What is the lowest wattage light bulb? - Light Bulb A to Z (2023)

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Low Wattage Light Bulbs

What is the lowest wattage light bulb? - Light Bulb A to Z (1)

Introduction

This article looks at what is the lowest wattage light bulb.

Light bulbs come in all shapes and sizes. Basically going from tiny pencil torch bulbs up to high-intensity discharge lamps used in lighthouses. In this article we look at what is the lowest wattage standard bulb. Specifically we will look at bulbs that have E26 (1 inch) or E12 (1/2 inch) Edison screw bases.

Firstly we look at what wattage actual means versus the light a bulb produces. Secondly we discuss what wattage means in terms of the type of light bulb. Furthermore we look at what areas use low wattage bulbs. Finally we pick out what is the lowest wattage light bulbs.

Wattage Versus Lumens

When considering what is the lowest wattage light bulb the first thing to remember is that wattage is a measure of power not light. Wattage is defined as the voltage a device uses multiplied by the current. Given that here in the United States we have a 110 volt power supply a 60 watt light bulb would use 60 watt divided by 110 volts giving 6/11 (or 0.55) amps. Furthermore, we pay for electricity by the kilowatt hours (thousand watts per hour). Thus, the more watts a light bulb uses the more it costs to run.

Lumens is the measure of how much light the bulb gives off. In fact most light bulb packaging now shows the lumens provided. In order to give you some idea of the lumen output the table shows some standard light outputs.

The actual and equivalent wattages for a few bulbs from GE are shown below. Even though 150W and 200W equivalents produce different amounts of light they use the same actual wattage according to the manufacturer.

Equivalent Wattage

Acutal Wattage

Lumens

60 Watt

9 Watt

760

100 Watt

13.5 Watt

1600

150 Watt

23 Watt

2610

200 Watt

23 Watt

3010

Light bulbs have become more efficient. In consequence, we have lower wattage bulbs that give off the same amount of light as older less efficient one. So an old 60W incandescent bulb might provide 615 lumens and a new efficient LED 9 watt bulb (which the maker says is equivalent to an old 60W bulb) provided 760 lumens.

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Wattage usage in incandescent, Halogens, CFLs and LEDs

There are four main technologies used in the light bulbs we buy in our stores.

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Incandescent – These are the old style light bulbs with a wire filament. When a current passes through it the filament glows brightly generating light. They waste a lot of power generating heat rather than light, making them very inefficient.

Halogens – Like incandescents halogen bulbs have a filament that glows when a current passes through it. The difference being that the element surrounding the filament contains only halogen gas. The gas increase the light produced and also extends the life of the filament.

Compact Fluorescents – or CFLs are fluorescent tubes, like the ones used in offices and stores. The manufacturing process folds the tubes into a compact shape so that they fit in a normal light bulb socket. Light is release when a current passes through the mercury vapor within the sealed tube.

LEDs – Light Emitting Diodes are small pieces of semiconductor that emit a light when a current passes through them. Within an LED light bulb there are 3 separate LEDs, one red, one blue and one green. These three different colors of light combine to produce a white light.

What Wattage Do They Use?

Incandescents are the least efficient with 90 to 95 percent of their energy converting to heat rather than light. Even though there are low wattage incandescents, for example night lights, they tends to use between 4 and 7 watts.

Halogens are more efficient than incandescents. That said, they produce a very white light which is not conducive to night lighting. Thus they don’t tend to be used in low wattage lighting.

Compact fluorescents are considerably more efficient. However the folding nature of the bulb makes them quite large and not really suitable for low level needs.

Finally LEDs are the most efficient still and are also produced in smaller sizes. Although they tend to be more expensive their much longer lifetime makes up for this.

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What is the Lowest Wattage Light bulb Used For?

Seeing that lowest wattage light bulbs provide a limited amount of illumination they are normally used in situations where only limits light is needed. That is to say night lights in hallways, bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchens for night time safety. Also, in higher traffic areas that don’t get enough light.

Night light bulbs tend to come with the smaller E12 Edison screw base (12mm or 1/2inch). For the most part the have a C7 shape (C meaning cone and 7 is 7/8th inch diameter).

Additionally we should include decorative bulbs. Used in chandeliers, sconces, fixtures where the bulb is visible. Given that these fixtures take multiple bulbs these small wattages can add up. Not to mention string light which take lots of little low wattage lights.

