How many lumens do I really need?

April 29,2020


While buying your next flashlight, one of the key factors you need to consider is its lumen count. The lumen count of your flashlight determines how much light you are able to get out of the flashlight. What do lumens represent? The term lumen was derived from luminous flux and is an SI unit that represents the total amount of visible light emitted by a light source per unit of time. That means a flashlight or bulb with more lumens will emit more light than one with fewer lumens. 

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Tips for choosing a flashlight with the lumens you need

While buying a flashlight, the main thing to consider are the usage scenarios. Someone going to hike at night will likely need a flashlight with more lumens than someone who needs one to use as an emergency solution when grid power is off at their home. Below are some of the common flashlight usage scenarios and the ideal number of lumens for each.

Close up tasks (less than 100m)
If you are going to use your flashlight for close-up tasks such as searching for a lost item in your house, you don’t really need a flashlight with a very high lumens count. For such tasks, a flashlight with 10 to 20 lumens will always do the job. Such a flashlight can emit through a distance of up to 100m.

Household and basic outdoor activities (Up to 120m)
For those who need a flashlight to use at home and basic outdoor activities, a flashlight with about 20 to 150 lumens is good enough. This kind of flashlight can emit light visible to up to 120 meters.

Beyond basic outdoor activities (Up to 250m)
If you need a flashlight to use for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or security, then one with about 160 to 200 lumens will do the job. Such a flashlight can project light through a distance of up to 250 meters.

Extreme outdoor activities and industrial use (Up to 300m)
For those going for extreme outdoor activities, including Caving and hunting, you need a flashlight of up to 1000 lumens. This kind of flashlight is also ideal for large factories and manufacturing plants that usually have night operations. A flashlight with 1000 lumens can project light through a distance of up to 300m, making it ideal for most extreme tasks.

Choose the suitable Lumens for you.

Use any of the four scenarios above to determine the ideal lumen count for the flashlight you need. You should also bear in mind that the lumen count will affect the price of the flashlight. So, don’t spend more money buying one with a high lumen count, yet you intend to use it for indoor tasks only. That’s overkill and a waste of money. So, know why you need the flash it first; it will be easier to determine the ideal lumen count of the flashlight. 

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