How many watts for which type of light modifier?

Started Sep 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
Hugowolf Forum Pro • Posts: 12,674
Please, it is watt-seconds or joules, not watts

It is watt-seconds or joules, not watts. And it definitely isn’t watts per second or W/s, which would be physically very strange.

Watts make absolutely no sense for flash lighting. Watts are joules per second, or energy per unit time. Continuous lighting is rated in watts, because the rate at which it uses energy over time is an important measure.

I don’t know why studio lighting manufactures use watt-seconds instead of joules, but the two are equivalent. I’m sure if they were labeled in joules it would less confusing.

The abbreviation for watt-seconds is Ws. The W is capitalized because it is named after a person, James Watt. The ‘s’ isn’t, because it wasn’t named after a person. However, when not abbreviated, watts are spelt with a lowercase ‘w’.

Brian A

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