Luminous Efficacy

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  • This page lists the Luminous Efficacy of various light sources
  • Main units are

Carbon Air Arc

  • ~2-7 Lm/W
  • ~0.29-1% efficiency
  • VERY obsolete
  • No longer in active development

Incandescent Lights

  • ~5-25 Lm/W
  • 0.7-3.5% efficiency
  • Considered Obsolete in most use cases
  • No longer in active development

Gas Discharge

  • ~30-78 Lm/W
  • ~4.4-11.4%
  • Still common in projector lamps and vehicle headlight, although they are being phased out for LED
  • No longer in active development


  • ~36-104.2 Lm/W
  • ~9-15.62%
  • Still common, but are being slowly phased out by led in most applications
  • No longer in active development

Gas Discharge

  • ~2-200 Lm/W
  • ~0.3-29%
  • Being replaced by either LEDs, Laser Diodes, or Sulfur Lamps depending on application

Electrodeless Gas Discharge / Sulfur Lamps

  • Still barely developed, so may be higher in the future
  • ~100 Lm/W
  • ~15%
  • Also for the numbers there are not many in this category yet, so little averaging, also the current sources are almost SOLELY very high output
  • May never be fully developed, future uncertain


  • ~102-300 Lm/W
  • ~20.3-43.9 Lm/W
  • Granted these scale from pixels to ~3cm chips and not much larger
  • Also this technology is mostly developed, but new phosphors etc may increase the efficacy slightly
  • Technology is being actively developed

See Also

Useful Links

  • The Wikipedia Page on Light Efficacy data was gathered from here, and thus may be only semi accurate. for most uses it should work (quick glance/comparison) feel free to add more data