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What’s a Lumen? (the short answer)

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What’s a Lumen? (the short answer)

What’s a lumen? A lumen is a measure of the brightness of light given off by a bulb or any other glowing object. I know what your thinking, isn’t a Watt a measure of the brightness of a bulb. We’ll in a round about way it provides us a scale to understand brightness but in fact it’s really the amount of energy that a bulb consumes in an hour. For more on watts and energy check out What is a Watt and What is Energy. As we transition away from incandescent bulbs, the ones that we invented 100 years ago and have a wire filament in them, the more energy efficient options like compact fluorescents and LED’s the wattage doesn’t mean nearly as much since you can get the same amount of light from about 1/5th the amount of energy in the case of LED’s. SO we have to start thinking about lumen’s on bulb packaging instead of Watts to find just the right bulb for our need. The government put together a short video explaining what a lumen is, how it relates to Watts and what the new bulb packaging is going to look like down to telling you what it will cost to operate the bulb for a year. Now some of these LED bulbs last for 20 years so you won’t have to buy too many of them once you make the initial conversion. Here’s the video:

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