What are Lumens? How Bright Are They?

Have you ever wondered how lights are made? Why are some of them brighter than others? And why do some reach farther than others? Or even how some can produce heat?

There are many ways to make light. Naturally, we have the sun as our main source of light and for centuries, fire had been our main source of light during the night, until electricity that is.

Artificial light, however, is different. It is usually powered by electricity or something that produces electricity. How bright a light fixture is depends on how many lumens are in it. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light is – that’s the general idea. Let’s go deeper and see how lumens work.

What Are Lumens?

Generally speaking, Lumens or Lumen Output determines how bright or dim a source of light is. It is the measure of how much visible light is created by a light source per unit of time. This is measured according to the human eye’s sensitivity towards wavelengths of light. More lumens means more light; fewer lumens means less light.

When buying bulbs, flashlights, lamps, or lanterns, make sure that you are buying according to the amount of light you want. Traditionally, we buy light fixtures according to the wattage it has, but now, experts suggest that we pick the right product with the right amount of lumens. This is because more lumens do not necessarily mean more watts.

Also, since light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) have been invented, people have shifted to them from traditional incandescent lights. LEDs and CFLs usually have high lumen output with less watts compared with incandescent lights. That makes them energy efficient.

How Do We Calculate Lumens?

Lumens are usually called ‘lm’ as a unit of measurement for the amount of light visible. To identify how many lumens you need, you need to know how big is the space you want to illuminate. For example, if you want to light up a 100 square foot room, you may need around a couple of thousands of lumens to do it.

As a general rule, for every 250 square feet, you may need around 5,000 lumens to illuminate it. If you’re like me and you’re not very good at math, you can find Lumen Calculators online. They can help you calculate how many lumens you need to light up a particular space. There are also many factors to consider in computing the amount of lumen you may need. That includes the size and shape of the room, the color scheme, the ceiling height, and the activities to be used for.

On the other hand, light efficiency is measured by the total amount of lumens divided by the power usage in watts (lm/W). The higher the lm/W is, the higher the efficiency you have, thus making it more cost-efficient. You will have brighter rooms for lesser costs!

For example, you have 3500 lumens LED light bulbs running on 23W. It means that you have 152lm/W, which is very efficient. Compared to a 3600 lumens bulb running on 45W that has a lower lm/w of 80. It could be deduced from these examples that the first one is 51% cheaper to run than the second one.

But you may be wondering, what are Watts and what is its difference from lumens? As mentioned above, lumens are the amount of light visible for a single bulb, its light output. Lumens mean brightness, and watts do not. Watts/Wattage is the unit of measurement used for energy use or consumption. In basic terms, it is the amount of energy used to produce light. Watts power bulbs that produce lumens.

So, again, when shopping for bulbs, don't just check the number of lumens you need. You may want to check out the wattage of the bulb you will be buying as well. As per law, manufacturers are required to put product labels on lightbulbs. This way, consumers like us could easily see if the bulb we are looking at is perfect for what we need. Besides, you can always ask your local hardware store employee for advice.

Where Can I Get High-Lumens Products?

Usually, your local hardware store offers a wide variety of lightbulbs for you to choose from. But if you’re looking for high-end, specialized lighting products, you may want to check out Fenix Store. They offer a wider array of products like flashlights, lanterns, bike lights, and even headlamps to fit any need.

Fenix tactical flashlights have high lumens that could reach up to almost 1500 feet. If you’re in the military, security, or law enforcement, check out their tactical flashlights. Not only are they bright and powerful, but they are also durable, compact, and handy – specifically designed for tactical activities.

On the other hand, if you don’t need a light for your job, you may want to check out their Everyday Carry flashlights. These are your ordinary flashlights that are made extraordinary by Fenix. Having the same durability as the tactical flashlights, everyday carry flashlights proves to be very helpful for home or outdoor activities.


Remember that higher wattage doesn’t mean a brighter light. That simply means higher energy consumption, which can be very costly. Consider the number of lumens or the lumen output when buying bulbs or light fixtures. Be it for your new home, room, or outdoor space.

As a general rule of thumb, the higher the lumen output, the brighter the light is. Consequently, the lower the lumen is, the dimmer the light would be. Then again, it depends on how and where you will use the light to decide how many lumens you will need. So choose the product that best suits your needs.