What Bulb + Where?

Lighting sets the mood in a room, whether you need task lighting, overhead lighting or mood lighting, here are 7 wattages you need to know.

  • 25 watts: Low-level decorative lighting is provided by 25-watt bulbs.  Wall sconces and the like cast soft, mellow glow with a 25-watt bulb.

  • 40 watts: Multi-socket bedroom, dining room, and hall fixtures can use 40-watt bulbs.  They're also appropriate for lamps with three or more sockets when a soft general light is desired.

  • 60 watts: Ceiling fixtures in a small rooms, such as bathrooms, typically take 60-watt bulbs.  They are also good for two and three socket fixtures and lamps.


  • 75 watts: Two 75-watt bulbs provide good task lighting over a kitchen sink.  A 75-watt bulb is also an attractive level of light for outdoor patio light.

  • 100 watts: a 100-watt bulb is appropriate for study lamps and most hanging fixtures.

  • 150 watts: Intense task lighting for reading, sewing, and other close work is best provided by a 150-watt bulb.  Hanging fixtures in large rooms, garages and storage area can also use this level of brightness.  

  • 200 watts: a 200-watt bulb is best for utility areas.  Good task lighting is provided, but the level of brightness can be unpleasant.