Finally those small appliance light than come on in our fridge and freezer do not need to be high wattage.

What is the Lowest Wattage bulb?

In summary there are quite a few uses for low wattage light bulbs and quite a lot of them available. Because LEDs produce much more light for the same wattage it is not surprising that the lowest wattage bulbs usable are also LEDs. Checking through the standard suppliers (Lowes, Amazon, Home Depot) we find that the lowest wattage standard bulb is actually 1W.

As an illustration we have picked out 3 one-wattage bulbs giving you an idea of what they are used for, how much they cost and how much light they produce.

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GE 1 Watt String Light LED

What is the lowest wattage light bulb? - Light Bulb A to Z (2)

Not only have GE been in business since 1892 but they are also the most popular brand here in the U.S. So it is not surprising to find their bulbs on our low wattage list. So a few facts about this 1W wonder. Firstly they come with the mediums size E26 (1″ wide) screw base. Secondly they are rated to last 15,000 hours and have a five year warranty to back this up. Thirdly they produce a remarkable amount of warm white light at 60 lumens. Finally they have a great look. We really like the vintage filament and clear glass. In conclusion a whole lot for $2 a bulb.

Fact sheet

  • Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
  • Price: Around $2.00 a bulb if bought in a 10 pack
  • Wattage: 1 watts actual
  • Lumens: 60
  • Light Range: Warm white (2700k)
  • Lifetime: Rated to last 15,000 hour (13 years based on 3 hours per day use)
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Dimmable: No
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor use only

Sunlite 1 Watt String Light LED

What is the lowest wattage light bulb? - Light Bulb A to Z (3)

Sunlite are one of the leading lighting manufacturers in the United States operating since 1980. Further, their company headquarters are in Brooklyn, New York. These 1 watt string lights produce a fairly hefty 50 lumens of light for their low power input. Although they are slightly more expensive than the GE bulbs they do have a long life and excellent on-line rating. Moreover, they can be bought in either frosted (as shown) or clear.

Fact sheet

  • Rating: 5.0 stars out of 5
  • Price: Around $3.50 a bulb if bought in a 6-pack
  • Wattage: 1 watts actual
  • Lumens: 50
  • Light Range: Warm white (2700k)
  • Lifetime: Rated to last 15,000 hour (13 years based on 3 hours per day use)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Dimmable: No
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor use only

GE 1 Watt Flicker Flame Bulb

What is the lowest wattage light bulb? - Light Bulb A to Z (4)

Finally we bring you this 1 watt flickering flame chandelier bulb from GE. To illustrate what one wattage light bulbs are used for more than as a recommendation. As can be seen from the fact sheet below these little beauties cost $8.50 each and only produce 10 lumens. Therefore you are going to need quite a few to light up anything larger than a broom cupboard. Bring your calculator and your wallet. Then again they do look great and GE promises they simulate dancing warm candle light. So if money is no object then fill your candelabra with these yellow flickering marvels.

(Video) Light Bulb Watt Comparison

Fact sheet

  • Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5
  • Price: Around $8.50 a bulb if individually
  • Wattage: 1 watts actual
  • Lumens: 10
  • Light Range: Candle light (1600k)
  • Lifetime: Rated to last 15,000 hour (13 years based on 3 hours per day use)
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Dimmable: No
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor use only

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FAQs

What is considered a low watt light bulb? ›

Low Wattage Light Bulbs - 3 to 15 Watts | Lamps Plus.

What are the lowest energy light bulbs? ›

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are the most energy-efficient bulbs available, and will save you money on your energy bills as they are much cheaper to run.

What is normal light bulb wattage? ›

The most common types of light bulb used in homes are 25, 40, 60, 75 and 100 watts. For most rooms, a 60 watt bulb is the standard. A 25 watt bulb gives off low levels of light, where as a 100 watt bulb is very bright.

Can I use a lower wattage bulb? ›

Is it Safe to Use Lower Wattage Bulbs? As long as the light bulb fits into the electrical fixture properly, it is typically safe to use lower wattage bulbs. These will actually draw much less of an electrical current. Additionally, the lower the wattage, the lower the heat that is generated from the bulb.

