Replacing Incandescent Bulbs with LED | Watts vs. Lumens

Spring has officially arrived, and what better way to spruce up your home than with ner energy efficient LED bulbs and/or LED fixtures.

The Manitoba Hydro Rebate is back from April 5 to April 30 2018, with savings up to 40% on select ENERGY STAR® Certified LED bulbs, and $5.00 off select ENERGY STAR® LED fixtures.

Why buy LED?

Depending on the size of the home, the bulbs wattage, the usage, and electricity rate for the area, using non-energy efficient bulbs take up a large percentage of a households overall electrical bill. Nevertheless, households often overlook how much money is taken up by lighting because it is combined with other electrical costs.

There is no doubt that LEDs have a stigma of having a high initial investment cost, which is why rebates provide a substantial saving for homeowners that are considering the switch to LEDs. And although the initial investment might be high, households can expect a return on investment from reduced electrical bills, and longer bulb lifespan.

Here are a few things to consider when making the switch to LED:

1) Understand the difference between Watts and Lumens

Incandescent bulbs are measured in watts, which indicates the amount of energy used to produce an output of light. The higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb. On the contrary, LEDs have lower watts, as they require less energy to give off the same amount of light that an incandescent bulb would give off. Instead, LEDs are measured in lumens which indicates the amount of light that is produced.

In order to determine what LED will give off the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb, consider the following chart:

watts vs lumens from energystar website
(Image Source: ENERGY STAR® Gov Website)


2) Determine Colour Temperature Preference

LEDs come in a range of colour temperatures to suite various applications, and preferences. Kelvin is the measurement used to determine how cool (blue tone) or warm (yellow tone) the light output will be. The higher the Kelvin, the more blue tone the output of light will be.

Warm White (2700K) and Soft White/Neutral (3000K) are two of the most common choices that work well in residential homes. Those that prefer a more warm colour temperature will often choose an LED with 2700K, and those that want a more neutral look that is a little more white tend to choose an LED with 3000K.

Depending on the application, and personal preference you might choose one option over the other.

Learn more about Colour Temperature in our previous blog post:

3) CRI

CRI is important to consider if you want to make the colours of a room stand out in it’s entirety. CRI indicates how the light will impact the perception of colour within a room. The higher the CRI, the more vivid and accurate the colours will appear in a room. A CRI of 80+ is considered as having great colour rendition. A lower CRI would indicate a poor colour rendition, which distorts how colour is perceived in a room.

4) Dimmable

If you want to layer lighting, it is important to make sure the LED is dimmable. A dimmable LED allows you to adjust the level of light output to accommodate various tasks, or to create a different ambience in a room.

However, it is also important to discuss your options with a Lighting Specialist as well, since LEDs might not work with existing dimmers in your home that were originally used to dim incandescent bulbs. Even if it does work, dimming LEDs with existing dimmers might result to flickering, and actually reduce the lifespan of your LED.

5) Pick the Right Style

Though LEDs will have a similar base, it might be slightly larger than it’s incandescent counterpart. We recommend bringing in your existing bulb to see whether the size will still work for your portable lighting/fixture.

6) Evaluate Savings

If you are really keen on the numbers, ENERGY STAR® Certified bulbs will often indicate the estimated energy savings on the packaging. If you are wanting to compare the savings of a current bulb and a new LED, consider this formula :


First, determine the wattage difference of your current bulb and the new LED alternative.

Example: comparing standard 64805 A19 9.5w with a standard 50559 A19 60w
60watt (current) – 9.5watt (new) = 50.5 watt (watts saved)

Second, determine how often the bulb will be used (annual basis).

Example: 6hrs/day = 2190hrs/year

Third, determine the energy rate

In Manitoba it is 8.196 cents per kWh (or .08/1000). This information can also be found on your monthly bill.

50.5 watts saved x 2190hrs x .08/Wh = $8.85

(NOTE: 1000watt = 1kw)

If you are considering switching over to LED but are still hesitant on the cost, try switching out your incandescent bulbs in only one room that is frequently used, such as the kitchen. This might help when evaluating whether LEDs are right for you.

For more information on LEDs or the Manitoba Hydro Rebate, visit or contact our Winnipeg Showroom. Our Lighting Specialist are always happy to help you!