If you’ve been browsing your local lighting aisle or online stores you’ve probably come across the terms Candlepower and Lumens printed on the side of light bulb packages. Don’t worry, the product inside is the same.
With these new units of luminous intensity and luminous flux, we can more accurately measure the intensity of the lights, instead of only relying on their wattage, which tells us how much energy they will consume.
But what do they both mean, and how are they different?
How can you understand these units to make more informed choices about your lighting?
Keep reading to find out!
- Which is Brighter: Lumens or Candlepower?
- What is the Difference Between Candlepower and Lumens?
- What is Candlepower?
- What are Lumens?
- How Do You Convert Candlepower to Lumens?
- How Many Lumens is a 2 Million Candlepower Spotlight?
- What Lumen is Daylight?
- How Many Lumens is a Car Headlight?
- What is the Brightest Flashlight in the World?
- Wrapping Things Up
Which is Brighter: Lumens or Candlepower?
One Candlepower is brighter than One Lumen.
Lumens and Candlepower are units of measurement that define how bright a light is, so one is not brighter than the other. Instead, they use different measurements to explain the luminosity of light. One Candlepower represents more light than one Lumen does, making one Candlepower brighter.
One reason for this is because Candlepowers measure how intense light is in a specific direction, or it’s concentration, like a spotlight. Lumens, however, measure how bright light is in the area around the light source, like a lamp.
Since light sources measured in Candlepower, like spotlights, need an intense amount of light to illuminate something at a distance, one unit of Candlepower is brighter.
What is the Difference Between Candlepower and Lumens?
Candlepower measures light intensity and Lumens measure brightness.
When driving your car or going deep sea diving, it’s most important to be able to see what’s straight ahead of you. Your headlights’ intensity must be measured correctly to ensure that you can clearly see in the direction you’re heading.
This is where Candlepower comes into play. Candlepower accurately measures how intense a light will be in a distinct direction.
Lumens are used to measure how bright a wider area will be, like your bedroom. You don’t need one intense light source by your bed at night. Instead, you need to estimate how bright space will be with one or several lights.
What is Candlepower?
Candlepower is a unit of measurement for light concentration.
Candlepower, or CP, is a unit of luminous intensity, defining how intense light is in a specific direction. Candlepower is also sometimes referred to as Candela, originating from the brightness of a single candle.
This unit is commonly used to measure intense light sources, like car headlights. However, that does not mean that lights measured in Candlepower do not light up a broader area.
Instead, Candlepower offers a more specific assessment of how much light radiates directly from the source. As an example, think of how bright a candle’s actual flame is, rather than how bright it makes the room.
What are Lumens?
Lumens are a unit of measurement for light brightness.
Lumens, or lm, are a unit of luminous flux, measuring how bright a light is. Whereas Candlepower is used to measure light in a specific direction, Lumens define how bright a general area is.
This is why Lumens are commonly used for lamps and overhead lights, since instead of their individual intensity being important, it’s their overall brightness. You can also add up the Lumens from several lights to calculate how bright a room will be.
Nowadays, most light bulb packages will state how many Lumens a single bulb will give off in addition to its wattage. Together, these units inform you of how bright, and how energy efficient, your room is going to be.
How Do You Convert Candlepower to Lumens?
1 Candlepower is equal to 12.57 Lumens.
Since Lumens and Candlepower measure light in different capacities, converting them is not always possible. But, if a lamp, lightbulb, or flashlight is measured in Candlepower, it’s measuring the “spherical Candlepower”. In this case, we can convert this spherical Candlepower into Lumens.
One Candlepower equals 12.57 Lumens, so you have to multiply the amount of Candlepower by 12.57. For example, 100 Candlepower is equal to 1257 Lumens.
Converting Lumens to Candlepower would require the opposite calculation, meaning you have to divide the amount of Lumens by 12.57 to calculate its Candlepower. From our example above,1257 Lumens divided by 12.57 is 100, meaning 1257 is equal to 100 Candlepower.
Be aware that Candlepower can only be accurately converted to Lumens in specific situations since they measure different outputs.
How Many Lumens is a 2 Million Candlepower Spotlight?
A 2 million Candlepower spotlight gives off 250 Lumens of light.
A high-powered spotlight is a perfect example of how converting Candlepower to Lumens can get tricky. These spotlights give off an intense ray of light, but the brightness they deliver in all directions is overall lower.
Be aware that these numbers will vary depending on the spotlight’s make and model.
What Lumen is Daylight?
Daylight is between 109,000 and 120,000 Lumens.
The amount of Lumens in daylight varies on the time of day, and the sun’s position. If you’re standing in the brightest direct sunlight you can expect a Lumen rating of 120,000. Other times when the sun is not as intense, daylight has around 109,000 Lumens.
When the sky is overcast and rainy, there are only around 1,500 Lumens of light.
How Many Lumens is a Car Headlight?
Car headlights typically have around 2,000 to 4,000 Lumens.
Car headlights need to be particularly bright to ensure the driver’s safety. You’ll find that most car’s headlights have around 2,000 to 4,000 Lumens.
Lighting regulations will vary depending on your country of residence, but it’s important for them not to exceed 4,000 Lumens to avoid blinding oncoming drivers, and causing an accident.
You may also find that some car headlights are measured in Candlepower.
What is the Brightest Flashlight in the World?
The MS18 is the world’s brightest flashlight.
Coming in at 100,000 Lumens, the MS18 is the world’s brightest flashlight. This heavy-duty light weighs 67 ounces, or 1.9 kilograms.
It’s also waterproof and has an internal cooling system to protect the user’s hand from the flashlight’s heat.
Just make sure not to flash it directly at anyone’s eyes, or they could be temporarily blinded.
Wrapping Things Up
Now that you have a deeper understanding of Lumens and Candlepower, you’re ready to head out and make more informed lighting choices!
Remember, Candlepower measures intensity and Lumens measure brightness. Together, they provide key information about a light source’s luminous intensity and flux.
How’s your experience been with understanding Lumens and Candlepower?
Let us know in the comments below!
Yesenia Achlim is a technical copywriter and editor with a focus on AV equipment. She aims to break down complicated topics and make technology accessible, no matter your technical expertise. When she’s not teaching you how to replace a projector lamp, you can find her reading and baking.