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Lumens and LED Lights

Lumens and LED Lights

When choosing brighter LED lighting products, the product parameter we tend to focus on most is power. In fact, there is another parameter of LED lights that is closely related to the brightness of the lights, and that is lumens. In this blog, I will introduce some detailed knowledge related to lumens and LED lights.

What are lumens?

A lumen (lm) is a unit of measurement of the luminous intensity of a light source, also known as the light statistic, which counts the total amount of light emitted by a light source in all directions. The lumen value of a light source is fixed and does not vary with distance. Simply put, lumens are the luminous intensity of a lighting product; the higher the lumen value, the brighter the lighting product.

Power, Luminous Efficiency and Lumens

Power is the most common parameter for electronic products such as LED lights. It indicates the amount of electricity consumed by the light source, usually measured in watts (W). Luminous efficiency is the efficiency with which a light source converts electrical energy into visible light. It is usually measured in lumens per watt (lm/W).

The conversion between lumens, power and luminous efficiency is Luminous efficiency = lumens/watt. We also know that the higher the power, the higher the power consumption. Combined with the previous conversions, we can also conclude that the higher the luminous efficiency, the more energy efficient the product is for the same lighting effect (lumens).

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Why are Lumens Important?

In life, most people are more accustomed to use power to judge the luminous intensity of lighting products. However, today’s lighting products are many different types of lighting products, different lighting products luminous efficiency varies greatly, which leads to the power judgment is not accurate. Therefore, it is more accurate to judge the luminous intensity of lighting products by lumens.

Impact on Usage Experience

Some lighting products need to have enough lumen value to have a better using experience. For example, a projector with higher lumens means that the projector is brighter and has a better ability to combat ambient light. Projectors with low lumens may not be able to be seen in bright environments and are best used in darker environments. For pool lights, an insufficient lumen value can affect the lighting effect of the pool, reduce the experience of using it, and even cause some safety hazards.

Meet the Lighting Design Criteria for Different Areas

Factory Lighting

Different areas (e.g. city roads, highways, industrial areas, commercial areas, residential areas, etc.) have different lighting needs. Therefore, the lumens of lighting products must be adjusted according to the design criteria of a particular area. For example, city roads need to provide sufficient illumination to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians, while industrial areas may require higher brightness to support manufacturing activities.

Facilitation of Procurement

Strict lumen requirements help standardize lighting products. This makes it easier for purchasing departments to select the right product without having to make complex comparisons between different suppliers. Standardization also helps ensure consistent product quality and performance.

Increased Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

High lumen lighting products typically provide more brightness for the same lighting needs. This means that lower wattage products can be used while still meeting lighting standards. Replacing halogen lamps with higher lumen LEDs, for example, can significantly reduce energy consumption.

Easy Maintenance

Large-scale lighting projects often require a large number of fixtures, such as street lights, parking lot lights, and building facade lights. Choosing standardized and consistent quality luminaires will greatly reduce the maintenance workload.

How to Measure Lumens in Lighting Products?

The correct measurement of lumens requires the use of specialized electronic instruments such as integrating spheres. This type of equipment is usually only available in specialized laboratories or in the inspection rooms of lighting manufacturers.

Below is the integrating sphere in the WAKING Lighing testing room, shown here with the technician taking measurements on our products.

integrating spheres

An integrating sphere is a hollow sphere coated with a white diffuse reflective material that reflects more than 99% of visible light. Measurements are made by mounting a lamp on a support in the sphere and keeping the sphere airtight. The light emitted by the luminaire inside the integrating sphere is reflected multiple times by the inner wall coating, creating a uniform illumination on the inner wall to improve the accuracy of the measurement results.

LED lamps emit different colors of light with very different lumens. Under the same test conditions, the lumens of LEDs are, in descending order, Normal White, Natural White, Warm White, RGBW, RGB.

Most pool lights today are LED products and lumens are equally important for LED pool lights. Below you will find the main factors that affect the lumens of LED pool lights.

What Factors Affect the Lumens of LED Pool Lights?

LED Chips

LED Chips

The luminous efficiency of LED chips greatly affects the actual lumen output of the lighting product. Quality LED chips are more light efficient and can produce more lumens while consuming less energy. If the LED chip is of poor quality, you may need a higher power product to meet your lighting needs.

Wattage

If two lights are similar in efficiency and only differ in power, then the more powerful light will have a higher lumen value. Common practices for increasing power include using LED chips that can handle more power or installing more chips of the same power. However, it should be noted that more power generates more heat, so better heat dissipation design is needed, otherwise it will accelerate the rate of LED light decay.

Waterproof Process

pool light

There are two common waterproof processes for LED pool lights: structural waterproof and resin-filled waterproof. Resin-filled waterproof products are filled with transparent resin inside the light source. This will slightly affect the light transmission rate. In addition, the resin may age and yellow after long-term use, further reducing lumens.

Lens

Anti-glare and regular pool lights

Most pool light housings have a lens that transmits light while being waterproof. High-quality PC or tempered glass lenses have higher light transmittance, reducing the impact on lumens. It is important to note that the lenses on anti-glare pool lights can soften the light while also affecting the light transmission, reducing the lumens of the product.

Light Decay

Lighting products in use will inevitably appear light decay, just a natural phenomenon, can not be avoided. The lumens of the light will gradually decrease due to light decay. Good quality LED light decay speed is very slow, the theoretical service life of more than 50,000 hours, no need to worry too much. But low quality LED chips have poor heat dissipation ability, light decay speed is very fast.

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