How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting – The Lumen Science

Sometimes you put heavy wattage lighting setup to make things exceptionally shiny and luminous.

Unfortunately, you end up with undesirable results. Perhaps, you had judged the things wrongly.

I mean, if you are in the lot that even wattage is the sign of brightness, you are in the wrong boat, still in 2021.  

So, what’s the case?

How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting
How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting

Wattage has been replaced by Lumens. You have to watch out for lumen when considering a bulb, LEDs, and other lighting gadgets. So, in the case of outdoor setups, you may ask, how many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting?

Outdoor lighting is not a “simple” ask as many scenarios, and circumstances come your way, which set the ratio of lumens. It depends on your outdoor area, like patio, lawn, garage, or other places; Lumens count varies per situation.

Let’s try to understand the whole behind science deeply;

How Many Lumens Do I need for Outdoor Lightning – The Science Behind Lumens

Have you ever thought about why the world moved towards LEDs from Halogen or incandescent bulbs? These conventional lightning solutions were notably energy-intensive. They not only used to consume tons of energy but also waste a ton.

For example; Incandescent bulbs waste 90% of the energy it consumes while 10% only remains effective.

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How Many Lumens Do I need for Outdoor Lightning
How Many Lumens Do I need for Outdoor Lightning

The world used to map wattage as the backbone of lightning; the bigger, the better. But with the arrival of Lumens, things have twisted so that we have a REAL scale now to measure the brightness/intensity. Lumen is the criteria to map how bright a LED will be: more Lumens, More Brightness.

And this doesn’t here; Lumens are way much easier to map than wattage. A 75W bulb can produce approximately 1600 lumens. 

Just like a food item has ingredients percentage on its packing, a bulb/LED brightness capacity prints on its packaging in the form of lumens. Let’s say a LED for photography can produce 450 lumens, you can take an idea It can consume 20w electricity.

This way, you can map figures from lumens into lumens; E:g; 50 lumens to watts.

How Many LED Lights Do I Need – Question Remains the Same:

The experts say 50 lumens effectively cover the 1 square feet area (only an estimation). This is the easiest method to judge how many lumens will be required to do outdoor lighting as per your area. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go above this. For example, you want to lighten up a garage of 400sqft, and you need 100 lumens per square foot.

So, 400sqft x 100lumens = 40000 lumens will need to blossom in the area with lights. And technically, the light intensity also depends on the color temperatures that increase or decrease the brightness, so be very mindful of that.

Furthermore, you can break down this math and determine how much LEDs/CFL will be needed for such a setup.

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But still, you can’t give a straightforward answer about the lumens quantity. For example, if one asks you, is 400 lumens bright? You can’t answer like basic ABC. You’ll need to ask for the area and then have to calculate whether it’ll be enough or not, considering the area size.

Outdoor Lighting and Lumens Need:

As outdoor consists of various areas like lawns, outdoor corridors, pool/patio, the list go on, you name it. Every setup demands a different range of lumens that will be sufficient for a standard size area. You can add or subtract Lumens according to your preferences and requirements.

Lumens for Patios: As patios aren’t huge space generally, and ambiance mostly remains cozy. So anywhere ranging from 600-700 Lumens will be a reasonable ask.

Lumens for Landscape: Still area depended. Landscapes are used to increase the elegance of a space. So, if you have a small lawn or garden, you can set a range from 50-300.

Lumens for Floodlights: The most asked variant, a midrange floodlight can give you 700-1300 lumens.

Lumens for Step lights: How much area step lights have to cover? 2-4 meters or more? Considering this, 10-150 lumens will be enough to produce a great ambiance.

Lumen for Motion Sensor Lights: Though these lights primarily get used on more extensive areas, the purpose is minimalist and quick. You can go from 300-700 lumens depending on the height and location.

The Bottom Line – Wrapping Up the Story:

So, how many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting? Hopefully, you got cleared with watts vs. lumen science. This brings you to a conclusion that outdoor lighting is totally dependent stuff on your requirements, area, and lighting equipment and positively the ambiance you have. Lumens fluctuate according to your mood, making it highly subjective to one’s preference and other scenarios.

About Charles Ingram

Hi, I am Charles your local Home Tech and Gadget Expert. I’ve been fascinated with electricity for as long as I can remember. I grew up in an old home in a rural setting, so the quality and continuity of our electrical service were spotty at best. Spending time without power (or running off a generator) gave me a lot of appreciation for the benefits of electricity. I love writing and talking about it.