For those of us who are lucky enough to have a dedicated bedroom in our increasingly expensive global real estate markets, it’s only natural to wonder about the best light bulbs to place inside of the bedroom. Having the correct bulb wattage will allow us to maximize our daily productivity and well-being, but what exactly is the correct bulb wattage?

The ideal light bulb wattage for a bedroom depends on the type of light bulb being considered. For a certain level of lumens that is appropriate for a bedroom, incandescent light bulbs and LED light bulbs require vastly different wattages and yet generate roughly the same level of brightness.

In this article, we will discuss how to convert lumens into wattages for different types of light bulbs, as well as answer the question of what light bulb wattages are best suited for a bedroom environment.

Light Bulb Wattages and Lumens

Most people are familiar with the concept of watts for lighting. Usually, the higher the wattage, the stronger the lighting – at least when keeping the type of light bulb constant.

Yet, not all light bulbs are created the same. Generally, the newer types of light bulbs, like LED bulbs, feature very different wattages compared to traditional incandescent bulbs.

Watts and Lumens Are Different Measures

Watts and lumens are two different measures of lighting.

The wattage of a light bulb represents the amount of energy the light bulb consumes, such that lower wattages correspond to lower energy consumption.

The lumens of a light bulb represent the amount of light, or brightness, generated by the light bulb, such that a lower lumens output corresponds to light that is dimmer or less bright.

Lighting Wattages and Their Equivalents

According to data compiled by Smarter House, below is an easy-to-reference table where each row represents an equivalent brightness of lighting across four types of light bulbs and its corresponding lumens measurement.

Incandescent (watts)Halogen (watts)Fluorescent (watts)LED (watts)Light Output (lumens)
150 30-52 2,600

For example, 60 watts of a traditional incandescent bulb is equivalent to 43 watts of an incandescent halogen bulb, 13-15 watts of a fluorescent bulb, and 9-11 watts of an LED bulb, and all of these correspond to an approximate lighting output of 800 lumens.

This demonstrates how LED light bulbs are more efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs, as for the same 800 lumens of lighting power, the LED bulb uses only 9-11 watts of energy while the incandescent bulb uses 60 watts of energy.

Lighting Requirements of a Typical Bedroom

Here, we discuss some of the most common reasons to consider lighting output in a bedroom, as well as expert insights into how brightly they recommend a typical bedroom should be lit.

Functional Uses of Lighting in Bedrooms

Bedrooms are the ideal place for a variety of daily activities, including:

  • Sleeping and getting ready to sleep
  • Getting dressed
  • Meditation
  • Studying
  • Working
  • Relaxing

As such, the particular brightness of the lighting may vary depending on which activities happen the most in the bedroom.

One way to work around different lighting needs for various tasks is to invest in a dimmable light switch and the appropriate light bulbs for such a feature. This would allow for the greatest customizability when it comes to having the ideal light output in a bedroom.

Lighting Recommendations for Bedrooms

Nevertheless, there are some recommended lumens and their corresponding wattages for what experts believe should be ideal for a bedroom setting.

For example, a bedroom should feature a similar brightness to a living room, somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 lumens. This is both dimmer than a dining room, which should be between 3,000 to 4,000 lumens, and brighter than a hallway, which should be between 500 to 1,000 lumens.

Ideal Light Bulb Wattage (or Lumens) for a Bedroom

In this final section, we take expert advice together with our conversion table to determine the best wattages for the four types of light bulbs to place into a bedroom. We also finish with a few helpful tips to consider when investing in a new light bulb.

Best Bedroom Wattages for Different Types of Light Bulbs

By interpreting our table from a previous section in this article, we can convert the requisite 1,000 to 2,000 lumens into wattages for each of the four types of light bulbs to advise on the most appropriate wattages for a bedroom.

If opting for traditional incandescent light bulbs, it would be best to stick with either the 75-watt or 100-watt bulbs. In order of decreasing wattages, halogen light bulbs would be best in either the 53-watt or 72-watt varieties, fluorescent light bulbs would be best between approximately 18 watts to 30 watts, and finally, LED light bulbs would be most ideal between 13 watts to 20 watts.

It can be observed that LED light bulbs for the bedroom could potentially be five times more efficient than the respective traditional incandescent light bulbs, which is certainly something to consider when shopping for lighting solutions for a bedroom.

Helpful Advice To Consider When Choosing Your Lighting

  • “Smart” light bulbs that are controllable from your smartphone might be an attractive option for convenience and will allow you to benefit from the latest technologies
  • LED light bulbs are big energy savers and are even usually dimmable, but one caveat might be that the light they emit tends to be more directionally focused rather than all-over ambient
  • Halogen light bulbs are known to actually be quite expensive when accounting for their relatively short lifespans
  • Fluorescent light bulbs can be a great choice for bedrooms if relatively brighter ambient lighting is desirable


Now that you are much better equipped with the right information on how to find the best light bulb option to suit your needs, despite not yet conducting a deeper exploration into “smart” light bulbs, we hope that your bedroom will truly be your haven of serenity and productivity!

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