Is there a simple way to compare IR Illuminators equally?


Active Member
Nov 21, 2013
I want to have an equal comparison, apples to apples. I'm looking at 850nm IR lights. With regular lights, a 60W isn't as bright as a 65W. I'm told by one IR seller his 3 watt is brighter than a 5w by company X. So I went to mW as in milliwatts and again am being told, dont look at the mW because company Z sells a 1070mW that's brighter than company W 1500mW.
Watts, mW, Lumens, Come on, there has to be a way of knowing which companies IR light is shining brighter than the others.

Is there a simple way to compare IR illuminator brightness or output?
Last edited:

Double Naught Spy

Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2012
Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
No, there is no way to compare the lights equally based on the claimed properties of each. First of all, a lot of the companies fudge their numbers and even when they don't, you can't compare against companies that do.

You can read more about specifics of comparisons on the, but suffice it to say, a lot changes based on how well the light is directed toward your target. You have some IR lights that offer a huge flood view and others that offer a tight beam. Depending on your needs, the tight beam may get you better distance, especially in foliage rich areas (which often reflects back a lot of the light) than flood beams.