What You Need to Know About LED Light Output

Wattage Vs. Lumen Output for LED Lighting

outdoor-LED landscape-lighting-californiaWhether you’re planning green outdoor lighting for a business or a contrasting outdoor LED landscape lighting setup, you’d like to know a little bit about the light output process.

Many people mistakenly believe that light output is measured in watts – it’s not. It’s measured in a different unit called lumens. Ideally, for most applications, you want a bulb with a low wattage compared with its output in lumens. Lumens are not the same thing as perceived brightness. A bulb that has a soft yellow color may actually appear to be less bright than a bulb that shines like sun at midday, even if their light output is identical in terms of lumens.

When businesses and municipalities switch from incandescent lights to LEDs, they often wonder what output they should choose. If you are replacing an incandescent with a CFL bulb, you can just look at the watt equivalent rating and go from there. For instance, a 50 watt incandescent light could be replaced by a CFL with a 50 watt equivalent rating.

As important as lumen ratings are, what you are really trying to figure out is how much the light will illuminate a particular area, not how much light output is generated at the source. That’s a subtle distinction, that’s tricky to explain. LED lighting actually outperforms halogens and incandescents with bigger lumen numbers because LEDs have better lux (a unit that measures lumens per square meter).

Other elements, such as the Color Rendering Index (CRI) and the Color Temperature of the light can also influence perceived brightness. So what should you do? You can try experimenting with different bulbs and brightnesses, and ask questions.

Questions About Your LED Outdoor Lighting? Contact Us Today

For questions about the output for your outdoor LED lighting projects in California or Nevada, contact the team here at Great Basin Lighting today. Give us a call at 925-240-1566 (California) or 775-333-0900 (Nevada) for a free and confidential assessment of your needs.