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Learn About Lighting: What Are Lumens?
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What Are Lumens in Lighting?

How can you change the feel of a room in a second? With the right lighting.

A bright, cheerful light can make a room feel happy and inviting. While a softer, more subdued light can make a room feel calm and relaxing.

But before you can buy the perfect light bulbs, you’ll need to learn what lumens are all about. Don’t stay in the dark about lighting solutions!

What are lumens? Read on to find out, and you’ll be ready to shine!

What Are Lumens?

What are lumens? Lumens measure the amount of light a bulb produces. The higher the number, the brighter it is.

But lumens don’t just tell you how bright a bulb will be but indicate its energy efficiency. So if you’re looking for an energy-saving solution, look for bulbs with higher lumens!

What About Watts?

Watts represent energy used. Light bulbs are the most common use of watts.

Wattage is an important variable to consider when buying light bulbs or fixtures, as they are a measure of electrical power. It is the rate at which electrical energy is transferred or consumed. One watt is equal to one joule of energy per second. The term is often used to describe the power consumption of appliances and devices, such as light bulbs and computers. For example, a 100-watt light bulb consumes 100 watts of power.

Every light bulb has a wattage rating that can help you determine how much power it needs. For example, a traditional 60-watt incandescent bulb requires 60 watts of electrical power to produce light.

What is a Lumen? How is it different from a Watt?

A lumen is a unit of measurement of the total amount of visible light emitted by a source. It is often used to describe the brightness of a light bulb or other lighting device.

A watt, on the other hand, is a unit of power, which is a measure of the rate at which energy is used. It is often used to describe the power consumption of an electrical device, such as a light bulb.

In short, a lumen measures the total amount of light emitted and a watt measures the power consumed by the light source.

How many Lumens do you Need?

The number of lumens you need depends on the specific application and the size of the area you are trying to illuminate.

For example, a small task or accent light might only need about 200-300 lumens, while a large room or outdoor area might require 10,000 or more lumens.

General guidelines for different spaces are:

  • A kitchen needs around 75-100 lumens per square foot
  • A living room needs around 50-75 lumens per square foot
  • A bedroom needs around 30-40 lumens per square foot
  • A bathroom needs around 75-100 lumens per square foot
  • A hallway needs around 50-75 lumens per square foot

The desired ambiance and the color of the walls, flooring and furniture also play a role in determining the total number of lumens needed in a space.

And don’t forget about the ultimate use of the space. For example, a reading area needs more lumens than a space used for watching movies.

In sum, having the right amount of lumens in each room can make a big difference and should be a core consideration in any lighting project.

How do I Read the Light Bulb Label?

When looking to purchase light bulbs online or in a brick-and-mortar store, it is important to known how to interpret a lighting facts’ label, while learning a little bit more about light bulbs and LEDs at the same time

  • Brightness indicates how much light the bulb emits and is measured in lumens. More lumens equals more light. As a frame of reference, 800 lumens equivalent to a traditional 60 watt incandescent light bulb.
  • Energy Cost, which indicates approximately how much it will cost to run this bulb on an annual basis. This figure varies based on the wattage, usage hours per day, and price you pay per kilowatt-hour of electricity from your local utility.
  • Average Life is the bulb’s expected life in hours. Good LEDs should be expected to last 25000 or about 22 years if only used 3 hours a day.
  • Light appearance is the color of the light and is really a personal preference. It does not indicate brightness, but rather what color the light will actually appear to be.  See above for the Kelvin scale explanation and examples of these colors.
  • Energy Used is how many watts this light bulb uses. The higher the watts, the less efficient the bulb and the more it will cost to use. Remember, wattage only indicates how much energy is being used. You need to check your lumens to see how much light the bulb actually puts out.

What is Amperage?

Amperage, also known as “current,” is a measure of the flow of electric charge. It is typically measured in amperes (A). The amount of current in a circuit is determined by the amount of electric charge flowing through the circuit per unit of time.

The flow of current is determined by the voltage (pressure) and the resistance in the circuit. A higher voltage will cause a higher current to flow through a circuit with a constant resistance. Conversely, a higher resistance in a circuit will cause a lower current to flow through a circuit with a constant voltage.

