Purchasing your first heavy-duty torch or headlamp can be a perplexing experience. Many of us might walk into a gym and be completely baffled by similar terms, such as the difference between an overhead press and a bench press, and in the same way, if you’re looking to spruce up your light gear collection, there are quite a few terms that can be bewildering to first-time customers.
Whether it’s understanding the difference between LED and luminosity, or lux vs lumens – it is important to be educated about the differences so you can have a successful shopping experience and receive a product that will serve you well in the long run.
So let’s go back to basics – what is the difference between Lumens and Lux? Why is it helpful to know and why should I consider this before making a purchase?
Lumens is the total amount of light emitted by a single light source, regardless of the direction it goes. A light bulb can easily emit over 1000 lumens, but that light is sent in almost all directions. Without any design or filtering, the light is hard to contain to just one specific direction.
Lux on the other hand, measures how much light falls on a desired surface. It is the specific measurement of lumens per square meter, so essentially, lux will allow you to know how much light is hitting your surface.
The closer the object is to the light source, the higher the lux reading will be. In layman’s terms, you can have a lightbulb with 1000 lumens and while it may light up your living room, without containing that light towards a specific direction, the lux levels will be low and hard to serve their purpose at lighting a precise surface or area.
So, what does this mean when looking for the right product to serve your needs? At Ledlenser, all our products are designed with both Lumens and Lux in mind. It’s important to note that more lumens do not necessarily translate to better results, so be wary of purchasing an item with ‘high lumens’ without getting a better understanding of how effective it will be. Instead, you want a product that uses a strong amount of lumens, but can also counterbalance it with a design and engineering that amplifies that light correctly.
These two light sources pictured above show our Ledlenser torch (left) and a competitor product (right) shining on trees. The Ledlenser torch is using 1000 lumens, however the competitor is using 2,500! Based on the clarity on the trees, it is clear that lumens only have a small part to play in creating a targeted light channel. On the other hand, as pictured in the second image, the competitor torch on the right has a much wider ‘spill’ outside the main circle of light, proving that the targeted area isn’t as effectively covered.
When looking at product specs, for example our Ledlenser MT18 Outdoor Torch, this bad boy has 3,000 lumens and can reach up to over half a kilometre (540m)! This light distribution comes down to patented technology and design that makes the torch both powerful (lumens), but also useful in helping see as far ahead as possible on your desired surfaces (lux).
Putting this newfound knowledge into a practical setting, if you are looking to purchase a strong headlamp or torch to take with you on your next hiking trip or exploration, consider your environment first and foremost. If you require a very strong light to see far into the distance at night, you will want a product strong in lumens with a desired range such as the Ledlenser MH11 Headlamp.
If on the other hand, you are on the hunt for a general area light to brighten up your local campsite, then go ahead and select a Ledlenser iF8R Area Light, as it has strong lumens, but no specific targeted range or desired surface destination, so it will brighten up the entire space.
Don’t get us wrong, while lumens are fantastic, it’s important to understand the technology behind the product and choose one that suits your needs. With Ledlenser, you can always be sure that our quality designs are honest reflections of the light strength and will cover you for any adventure or task ahead.