Why Is LED Tape Measured in Lumens?
Jul 04 2019
Advertising a light source in terms of lumens instead of watts has become fairly common practice in recent years and this is largely due to the arrival of energy efficient lighting technology.
For years, we have shopped for light bulbs by their wattage. While the lighting market was dominated by incandescent and halogen bulbs, there was no problem. A direct correlation between wattage and brightness was establish and, as the efficiency of light sources didn't really vary, this held true regardless of model. However, as soon as energy efficient light sources came along, watts soon lost their usefulness.
The problem is that watts are a measurement of the amount of electrical energy used by a bulb and do not give us any information about the colour or the amount of light it gives out.
As LED Lights are capable of producing a large amount of light while consuming very little electricity, uses watts to measure their brightness becomes very difficult and drawing a direct comparison between an LED and a halogen is made near impossible.
For instance, a 4 watt LED Bulb may produce the same amount of light as a 60 watt halogen. Put simply, the light output of a bulb can remain the same, even if the wattage varies, and vice versa.
What are lumens?
Lumens are a measurment of the amount of visible light given off from a source. By way of analogy, a single lumen is equivalent to the amount of light given off by a birthday candle from a distance of one foot. So, for example, a light bulb that produces 100 lumens will produce the same amount of light as 100 candles from one foot away.
The efficiency of a light source can be worked out based on it lumen-to-watt ratio (lm/W), which, in other words, is the amount of light (lumens) given off for each watt of electrical energy consumed.
Most incandescent bulbs achieve about 17 lm/W, while CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) can manage between 35 and 60 lm/W.
However, a typical LED Light will easily manage 160 lm/W, with some prototype models even reaching a staggering 200 lm/W. This means that LED Lights produce a lot more energy while consuming less energy, resulting in a light source that is cheap to run and environmentally friendly.
LED Tapes are no exception to this rule. The light output of an LED Strip can be expressed in one of two ways. Usually retailers will provide the lumens per metre of their strip, but it is also possible to calculate how many lumens are given out by each individual LED chip for a more accurate measurement.
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