How bright is 200 lumens? A common question for those who are considering how to light their house or buy a flashlight. We give you real life applications and comparisons to help you understand what levels of brightness certain quantities of lumens will deliver.
When you are looking for how bright a certain light bulb will be, whether it is LED, CFL or incandescent – the number of lumens is what you need. In this article we’ll give some easy to understand comparisons.
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Before we go any further we’ll explain what the lumen is – as this is sometimes misunderstood by those who aren’t familiar with lighting terms. A Lumen total (lm) is a measure of the total amount of light emitted from a source. 200 lumens means the light has the intensity of 200 lumens.
It is often confused with lux, which measures how much light actually reaches a surface and how big that surface is, measuring it at the point you are considering lighting.
Lumens are essentially the unit measurement of brightness, with 1 lumen equalling the brightness of 1 candle. So 200 lumens has the brightness of 200 candles.
That may seem a lot of light, can you imagine how bright a 200 candle cake would seem? However, if you have lit the candles of a birthday cake in a room with the lights on, the impact of the candles are greatly reduced as the contrast is less with the surroundings.
200 Lumens is a low level of light for LED, CFL or incandescent lighting. It’s suitable for reading and more decorative accent lighting but not much else. For more practical uses you would want to go up to around 500 lumens minimum before it becomes effective enough in most cases.
The brightness of a 200 lumen flashlight will provide a far reaching beam of light as all the illumination is focused and directed forwards and efficiently by it’s design. If the beam width can be adjusted then the wider the beam the less intense the light will be and feel less bright. The tighter the concentration of light from a narrower beam, the same amount will feel brighter and travel further.
Most tactical torches are in the range of 100 to 1000+ lumens nowadays with 200 being one of the most popularly requested models
The brightness of a 200 lumen torch (British for flashlight) is the power of light of 200 candles. A typical 200 lumen torch is suitable for hunting, sailing, hiking and tactical tasks. It is regarded as a bright level of torch.
The brightness of a 200 lumen bike light will be brighter than a standard cycle headlight to the extent that you’ll always see where you are going, although it is still not as bright as some other lights on high end bikes. It won’t give enough light for night time mountain biking but should be fine in urban areas and well lit areas.
The amount of light created remains the constant but it’s feeling of brightness is heightened with the stark contrast of darkness surrounding it. 200 lm therefore feels brighter in the dark.
If you are looking for how bright a room is in lumens, then the answer will depend on many factors. If it’s an office environment with light coloured walls and high ceilings – at least 500 to 1000 lumen per square meter may be required depending on what activities take place in that space.
If it’s in a kitchen environment with darker walls and no windows then at least 200 to 350 lumen per square meter might be necessary.
To compare how much light you get with different lumens levels, imagine a one by one meter room. If the room has an incandescent bulb which emits 200 lumens then it can illuminate that area to roughly 20 lux (depending on the reflectivity of surfaces in the room). With most household LED lights now being up to 400-500 lumens each, they are enough to light up the room with around 50-60 lux.
LED light is directed wherever it needs to go very efficiently. This amount of light is therefore distributed with little wastage and creates a bright intensity.
LED also can create a cool white color temperatures of 4000K and above that will feel brighter with the same amount of light when compared to the warmer yellowish tones of 2700K warm white.
If you are considering how bright is 200 lumens then this depends on what you are trying to use it for. For reading purposes a light of around 250-300lumens will be enough to read by – but if looking at more decorative lighting effects with less power, such as table lamps or decorative torches, then a lower level of 200 lumens may be fine.
Solar lights that emit around 200-300 lumens are good enough to light your garden path or driveway up well at night, but not bright enough if you want to illuminate large spaces like gardens with trees and shrubs.
A 200 lumen head torch is usually the best choice for general outdoor activities such as camping, hiking and trekking. The additional brightness means that you can see more of what’s around you while still enjoying a wide field of view because your eyes aren’t focusing on something close by.
A 200 lumen camping lantern is powerful enough to light up your whole camp if you set it near the center, but won’t blind people immediately next to it like some models do which output over 500 lumens for example. You can also use them as reading lamps or outdoors during power outages for example.
An energy efficient 200 lumen LED bulb is a low level of light, well under a 40W incandescent light. Very suitable for candle shaped LED bulbs in chandeliers and wall lights as the light output is sufficient but not blinding so can be used as a decorative lamp.
An 200 lumen LED strip is powerful enough to light up your whole room for example, but don’t expect it to project like a spotlight or projector would since they are designed differently and have different applications. These lights can be used in many ways; i.e.: TV backlights or under kitchen cabinets.
When you are looking at lighting, the wattage of a bulb usually follows lumens – i.e. a 100W incandescent lamp will give off around 1300-1400 lumens for example. This is because it’s not always possible to keep increasing lumen output while maintaining similar efficiencies as we get to more powerful light sources.
So for LED, CFL and incandescent lighting the wattage will increase with lumens (to an extent). When it comes to flashlights however you must pay attention to both lumen levels AND the power source used – since this can vary greatly; i.e.: AAA vs AA battery powered torches.
When considering how bright a luminaire is in watts you need to consider the type of light source.
A flashlight that emits 400 lumens is literally twice as bright than one that emits 200 lumens and therefore will be able to shine further. The 200 lumen flashlight will be better for close range tasks and the 400 lumens can reach further into the distance.
What do you get if you double the light output from 200 lumens to 400 lumens? The answer of course depends on how it’s measured but generally around 100% increase – so doubling the light output.
A more compact way to get light is by using energy efficient lighting solutions such as CFL bulbs. Using these types will mean not having to worry about how much power they use and you can find CFL bulbs that emit around 200 lumens per watt. They are very efficient and last a long time, but don’t produce as much light as an LED bulb would for example which emits around 75 Lumen/Watt.
How Bright is a 200 Lumens Tactical LED Torch, Camping Lantern or Bicycle Light Bike Lamp?
Common comparative measurements:
Lux can only be measured by knowing the distance and the area the lumens have to travel to.
200 lumens is 200 candela. ie 200 candles.
A degree of kelvin is the unit of measurement for color temperature, therefore there is no direct comparison with kelvin to lumen. However, an impression of brightness will increase with a high number of kelvin as the light seems colder, fresher and brighter to the brain.
Lumens and Candela. Lumens is the total amount of light from a fixture. Candela is how much of that light from a fixture shines in one direction. So 200 lumens would be less than 200 candela with the candela only quantified if the angle of beam width is known.
Andrew Orange , the owner of Orange Lighting qualified and worked as an interior designer in 1993 before specialising in lighting working on high profile projects based in London. Since starting Orange Lighting Ltd in 2003 he has been sharing his knowledge and unique teaching style mostly to his designer clients, offering practical real life advice born from running a busy consultancy and lighting supply business. Launching in 2020, his blog has evolved into Quick & Easy Lighting, curating some 25 years design experience into making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all.