Are LED Lights Brighter Than Other Types of Light?

LED lights are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency and long lifespan. You may be wondering if LED lights are brighter than incandescent or other types of light. Well here’s your answer!

LED lights are brighter than other types of light for the same wattage. You can get other types of light that are brigher than LEDs, but they will have a much higher wattage.

In the rest of this guide, we’ll take a look at how much brigher LEDs are than other types, and what to do if you don’t want bright lights but still want to use LEDs.

Are LED Lights Brighter Than Other Types of Light?

Yes and no.

Brightness is measured in lumens. Some LED lights will have more lumens than other types and some LEDs will have less, so they aren’t strictly speaking any brighter.

However, LEDs are brighter than other types for the same wattage. If you have a 4w LED bulb and a 4w incandescent bulb, then yes, the LED bulb will be brighter.

How Much Brighter Are LED Lights?

There are four main types of light. LED lights are brighter than all of the others, but there’s quite a disparity between the other three types.

The table below gives you an idea of how much brighter LEDs are compared to the other three types.

 450 lumens800 lumens1100 lumens1600 lumens

So we can see an 18w LED light will give you around 1600 lumens. An incandescent bulb will require more than twice the energy to generate just 450 lumens.

Does That Mean LEDs Are More Efficient?

Yes! The electricty usage of any device is determined by its wattage. You can use a calculator like this one from the Department of Energy to estimate how much it will cost to power a device based on its wattage and how often it’s used.

Since LED lights require fewer watts than any other type of light they are the most energy-efficient option.

Not only are they more energy-efficient, but LED lights have a longer lifespan than other bulbs too, which is why they are becoming so popular.

What If I Don’t Want Bright LED Lights?

Brigher lights aren’t always what you’re looking for. Whilst LED lights are brigher than other types per wattage, you can still get low brightness LED lights. What’s more, since these lights have such a low wattage, they are very inexpensive to run.

When purchasing any type of light, remember that it is the lumens that determines the brightness and not the wattage. Whilst there is often a correlation, there can be a difference.

LED bulbs are often advertised with an equivalent wattage which is based on the older incandescent bulbs. So if you’re familiar with the older-style bulbs, it should help you pick out and LED bulbs which matches the brightness you want.

Another option is to purchase dimmable LED bulbs which allows you to dial in the perfect brightness, but you will obviously need a dimmer switch to use that function.

You should also take into account the color temperature of the lights which I talk about below.

What Else Affects Brightness Perception?

The color temperature of a light can affect how bright they appear. Warmer lights have a more orange glow and don’t feel as harsh or bright. Cooler lights are more white in appearance and can appear brighter.

Color temperature is rated in kelvin and most lights fall between 3000k – 5000k. The higher the kelvin, the cooler the temperature.

The image below gives you an idea of how the color temperature affects the appearance of the light.

Incandescent bulbs tend to be on the warmer side whilst LEDs have a wide range across the spectrum. If you are used to incandescent bulbs and switch to LED, you might find the LED lights appear brighter if you chose a cooler temperature.

Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, LED lights aren’t necessarily brighter than other types, however they are brighter based on the same wattage. This also means LED lights are more efficient based on the same brightness as other lights since LED lights require a much lower wattage.

If you’re worried about LED lights being too bright, you can purchase low wattage LEDs or use dimmable bulbs (which will require a dimmer switch). You should also pay attention to the color temperature. A cooler temperature will produce a more harsh light that can appear brighter.