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What Is A Lumen Rating For An LED Light?

July 29, 2022

What Is A Lumen Rating For An LED Light?

LED lights and beacons are a staple in most emergency vehicles. From the trademark red and blue lights used in police cruisers to the amber LED lights of utility vehicles, they have seen prominent usage due to their energy efficiency, robustness and long lifespan. However, most LED lights are rated in a unit called Lumens instead of Watt, the standard method to rate electrical devices. Hence, the importance of lumens for LED lights and the difference between these two units will be discussed below. 

Role of lumens in LED lighting.

What is a lumen?

In essence, a lumen can be defined as a unit of brightness for a light source. Therefore, it measures the amount of light being released from a source. Hence, the higher the lumen rating, the brighter the light source will be. 

Why are LED lights rated in lumens?

Traditionally, lights were rated on the basis of watts, which is the amount of energy consumed by a light source. Old-school lights such as incandescent bulbs used to burn more brightly if they consumed more energy. Hence, it made sense to rate them based on this unit. 

LED lights, however, are quite an energy-efficient solution, so more energy consumption doesn’t necessitate more brightness. Consequently, they were required to be rated in an alternative way, and lumens were devised as a unit of measurement for this purpose. 

Can the two units be compared?

Since one measures energy consumption and the other measures brightness, there is no direct way to compare the two. However, one can predict the lumens of a particular light on the basis of wattage. For instance, a conventional light bulb rated at 100 watts can have a brightness of 1600 lumens. An LED light of just 26 watts can produce the same brightness. 

Hence, in a world where LED light sources are becoming more prominent, it is no longer prudent to rate them on the basis of watts. 

To install the appropriately-rated police lights on cruisers or to outfit other custom accessories, reach out to us at Darta Enterprises. Having worked closely with York Regional Police, the City of Brampton, and many other departments, you too can witness our excellent services firsthand by booking a consultation with us today.