|From the Paul C. Buff web site:
Quantity of electrical energy is measured in Wattseconds, also known as Joules. This rating defines the amount of electrical power discharged with each flash. While the actual amount of light produced for a given number of wattseconds varies, depending on the unit's design, the term provides a reasonable guide to comparative light output, as long as real/true wattseconds are specified. In the conversion of Watts to Lumens, or Wattseconds to Lumenseconds, the efficacy of the system determines how much light will result from a given number of wattseconds. The poor efficiency in this conversion by manufactures has given rise to the term Effective Wattseconds. If one flash system converts 400 Wattseconds of energy into 16,000 Lumenseconds of light, and another flash system converts 800 Wattseconds of energy into 16,000 Lumenseconds of light, then the first system could claim to have "800 Effective Wattseconds" as it is effectively producing the same amount of light as a system starting with 800 True Wattseconds. The Effective Wattseconds rating, however, is rather arbitrary and cannot be easily proven true or untrue, as it is merely used as a basis for inflated comparison of different flash systems.
Message edited by author 2005-10-28 17:45:49.