How to Light Up a Room

A. The short answer is, you may need to buy a brighter bulb. Here's why: Those suggested CFL equivalences, which say that a 27-watt CFL equals a 100-watt incandescent, for example, are based on the overall light output of the bulbs. But because CFL light appears more diffuse, the same output isn't always enough. You may need to up the ante by replacing a 100-watt incandescent with a 150-watt equivalent CFL, for instance. That brighter light is only 42 watts in incandescent-speak and therefore safe for a fixture with one of those 60­watt-maximum warning labels. And it's still cheaper to use.
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