When you head to the Home Depot or the Lowe’s or (even better) your locally owned and operated lighting store and you are attempting to find a brighter bulb for a room that is just too dark with what’s in the fixture now, don’t concern yourself with wattage. The number of watts produced by a bulb isn’t what you need to know when comparing brightness of light bulbs. The measurement of brightness in a bulb is known as lumens. Look for a number next to lumens on the packaging of a light bulb and then compare it to a different light bulb with the same number of watts. You may be quite surprised to find that the lower wattage bulb will produce more brilliant illumination.
If you are hoping to save money when shopping for a light bulb, consider the efficiency as well as the brightness of the bulb. Incandescent light bulbs that were most assuredly NOT invented by Thomas Edison but were exploited by him are going to burn out much more quickly than fluorescent bulbs. Those new corkscrew bulbs of the type that would have been lighting the world for a century now had Edison not screwed over Nikola Tesla are a better choice than your standard Edison bulb. The long fluorescent tubes are a better deal, too. The problem is that the incandescent bulb burns a warmer kind of light than the sterile illumination of most fluorescent bulbs. They also burn hotter which causes them to burn out more quickly. You can spend what seems like a lot more money on the newer types of fluorescent bulbs that produce a warm light similar to the incandescent bulbs. I say it seems like more money, but in the long run you’ll actually save money because the fluorescent bulb will about three times as long as the allegedly cheaper incandescent bulb.
One way to avoid the battle between Edison’s crappy incandescence and Tesla’s far superior fluorescence is to go with a halogen bulb. Halogen bulbs put out even more heat than an incandescent bulb and requires specialized heat-resistant fixtures with thermal protection, but it’s a small price to pay for what may be a big payoff. The big payoff offered by the halogen bulb is that just one of these suckers can produce enough brilliant illumination to light up the biggest room in your house all by itself. Another consideration is the kind of lampshade you put over your incandescent bulb. You should really take the lampshade to the store with you to try it out with different kinds of bulbs because the lampshade can play a major part in just how much of the light you are actually going to be able to use when you turn the bulb on. You may need to consider not so much buying a different kind of bulb as buying a different lampshade. The experts on lampshades suggest that the perfect shade will measure up to two and a half-times the width of the lamp at the shade’s broadest part.