LED Efficacy vs. Luminaire Efficacy and Why it Matters
When searching for a new LED fixture, there are two particular terms that seem to be thrown around like they were interchangeable with one another. LED efficacy and luminaire efficacy, while similar, measure two very different things.
LED Efficacy vs. Luminaire Efficacy
LED efficacy measures how efficiently a LED chip performs. This is generally the highest statistic in most LED-based lighting solutions, as LED circuits have been shown in laboratories to produce more than 200% LED efficacy by making use of subatomic vibrations, which in turn allows them to produce more light than electricity that they consume.
Luminaire efficacy refers to how efficient the entire lighting fixture is. It measures the efficiency ratio of the total amount of lumens output by the luminaire to the amount of electricity required to power the light fixture. This factors in everything, which includes integrated LEDs and any other electronic devices that may have a lower efficiency than the LED chip itself.
The distinct difference between these two measurements is that one measures only the LED while the other measures the entire fixture. This means that luminaire efficacy will be more important to you when comparing different lighting solutions.
The Bottom Line Concerning LED Lighting Efficiency
While LED efficacy can be a factor that you use to compare the efficiency of two similar LED luminaires, the net output of the lumens versus the amount of electricity required to create those lumens is what you should focus on. This will provide you with a way to not only compare LED lighting solutions from different companies, but to also compare different types of lighting solutions, such as CFL bulbs, to LED lights.
If you’re not as worried about obtaining the most efficient light possible, then your focus should shift to the net lumens that a bulb outputs. This will determine how bright the fixture is, which can be used as a general rule of thumb when shopping for a brighter, energy-efficient lighting solution.