A google search for "comparing LED, CFL, and, incandescent brightness" returns hundreds of charts showing what equivalent wattage of LEDs and CFLs are to match an incandescent bulb. This is fine for figuring out what bulb to use at home -- I'm interested in more rigorous, evidence-based studies showing how they actually compare.

Is anyone aware of such a study, or where to look for it? There are a few promising leads on a google scholar search of peer-reviewed publications, but without paying for access to multiple journals I can't see if any are worth the cost.

Ideally I'd like to see, for various brands and wattages of LEDs, the range of wattages for CFLs and incandescent bulbs with an equivalent luminosity.

1 Answer 1


I have installed/changed out halogen, incandescent and cfl's for led in various houses. The Halo recessed trim I recently used to replace 100 halogen recessed was spectacular and much brighter than would have been indicated by the wattage. Definitely need a dimmer! Much improved light. In general, if you can, go for 2700 kelvin and 90 cri or more. It really makes a difference. I believe the Halo was 3000 kelvin and 90 cri. Completely transformed the space but you have to actually do it to know. The effect was very different than the numbers would indicate.

  • 3
    Sorry, the question asks for studies, not for anecdotes.
    – user2451
    Jun 28, 2018 at 6:41

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