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How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting?:[Ultimate Guide]

In this write-up, we will provide relevant answers to the question of how many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting. To make it easier, let’s look at the basis of lumens and Lux.

When you decide to decorate a particular area in your home, it’s inevitable to want to know how many lumens you would require.

Regrettably, there is no direct answer to this question as it will depend on the area and lighting requirements.

Each particular area in your home has its unique lighting requirement. For instance, the lighting requirement for your living area is different from outdoor lighting.

However, it gets even more complicated for amateurs as they don’t understand the general rule on lighting.

If you find yourself in this situation, there is a way to determine how many lumens you would need in your outdoor lighting.

What are the lumens and Lux?

Before you begin contemplating the number of lumens you do for a particular area, it is important to have background knowledge of lumens and Lux.

Lumens relates to lighting that you can see in a light bulb. It represents the brightness of incandescent light or a LED light.

When you want to choose a particular light bulb, it is important to measure the light output.

Nowadays, when people want to buy a bulb, their focus is on the watts, thinking it has everything to do with the light output.

However, the watts of a bulb measures the energy use instead of the output. Therefore, the best option when buying a bulb is to look for an energy-efficient light.

LED lights are available in different shapes, colors, and sizes as they help save money on energy. If you have issues with lumens and Lux, here is a detailed video about their differences

On the other hand, Lux measures the amount of light falling on a particular surface. It is different from the amount of light emitted from a light source.

The Lux of a bulb can vary based on the distance of the object, light source, the width of the light beam, how dark the object’s surface is, and the position of the source.

Most manufacturers today use lumens as the standard lighting measurement. A lot of bulbs you will find have the lumens standard. You can find the following information in most bulb packs:

  • Expected lifespan
  • Lumens rating
  • Light appearance
  • Estimated energy cost
  • Energy usage in watts

Note: Previously, you will see many bulbs using watts, but lumens have substituted it as it is the latest measurement standard in the lighting industry.

Furthermore, if you see a bulb with higher watts, it doesn’t mean it will generate a brighter light.

Manufacturers are producing bulbs that use less energy while producing more light. Therefore, when buying a bulb, the two things to check are the energy and the bulb.

Types of Outdoor Lightings

As indicated above, lumens measure light intensity. Therefore, the amount of lumens you need for particular outdoor lighting will vary based on where you want to install it. Here is a list of the different types of outdoor lighting available.

  • Swimming pool or pond lights
  • Floodlights
  • Step lights
  • Path lighting
  • Landscape lights
  • Hardscape lights

How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting?

Best amount of Lumens for Outdoor Lighting

There is no particular amount of lumens you can use for outdoor lighting. It will depend on the particular area of installation.

How many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting will differ from one area to another? Therefore, let’s explore the types of outdoor lighting and the number of lumens you can use for that particular place.

You can calculate the number of lumens you need for your home in this video

Importance of picking the right amount of lumens

When picking a lumen for any area in your home, it is vital to pick the right lumens because they can affect your home. The following are a few benefits of having the accurate lumens for your outdoor lighting.

  • Safety – for most people, security is a priority. Therefore, the more lumens you have for outdoor lighting, the better your space. This will help prevent accidents and see what people are doing within your vicinity.
  • Enjoyment – The right outdoor lighting creates safety and makes spending time outside enjoyable. Once the light is too bright, it is hard for most people to stay outside.
  • Efficiency – Besides providing a safer option, getting the right number of lumens helps improve the light efficiency in your home. However, using many lumens can be expensive for a home.
  • Convenience – If you have an issue getting accurate outdoor lighting for your home, it is important to opt for a lesser lumen bulb.

Best amount of Lumens for Stairs Lightning

For your stair lighting, you can opt for 100 lumens. Installing a bulb above this rating can be too bright for people. You won’t want anyone to go blind walking upstairs.

Therefore, it is best to keep the lumen average and never go overboard in your option.

Best Amount of lumens for Garden

Your garden light might vary based on what you want. Most people prefer a garden with more lights, whereas others prefer lesser light.

However, a new trend is solar garden lights, which provide easy installation, less maintenance, and save money.

If you want a smaller light for your garden, you can look for 100 to 300 lumens.

Nevertheless, if you have a more extensive garden, you can get a garden light within 600 to 1800 lumens.

But if you have a small yard or garden, the best amount of lumens for your garden will be 50 lumens.

Best Amount of lumens for a Wall

You can start with 50 lumens to see if it illuminates the area. However, you can increase it to 185 lumens if it doesn’t provide the brightness you want. Landscape and wall elements don’t require much lighting.

Best Amount of lumens for a Swimming pool

If you want a cool effect in your swimming pool, you should consider putting lights between 200 and 400 lumens. The higher the lumens for your swimming pool, the more visibility you get around the pool.

