Lumens? I'm confused... - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Lumens? I'm confused...

When I go to the Diode Dynamics site, I understand the color but I am confused by the "bulb model". For example, with the dome light, what is the difference between SMF2 (24 lumens) and HP6 (130 lumens)? Is the HP6 really almost 7 times brighter? That doesn't make sense. I don't want the map and dome lights to blind me, but certainly, want some good light. Probably safest to go with the first option listed with all of the LED lights? Will go with cool white with everything if I can.

Thanks everyone,

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 06:06 AM
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Lumens is the total amount of light put out but it does not mean useful brightness. Let me explain.

A household lightbulb might put out 1,100 lumens but the light is scattered in a 360 degree circle so it's really not overwhelming to your eyes even though it's a lot of lumens.

Add a reflector or a focused housing, such as a headlight or a flashlight, and now those lumens are concentrated and 1,100 lumens is very bright. You might see the term candlepower and that refers to the single brightest spot in a source of light.

That leads to light manufacturers arguing and pushing their products by saying their products make a lot of lumens v. a super high candlepower rating. Think of it as useful light v brightest spot of light but the desirability of each depends on application.

Lumen numbers can be deceiving until you look at the housing and see how much reflectivity it has in your intended use.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rub for the explanation, much appreciated. That said, now I am even more unsure of which to get for the dome and map light! Safe to say the SMF2 (24 lumens) will be plenty bright while the HP6 (130 lumens) might be "too bright"? Anyone have either of these for their dome map, or cargo lights?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:16 AM
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I went with the DD warm white HPs for the dome and map lights, HP5 pure white for the door & trunk lights. Very happy with the brightness and color.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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19Outback, thank you. You went with the HP6? Do you think it is too bright at all?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 10:49 AM
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nope. By going warm white it takes some of the white glare off, but not the 'brightness'.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 10:58 AM
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If both bulbs are the correct size and fit, I would suggest 130 lumen for dome and cargo and the 24 lumen for the map lights based on experience with lumen ratings on LED flashlights (while not equal, it gives me some relative comparison). Definitely 130 for the cargo. I consider the cargo light as task lighting.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 01:19 PM
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Lumens are useful in a lab where the conditions are super regimented as a stand alone figure.

but they are only useful for consumers for relative comparisons, not for raw measurement outside of a lab.

So if you are shopping LEDs to replace an incandescent, its helpful to compare their lumens to give a relative idea of the potential light output, but not to make an objective statement like "this will be twice as bright as that".
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 01:32 PM
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also, +1 for @Diode Dynamics products. I've liked mine so far.

get them in this thread too.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Mallard View Post
Lumens are useful in a lab where the conditions are super regimented as a stand alone figure.

but they are only useful for consumers for relative comparisons, not for raw measurement outside of a lab.

So if you are shopping LEDs to replace an incandescent, its helpful to compare their lumens to give a relative idea of the potential light output, but not to make an objective statement like "this will be twice as bright as that".

Yes, the sphere of measurement.

I get a kick out of flashlight manufacturers tauting their lumens rating - it doesn't mean squat since it's just a number but not a very complete one. The same with candlepower figures since that could be a defective beam with that one brightspot that gives a high number.

And the runtime figures on flashlights are a farce too since "industry standards" allow for total runtime to get the light down to 10% of the rated output. For the most part that means you could have a 800 lumen initial output that steps down to 600 within a minute, holds there for a bit then decreases down to 10% but all the consumer focuses on is the initial lumen rating.

Malkoff on the other hand, does steady regulated runtime figures at full output although they have some that start off high and drop right away but for the most part, their numbers are very accurate, if not conservative.

I ranted on there for a bit but that's what happens when I eat hummus and drink caffeine together.

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