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What Are Lumens?

Tree LED BulbThere’s a lot of scary jargon in the world, and this is especially the case for LED lights. There’s a lot of technical language to wrap your head around, and one of the most important terms of lumens.

A very common misconception that people make when shopping for light bulbs is to look at the wattage, and equate that to brightness. The reality is though, that there is no correlation between wattage and brightness.

Take our 6W B22 OMNI LED Bulb for example. As the name suggests, it uses just 6W. But for a halogen to match the brightness of our LED bulb, it would use 60W. Incidentally, this does highlight the incredible efficiency of LED lights (they use an average of 90% less energy than halogen bulbs).

What this also does is make clear the error of our ways when looking for wattage as an indication of brightness. This is where lumens come in.

Opening up a dictionary though yields little:

“The SI Unit of flux, equal to the amount of light emitted per second in a uni solid angle of one steradian from a uniform source of one candela.”

This particular definition is notable for its lack of clarity. Rather than trying to decipher what this actually means, let’s translate this into laymen’s terms.

Simply put, lumens are a measure of light. A more precise definition is that it tells you how much illumination any particular light source provides.

There’s an easy analogy that explains this further, involving a birthday candle. It basically goes that a birthday candle outputs 1 lumen of light to an observer standing approximately 1 foot away. As such, a lamp that has 100 lumens is equivalent to 100 birthday candles, all sitting 1 foot away.

As mentioned before, it is always worth remembering that there is no direct correlation between watts and lumens. Watts don’t tell you how bright a bulb is going to be, as the lumen per watt ratio will differ between models and manufacturers.

Instead, lumens provide a universal measurement that is as applicable to candles as it is to LEDs.

If you want any more information about lumens, how much you need for each room or anything else, our team is on hand to help answer your questions – just call 0116 321 4120, or email cs@wled.co.uk.

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