What about lumen when choosing lighting?

What is lumen?

If you wish to furnish a space with the appropriate lighting, then the quantity of "lumen" is key. The quantity determines the energy efficiency of LED lighting. Basically, it indicates how much light a light source produces in relation to its power. This power is expressed in the number of watts. With LED lighting, the ratio is generally high. This implies that LED lighting consumes less energy than conventional lighting, say incandescent bulbs, to generate the same amount of light. A halogen lamp has a lumen/watt ratio of 18, while with LED lighting it is a ratio of 113. With incandescent bulbs, you usually made a choice based on the number of watts, whereas with LED lighting, it is best to do so based on the quantity of lumens. The abbreviation for lumen is lm.

What is the difference between lumens and lux?

The term lumen determines the light output of a lamp. This is the brightness of a lamp. The higher the lumen value is, the more light a lamp produces. As we will see further in this article, there are a number of rules of thumb for the quantity of lumens in a room. For example, the higher a ceiling is, the higher the number of lumens should be to achieve the desired lighting effect.

Authentage_Suspension light Vitrine_Spot Poire on track_mudroom_Jannet Butzinger for Helma interior

Vitrine Lantern Suspension and Poire on Track used by Jannet Butzinger for Helma Interior (Germany)

Another unit you often hear in connection with lighting is lux, the Latin term for "light." This unit expresses how much light actually reaches a surface. For example, think of the amount of light you can measure on a floor or a work surface. The amount of light in a room or in a certain situation must be measured with a light meter and besides this also depends, for example, on the time of day. The abbreviation for lux is lx.

Unit for illuminance

Lux thus expresses how strong the light is, regardless of the power or light output of a lamp. In the context of workshops or for photographers, for example, it is important to measure how brightly a particular surface is illuminated. For companies, by the way, certain amounts of illuminance are laid down in the European standard DIN EN 12464-1.

To give an example:

  • A lamp of 1000 lm, which has a range of 1 square meter, illuminates this area with 1000 lx.
  • If the same lamp of 1000 lm is placed so that it shines the light over 10 square meters, you will get over this zone an amount of 100 lx.

In addition to lm and lx, there is also the unit kelvin. This stands for the figurative heat that the light emits. The higher the amount of kelvin, the colder the light is. A low number represents lighting with a warm temperature.

Authentage_Outdoor lighting Up and down_Bronze_Micro wall light_Hovenierscentrum De Briellaerd

Micro up and down combined with a Kelvin Killer® to reduce the Kelvin with 400K by Hovenierscentrum De Briellaerd (The Netherlands)

How many watts do you need for how many lm?

LED lighting is a lot more energy efficient than halogen lighting. At Authentage, we especially like to work with LED because it is the future of lighting. The energy efficiency of LED lighting is reflected in the power expressed in watts, which, as we stated in the introduction, is quite high compared to halogen lighting. However, this means that you can no longer determine how much light a lamp emits based on the number of watts. This list will help you further if you are used to thinking in terms of watts.

  • An incandescent lamp of 25-30 watts stands for 200 to 300 lm in LED lighting.
  • A 40-watt incandescent bulb produces 300 to 500 lm in LED lighting
  • A 60 watt incandescent bulb produces 500 to 700 lm in LED lighting * A 75 watt incandescent bulb produces 75 to 70 lm in LED lighting
  • A 75 watt light bulb in LED lighting represents 700 to 1000 lm.

How many lumens are needed indoors by type of room?

Not every room in the house needs the same amount of light. In a kitchen, it is more important to have a higher light output than in a bedroom, for example. In large rooms, on the other hand, you need to get the light output from different fixtures. Your own preference for a certain light color and brightness also plays a role here.

How many lumens are needed in the kitchen?

In a modern household, the kitchen is more than just a place where you cook. It is also a place where you work, relax or catch up with friends and family. It is important to have a good light output in the kitchen. A total amount of lm between 1000 and 3000 is necessary, but for the worktop, for example, we recommend lighting of at least 3000 lm. Above a dining table it may be more atmospheric with a quantity of lumens between 1000 and 1500.

Authentage_kitchen light_recessed lights_ceiling lights_Phantôme recessed_Tubelum_van hamersveld_exclusive apartment in the netherlands

Customised Ceiling lights Tubelum and customised recessed ceiling light Phantôme Centonze Reflector 

How many lumens do I need for a living room?

The living room is essentially a place where you want to make it cozy and where, for example, you like to watch TV or read. Dimmable LED lighting where you can vary between 500 and 1500 lumens is ideal here. If there is light from an adjacent kitchen or dining room, you can also take this into account in your lighting plan.

How many lumens do I need for a bathroom?

Bright light is a must in a bathroom, for example to brush your teeth or apply makeup. Multiple light sources, with a total light output between 1000 and 3000 lm are important here. For your bathroom, also keep in mind that they should have the standard IP44, which makes them splashproof.

Authentage_bathroom lighting_ceiling spotlight_recessed light_aureole_exclusive house marbella spain

Aureole recessed ceiling spot and LED-strip

How many lumens do I need for a bedroom?

The quantity of lumens you need in terms of lighting depends on the functional aspect. For young people, the bedroom is the room where you sleep but also study, for example. In terms of lighting, you should therefore play with various light sources here and create a light intensity that lies between 500 and 2000 lumens. In addition to brightness, the warmth of the light is also important for a bedroom. Warm white light, which varies between 1800 and 2700 kelvin is ideal for creating a warm atmosphere.

Authentage_hotel light_wall lights_bathroom light_bedroom light_Manoir de surville_Bainwat_Severe

 Sèvère Vertico and Bainwat wall lights in bedroom of Manoir de Surville (France)

Required lumens outdoor: How many lumens do I need outdoors?

If you want to optimally light your garden, you need to create a lighting plan with space for basic lighting, accent lighting and backlighting. As with indoors, the quantity of lumens determines the strength and range of lighting. By this we mean how far a garden light gives off light and how strong this light is. 300 to 400 lumens represent an illumination of 1 square meter. The function of the lighting further determines how high the lumen count should be. Basic lighting may emit 500 to 700 lumens, while for accent lighting this may be somewhat lower, for example between 300 and 500. Backlighting ideally has a luminous intensity of 200 to 300 lumens. Perfect for discreetly illuminating a particular characterful wall in the background, for example.

Authentage_outdoor lighting_accent lighting_tree lighting_De Briellaerd hovenierscentrum

 Spike lights Micro and Macro with Kelvin Killer® used by Hovenierscentrum De Briellaerd

At Authentage we are happy to help you with your total concept in terms of light for your interior or for your garden. Our fixtures are handmade and designed and assembled in Belgium. For each specific project, we have the right advice. If you wish to use our lighting in your home or garden as a private person, we will gladly help you find a point of sale.

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