Lumens vs candlepower: How to know the brightness of a light

Skip to the comments that’s where the real info ended up ;)

Candlepower has been used for a long time to convey the brightness intensity and luminescence of flashlights and other lights. The only problem is that it is not a scientific measurement and has been used by some companies to grossly exaggerate the brightness of their lights with absurdly large “candlepower” numbers.

Lumens is a scientifically measured value that quality manufacturers, such as Pelican, use to give an exact value to their lights.

Lumens are measured (according to the video – see comments for more info) with a hollow sphere that captures all available light from the source. Then a calibrated light sensor is used to give an exact value that can be verified.

Lumens are the only measurement you can use and trust to give the true brightness of a light. So be sure to always check the lumens to know what you are buying.

The video above from Pelican describes lumens versus candle power measurements. (Please see the comments to shed some more light on the subject).