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What is a lumen?

lumens to watts

When we want to figure out what the light output of a light source is we should look at the lumen value. This measurement indicates the amount of visible light that a light source emits. The symbol used for lumens is lm.

A mistake that is commonly made when trying to find out how much light is emitted is to look at the wattage of a light source rather than its lumen value. Watts refer to the amount of energy used rather than the level of the light output, however. In the past, larger wattages generally amounted to higher light outputs, but this is no longer the case. The arrival of newer technologies like LED lighting means that lights are now using fewer and fewer watts to achieve the same levels of light output as their conventional predecessors. By focusing on the lumen value rather than the wattage, therefore, and comparing that to the conventional lighting you would like to replace, you'll be assured of getting a light with the same light output. In the case of LED, it'll be far more energy efficient too!

To make comparisons as easy as possible, the table below shows you a range of lumen outputs and the comparative wattages for different types of lighting.

Compare lumens to watts *

Type of bulb 200-300
Incandescent 25-30 Watt 40 Watt 60 Watt 75 Watt 120 Watt 150-250 Watt
Halogen 18-25 Watt 35 Watt 50 Watt 65 Watt 100 Watt 125 Watt
CFL 5-6 Watt 8 Watt 11 Watt 15 Watt 20 Watt 20-33 Watt
LED 2-4 Watt 3-5 Watt 5-7 Watt 8-10 Watt 10-13 Watt 13-20 Watt

*click on the relevant wattage value to discover products with an equivalent light output

If you need help in finding the right light source for your situation, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team of lighting experts.

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