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We hear this question all the time. The unfortunate reality is “watts” is the wrong way to shop when you are replacing your existing lighting. You need to be focusing on “lumens”. In the world of LED Lighting, a watt is consumed by the LED product and light is produced, that light is called lumens. Some LED products are better at doing that than other products.

So it is important to understand that not all LED products are equal in terms of how efficient they are at converting watts to lumens. In technical terms, we call this lumens/watt.

Replacing X Watts Metal Halide with LED

Lets discuss a practical example. Lets say you want to replace your 250 Watt Low Bay inside your warehouse. Our LED Low Bay Fixtures are built to run between 130 and 160 lumens per watt. This means that for every watt consumed, they will produce 130 to 160 lumens.

Our 100 Watt UFO Low bay at 150 lumens per watt produces 15,000 lumens. In contrast, a competitors low bay that uses older LED Chips is designed to run at 120 lumens per watt. This competitors Low Bay produces 12,000 lumens. To match the amount of light our low bay produces, you would need 125 Watts of power.

So clearly watts is a poor gauge to determine what you would use to replace an existing light source. If a customer called both companies and asked “how many watts do I need to replace 250 Watts Metal Halide”, we would say 100 Watts, they would say 125 Watts.

So when customers ask us how many ‘Watts” do I need to replace an existing light source, we always convert them to lumens.

However, there is one large elephant still left here that we need to talk about. And that is the discussion of efficiency. In the above example, our High Bay LED Lights produce the same amount of light while consuming 25 less watts per unit.

This is important, because this is 25 less watts that you are consuming and paying for on your electricity bill. So efficiency does matter, because it means your electricity bill will be significantly less using the 100 Watts Low Bay than our competitors 125 Watts Low Bay.

So as with the discussion above, there is a vast difference between LED products being offered on the market today.

Read the specs, and educate yourself on lumens. The less watts you consume saves you money, the more efficient the light is means it will produce more light using less energy than less efficient models.

Coca Cola Warehouse 150w High Bay2

Lumens Guidelines

Indoor fixtures

250 Watts HID 10,000 – 14,000 LED Lumens
400 Watts HID 15,000 – 30,000 LED Lumens
1000 Watts HID 40,000+ LED Lumens

Outdoor fixtures

250 Watts HID 7,000 to 15,000 LED Lumens
400 Watts HID 15,000 to 30,000 LED Lumens
1000 Watts HID 40,000+ LED Lumens
Indoor Gym with LED LIghts

Pay special attention to the lumens per watt of the LED fixture or retrofit. IT DOES MATTER. A LED fixture at 150 lumens/watt will consume far less energy than a LED product producing 100 lumens/watt. Not all LEDs are the same. (remember, always buy on the lumens you need, never on the watts you think you need.)


To calculate lumens per watt, take the total number of lumens a product produces and divide it by the watts it consumes.


You can get rebates for both new fixtures and retrofit kits. Make sure they are DLC Qualified. That is the key to getting rebates with your utility company. You can check if a product is DLC Qualified on the DesignLights Consortium website. DLC has rebates for LED Lights.


Rebates with DLC Premium should be higher than rebates with DLC Standard. Your utility company is typically who provides the rebates and sets the rebate amounts.  Check their website.


All DLC Products are warrantied for at least 5 years.


All our LED Fixtures and Retrofit Lighting are either UL Listed or ETL Listed.


Replacing the light parts of an existing fixture with the a Retrofit unit will not void the UL/ETL Listing of the fixture.


ETL Listing is the same as UL Listing. They perform the same test, and the certification is the same. The only difference is that the company who performs the test.

About the Author

Dwayne Kula is President of LED Lighting Supply. On any given day, Dwayne is writing content for the site and helps manage the marketing initiatives that are on-going. He has a Software Engineering degree and still dabbles in writing software for the company as needed. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, playing the occasional game of golf and exploring New England.

See more posts by Dwayne Kula