Since the Light Emitting Diode (LEDs) lights have burst onto the scene in recent years, there's now a lot of attention on this subject in the off-roading community.
Getting quality, bright off-road lights used to be reserved for those shelling out hundreds of dollars per light. But with LEDs coming onto the scene, even those with modest budgets can get great performance lights at an acceptable cost.
However - not every LED light is treated equally. There's a reason some are brighter than others...
What is a Lumen?
In layman's terms, a lumen is a unit of measurement that represented the amount of light emitted in a second. (You can find a super science-y definition here)
Knowing this unit of measurement allows you to buy lights just like you'd buy most other projects - by the amount.
If you want a brighter light - buy one that outputs more lumens.
You want dimmer? Less lumens.
What about Watts?
A watt is the unit of measurement of how much energy a light needs. This used to be a good indication of how much actual light a bulb would put out - but times have changed!
Technology has advanced to the point that lower-wattage lights produce way more light than their older, higher-wattage counterparts.
To better understand the relationship between Watts and Lumens, watch this video from the Department of Energy:
Why Should I care about Lumens?
If you're in the market to replace your old Jeep Wrangler TJ/JK headlights, be sure to buy lumens not watts.
To do this, you just need to do some research. Before buying, read the product page to see if they list lumens. Don't be fooled by the wattage specs, because there are still level's of efficiency within LEDs. That efficiency usually comes at a cost as well.
When you do decide to buy some LED lights for your Wrangler, do some quick math to understand the best deal:
Here's a fool-proof way to understand the type of deal you're getting on all your LED lights.
Cost / lumens = cost-per-lumen
Alternatively, we've already done some of that work for you...
You'll easily see which are the best deals, even if it's not our lights.
(We're cool like that.)