What are Lumens?

Most people outside of the lighting industry have a hard time picking out a light bulb at the store. There are many different factors (see previous post here) and so much more information on the side of each bulb’s box now that it may be hard to know what is actually relevant information.  Today we’ll explain what lumens mean, as they can be very helpful to consumers trying to find the right bulb for their light fixture in their home or office.

Lumens measure the amount of brightness a bulb will give off. The higher the total lumens, the brighter the light given off will be.  Many people describe 1 lumen to be equal to the amount of light one candle emits if you’re standing 1 foot away from it. So if the box says 900 lumens, that would be equal to 900 candles of light.

Lumens make it easy when looking at different types of lights. A CFL and a LED light both give off a totally different type of light color, but you can use the lumens listed on the box to know exactly how bright those lights will be.  After you’ve determined the type of bulb you want, finding the brightness can be easier.

Lumens are a much more accurate way of measuring brightness than watts.  Wattage measures the the electrical power the bulb uses, so it actually measures energy, not brightness.  With today’s sophisticated technology, higher wattage doesn’t necessarily mean a brighter bulb. Now days, experts use lumens to determine the brightness.

If you’re looking for a bright bulb to illuminate a large area, find a bulb with the most lumens. The lumen count will be on the light bulb package. It can be found in an area that looks a little like food’s nutritional value, and it is typically towards the top.  If you have more questions about lumens or how bright of a light bulb you’ll need in your light fixture give us a call today and one of our expert lighting specialists can help you out!