Understanding Luminous Efficacy

If you are researching a new LED lighting solution for your organization. You may have encountered some unfamiliar jargon that you didn’t understand. The lighting industry comes with its own terminology. One of these terms that aren’t usually part of our everyday vernacular is luminous efficacy. This term is foundational to understanding lighting. So we will look at it in more detail below.

Luminous efficacy

Luminous efficacy indicates the ability of a light source to emit visible light using a given amount of power. It is a ratio of the visible energy emitted to the power that goes into the bulb from the electrical line. This measurement is in: lumens per watt. So, now that we have a better understanding of what luminous efficacy is let’s take a look at what a lumen is.

What is a lumen?

By definition, a lumen is the total amount of light emitted by a light source. It’s a unit of luminous power. As you research your lighting solution, you’ll most likely see lumens (lm) or luminous efficacy (lm/watt) on your light packaging. (View chart below) Luminous Efficacy of Different Lamps Graph Notice in the chart above how it takes less power (watts, W) to get the same lumen output. As you move from standard incandescent lights to halogen bulbs, CFLs, and then eventually LED lights. What this means is that LED technology is beating traditional incandescent light bulbs by nearly a whole order of magnitude. (5 to 8 times as efficient depending on the desired brightness.) Interestingly enough, as you move from left to right along the chart. The lifespan of the light source also begins to improve drastically. LED lights typically last 10 to 20 times as long (15-25 years) as an incandescent bulb (1-2 years).


So, what does this mean for your organization? The takeaway here is that LED lighting offers much better luminous efficacy than traditional incandescent lighting and CFL lighting. In addition to the better luminous efficacy. LED lighting also has a longer lifespan. This extended lifespan translates to lower maintenance and replacement costs when looked at a 3 to 5-year period. If you have any questions about luminous efficacy and selecting the right product for your organization. Reach out to us here at Action Services Group, we would be happy to help you. We look forward to working with your organization. Contact us by calling 610-558-9773, email [email protected] or schedule a call.

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