What does Wattage Mean In Lighting?
As a prudent business owner, building manager, or electrical contractor working with energy efficient lighting, you will definitely want to optimize the returns on the investment you will make on the various lighting devices for your work premises. So you will need to buy lights that not only suit your business needs but also go the distance in terms of providing outstanding light for you, your customers, and so on and are cost-efficient.
Light bulb packages sport a host of numbers and specifications. You should be aware of these specifications so that an unscrupulous retailer does not fool you by quoting a lot of numbers that are of no use to you and rob you of your hard-earned money. Wattage is one such lighting specification.
What is the Wattage of a Light Bulb?
Wattage is one of the most widely-quoted features of a light bulb and is also one of the most misunderstood numbers on a lighting package. Wattage refers to the amount of energy that a particular lighting device consumes in a given period of time, usually an hour. Now you will, of course, want to buy lighting fixtures that are energy-efficient and consume the least possible amount of power. But here lies the catch.
As a business space owner, you want to install lighting devices that illuminate your workspace adequately and help your employees perform their tasks efficiently and without straining their eyes. So you will also want to buy lighting devices that provide the optimal amount of light (as measured by lumens). But the wattage value of a lighting device does not indicate anything about the capability of the light to illuminate a specific area. So it is evident that you cannot buy lighting devices for your commercial spaces by considering wattage values alone.
How to Make the Best Buying Choice Using Wattage Values
In an era of energy-efficient light bulbs, it is not a spectacular idea to place too much emphasis on wattage values when buying light bulbs for your business premises. However, if you have to choose between comparable energy-efficient light bulbs, then you must consider the wattage values of these lighting devices. You should buy a lighting device that has a lower wattage value.
A lighting device that has a high wattage value consumes more electrical power and increases your energy bill significantly. A light bulb with a high wattage value also produces a large amount of heat and is potentially a fire hazard. So to make your workspace safe and comfortable for your employees, you should choose energy-efficient lighting devices with low wattage values.
How can You Use Wattage Values to Make Energy Saving Calculations?
As a business owner who wants to bring in superior resource efficiency at the workplace, you will want to calculate the amount of energy you save or intend to save using lighting devices with lower wattage values. You need to carry out this exercise especially when you want to retrofit your lighting infrastructure. After all, you will want to ensure that the investment that you will undertake will be worthwhile.
You may want to be accurate and want to calculate the wattage values of your lighting fixtures exactly. But this is a complicated task because you will have to take into account sundry measures such as the type of ballast used by the device, the ballast factor, and many other details. As a business owner, you probably do not have the time to carry out this elaborate exercise.
So take the easier route to get almost exact results. Just determine the type of lighting fixture you have installed in your work premises. Then visit the manufacturer's website or skim over their brochures to find out the average wattage values of specific lighting fixtures. The numbers you arrive at will help you accurately calculate the energy savings you will make from your light retrofitting measures. Remember that wattage values lighting fixtures of identical sizes and illuminating capabilities may vary depending on the manufacturer and model number. So it is essential that you find out the wattage values of bulbs made by different manufacturers from their respective websites.
After you have calculated the wattage values of the lighting fixtures currently installed at your business premises, compare these with the numbers notched up by the newer energy-efficient bulbs that you intend to buy. This comparison will help you make the necessary energy saving calculations and make a wise buying choice.
In this context, it is worth mentioning that wattage values used to be featured on the packages of lighting fixtures for a long time. So many customers are accustomed to judge the quality of light bulbs, especially incandescent lighting devices, using this value. However, wattage value cannot be used to compare incandescent bulbs and modern-day energy-efficient lighting devices like fluorescent and LED lamps. You should keep this in mind when making energy saving calculations before implementing lighting retrofitting measures or when you want to negotiate prices for bulk buys with a retailer or an online sales rep.