Best Amount of lumens for a Garage and Driveway

If you want to install outdoor lighting for your garage or driveway, you should consider using 2400 lumens for a large one, whereas 1600 lumens is suitable for a small driveway.

Essentially, a driveway should be secured, which means providing a good lighting system.

Best Amount of lumens for a Backyard Flood Light

Normally, backyard floodlights are installed for security reasons. Floodlights come in several types, depending on where you want to mount them outside your home.

Area lights are designed to illuminate large areas such as entire years and parking lots. However, for wall pack lights, they are might to light pathways.

You will need fewer lumens if you want to light a pathway. Normally, the best amount of lumens for a backyard floodlight is 700 to 1300 lumens.

You need brighter lights that emit more lumens to have a secured place.

Best Amount of lumens for a Security Light

The security light is essential, especially if you live in an area that is prone to criminal activities. You need a bright light that can brighten the environment.

Overall, the best amount of lumens for security light will be 700 lumens.

Best Amount of lumens for a Street Light

Using the right manufacturer, you can use light for a street light that lasts for a while. You can leverage solar street light lumens for your street light as they offer more.

For a street light in a residential area, you can think of using between 4000 to 5000 lumens.

However, for building perimeters, highways, universities, and roadways, it can be between 6400 to 18000 lumens.

Outdoor Lighting Lumens Per Square Foot

Outdoor lighting is a startling amount of work. It’ll be distracting if it’s too bright. You’ll be better off grilling under the stars if it’s too dim.

So, how bright should lights be for various outdoor spaces? Let’s look at how many lumens you’ll need for all of your outdoor places.


Depending on your needs, patio lighting might be bright or warm. The majority of patio lighting is ambient. How many lumens are you looking for?

The size of your patio determines the optimum solution. In general, 600 to 700 lumens should suffice for a small patio. Start at 1200 and work your way up to 1600 for a more oversized balcony.

Other lights, such as string lights or solar lights, are frequently added to the balcony. You can modify the ambiance with a variety of lighting options.

String lights should have a brightness output of roughly 40. The production of the hanging overhead lights will be between 80 and 120 lumens.


Decks, like patios, may be both be intimate and cheerful. The majority of the lighting is ambient. If any steps pose a hazard, consider adding more lumens or lighting each step separately.

In general, the cozy & intimate lighting range begins at 80 lumens. Increase the lumens to 120 if you want your deck to be brighter.

If you still don’t have enough light, consider adding a few different lights that you can turn on and off to offer yourself more options.

String lights add roughly 40 lumens and can create a delightful mood. Solar lights along the edge of a balcony or atop the posts are also lovely.


Workshops and workbenches must be illuminated. A task light is required- you don’t have to work too hard to find that nail or tool.

Or take a look at where that saw blade is headed. So, fill it with 300 lumens per square foot of light. What is the value of 300 lumens per square foot?

If your workbench is 3 feet deep and 6 feet long, it has 18 square feet. When you double that square footage by 300 lumens, you get 5,400 lumens, which is plenty of light for that workbench.

Don’t scrimp on illumination for your workshop or workbench. When using power tools, it’s critical to be as safe as possible.

Installing a work light just above you’ll be working is a good idea. Alternatively, you might use a clamp-on lamp that you can adjust to illuminate your job correctly.

Many clamp-on lights are compatible with LED and CFL bulbs. Some fixtures have a maximum lumen output of 1500- that ought to help.


In intervals along the path, experts recommend utilizing 100 to 200 lumens. Use the greater lumen level for safety if your routes include tripping hazards, such as uneven pavers.

If you want subdued lighting and your road is straight, several lights with 100 lumens apiece, strategically placed, should suffice.


About 50 and 300 lamps are required for tree lights. Atmospheric lighting, not security lights, can help trees. You’re merely attempting to highlight the magnificence of your trees.

To create a unique and magical outdoor look, softly illuminate the tree. When there aren’t enough lumens, it’s scary.

Top Questions (FAQs)

Can I use 3000 lumens in a room?

For a small room, it is never ideal to use 3000 lumens because it will be brighter than what the room can accommodate. Alternatively, you don’t want to install a light that can blind your eyes.

What should be the standard lumens for outdoor light?

For a path light, it should be between 100 to 200 lumens. For landscape lights, 50 to 300 lumens are ideal. However, the best lighting is 120 to 180 lumens for lamp posts.

Is there any difference between lumens and lux?

The main difference between lumens and lux is that the former measures luminous flux, whereas the latter measures illuminance.

Luminous flux is the amount of light transmitted in all directions, whereas illuminance deals with the amount of light that falls on a particular surface


There is no direct answer to how many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting because it varies. There are several requirements for lighting a particular area in your environment.

It is important to know the range and use the appropriate lumen for your home.

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