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Globe Conversion Table


This table compares traditional incandescent light bulb wattages with the equivalent compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or mains voltage halogen (MVH) lamps.


Light Globe Conversion Table

Compact Fluorescent
Lamp (CFL)*
Mains Voltage
Halogen (MVH)**
Light output
in lumens (lm)
25W 5-7W 18W 220 lm
40W 7-8W 28W 420 lm
60W 11-12W 42W 720 lm
75W 13-18W 52W 930 lm
100W 18-23W 70W 1300 lm

NOTE: The wattages listed above for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and MVH lamps are approximations only and may vary between manufacturers. Use wattages as a guide only.

* compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) come in a range of colours, these include:

  • Warm White - provides a soft warmer light comparable to light provided by traditional incandescent light bulbs
  • Cool White - provides neutral light comparable to office lighting
  • Daylight - similar to outdoor light comparable to midday lighting conditions.

** MVH lamps are similar in appearance to traditional incandescent light bulbs and are suitable alternatives for light fixtures that require functions such as dimming, sensor lights, touch lights and other lighting applications, however, they are not as efficient as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).


Choose the right light

The most energy efficient light is natural light. Well designed north-facing windows, skylights and light tubes let in light without adding to summer heat and winter cold. Light coloured interior surfaces, especially in south-facing rooms and hallways, reflect more light and reduce the level of artificial lighting required.

Most rooms need two types of lighting. General lighting is needed for all over illumination. Task lighting is used to illuminate specific areas, such as benchtops and desks. Different light bulbs and fittings should be used for these two purposes. Accent lighting can also be used for decorative or dramatic effects.

Pendant or surface-mounted light fittings can be used to provide general lighting. Use desk, table or standard lamps where most light is needed, such as for reading, so less lighting is required in the rest of the room.

Use fluorescent lights where lighting is required for long periods of time, such as living rooms, over kitchen benches or on desks.

The light output of CFLs is reduced at low temperatures, so they may not be suitable for outside use in very cold areas, or you may need to use a higher wattage lamp.

Incandescent lamps are inefficient and so will not be available in the future for general lighting. However, some specialty use incandescents will continue to be sold until energy efficient alternatives become available.

Downlights are designed for spotlighting as they provide bright pools of light rather than general illumination. Up to six downlights may be required to light the same area as one pendant light. They can also cause gaps in the ceiling insulation, particularly if they require clear space to allow heat to dissipate. Think about other ways of lighting with fluorescents before installing halogens. If used, fit lower wattage and more efficient bulbs.

Choose light fittings that allow most of the light through so a lower wattage lamp can be used. Some light fittings can block 50 per cent or more of the light.