On average, how many lumens do you need for LED lighting? 

Lumen logo

Buying LED lighting starts with understanding the basic characteristics. Watt, voltage, light colour, lux, as well as the number of lumens needed are all aspects you might encounter when picking the ideal economical LED bulb. 

Many people would first look for the wattage of a light source. However, this is about the power consumption of a lamp. A larger wattage by no means always equals more light output, especially since the introduction of energy-efficient LED lighting. 

Anyone buying an LED lamp should primarily look at the amount of light emitted by a lamp. Then, of course, we are talking about the number of lumens produced by a light source: the total light output of an individual bulb. 

How many lumens you will need depends on the location where you want to use the lighting. The lighting experts at AdvantageLED will be happy to help you pick out the ideal light source, including your required lumen values. We invite you to browse the wide range in our webshop.

Lumen meaning 

The lumen value (lm) is an indicator of the luminous intensity of a light source. The lumen count indicates the amount of visible light emitted by a light source that can be perceived by the human eye. 

Simply put: more lumens equals more light. But more light is not necessarily always better; after all, we don't want to be in a blindingly bright room. Moreover, light output can be distributed across multiple light sources, which also affects the need for high brightness. 

Always consider the light requirements of a specific room. For example, a bedroom needs far fewer lumens (less brightness) than a kitchen. How many lumens you need will always depend on the context in which the LED lighting is used. 

How many lumens do I need? 

Average lumen requirements will vary from room to room. Each room has a specific function in our lives, to which the lighting requirement will have to be adapted. 

Where quiet light or ambient light is preferred, a lower lumen value is sufficient. An LED dimmer can also help here. Areas in the home where we work or provide ourselves with personal care require higher lumen values on average. 

Generally, the following average lumen values are used for different rooms in a house: 

  • Living room: 500 - 1500 lumens 
  • Bedroom: 500 - 2000 lumens 
  • Kitchen: 1000 - 3000 lumens 
  • Bathroom: 1000 - 3000 lumens 

Lumen to watt conversion 

Watt to lumen conversion for an LED bulb can yield quite different values than for a traditional incandescent or energy-saving bulb. Still, for many people it is nice to have an idea of the conversion between these two values. 

Below is an estimate of the different values for an incandescent, energy-saving and LED bulb: 

Lumen Bulb Energy-saving lamp LED lamp 
200 - 300 lm 25 Watt 5 - 7 Watt 4 watts 
400 - 500 lm 40 watts 8 - 10 Watt 6 watts 
700 - 800 lm 60 watts 12 - 15 watts 10 watts 
900 - 1000 lm 75 watts 14 - 20 watts 12 watts 
1300 - 1500 lm 100 watts 20 - 25 Watt 16 watts 
2500 - 2600 lm 150 watts 40 - 45 Watt 20 - 30 Watt 

More lumens, fewer watts 

With the advent of energy-efficient LED bulbs, lighting consumption has gone down considerably. It is clear to see that incandescent, energy-saving and LED bulbs require different wattages for the same amount of light output. 

Thanks to economical lighting technology, it is often more useful to look at light output in lumens, rather than focusing on wattage. 

Just compare the light output of a 25-watt light bulb with a 25-watt LED bulb. The economical LED light delivers 10 times more light with the same 25-watt output! 

That's easily an impressive saving in energy consumption of some 90%, per individual light source. An amount that is definitely noticeable in your wallet. The savings of LED lamps compared to, say, energy-saving bulbs are also huge. So switching to LED is definitely worthwhile. 

Lumens vs usable lumens 

Manufacturers naturally do their utmost to put as many lumens as possible on the packaging of their LED lights. But one lumen value is not the other, as is evident when we look at the differences between non-directional and directional lighting. 

There are many light sources that emit light in all directions, such as the spotlights you will come across in an average electronics shop. These are non-directional LED bulbs. 

A directional LED lamp focuses light production on a specific spot. Lumens are focused towards a specific direction, while areas outside this focus angle emit fewer lumens. For the full calculation, these types of lamps get a lower lumen rating, which is not entirely fair. After all, light production is focused on a smaller area. 

This is why a 'usable lumen' value has been created in the European Union for directional light sources. If you buy a light source a beam angle of up to 90 degrees, it is better to look at the 'usable lumen' value to get a realistic light output. Usable lumen values are useful for products like an LED floodlight or spotlight. 

With LED lighting, always look at lumens 

With the advent of economical lighting technology like LED lighting, using lumens to determine light output has become much more important. Using watts as an indidivdual measure is simply no longer adequate. 

If you want to get a realistic idea of a lamp's light output, look at its lumen value (lm). Remember that for directional lighting like spotlights, the lumen count may not be as useful an indicator. For this you are better off using 'usable lumens', the amount of light a light source produces at a specific 90-degree angle. 

Comparing the wattage of an incandescent or energy-saving bulb with an LED bulb shows clearly how much more economical lighting technology is today. The required power of LED lighting is sometimes up to ten times smaller than a traditional incandescent bulb! 

The high quality and diversity of LED lighting can be called impressive. If you are considering switching to energy-efficient LED lamps, we would like to invite you to get to know the products from AdvantageLED. Of course, we have clearly stated the number of lumens per product in our webshop.