Who is lying about lumens?

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tomtheelder2020

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Multiple internet sources say a 100 watt incandescent bulb produced 1600 lumens. However, fixtures at Home Depot give a completely different story. For example, one fixture says it is 180 watt equivalent - and says it produces 1378 lumens. I was looking for ceiling mount fixtures for our laundry room and this was the highest lumen one I could find but apparently it is dimmer than a 100 watt incandescent. Any body know what is going on?

 

Flyover

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I don't know the answer, just chiming in to say I saw a video where someone tested the actual light output of various supposedly high-lumen flashlights sold on Amazon and found they all oversold their actual output by thousands of percent. This leads me to think that perhaps in general manufacturers of light-emitting products are getting away with a lot of dishonesty in their marketing.

Maybe a light meter isn't a bad investment even if you don't work in the film industry...
 

Steve123

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Watts is not a measure of light intensity, lumens is. Just look at "lumens" not somebody's interpretation of "similar to".

I like about 2400 lumens for a medium sized room (about 100 - 120 sq ft). (Somewhat more if its a work area)

That fixture would likely be too small for me (although you don't state how big your laundry room is). Also, I refuse to use any fixture that does not use replaceable bulbs. My preference is for semi- flush mount fixtures that tend to wash the ceiling, to get good distribution of the light.

Google "how many lumens for a room"
 
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bud16415

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Not to overly confuse the topic as lumens are indeed lumens and were mistakenly described by wattage for many years when describing incandescent lights. Wattage is the power used and is a combination of making light and heat loss and we all know there was a lot of heat loss with incandescent lighting.



With LED light comes another factor called the Helmholtz-Kohlrausch (H-K) effect. It is a way that LED light appears to be brighter to our eyes based around the purity of the light. Some companies call this LED Lumens others just list it as lumens. You can google it to learn more. I’m also sure there is some marketing going on that is not totally honest.



My home is now 100% LED and I have only one of these flat mount units. It is a decorative cluster deal she wanted above the sink in the bathroom. All the rest are conventional screw in LED replacement bulbs. I would rather put in a old type fixture and use the replacement LED lamps now that they have come way down in price.
 

Steve123

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I would rather put in a old type fixture and use the replacement LED lamps now that they have come way down in price.

The other factor is dimming.
LED bulbs/fixtures can have difficulty with some dimmers, even if they are specified as "dimmable".
Lutron (big manufacture of dimmers) has an online program that you can input the model number of your dimmer, and size and color temperature of the bulb you want to use, and it will out a list of bulb manufacturers/part numbers, ranked by how well they will work with that dimmer.
 

tomtheelder2020

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Watts is not a measure of light intensity, lumens is. Just look at "lumens" not somebody's interpretation of "similar to".
Absolutely true but I have used incandescent bulbs for most of my life and they did not indicate output in lumens, so in replacing a fixture I need to covert the 100-watt brightness of a typical incandescent (no doubt there was some variation) to the lumens of an LED.
I refuse to use any fixture that does not use replaceable bulbs. My preference is for semi- flush mount fixtures that tend to wash the ceiling, to get good distribution of the light.
I am on the same page but when it comes to décor my wife gets what she wants.
 

tomtheelder2020

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I don't know the answer, just chiming in to say I saw a video where someone tested the actual light output of various supposedly high-lumen flashlights sold on Amazon and found they all oversold their actual output by thousands of percent.
Do you have reason to think the person who produced that video is reliable? I have no doubt there is a range of discrepancy between advertised and actual lumens but I also find it very hard to believe that a flashlight advertised at, say, 1000 lumens would actually deliver less than 100 lumens. Amazons return policy is way too easy to use for anyone to get away with that for long.

This leads me to think that perhaps in general manufacturers of light-emitting products are getting away with a lot of dishonesty in their marketing.
At this point I think there is no doubt about that.
 

Flyover

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Do you have reason to think the person who produced that video is reliable?
Yes, the person who made the video was transparent about the methods he used to test the flashlights.

Here, I found the video:
 

tomtheelder2020

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Flyover, thanks for finding that - I appreciate you taking the time - and you are right that he seems highly credible. I especially liked that he addressed why these are still on Amazon. The part I still don't understand is why the return rate isn't high enough to eliminate Amazon's profits.
 

Flyover

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The part I still don't understand is why the return rate isn't high enough to eliminate Amazon's profits.
If I had to guess, it's because most people are using flashlights to look for stuff under the couch (even if they imagined they were buying one to illuminate a campsite), and if it's bright enough it's bright enough, and the average person doesn't have a handle on what 72.9 bazillion lumens is supposed to look like anyway. If it helped you find your thing under the couch, why go through all the trouble of returning it.
 

bud16415

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If I had to guess, it's because most people are using flashlights to look for stuff under the couch (even if they imagined they were buying one to illuminate a campsite), and if it's bright enough it's bright enough, and the average person doesn't have a handle on what 72.9 bazillion lumens is supposed to look like anyway. If it helped you find your thing under the couch, why go through all the trouble of returning it.
The interesting part is people think their eyes are some kind of light meters and the truth is people don’t even notice a light change of 1-2 f stops. Keep in mind a f stop is a doubling of the light level. Reason being is our eyes adjust about 22 f stops with our iris.



In the old days of manual cameras I would be outside taking photos and set my f stop and shutter speed for a photo and a minute later my eyes tell me nothing has changed everything looks the same, but a small cloud rolled in and dimmed the lights 3 f stops and my eyes automatically opened 3 f stops and I look in my viewfinder and see my light meter off by a mile and I have to adjust.



There was something about doing things manually and understanding stuff and today I pull out my iPhone and take a perfect picture every time it even does things a camera shouldn’t be able to do like darken a bright background and put faces and bodies in focus and the background out of focus with a pin hole lens. If I’m still not happy throw a filter on and wrinkles disappear and I look 20 years younger.



I have a 99 cent key chain that’s brighter than the big clunky 6v flashlight I had as a kid. Might even last longer.
 

Eddie_T

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My son did the concealed carry training and his instructor had one of the high lumen flashes. It would burn paper.

Interestingly one has t be trained to do concealed carry but anyone can open carry in my state. IMO a big bother and price just to look unkempt with an untucked shirt.
 
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