LED Lighting: Lumens Not Watt

By will_owen on 01/03/2018

The goal of technological innovaton is to make our day-to-day lives just that much simpler. Whith the ability to hold mountains of knowledge and make simple tasks like shopping, contracting friends, or getting directions to the nearest restaurant more easily accessible, we are in an ever-changing age and consistently reaping the benefits of tech creations. The innovation of technology not only helps with our everyday lives, but has a hand in working to save the environment as we know it. LED lights are slowly, but surely helping nudge the environmental climate in positive direction.

Why Are Lumens Used?

The SI unit of power in LED lighting is referred to as lumen, while its incandescent lighting counterpart is measured in watts. The term "watts" alludes to the amount of energy used, and because incandescent bulbs use more energy than LED lights, the conversion rate isn't 1:1--in fact, LED lighting utilizes far less power than incandescent lighting witha a whopping 84-watts tp everu 36-lumens. Like all light bulbs, lumen output is contingent upon the following aspects:

tbickh_lumens_contingency_chart by Taylor Bickham


(Example of a frosted (right) and non-frosted (left) bulb)

How Can I Determine a Bulb's Lumen Output?

In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began requiring that a light bulb's lumen output be stated on the product's packaging. So, if you are looking to identify how many lumens a bulb has, just look on the back of the box.

Yearly cost 

Color Temperature 

Life Span 

Lighting Practices


Comfort Lighting:

This lighting practice is most commonly utilized in grocery and retail stores to promote comfortability amongst shoppers.
Task-Oriented Lighting: – Task-oriented lighting is used in warehouses to help illuminate merchandise, work areas, or store entrances.

Accent Lighting: –This lighting practice is ideal for display cases, being placed above windows, and creating an eye-catching effect for specific areas in retail stores.  

How Many Lumens Are Needed?
Before the installation of any lighting, it is imperative to be sure that you know what beam angle and how many lumens are needed. These aspects will be contingent upon the square footage being covered and the height of the ceiling.


Here are some basic guidelines:

tbickh_LEDGUIDELINE_inforgraphic by Taylor Bickham The measurements listed above are perfect for big commercial buildings including:


The Take-Away

Lumens measure brightness, while watts measure the amount of energy being consumed by the light fixture. Be mindful of looking for wattages instead of lumes when the brightness of the bulb is at the forefront of your mind. It is also imperative to remember that before any light installation to take into consideration the beam angle and the amount of lumens for the project.



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