What wattage is low wattage? ›

Low-wattage light bulbs use less energy than standard bulbs and can save you money on your electric bill. These bulbs come in a range of wattages, from 4 watts up to 15 watts, though anything 40 watts and below is also considered low wattage.

How bright is a 3 watt light bulb? ›

As a rough guide, expect a 3-watt LED spotlight to produce a similar light output as a 25-watt halogen bulb. Many retailers and manufacturers state that a 3-watt LED spotlight is equivalent to a 50-watt halogen spotlight which is simply not true.

What is the lowest energy light? ›

Red has the lowest energy and violet the highest. Beyond red and violet are many other kinds of light our human eyes can't see, much like there are sounds our ears can't hear. On one end of the electromagnetic spectrum are radio waves, which have wavelengths billions of times longer than those of visible light.

Which type of light bulb has the lowest cost per light output *? ›

The most common type of energy-efficient lightbulb is LED, because it is the most efficient and affordable, and they last the longest with about a 10-year lifespan. LED bulbs are our top choice due to their low cost and great output.

Which bulb works at low power and gives more light? ›

LED bulbs use more than 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. At low power levels, the difference is even larger. Bright LED flood lamps use only 11 to 12 watts while creating a light output comparable to a 50-watt incandescent bulb.

How bright is a 1 watt bulb? ›

A typical 60W incandescent light bulb produces between 650-850 lumens. If you average that out to 750 lumens, you could surmise that 1 Watt = 12.5 lumens (750 lumens divided by 60W).

Is a 60 watt bulb bright enough for reading? ›

When you're 10, you can read by 40 watts or hardly any light. By the time you're 60, you need around 100 watts.

What is 4 watt LED equivalent to? ›

30 Watt

What happens if you use a lower wattage bulb than recommended? ›

Don't Use the Wrong Bulb Wattage

For example, using a 100-watt bulb in a 60-watt fixture can cause overheating. Overheating can lead to damage of the fixture itself, as wiring may become brittle due to the excessive heat. If the wrong wattage is used in an enclosed light fixture, then the heat has nowhere to escape.

Does lower wattage mean less light? ›

The Wattage of the light is the amount of energy it takes to produce a certain amount of light. The higher the wattage, the brighter the light, but also the more power it uses.

Does lower watt mean less bright? ›

However Watts are not a measure a brightness, they're a measure of energy consumption – that is, how much electricity a bulb uses. It just so happened that most old incandescent bulbs of the same wattage put out the same amount of light (lumens), even when they're from different brands.

Which is better higher watts or lower watts? ›

Higher wattage = more power. When considering the capacity of your power supply, there's one rule of thumb that's important to remember. It's better to have more power than you need because you shouldn't run your power supply at 100% capacity.

Is a 60-watt bulb brighter than a 40 watt? ›

For a traditional incandescent bulb, this also means a difference in lumens; the higher wattage will yield more light. A conventional incandescent 40-watt bulb produces around 450 lumens of light, while a traditional incandescent 60-watt bulb produces about 800 lumens.

Which is brighter 60-watt or 75 watt? ›

Watts to Lumens – Energy Output to Brightness Produced

60-watt bulb produces 800 lumens of light (most widely used in households) 75-watt bulb produces 1,100 lumens of light.

How do you make a light bulb less bright? ›

Many light sources are only too bright in certain situations. To darken the lamp if necessary, the use of a dimmer is recommended. This way you can always adjust the brightness accordingly. LED dimmers are available for installation in place of the light switch and also as intermediate plugs.

Which is brighter 3W or 5W? ›

So, to compare the difference between a 3W and 5W LED bulb accurately, you need to compare them at an absolute max of 60 to 65 percent of their total capacity, not the maximum rated wattage. And when you compare them on even terms, the 3W light actually produces more light with less heat and greater reliability.

Is 30 lumens very bright? ›

10-30 lumens: this amount of lumens produces brightness like a candle.

What is the highest and lowest energy? ›

Gamma rays have the highest energies, the shortest wavelengths, and the highest frequencies. Radio waves, on the other hand, have the lowest energies, longest wavelengths, and lowest frequencies of any type of EM radiation.

What color is the lowest energy light? ›

When it comes to visible light, the highest frequency color, which is violet, also has the most energy. The lowest frequency of visible light, which is red, has the least energy.

