The 411 on LED Lighting Output
The transition from compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs has been a trending topic these days and many consumers are looking for an answer as to how to find or choose the right LED light bulb to produce the same kind of light as the one set for replacement.
CFLs from different manufacturers today typically come with information on their incandescent equivalent, usually in the specific wattage. This is to make the consumer task of finding a replacement bulb smoother. For example, if you need to replace a 60-watt incandescent light bulb, simply look for a CFL bulb that has the equivalent wattage and you're done.
LEDs however, are presently more complicated. Many LED lighting systems from different manufacturers do not come with information on incandescent equivalencies, due to the fact that some companies frequently change and upgrade their products' lighting output as time goes by this is proof that LEDs continue to improve at a rapid pace.
With that said, questions about the equivalencies of lighting become larger and larger; most experts would agree that this is rather difficult to answer.
Difficulties aside however, there are some factors that can be considered by those interested in procuring their own home LED lighting systems.
Lumens measurements are helpful when you start comparing light bulbs. However, also keep in mind that lumens are being measured from the source. The amount of light landing on the are to be illuminated is what matters and LEDs have proved themselves worthy of this task for an extended period of time. Because of this fact, lumen ratings of LEDs significantly outperform halogen and incandescent bulbs.
Various tests have also been conducted by many companies to measure the amount of lumens per square meter, also known as lux, between a 75-watt halogen and a 16-watt LED with a 12-foot distance. The halogen produced more lumen ratings with roughly 1000 lumens while the LED notched 600 lumens. However, measuring the level of light that 'landed' on the illuminated area, the 16-watt LED had 60% more landed light compared to the halogen. This means that the tested LED had a total of 386 lux while the halogen only scored 233 lux.
Another factor to consider is that our eyes aren't built to measure light. Even if the lumens output seems identical when you compare bulbs from one another, other factors like CRI (Color Rendering Index) as well as colour temperature can make it seem like one is brighter than the other.
If you are interested in using LEDs as your main light source, the best thing you can do is to purchase a couple of these bulbs and see them in action yourself. LED bulbs, for general lighting purposes, are typically ready to use which makes them ideal for you to observe their performance. Try them out first and see for yourself if they match your needs or not.