Measuring lumens

Since when do we talk about lumens, right? Back in the day, the average consumer went in to a store, and said – Man, give me a 60 Watt bulb, or Sir, I need a 100 Watt bulb. That was it; pick and leave. Terms like lumens, lux, candela, etc where only used by technicians, engineers or sometimes enthusiasts. Today, this is changing. More and more consumers call themselves enthusiasts, and in fact are professionally knowledgeable in the field that they can ask for more details, and make meaningful interpretations from the same.

Some of you, our readers, are extremely knowledgeable (we know from your comments, as well as our interactions on other platforms) and high-enthusiasts in the field. Some of you have even reviewed many flashlights, to the level that some are nothing short of “spectacular”. And some of you have messaged us about adding some posts on measuring or evaluating different flashlights, tools for the same, etc. This is one of the first among many, that we bringing in response to your question.

So, this post is on lumen (briefly), measuring lumen and some tools available for it.

Lumen, as most of you already know well, is a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source. Lumens varies with lamp power rating as well as type. The following was sourced from Wikipedia for your reference.

Electrical power equivalents for differing lamps
Minimum light output (lumens) Electrical power consumption (watts)
120 V Incandescent (non-halogen) Compact fluorescent LED
200 25 3-5 3
450 40 9–11 5–8
800 60 13–15 8–12
1,100 75 18–20 10–16
1,600 100 24–28 14–17
2,400 150 30–52 24-30
3,100 200 49–75 32
4,000 300 75–100 40.5

Now, lumen is measured using different setups – the higher the accuracy needed, the costlier and more sophisticated the equipment will turn out to be.

Here are a few that will not burn a hole in your pocket. Any of these can measure upto 200000 Lumens without breaking a sweat.

  • Pyle PLMT16 – $29.99

  • Holdpeak 881C – $22.99

  • Dostyle Light Meter – $15.99


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