Where is the lowest energy level? ›

The lowest energy orbital is that which is closest to the nucleus of an atom. orbital is closest to the nucleus and hence has the lowest energy orbitals.

Is 9w LED bright enough? ›

The ThetaLux - 9 Watt LED Light Bulb is a great product. It is bright enough to provide sufficient illumination for reading or whatever you might want to do.

Which of the following light bulb types uses the least energy and therefore results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions? ›

Question 6) Which of the following lightbulb types uses the least energy, and therefore results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions? Compact fluorescent lightbulbs require 60 to 80% less energy than incandescent or halogen bulbs! That is a lot less!

How do you know the wattage of a light bulb? ›

All light bulbs, whether they are traditional incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs (CFUs), or LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs will have a wattage rating printed somewhere on the glass or on the metal collar of the bulb.

What is the brightest low energy bulb? ›

Incandescent and halogen bulbs have the highest wattage, making them less energy-efficient choices. CFL bulbs use fewer watts, but LED bulbs are the real winner in energy efficiency: an 8-watt or 9-watt LED bulb emits as much light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

What are the 3 types of light bulbs? ›

There are four different types of light bulbs available for residential use: incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and LED. These varieties have different characteristics including the quality of light emitted, the amount of energy used, and more.

What type of bulb gives the best light? ›

LED light bulbs use a light-emitting diode (LED). This is a solid-state semiconductor that emits light when a current passes through it. These high-efficiency bulbs emit more lumens per watt and last 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs. A 10W LED bulb produces as much light as a 60W incandescent bulb.

Is a 4 watt LED bulb bright? ›

As such, a typical 4 watt LED bulb can easily achieve a light output comparable to a 50 watt halogen, sometimes higher due to its high lumen to watt ratio.

Is there a 1 watt bulb? ›

30-Pack S14 Edison Light Bulbs LED 1W, Shatterproof, Visther Replacement Bulbs for String Lights, Patio Low 1 Wattage E26 Outdoor led Filament Clear Bulb.

How many watts is too bright? ›

As long as you don't put a bulb that uses more than 60 watts in that socket you will be fine. The good news is the energy-saving bulbs that replace a 60-watt incandescent will only use 10 to 15 watts, depending on the actual bulb you buy, and give off the same amount of light.

Is a 40 watt bulb bright enough to read by? ›

450 lumens (40 watts) – This level is enough for some everyday purposes like writing and reading. 800 to 1100 lumens (60 to 75 watts) – It is the recommended level for delicate tasks like heavy-duty drafting or working with small pieces.

Is 40 watts bright enough for reading? ›

This is simply because our eyesight gets worse with age. Therefore you need to increase the wattage as you get older. A 10 year old may be able to read with a 40 watt standard bulb (equivalent of a 6W LED bulb), but a 60 year old may need a 75 or 100 watt standard bulb (equivalent of 13W-18W in LED terms).

How bright does a reading light need to be? ›

If you want a light on your desk for daily reading and writing, a bulb of 470 lumens should be perfect. But, if you are looking for a light that will ensure you can read for long hours in any part of the room and without any stress on your eyes, a bulb of 800+ lumens is necessary.

How bright is a 30 watt LED light? ›

How Bright Is A 30w LED Floodlight? A 30w LED floodlight is usually equal to a 300w halogen floodlight. Top-spec 30w LED floodlights such as Osram are 100 lumens per watt, but not all lower-spec 30w LED floodlights are as bright.

How bright is a 14 watt LED bulb? ›

These A19 LED Light Bulbs only use a total of 14-Watt to produce 1500 Lumens of bright daylight illumination. An ideal equivalent for replacing a 100-Watt incandescent light bulb, these bright white LED bulbs will save you up to 86% on your energy costs.

What is 3 watts of LED equivalent to? ›

For example, a 3W LED is equivalent in output to a 45 W incandescent.

What happens if I use the wrong wattage for a lightbulb? ›

Using a light bulb with too high of wattage can lead to overheating of the light bulb. This heat can melt the light socket as well as the insulation of the wires. Once that happens, you put yourself at risk of arc faults, and this is something that could even lead to property fires.

What happens when wattage is too low? ›

Usually it just won't boot. If you have enough to boot but not enough to power it at load, then as soon as you do something that needs more power it will shut down. Shutting down improperly like that can damage certain components.

