Lumen and candlepower ratings are often found on flashlights and spotlights. Unless you know what each of them means, you are likely to end up choosing the wrong one for your purpose. Therefore, in this ScienceStruck article, we shall tell you what both these terms imply, and also show you how to convert candlepower to lumen, and vice versa.
Very few artificial light-sources, such as a military flash-bomb, have the high candlepower rating of a narrow beam spotlight, while simultaneously having a very high lumen rating as well.
Be it for a nighttime trek through the jungles of Amazon, or just for a casual exploration of the haunted house in your neighborhood, the importance of having a capable flashlight for after-dark adventures simply cannot be undermined. But, from among the profusion of different flashlights out in the market, how do you pick out the best one? The answer to this question can be found in the luminous output of each individual flashlight.
Each light-source is designed to output light having a certain degree of luminosity. It is a direct indicator of the amount of light that the source can produce. Manufacturers express luminosity in terms of candlepower, lumen, or both. However, these two quantities don’t mean the same thing, and therefore, cannot be used interchangeably. A small conversion factor is involved in the process of changing one to another. But before we find out what it is, let’s get a clear understanding of what each of the terms ‘lumen’ and ‘candlepower’ imply.
Lumen and candlepower are used for measuring two different characteristics of a light source. If any one is known, the other can be approximated using the above method. This can allow you to create a lumen-to-candlepower conversion chart for different flashlights and spotlights, which you can then use to correctly pick the one most suitable for your application.