How bright is 500 lumens? Just what is that level of light good for? We give you real life applications and comparisons to help you understand what levels of brightness certain quantities of lumens will deliver.
Table of Contents
A Lumen is a measure of the total amount of light emitted from a source.
500 lumens means the light has the intensity of 500 lumens of light.
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 to use as your comparison.
Lumens is the unit measurement of brightness, with 1 lumen (lm) equalling the brightness of 1 candle, so 500 lumens has the brightness of 500 candles.
500 lm is a good level of light for LED, CFL or incandescent lighting. It’s suitable for recessed lighting, downlighting, up lighting and within pendants.
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The brightness of a 500 lm LED bulb is in the higher region of standard output GU10 LED lamps. It provides a bright light and can be used for most general lighting needs around the home.
A 500 lumen flashlight is bright enough for great for close up work either indoors or outdoors and suitable for outdoor walking, fishing, hunting and for keeping in your car ready for emergencies. As with all lighting, the wider the beam of a flashlight the less intense the light will be and therefore feel less bright. The narrower the beam the more concentrated the light will be.
The brightness of an 500 lm torch (British for flashlight) is the power of light of 500 candles. This level is regarded as a low to medium level of torch suitable for more close up indoor and outdoor tasks and typically found in a penlight style.
The brightness of a 500 lumen bike light is a bright level of cycle headlight and suitable for cycling in lit and unlit areas. You will always see where you are going with that amount of light concentrated through it’s focused beam angle. Cyclists as commuters need to be seen by other road users, including in lit roads, and will benefit from this level of output.
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 500 lumens then it can illuminate that area to roughly 50 lux (depending on the reflectivity of surfaces in the room).
LED light is directional and very efficiently delivers light compared to other lighting sources. This amount of light is distributed with minimal wastage and creates a brighter intensity on a surface than other technologies producing the same amount of illumination.
LED light when a cool white color temperatures of 4000K to 6500K will feel brighter with the same amount of light when compared to the warmer yellowish tones of warm white.
For an average sized room in your home, anything up to around 500 lumens is not going to feel bright enough as a good general level of light. If you are looking for a brighter light then it will be necessary to consider more than one bulb or lamp up to 1000 to 2000 lumens for a living room. If you are looking for an ambient lighting level with no main source of light then anything up to 500 lumens would be acceptable.
We have more on How Much Lighting Do I Need for A Room?
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The distance light will travel depends on how the light is being delivered, particularly the beam angle of the light and it’s intensity. The more compactly the lumens are delivered the further the distance will be.
For example, a flashlight with 500 lumens with a tight beam angle has a peak illumination of 30,000 candela delivering light up to around 346 metres at no less than 0.25 lux. (using throw = SQRT (candela * 4)
A 500 lumen head torch is adecent brightness for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. This level of output provides a longer lasting battery life when compared to other other models with higher outputs.
An 500 lumen security light is bright in the middle of its beam and will easily illuminate the areas around your home. However, we recommend using Twin versions to double up the output and space them apart approximately 15 ft apart.
A 500 lumen projector is bright enough for most business presentations from a mini projector and will provide a clear image on screens or walls in well lit rooms. In dark rooms, the output may appear dimmer due to light being absorbed.
A 600 lumen LED downlight is a good level of light bright enough for most homes and regarded as a more professional lvel of output providing a good beam of light. This level of output is recommended up to ceiling heights of 9ft high.
When considering the conversion of 500 lumens to watts, you need to consider the type of bulb or light source you are using.
The greater the efficiency of energy spent (Watts) to create the light (lumens) the less power will be used and therefore a lower wattage as the result.
|Brightness in LUMENS||220+ lumens||400+ lumens||700+ lumens||900+ lumens||1300+ lumens|
Useful comparative measurements often asked:
Lux can only be measured by knowing the distance and the area the lumens have to travel to.
500 lumens is 500 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 degree of kelvin as the light seems colder and brighter to the viewer.
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 500 lm would be less than 500 candela with the candela only quantified if the angle of beam width is known.
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