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What are lumens and watts?

Brought to you by Kay L. Newell - Sunlan Lighting - LIGHTING INSIDER -

SUNLAN LIGHTING - Kay NewellIf you're planning on switching to LED bulbs, you might be confused when you see the units of measurement used. We used incandescent bulbs growing up, which were measured in watts. A watt is the amount of pwer used to light a bulb. With incandescents, it's safe to assume that a 60-watt bulb was brighter than a 40-watt bulb.

Now that there are bulbs with huge differences in energy efficiency on the market, comparing the amount of power they use doesn't give you an effective way of measuring the brightness of the bulb. That's where lumens come in. Lumens are the measurment of the amount of light produced by a bulb. The number of lumens is determined by many factors.

If you had four bulbs burning 60 watts of power, but one was clear, one was frosted, one was amber, and one was white, you would have four bulbs with four different lumens. Change the voltage from 120 to 130 volts and again the lumens will change.

The number of lumens listed on a box of light are only for the bulb in that box. The wattage listed is the power used by that bulb. LED and Fluorescent lamps often list the wattage of the bulb being replaced. The new standard for reporting the brightness of a light source is lumens.

Next month we will print an incandescent/LED conversion chart, or stop by Sunlan Lighting today to pick up a chart!

Sunlan Lighting

3901 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227

P: 503.281.0453

P: 503.281.3408