That’s because it heats metal as the source of illumination. Even though an incandescent bulb emits visible light, it also produces non-visible radiation such as infrared light and UV light. As a result, they utilize a lot more energy. In comparison, LED bulbs only produce radiation as visible light – giving off a considerably narrower spectrum. This in turn makes them significantly more energy efficient.
“How can I be sure if an LED bulb is going to be bright enough?” This is another question we get asked frequently.
When you are shopping LEDs, think Lumens — and not Watts. Generally speaking, with an 800 lumen LED light bulb, you will get the same amount of light as produced by a conventional 60-watt incandescent bulb.
What if you want to use something brighter? Well, you can safely use a 100 watt, 125 watt, or even 150 watt LED equivalent since all of them consumes less than 60-watts. For instance, 150 watt LED equivalent emits approximately 2,600 lumens but consumes just 30 watts. What this basically means is that you can install a 150 watt LED equivalent bulb in your 60 watt socket and receive more than three times the brightness generated by the traditional 60-watt incandescent bulb.
LED light bulbs, in comparison to the traditional incandescent bulb, provide more balanced light. However, not all LED light bulbs provide the same light quality. Only LED bulbs with a rating of CRI90+ emit high-quality light. Keep this fact in mind when you shop for LEDs next time.