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Thread: I wonder why flashlights aren't rated in mW or Watts instead of lux and lumens?

  1. #1

    Smile I wonder why flashlights aren't rated in mW or Watts instead of lux and lumens?



    Seems it would make better sense to know the total power it's pumping out. Lasers are rated that way, why not flashlights?
    Tint, schmint! as long as the thing lights up, I'm happy!

  2. #2

    Default Re: I wonder why flashlights aren't rated in mW or Watts instead of lux and lumens?

    Good question. Maybe at least list that stuff somewhere on the package or instructions sheet if it has one.

    But the word lumen definitely dominates. I'd prefer to see candela or like days gone by, candle power. But have gotten me ole brain wrapped around the word lumens anymore when choosing a light online. Then I note the listed candela to get a sense of out the front brighness.
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic* dc38's Avatar
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    Default Re: I wonder why flashlights aren't rated in mW or Watts instead of lux and lumens?

    Sigh. A 100W bulb vs 10W led. Also, it is relatively pointless to show the wattage on flashlights because the avg consumer thinks "i can get 2 hours from 2aa cells" rather than "how much battery energy am i using to power this light?" also, 10w xml2 bulb is much brighter than 10w through an xre. It may even fry.
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    Default Re: I wonder why flashlights aren't rated in mW or Watts instead of lux and lumens?

    My understanding, lumen is flood and candella/lux is throw. We have two lights, both are a 1000 lumens. The EC4 and the EC4S. The EC4 is a thrower and due to the reflector design, the EC4S is a flooder. Out the front, the EC4 has more candella. The point, I look at both lumen and candella, not just one or the other.

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    Flashaholic* fivemega's Avatar
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    Default Re: I wonder why flashlights aren't rated in mW or Watts instead of lux and lumens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Tweedbucket View Post

    Seems it would make better sense to know the total power it's pumping out. Lasers are rated that way, why not flashlights?
    Wattage or power does not determine total brightness.
    10 watt hard driven halogen can be much brighter than 15 watt long life halogen.
    Or
    3 watt LED may produce much more light than 5 watt LED.

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    Buttrock Re: I wonder why flashlights aren't rated in mW or Watts instead of lux and lumens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Parrot Quack View Post
    My understanding, lumen is flood and candella/lux is throw. We have two lights, both are a 1000 lumens. The EC4 and the EC4S. The EC4 is a thrower and due to the reflector design, the EC4S is a flooder. Out the front, the EC4 has more candella. The point, I look at both lumen and candella, not just one or the other.
    Candella as cd is a description of throw.

    Lumens are not an indicator of flood or throw, but of total output.

    IE: BEAM ANGLE and charactoristics will determine, given size of the spot...and for example, the more lumens, the more throw generally, for a given beam angle.

    Wattage, etc, while what people are used to for incandescent lights, is mostly meaningless for an LED.

    IE: An LED with higher wattage might be dimmer, or brighter, or the same, depending upon the LED.


    A household light bulb uses the SAME VOLTS, and frequency...such as 60 hz and 120 v....and might have a 15 - 20 amp fuse on the circuit, but only use a fraction of it.

    The LED doesn't. It might use more volts or less, depending upon the circuit being buck, boost, etc, and using how many cells, of 1.2 to 4.2 volts for example each, and the cells might be in series, or in parallel, or partially in both, and with different resistors to adjust the amps, and so on.

    Comparing the brightness of LED by wattage would only be useful if, like light bulbs, they all shared the same source power...and circuitry etc.

    Of course, light bulbs of the same wattage can have very different outputs anyway...its only measuring what its using up, not what its putting out.

    A light bulb is really just putting out heat, with a small percentage of visible light for example, so for the same watt light bulb, one might put out a little more light and a little less heat.

    Better miles per gallon doesn't mean a vehical is slower or faster, just that its using less gas to get there.

    A motorcycle might get better mpg than a prius, but might also blow its doors off for example.

    Last edited by TEEJ; 11-21-2015 at 05:01 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: I wonder why flashlights aren't rated in mW or Watts instead of lux and lumens?

    Ok, thanks for the info, I guess I was just thinking old school like a car headlight being limited to 55W (low beam) .... and of course you could always buy something like a 65W aftermarket if you wanted a brighter light.

    It looks like LEDs are a whole different thing that can't go but the same rating system.
    Tint, schmint! as long as the thing lights up, I'm happy!

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    Default Re: I wonder why flashlights aren't rated in mW or Watts instead of lux and lumens?

    Actually they did used to advetise wattage of LED lights. Those were the dark ages....
    What kind of self respecting nocturnal being cannot see in the dark, one way or another?

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