LED Lighting Brightness Guide

Knowing what's Watt...

Conventional lighting based upon incandescent filament bulbs is traditionally referred to as having an output in Watts. This allows us to have a good understanding of how bright it will be as there is an approximate correlation between power consumed by the bulb (Watts) and brightness.  The problem with LEDs is that they use much, much less power than conventional bulbs for an equivalent light output, so using Watts as a measure of comparing brightness is no longer useful.

How Effective Is Your LED Light?

LED lights instead have their outputs stated in Lumens which is a direct measurement of brightness rather than power consumption. Raw Lumens is a measure of the theoretical maximum brightness of the LED chips themselves, based on the chip output and drive current. However, once these chips are assembled into the lamp complete with the lens and housing there will be losses that reduce the actual light output, so a better measurement is Effective Lumens which takes into account these losses and tells you about the useful visible light that is produced. The Effective Lumens value will always be lower than the Raw Lumens value (sometimes by a huge amount) so care should be taken when comparing LED lights that you are looking at like-for-like outputs.

All of our LED lights have their outputs stated in Effective Lumens (where manufacturer's data is available) and the higher the value, the brighter the light will be.

Quick reference table

You can use this table as a guide to understand how bright an LED light will be compared with a conventional light.

Conventional light 'Wattage' Approximate equivalent brightness in Effective Lumens
25 200-220
40 400-450
60 700-800
75 900-1100
100 1300-1600
150 2200-2600




The information contained in these articles is provided in good faith and we do our best to ensure that it is accurate and up to date, however, we cannot be held responsible for any damage or loss arising from the use or mis-use of this information or from any errors or omissions. The installer is ultimately responsible for the safety of the system so if you are in any doubt, please consult a qualified electrician.

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