What are Lumens

Think of lumens as a “new” way of knowing how bright a lamp is.

Lumens = Light Output.

In simple terms, Lumens (denoted by lm) are a measure of the total amount of visible light (to the human eye) from a lamp or light source. The higher the lumen rating the “brighter” the lamp will appear.

We have all bought 50W or 60W conventional bulbs or spotlights in the past expecting a certain level of brightness. This incorrectly linked power consumption (Watts) to light output.

More light, less energy (Watts) with LED

With low energy LED lamps, more light output can be achieved with much less power consumption. For example, a 6.5W LED lamp will give a similar light output to a 50W Halogen bulb. That’s 87% less energy for the same light output! When using LED more energy is converted to light rather than heat. 

As technology improves, more lumens will be produced using even less Watts – i.e. more lumens per Watt. So as a result, using Watts as a guide to brightness is no longer relevant.

Lumens – Conventional vs LED lamps

To achieve the same light output of a 60W conventional bulb you will need an LED lamp with around 800 – 850 lumens. Below is an approximate guide to help you decide the lumen rating for your LED replacement lamp. 

Old Watts

Approx Lumens

25 W

230 – 270 lamp

35 W

250 – 280 spotlight

200-300 Useful Lumens (spotlight)

390 – 410 lamp

40 W

440 – 460 lamp

50 W

330 – 400 spotlight

350-450 Useful Lumens (spotlight)

60 W

800 – 850 lamp


1000-1100 lamp


1500-1600 lamp

How many lumens do I need?

There is no firm answer – it will depend on a number of factors including; room size and shape, height of ceilings, colour scheme, type of lamps & fitting, task areas and needs of the user.

As a very basic guide; below are the lumens required per Sq M (10.76 sq ft) for different room settings. In many cases a mixture of general and task lighting will be required.


Lumens/Sq M



Kitchen (Task)


Living Room







Bedroom (Task)




Bathroom (Task)


Reading Area


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