When replacing one light source with another, you need a medium of exchange, and lumens exist to serve as that medium. However, LEDs may be the end for the old faithful lumen. In practice we’ve found it to be a significantly inaccurate indicator of brightness where LEDs are concerned.
Integrated LED products are relatively new to the marketplace, appear to be the future, and may or may not be a good idea. We’ll evaluate three major lighting applications that are seeing an influx of integrated options—track lighting, downlights, and troffers—for what they cost, what the products mean for users, and where we recommend using LED lamps versus integrated LED fixtures.
The industry uses a measure called the "lumen" to measure light volume across light sources. Based on our installations, we believe the better quality the light, the "brighter" a lumen appears. Here we'll explore why we think the lumen fails to indicate brightness properly where LEDs are concerned and what we do about it.