Modern LED Lighting

Image from Bjorn Sorensen

Modern LED lighting can seem very complex. There's a litany of numbers and names to understand: color temperatures, lumens, and watts.

On the other hand, understanding modern LED lights can also be very simple: they either look good or they don't.

understanding led lightsHoltkoetter, makers of the self-described "ultimate lighting machines," recently introduced a great looking LED swing arm floor lamp (pictured above and below). Featuring two lighting levels, this energy efficient design is as beautiful as it is functional. And it's also the perfect piece to help illustrate what all the LED numbers and names mean. 

LED floor lamp

First, let's look at the product literature:

"Operated by a 2x dimmer switch, the lamp includes a mix of two 4 watt LEDs that put out 424 and 536 lumens, and have 3000K and 5000K color temperatures respectively."

Now, let's take a closer look at the terms:

The first general rule in lighting is more watts equals more light (and a subsequently bigger electrical bill). But not all bulb types produce the same brightness per watts used. So we look instead to lumens to get a sense of how bright a light is:

lumens to watts chart

Lumens is the light output, or measure of brightness of a given light. Because modern LED lights are so energy efficient, they require a much lower wattage to produce the same "brightness" or lumens as incandescent and CFL bulbs, as you see in the lumens-to-watts chart above. 

Still following? Lastly, we look at the color quality of the light.

For this we turn to color temperature. Measured in Kelvin (K), the lower the color temperature number, the "warmer" the light looks. Manufacturers will vary as to what they refer to as "warm", "daylight" and "bright white", so below is a simple LED color temperature chart to give you a sense of what color temperatures look like to the naked eye.

led color temperature chart

Image from Laura Cannon

RECAP: Lumens measures the brightness, color temperature measures color, and wattage measures the amount of electricity used. So with that in mind, let's get back to the Holtkoetter floor lamp mentioned at the beginning of the post.

With a satin nickel finish and versatile swing arm design, this sleek floor lamp meshes perfectly with most modern interiors, but what impresses us most is its multi-tone feature...its "mix of two 4 watt LEDS that put out 424 and 536 lumens, and have 3000K and 5000K color temperatures respectively."

By applying what we learned above, we now know that the lamp provides both warm morning (3000K) light (424 lumens), and bright midday (5000K) light (536 lumens). And best of all, at much less than 10 watts, it uses very little electricity to do so.

There are a lot of conflicting descriptions about LED lighting out there, but using the info above should serve as a general guide to help you make your next buying decision.

Want to see more? Check out all the latest looks in LED lighting from Euro Style Lighting.

Images: Bjorn SorensenLara Cannon on Pinterest