Measuring Brightness

How To Measure Brightness Of A Light

How is brightness measured?

We measure the brightness of any emitted light in lumens. The lumen rating output from a light source indicates the total amount of visible light. Measuring the brightness of light in this way is easy to read and understand. Simply put, the higher the lumen rating, the brighter the light is. Conversely, a lower lumen rating will result in dimmer light.

What is a lumen?

A lumen is the standard measurement unit for the brightness of a light. It measures the total visible light emitted by a light source per square foot.

Do watts measure brightness?

No, Watts does not actually measure brightness. The confusion about using wattage as a measurement of brightness is understandable. A watt is a unit of power that you can use to measure the power consumption, efficiency and running cost of an electrical device like a light. Regarding traditional light bulbs, such as incandescent and halogen bulbs, people typically understood that a higher wattage equalled a brighter light because of more significant power consumption. Using Watts as a measure of brightness is a common misconception, and it is not an accurate scale for the brightness of light, especially with modern lighting such as LEDs.

How many watts is a lumen?

There is no exact equation or an accurate comparison between watts and lumens. Why? It's because there can be a variance in the efficiency of some LED bulbs. For example, one brand's 9 Watt LED bulb can emit enough light to replace a 60 Watt incandescent light source, whereas a less efficient LED may need 12 Watts to produce the same brightness. As a result, this is why it's crucial to measure modern lighting using lumens and not watts. That said, as there is only a slight degree of discrepancy between the wattage in the class of LED bulbs, you can use the scale below as a vague reference.

Comparing lumens

In practice, LEDs with a lower lumen rating are generally used for decorative purposes, offering a softer, more atmospheric light. However, we commonly use LEDs with a higher lumen rating for practical purposes, such as security lights, work lights, and industrial lighting.

We can find an accurate brightness measurement in the specifications section of each product page on our website. Using the information listed there and referring to the table above, you can determine the most suitable light brightness for your outdoor space. Please contact our expert sales team online or by phone for further information or clarification.