Learn more About Calculating Amperage here!

Calculating Energy Usage

Before buying, consider the energy usage of the bulb. This is measured in watts, and a higher wattage means higher energy usage. When choosing a new light bulb, it’s important to find the right balance of brightness and energy usage to suit your needs. The new labeling standards will help you to compare different types of bulbs and make the best choice for your home.


Along with the watts and lumens, you’ll also want to check the ENERGY STAR label when shopping online for light bulbs. Only the highest quality products will get the ENERGY STAR seal of approval. When you see this rating, you can rest assured that your bulb will put out bright lighting while using less energy and lasting longer.

Using Lumens to Satisfy Commercial Lighting Needs

Lumens aren’t just great for personal use – they can also be incredibly helpful when figuring out lighting solutions for businesses. As with homes, commercial facilities have a minimum requirement for proper visibility.

If you have the right number of lumens per square foot and know how many lumens that particular light produces, you can install or purchase the right amount of lights to meet your needs. You’ll also be able to save money on lighting in the long run, as your business won’t be using too much energy by having lights that are either too dim or too bright.

Energy-Efficient Light Bulb Options

Some of the best energy-efficient lighting options include halogens, fluorescents, and LED. Each bulb offers its unique advantages and color temperature ranges.

Halogen Lights

A halogen bulb can provide the same light as an incandescent bulb while using less energy. This is because halogen bulbs are more efficient, meaning they produce more light per watt than incandescent bulbs.

Halogen bulbs last longer than incandescent bulbs, so you won’t have to replace them as often. If you want to use halogen lights in living rooms or bedrooms where you may be reading books or charts at night, they shouldn’t emit too many blue or green hues.

Fluorescent Lights

CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Light. They are more energy efficient than an incandescent light bulb but provide the same brightness (lumens).

Fluorescent lights come in various light colors and have improved color rendering, making them perfect for indoor use. They also have a few gardening uses too.

LED Lights

LED is the new ‘Cool Kid’ on the block regarding indoor and outdoor commercial lighting. Not only are they super energy-efficient and long-lasting, but they’re also eco-friendly.

LEDs shine through in every location, from being able to thrive in cold areas to having almost no heat emission whatsoever. They’re also easy to troubleshoot if something goes wrong.

Always Read the Lighting Facts Label

Before you buy that bulb, make sure you read the Lighting Facts Label. This label provides important information about a bulb’s brightness, estimated energy cost, and life expectancy. By reading and understanding the label, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that fits your needs and your budget!

Brightness Measurement

Brightness measurements are in the lumen, so you can quickly assess how bright a bulb’s light will be. A handy estimated yearly cost is also listed based on each bulb’s electricity. The label includes life expectancy, too; remember to factor in your daily usage when selecting a bulb to get an accurate number!

Light Bulb Life Expectancy

When buying a light bulb, it’s important to consider its life expectancy. A bulb with a longer life expectancy will save you time and money because you won’t have to change the bulbs as often.

LED lights usually have the longest life expectancy, lasting up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. So if you want to get the most bang for your buck, LED lighting is the way to go! Not only will it save you money on your energy bills in the long run, but it’ll also help reduce environmental waste from disposing of old bulbs.

Estimated Yearly Cost

The estimated yearly cost is based on a set rate of usage each day. But the label rating might be different than your actual usage. That’s why you should pay attention to the dollar amount.

The dollar amount will help you create a baseline for calculating the yearly cost. Consider how many hours per week you’ll be using the bulb. Multiply that number by 52, the number of weeks in a year. Then multiply that sum by the dollar amount to find the yearly cost.

Light Up Your Commercial or Residential Space!

What are lumens? Now you know they’re a measurement of the bulb’s brightness.

Understanding lumens and watts can help you decide which bulb is best for your needs. With this knowledge, you can easily create the perfect atmosphere with just the right amount of light!

Lighting and Supplies can help you get out there and start shining! Shop online or get a personalized quote by emailing [email protected].

Want to talk to a lighting expert? Call us at: 888-325-4448. It’s time to shine!

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