Can I use a 60 watt led bulb that uses only 7 watts to replace my current incandescent 25 watt bulb? Never mind the lumens, it can be dimmer.....thanks.

  • This question is related and helps to explain what those wattage limits are for. Could be a duplicate.
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 9, 2019 at 22:05

3 Answers 3


Yes, that's fine. The 'maximum wattage' rating listed on a light fixture is actual watts, not incandescent-equivalent-watts. So in this case, your 7W LED bulb is well under the 25W maximum rating of your fixture, so it will be fine to use.

  • Right. Understand that wattage relates mostly to heat output for our purposes. That's where most of the risk lies.
    – isherwood
    Dec 9, 2019 at 22:10
  • This is getting messed up by marketing people who leave out the words "equivalent to" when using the term "60W" on an LED bulb that only actually draws 7W. I guess the ink for those extra words is too expensive, so that may be indicative of the quality of the LED bulb too...
    – JRaef
    Dec 9, 2019 at 22:17
  • 3
    They need to use lumens and heat equivalent.
    – JACK
    Dec 9, 2019 at 22:22
  • 1
    Only possible concern is with a dimmer switch, they usually do not work with LED or standard fluorescents.. Dec 9, 2019 at 22:23
  • 1
    I love LED bulbs. You can pump the equivalent wattage way up. The lighting in my house felt so inadequate with incandescent bulbs. I replaced all the lights in my house with 60 or 75 watt bulbs and it is so much brighter. The biggest improvement was replacing crappy 45 watt bulbs in small light fixtures to 60 watt equivalents. Hallways and bathrooms that were dim, now feel like they are lit with daylight.
    – Keltari
    Dec 10, 2019 at 0:51

Lumens Are What Matters

There are plenty of charts on the web. Using one found randomly as an example:

25W incandescent = 220 - 250 lumens

then searching Home Depot as an example, I found a Cree "25W equivalent", 220 lumens, actual usage 2.6 W. enter image description here

So that will provide comparable light to a 25W incandescent bulb.

Keep in mind to always check before buying:

  • Base size - E26 is "regular" in the US, E12 is "candelabra" and there are other sizes available
  • Lumens - as discussed
  • Color temperature - more important to some people than others and also matters more in some areas (e.g., dining room) than others (e.g., garage)
  • Dimmable - if you are not using a dimmer, it doesn't matter. If you are using a dimmer then if you get bulbs that are not dimmer-compatible then they (a) likely won't dim reliably and (b) might flicker or blink or just be unreliable.
  • 1
    Also worthy of note there in North America there is an intermediate E17 size, and you will find E27, E14, and E11 that are European sizes. You can generally jam an E27 base into an E26 socket, often with unsatisfactory result. Dec 10, 2019 at 0:27

A 7 watt lamp should be fine in a 60 watt socket.

Watts are heat, 3.4 btu's per watt/hour. So 7 watts will put out less than 1/3 the heat than a 25 watt bulb. Some concern needs to be considered that the heat is dissipated differently from an LED than an incandescent element, so generally it is a good rule to not use an LED that uses more than half the watts an incandescent socket is rated for.

  • "it is a good rule to not use an LED that uses more than half the watts an incandescent socket is rated for." You would have a hard time finding a LED bulb that is over half of ANY standard socket. Even my cheap $1, 100W equivalent LEDs only use 11 watts.
    – Keltari
    Dec 12, 2019 at 19:57

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