What happens if you use a lower wattage power supply? ›

What are Dangers Associated with Utilizing a Low Wattage Charger On your Laptop? Using such a charger might result in a fuse in energy supply and this could in fact damage other elements of the device. The battery life would be diminished and it would start draining rapidly.

What watt is dimmest? ›

How to Determine Dimmer Switch Wattage Rating. Common dimmer wattage ratings are 150 watts, 300 watts, 600 watts and 1000 watts. 150 watt rated dimmers are usually for a single bulb. Wattage rating is usually on a sticker on the light fixture.

How bright is 25 watts? ›

How bright is the 25 watt led bulb? The 25 watt led bulb has an input power of 25 watts and an input voltage of AC 100-277V. The lumen value is 3000. 3000 lumen can provide enough light for a room.

Which is brighter daylight or bright white? ›

So what's the difference between the two? Daylight is a brighter, more blue-white color than bright white. A bright white bulb is considered to be more of a pure white. In contrast, a daylight bulb mirrors actual daylight by being further up the Kelvin temperature scale.

Are 40W bulbs less bright than 60w? ›

The main difference between a 40 and 60-watt bulb is the 40-watt bulb is going to require less energy to power. For a traditional incandescent bulb, this also means a difference in lumens; the higher wattage will yield more light.

Is 60w or 40W brighter? ›

So 40 Watts bulb glow brighter. The trick is that a bulb is essentially just a resistance so 40W60W can only consume that kind of power when it is available.

How bright is a 14 watt bulb? ›

1500 Lumens

Is a 60-watt or 100 watt bulb brighter? ›

Watts to Lumens – Energy Output to Brightness Produced

60-watt bulb produces 800 lumens of light (most widely used in households) 75-watt bulb produces 1,100 lumens of light. 100-watt bulb produces 1,600 lumens of light. 150-watt bulb produces 2,600 lumens of light.

What wattage is the dimmest? ›

How to Determine Dimmer Switch Wattage Rating. Common dimmer wattage ratings are 150 watts, 300 watts, 600 watts and 1000 watts. 150 watt rated dimmers are usually for a single bulb. Wattage rating is usually on a sticker on the light fixture.

Is a 60-watt bulb bright enough for reading? ›

When you're 10, you can read by 40 watts or hardly any light. By the time you're 60, you need around 100 watts.

Does lower wattage mean less bright? ›

However Watts are not a measure a brightness, they're a measure of energy consumption – that is, how much electricity a bulb uses. It just so happened that most old incandescent bulbs of the same wattage put out the same amount of light (lumens), even when they're from different brands.

Is higher or lower wattage better? ›

Higher wattage = more power. When considering the capacity of your power supply, there's one rule of thumb that's important to remember. It's better to have more power than you need because you shouldn't run your power supply at 100% capacity.

Is daylight or soft white better? ›

Daylight offers better brightness and energy. Soft white on the other hand offers better coziness and warmth. Keep in mind that the lighting of the room can actually change your mood. Size of the room –Often the size of the room decides what type of light you require.

How bright is 10 watt LED bulb? ›

These high-efficiency bulbs emit more lumens per watt and last 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs. A 10W LED bulb produces as much light as a 60W incandescent bulb.

What is a 5 watt LED light equivalent to? ›

LED light bulbs take energy efficiency to another level, using around 40% less energy than CFL equivalents.
...
LED equivalents to CFL light bulbs.
CFL Light Bulb WattageLED Equivalent Wattage
9 Watt5.5 Watt
5 Watt3 Watt
2 more rows
9 Mar 2018

Is a 25 watt light bulb bright? ›

How bright is the 25 watt led bulb? The 25 watt led bulb has an input power of 25 watts and an input voltage of AC 100-277V. The lumen value is 3000. 3000 lumen can provide enough light for a room.

Can I use 100-watt LED bulb in 60 watt lamp? ›

But there's no problem using a 100-watt equivalent LED bulb, which is only about 17 watts and therefore well under the safety limit of a 60-watt maximum fixture.

What happens if you put 100-watt bulb in a 60? ›

Putting a 100-watt bulb in a 60-watt fixture could cause intense heat, melting the light socket and the insulation on the fixture's wires. Any time you have that kind of damage on wires, you're at a big risk for arc faults, where an electrical current falls off its intended path— a leading cause of home fires.

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