- LUX vs LUMENS? Why We Use LUX.
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LUX vs LUMENS? Why We Use LUX.
Many Boogey Lights® motorcycle lighting products show LUX values instead of Lumens. We do this because Lumens only measure the total amount of light output from a single light emitter. This Lumens value is deceiving because it does not provide information about how that light output is actually being used and seen. Lumens values do not equal the perceived light quality as it's entirely possible for a single light emitter to have a high Lumens value and yet not look very bright. LUX on the other hand measures the LIGHT INTENSITY which takes the area into account. LUX is the perfect measurement for determining what humans see as the brightness over a specified area. This is why for our LUX ratings we use a three foot square light box. We believe it to be a realistic real-world measurement of the light intensity. When it comes to LED accent lighting on motorcycles we believe flooding an area with an even glow of light provides a better overall look than spotlighting only selected areas.
PERHAPS MORE THAN YOU CARE TO KNOW
To understand the relationship between LUMENS and LUX it's important to understand you can't see lumens. Lumens are a measure of the total light sent out by a single light emitter. What you do see is the light that hits an object and bounces back to your eyes. The light you see is referred to as LUX. The brighter the object looks to you, the higher the LUX. The reality is that humans are not very good at judging brightness. This is because our eyes will confuse glare with brightness. A spot light for example will often look brighter to us than a flood light even though they both have the same lumens value.
Probably one of the best analogies we've seen that helps illustrate this difference is done using volume of water. Imagine water being represented as Lumens and the depth of that water represented as the brightness we see. The deeper the water, the brighter it looks. If you have a shot-glass full of water (eg, an inch deep), you'll easily see the brightness in the little glass. If however you dump that shot glass of water into a child's wading pool, that water will be spread very thinly across the bottom of the pool. Looking at the wading pool, the light will appear very dim. However looking at the shot glass, you'd say the light is bright. And yet they both contain exactly the same amount of water (Lumens). This is why using Lumens to measure light intensity is problematic. LUX takes into account the area that is being illuminated.
Why You Should Be Skeptical of Lumens Ratings
Complicating the LUX vs Lumens issue is the fact that most lumens ratings advertised are meaningless. They are presented solely for marketing purposes with no bearing whatsoever on the quality or intensity of the final lighting product. The dirty little secret is marketers will often advertise lumens values without knowing if those values are accurate or even relevant to the product they're selling. While the manufacturer of the LED emitter may provide a lumens value for one single LED used in the product assembly, that value often has no relevance to the finished product the customer receives. This is because virtually all accent lighting products made specifically for motorsports applications contain multiple LEDs attached to or embedded on or in a plastic housing and/or coated or encased with or in some additional substance. The manner in which the LED is mounted, configured, positioned and protected in the final product assembly absolutely impacts the ultimate level of brightness produced by the light assembly. By the time the product is brought to market the advertised lumens value has virtually zero relevance to the product the customer receives. This is why at Boogey Lights® all of our LUX ratings are done in the USA using a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certified light meter and light box on the final, fully assembled product we ship to our customers.