The lighting aisle at your local hardware store can feel overwhelming these days. Gone are the days of just picking up a simple 60-watt or 100-watt bulb. Now you have endless options for light bulb shapes, sizes, colours and, most confusing of all - light measurements. What do all those LEDs, lumens, watts and more actually mean?
When buying new light bulbs, you’re not alone if you’re puzzled over the difference between LED and lumens. Many homeowners struggle to understand these key lighting terms and factors. Specifically, the LED vs lumens question trips up a lot of people trying to buy the perfect replacement bulb.
We’ll explain what you need to know about LED and lumens. You’ll learn what each term indicates and how to shop smart when upgrading your lighting to new LED bulbs. No more head-scratching in the lighting aisle! Let’s shed some light on picking the best bulb for every fixture.
What are LEDs?
LED stands for light-emitting diode. This is a technology that uses semiconductors to create energy-efficient bulbs. Electricity passes through a diode chip inside an LED bulb, causing electrons to release photons that produce visible light.
Unlike traditional incandescent bulbs and other light options, such as fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps that use a fragile filament heated by electrical current, LED lamps generate minimal heat while transforming most energy to light. LED bulb design includes heat sinks, refractors and diffusers to dissipate heat further and distribute luminance.
The solid-state nature of watt LEDs makes them extremely durable and shock-resistant. Benefits of an LED light include lower energy use, longer lifetimes, and versatility for directional, coloured and dimmable bulbs. LED bulbs are the most advanced and energy-efficient lighting option available today.
What are Lumens?
Lumens are the measurement of how bright a light bulb is. More specifically, lumens measure the total quantity of visible light emitted by a lamp or light source. When light sources are changed to CFLs or LEDs, they provide the same or better lighting but use much less electricity. Bulbs with higher lumen values produce more light. For example, a 450-lumen bulb has significantly less light than a 2600-lumen bulb. Lumens consider the bulb’s energy efficiency, reflectors, diffusers, and light emission angle to quantify total light output.
The lumen measurement provides a standardised way to compare the brightness of different light bulbs. Traditionally, buying a bulb with equivalent or higher lumens than an old incandescent ensures brighter light. With LEDs being so energy efficient, you can often use fewer lumens to get the same lighting. When evaluating and selecting light bulbs, lumens should be your primary measure of brightness.
LEDs vs. Lumens
LED and lumens refer to two different aspects of light bulbs that should be considered when selecting replacements. LED indicates the technology used in the bulb, while lumens measure the brightness. An LED bulb still needs sufficient lumens for the intended application, just like any bulb type. The key difference is that LEDs require far fewer lumens to produce the same visible light as traditional watt incandescent lamps.
A 750-lumen LED can provide illumination equivalent to an old 60W bulb with roughly 850-1000 lumens. This greater efficiency means achieving the same lighting brightness as an LED bulb with significantly lower energy use. While the LED describes the bulb type, the lumens tell you how much energy or how much light the bulb emits. Check the LED bulb type and the lumens when choosing the ideal replacement.
Choosing Light Bulbs
When selecting a replacement bulb, consider the LED bulb type and the lumens rating. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to match your fixture’s appropriate lumen output.
Choosing an LED bulb with comparable or slightly higher lumens to the old incandescent lamps will provide sufficient brightness. However, with LEDs, you may be able to use fewer lumens than the equivalently branded bulb, thanks to greater efficiency.
Also, factor in the bulb shape, beam angle, colour temperature, and dimmable capabilities based on your lighting needs. An LED bulb specified as a 60W replacement often makes it easy to achieve the desired lumens. With an understanding of LED bulb types and lumen measurements, you can ensure you get the perfect brightness and performance for any lighting application.
So, Are LEDs Better Than Lumens?
So, are LEDs actually better than lumens? The answer is you need both! When choosing new LED bulbs, don’t just look at the LED technology; consider the lumens rating to ensure sufficient brightness.
LED bulbs’ power consumption is far less energy to produce the same lumen output as traditional bulbs, making them the most efficient lighting option. You can confidently select the perfect LED replacement with a basic understanding that LED refers to the diode bulb type and lumens measure brightness.
Still have questions about finding the ideal LED lights for your home? The lighting experts at Enersol Electrical are here to help! Contact us to determine the right lumen output and LED bulb types for every fixture and purpose.
LED And Lumens FAQs
Do all LED bulbs have the same lumens?
No, LED bulbs come in a wide range of lumen outputs. Bulbs range from 200 lumens for ambient lighting up to 3,000 for very bright task lighting. Always check the lumens instead of wattage to understand the brightness of an LED bulb.
What’s the difference between LED and Lumens?
LED refers to the light bulb type using light-emitting diode technology, while lumens are the brightness measurement from a light source. When choosing a replacement bulb, you need to consider both the LED bulb type and its lumens rating.
How many lumens do I need to replace a 60W incandescent bulb?
To replace a traditional 60W incandescent bulb, look for an 800- to 850-lumen range LED bulb. This will provide an equivalent amount of light emitted. You may also see LED bulbs marketed as 60W equivalents, which have been designed to match the light output.
Are lumens or watts more important for LEDs?
With LED bulbs, the number of lumens is a more accurate measure of brightness than watts. Unlike traditional bulbs, LEDs use much less wattage to produce the same lumen output. Check lumens instead of watts to ensure you get adequately bright LED lighting. The wattage may be helpful to confirm the bulb works with your fixtures.
Why are power and lumens important for solar lighting?
With solar lighting, the power rating indicates the size of the solar panel and battery, determining how long the light can run. Lumens measure the brightness. You need sufficient power generation and storage to keep the light on through the night and ample lumens for the desired illumination. Choosing solar lights with adequate wattage power and high lumen output ensures they will provide bright, uninterrupted lighting powered by the sun.