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Everything you need to know about lumens

Everything you need to know about lumens

When browsing for lighting for your home, you may have encountered the term ‘Lumens’. If you’re unsure of what this means, you will have most likely ignored this specification until now. 

However, lumens are an important part of lighting, making all the difference when choosing the perfect option for your home. 

Stick with Light Supplier to learn everything you need about lumens, and browse our extensive LED lighting selection whilst you’re here!

What Are Lumens?

Lumens, also known as ‘luminous flux’, is the total measure of visible light emitted by a source per unit of time. 

This is weighted according to the ‘luminosity function’ model, which includes the human eye's sensitivity to various wavelengths. The higher the lumen rating of a light source, the brighter the light will appear. 

Lighting products are commonly labelled with their lumen output to help you understand how bright the bulb will be in your home. Lumens ensure that different spaces, such as kitchens and offices, receive the appropriate amount of light for their intended use.

How Does Lumens Work?

Lumens help designers figure out how bright a light will be in a particular space, helping to make decisions about lighting design, product selection, and usage.

Think of it like this: lumens tell us the total amount of light a bulb can produce, and when we spread that light out over a specific area, we get what's called "illuminance," measured in lux.

When it comes to outdoor and vehicle lighting, lumens are especially important as they ensure that everything is bright enough to see clearly. 

In certain environments, such as schools and hospitals, there are regulatory standards for minimum lumen levels to ensure safety and functionality. 

The Key Features of Lumens

There are a few key features of Lumens that are useful to understand:

  1. Quantitative measure of brightness: Lumens provide an objective measure of brightness which can be used to compare different lighting products. 
  1. Luminous Efficacy: This is expressed as lumens per watt (lm/W), indicating how effectively a light source converts electrical power to visible light. 
  1. Illuminance and Spatial Distribution: Lumens are closely related to lux, which focuses on the area that the light is spread across. More lumens in a smaller area will lead to higher illuminance, measured in lux (lm/m²)
  1. Technological development: The development of LED technology means you can have a higher lumen output with significantly lower energy consumption, saving you money and lowering the environmental impact. 
  1. Human-centric lighting: An adequate amount of lumens is essential to avoid eye strain, headaches, or discomfort. 

The Advantages of Understanding Lumens in Lighting 

Now that you have a better understanding of lumens, you can apply your newfound knowledge to help you make better decisions for your home or commercial property.

You can choose bulbs that deliver more lumens per watt, ensuring optimal light output with minimal energy usage. This is ideal for areas in your home where you need adequate lighting and functionality for reading, cooking, and relaxing. 

Larger rooms may require more lumens. However, there are no set guidelines for lumens as this depends on various factors such as personal needs, the room’s size, colour scheme, and natural light availability. 

Common Misconceptions of Lumens

Lumens shouldn’t be mistaken for a measure of light quality. This only measures the brightness of a light and, therefore, doesn't consider various factors such as colour accuracy, consistency and distribution, which determine the quality of a bulb. 

Although different bulbs are labelled with the same lumen value, this doesn’t mean the products are consistent with each other. It is important to consider each bulb individually for an accurate application. 

Like many products, the lumen output of bulbs can decrease over time, impacting the actual light output compared to the initial rating. It is necessary to replace your bulbs when this happens. 

For those on a budget, energy-efficient bulbs, which provide higher lumens per watt, might have a higher upfront cost.

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