How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting: A Useful Guide on LED Lights

How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting

If you are one of those homeowners who are conscious about curb appeal, good outdoor lighting must be equally important to you just as good landscaping is. These lights do not only give that dramatic look or illumination for your outdoor space but also the security that you need—we all know burglars would not attempt to rob a home when it is fully lit like a Christmas tree.

Furthermore, your outdoor lighting should also be energy-efficient because you don’t want your electric bills to skyrocket. This is why one of the best options these days are LED lights. So the question now is, “How many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting?” Read on to find the answer.

How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting: Choosing the Right Option

For the longest time, we thought that the brightness of the bulb depends on its wattage but, in fact, lumens is the measure of the intensity of a bulb’s brightness. Wattage, on the other hand, is the amount of power the bulb consumes so when you have a 60-watt bulb, that means it uses 60 watts of electricity when it’s powered up.

With that said, the answer to the question, “How many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting?” is: it actually depends on what your purpose is and the size of the place to be illuminated. Here’s a guide to give you more idea.

  • Floodlights

Mostly motion-activated, floodlights are used for security purposes. These lights will automatically turn on when triggered by moving objects, animals or people. Floodlights are usually weatherproof since they are installed outdoors. However, when choosing how many lumens you need, you must ensure that it’s not extremely bright that it will illuminate your neighbor’s house and distract drivers passing by your home. The recommended lumens for floodlights is 700 to 1300.

  • Step Lights

Step lights give your stairs a dramatic look and, at the same time, keep you from stumbling in the dark. Good step lights should not be too bright and should be installed in a way that they don’t obstruct your walkway. The ideal step lights should have around 12 to 100 lumens.

  • Pool/Pond Lights

Pool lights are going to be useful if you love to go night swimming. In addition, they give an aesthetically pleasing look to your space. They are one of the lights that are difficult to choose because they are expensive and they come in varied options. However, choosing the right one is extremely important so you can make the most out of them. At best, pool lights must be 200 to 400 lumens.

  • Landscape Lights

Similar to floodlights, landscape lights also provide security. Aside from that, they can also enhance the beauty of your lawn for extra curb appeal. Landscape lights, in addition, need to be strategically installed so you may need to hire a professional to create a good design for you. However, if you are into DIY, there are many resources on the internet so you can do it on your own.

The number of lumens these lights should have will solely depend on the land area of your yard so for example, 50 lumens is a good number for a small garden, but you can go as high as 300 for larger yards.

  • Path Lights

Like step lights, path lights also provide security by keeping you from stumbling in the dark. Further, it can also provide more curb appeal by making your walkway more elegant. It is important to choose path lights that complement your landscape design; therefore, choosing the right style is necessary.

If you have children and pets, you may want to install solar-powered LED path lights because they don’t have any wires. They are also convenient because they get charged during the day and turns on automatically at night. For path lighting, 100 to 200 lumens are ideal.

Outdoor Lighting: Other Types Aside from LED

  • CFL Lights

Like LED, CFL lights also consume lesser energy, and they are also long-lasting; however, they are less preferred for outdoor use because they are sensitive to weather conditions so, too hot or cold temperatures can cut short their lifespan.

  • Halogen Lights

Halogen lights are a popular choice for outdoor flood lights because their brightness is intense; however, they are energy inefficient, and they don’t last long like LED lights.

  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Lights

HID lights are more energy efficient and last three times longer than halogen lights. The intensity of their brightness is also good, so they are also a good choice for outdoor floodlights. On the other hand, they emit UV radiation, so UV filters need to be installed before using them because radiation is harmful to humans. Also, they contain mercury so they can be toxic when they are not properly used.

Final Words

Since we have provided information on how many lumens your outdoor lights should have, it must be easier now to choose the lights you need to install on your home exterior. These lights do not only make you feel more safe and secure but, with the right option and design, they can also make your outdoors more beautiful and dramatic—not to mention the value they can add to your home if in case you have plans of selling it in the future.

Among the types of lights, the light emitting diode or LED lights are the most energy efficient and long-lasting. They are one of the brightest, in terms of lumens. That is why LED lights are now more preferred than fluorescent and incandescent lights.

If you will compare them to the other types of lighting, LED is more environment-friendly and won’t cause damage to your health. Although they are more expensive, they are a good investment because, as we have mentioned earlier, they last a very long time and use 50 percent less energy.

So, if you are looking for an outdoor lighting option with a good number of lumens and will help save you some cash, LED lights can be the perfect choice for you.

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