top of page
  • Writer's pictureFYRLYT

The '1 LUX reading a newspaper' myth exposed. Buying driving lights? Beware!

Whilst comparing lights you would probably be familiar with the '1LUX @ 'X' distance claim', a seemingly convincing diagram and what it implies. Most light brands do it. Media and salespeople share it (in good faith) because they believe it assists you. Say or repeat anything often enough and quickly it can become a 'truth' even if it is deceptive or a lie. By the end of this article you may well reconsider how you choose any light in the future or how this played into influencing a previous purchase.


What is 'LUX'?

A very basic definition: "A unit of illumination equal to the direct illumination on a surface that is everywhere one meter from a uniform point source of one candle intensity or equal to one lumen per square meter." Read more -

Why FYRLYT chooses not to use this style of marketing.

Simple. It is potentially deceptive without full context. It is designed to have you believing you are getting something of huge benefit you are not. This 'factoid' hype has been standard practice in marketing driving lights and spotlights for over two decades. This is amplified by media fuelled by advertising revenue perpetuating this misinformation.

Where it begins. At the 'LAB'.

Data is laboratory generated indoors at close distance in a controlled clean air environment. The '1 LUX' is an extrapolated hypothetical peak measurement (rarely across the beam of any meaningful volume relative to driving). Hold that thought as it gets worse.

Why is the test not in real world conditions?

Simple. The claimed 'X' distance in most cases would never be achieved. Why? Due to air quality variations (moisture, dust etc) and the TYNDALL effect of light scattering.

A typical laboratory test does not consider the properties of the wavelength of the light in these conditions. This is a big problem with many LEDs used in automotive lighting and their typical short wavelength. It is a basic principle of physics that shorter wavelengths will be more easily scattered (ie less distance) than longer wavelengths. Read more re Tyndall, Rayleigh, mie etc:

Happening right now as you read this.

"Yes sir/madam, these lights will give you 1 lux at 1500 metres plus!" Familiar? Did it influence your purchasing decision? We would recommend to take note of this 'sales pitch' and not purchase in that moment before doing more research. What you have been just told is nothing more than snake oil. However, don't blame the salesperson or store. More on that below...

The embarrassing truth re 1 LUX claims.

How much light is '1 LUX' in reality? You were perhaps told it is enough to read a newspaper? How many LUX is actually the accepted standard for reading a newspaper? Let's go to a reputable source. such as the www.electrical-engineering What are the accepted standards? Remember you were told 1 LUX!

  • OFFICE - 300 LUX



  • SALES AREA - 300 LUX

  • LIBRARY / READING ROOM - 300 to 500 LUX

When marketing hype just goes too far. Literally.

There are lights with marketing claims re .25LUX (1/4 of a single LUX) at patently ridiculous distances. When we were made aware of this we were speechless as it was a well known brand. We took the opportunity to quiz people calling us as to their experiences when purchasing lights. Salespeople in a store are only doing their job and expected to have a knowledge of a huge portfolio of products. Realistically they can do no more than take in good faith what brands share in their marketing materials and relay it to you in the hope of convincing you to buy that product.

Overstated by how much?

The '1 LUX' claim is exaggerated by a factor of 50 to 300+ times. FYRLYT believes this is unacceptable. You are being misled with a construct and benefit that is simply not true or relevant. Where this sits with consumer law is concerning and at the very least a lawyers junket. Think about it. If you bought a car with a claimed power output, towing capacity or fuel economy of 'X' and it was say even just 50% of what was claimed? How would you feel about that brand or experts credibility?

The sucker punch of reality. It get's worse...

Consider this scenario.

  • It is night time. You go to a straight 2km / 1 mile stretch of road.

  • You drop your friend at the end of the road with a candle and a box of matches. (Remember the diagram at the top of this article?) They light the candle, walk away 1 metre and they are now illuminated by approximately 1 LUX.

  • You now drive back to the claimed distance of say 1650 metres a brand has claimed for a pair of their lights.

  • Now turn on your lights. What do you really think you are going to see? Even in the brightest sunlight do you really believe you could even see your friend at 1.65km? However there you are, fixated staring down the road, having been told that 1 LUX or 1 candle at 1.65km is somehow magical! It is absurd.

If safety is your priority? Go beyond the white daylight hype.

It is never been easier or cheaper to design a LED or hybrid light with huge output and perceived brightness. You have a LED CRI of typically 70 or less (no clip on filter can fix that btw) FYRLYT has 100 CRI. Your LED has increased glare from the TYNDALL effect with its short wavelength and you probably have the BIG ISSUE of foreground and midground glare. Newbies or you mates maybe impressed but for real touring and long term use they are far from ideal. Think about it. With all that blinding close proximity white light in the most important part of your field of view at 100km/h, what effect is it having on your pupils and fatigue? What relevance does seeing a road sign or road markers at 2km really have? It is actually distracting you from what is important! For some who were convinced to spend big money this is a bitter pill to even acknowledge.

Oh the irony.

So there you are on a dark desert road, you dip your lights for oncoming traffic or to avoid a reflective road sign. What happens in the following milliseconds? This is the dark adaptation phase and is often when the worst can happen with dire consequences. It is no joke or laughing matter. When compared to a halogen light of equal brightness and volume, short wavelength (typical LED) biased light increases your reaction time and increases fatigue. Hardly ideal is it? Yet this is what you are told. Is the science wrong? No. No it is not.

Why FYRLYT is different.

Our lights are designed on first design principles to deliver a light output at its maximum potential for its specific purpose. FYRLYT stands alone in considering how vital it is to consider human physiology and how we see at night. Every light source type (HID, LED, hybrid, laser) was and is currently considered. Trends of technology are only ever a starting point however FYRLYT's current design is without peer. We look back over a decade and whilst many thought we were behind it would appear we were ahead where it counted. Maximising your driving safety and night vision under white light.

Still sceptical? Good.

We encourage and support constructive discussions but if you are going to enter into a Facebook debate or other forum at least share some verifiable evidence to be considered as the world is over the phenomena of Dunning Kruger type opinions.

The proof is what do our customers think?

FYRLYT after a decade is continuing to gain more and more customers who have only ever used HID or LED lights from cheap entry level to lights over $1500+. They have made the switch to FYRLYT due to being dissatisfied over time with the various deficiencies of other types of light, particularly for long distance sustained use. Read their FEEDBACK HERE.

The FYRLYT pledge.

Are we for everyone? No. However if you are serious about driving lights, truck lights or spotlights, you are personally invited to chat with Paul or David our designers direct with any questions and no obligation. At least be informed so you can make a decision that you will not regret. If another type of light, even if LED or HID would serve your needs better we will tell you. We remain focused on premium core product design, no knick knacks, frivolous giveaway bonuses or distractions. Everything we do is based on FACT not FICTION.

Welcome to the CAMPFYR.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page