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How Many Lumens Do You Need for Outdoor Lighting?

Your ultimate guide to selecting the perfect lumens for outdoor lighting mastery

Calculating the lumens for outdoor lighting becomes easy if you know a few essential factors. At Blingle, our lighting experts find the right amount of lumens to improve the ambiance of your outdoor spaces. Let’s discuss how many lumens you need for outdoor lighting, the various types of outdoor fixtures, and how to maintain them.

Why You Should Know How Many Lumens You Need

You should know how many lumens you need for your yard, balcony, or alley because it will guide your lightbulb and fixture purchases. The number of lumens will also affect your monthly utility bill. And selecting suitable lighting for a space will attract family and friends. Finally, when guests mention your new outdoor fixtures, explaining the amount of lumens your light system emits will keep the conversation rolling.

4 Factors To Consider When Choosing Lumens For Outdoor Lighting

Choose the perfect amount of lumens for your outdoor lighting! Light bulbs with ideal luminosity will improve the security and aesthetic of your home, making your outdoor spaces safer and more welcoming. To select the appropriate number of lumens for outdoor lights, weigh the following four factors.

1. The Size Of Your Yard

First, you must measure your yard to find the required lumens for your outdoor project. Spacious yards need more lumens for adequate lighting, while smaller yards can do with fewer lumens. You should also take note of the shape of your yard, including any obstacles that might block your new outdoor light system.

2. The Purpose Of The Lighting

Do you want to create a cozy ambiance or a secure space? The amount of lumens you need will vary depending on the purpose of the lighting. Security lighting with motion detectors calls for more lumens to achieve bright illumination. A comfortable patio may only need a few strands of twinkle lights.

3. The Style Of Your Home

Naturally, you do not want to flood your outdoor sitting areas with bright lights. However, you want lighting that matches the style of your home. If you own an urban house with a modern design, you may fancy brighter lighting than you would if you owned a secluded cottage in the woods. Make sure you choose outdoor lighting fixtures that match your home’s style to create a harmonious look.

4. Existing Lighting

Your existing lighting can help you determine whether you should increase or decrease the lumens you use. You must understand how many lumens your current lighting produces to achieve your desired illumination level. And, your old lighting provides the best insight into how you should select the brightness, color, and temperature of your new lighting.

How To Choose The Right Lumens For Your Outdoor Lighting In 3 Steps

After considering the factors we discussed earlier, you can now determine how many lumens you need for your outdoor lights. Let’s find out how to choose the right amount of lumens for your backyard.

Step #1: Location, Function, And Type

Light up your whole yard with more lumens, or gently light the way with dim lighting for your driveway. Manufacturers engineer various types of outdoor fixtures with a wide range of lumens. When choosing the right bulbs for your yard, consider your:

  • Location
  • Function
  • Lighting Fixture

Step #2: Understand Lumens And How They Affect Brightness

Using lumens as your unit of measurement allows you to determine the brightness of a light source. The more lumens a bulb emits, the brighter it will shine.

Step #3: Calculate The Lumens Needed For Different Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Calculating the lumens you need to achieve your desired brightness will depend on which lighting fixtures you purchase. Multiply the area of your outdoor space by the recommended lux. For example, if you redecorate a 328-square-foot yard that necessitates a lighting level of 20 lux, the 328 square feet x 20 lux would equal 6,560 lumens. You can then calculate your outdoor lighting lumens per square foot by dividing 6,560 by 328, which equals 20 lumens per square foot.

Types Of Outdoor Lighting Fixtures And Their Lumen Requirements

Understanding the available types of outdoor lighting fixtures and their required lumens can improve your home’s appearance, provide extra security, and increase energy efficiency.

Outdoor Wall Light — Warm And Inviting Ambiance

The best lumens for outdoor lighting are between 50 and 185. Mounting them to the exterior walls of your home will provide a warm, welcoming ambiance. By illuminating your entrance within this range, you can create a soft glow that feels welcoming and remains functional.

Porch Light — Bright And Focused Lighting

How many lumens for a porch light? Porch lights usually sit near the front door, offering a brighter, more focused light than outdoor wall lights. They require 200 to 400 lumens, making them ideal for ensuring the safety of your home’s entryway while highlighting the beauty of your porch.

Driveway Light — Safe And Secure Navigation

Installing driveway lights along the edges will guide vehicles and pedestrians at night. The lumens must reach at least 100 to ensure safe navigation.

Floodlight — Broad And Intense Illumination

Floodlights provide intense light over a wide area. Choose between 700 to 1300 lumens to achieve bright, broad illumination for outdoor events. How many lumens for backyard flood light will depend on the size and shape of the yard.

Garage Light — Bright And Focused Illumination For Tasks

Mounting garage lights on the ceiling or walls of your garage will provide focused lighting for tasks like car maintenance or woodworking. The recommended lumens sit somewhere between 500 to 1300 to facilitate detailed work while conserving energy.

Patio Light — A Warm And Inviting Outdoor Living Space

Patio lights create a welcoming atmosphere for small outdoor living areas. Try 300 to 500 lumens for a versatile outdoor living space.

Deck Light — Subtle And Understated Illumination

To provide subtle lighting, position your deck lights near the surface of your deck or balcony. Install bulbs between 200 and 500 lumens to create a warm, inviting atmosphere on your deck while keeping your guests safe.

Lawn Or Landscape Light — Highlight The Beauty Of Your Garden

How many lumens for landscape lighting? Lawn or landscape lights give off a soft, subtle glow, highlighting and enhancing the beauty of your front yard or garden. Select bulbs between 800 and 1,200 lumens to spotlight your professional landscape.

Maintenance Of Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Outdoor lighting enhances the appearance of your home and keeps your family safe. Like other equipment, lighting requires proper care to function well over time. If you do not perform maintenance, your lights will stop operating or cause safety issues. Always install new bulbs that prove safe for outdoor use and remain compatible with the fixture.

Checking Your Outdoor Lights

You must check your outdoor lights to identify any safety hazards. Look for loose connections, broken bulbs, or damaged wires that could cause an electrical shock or fire. Rust or corrosion can also cause your lights to malfunction. Fix all lighting issues as soon as you find them.

Seasonal Maintenance

Seasonal changes, such as extreme weather, impact the performance of your outdoor lighting fixtures. Adjusting timers or sensors to match daylight changes and seasonal variations will ensure peak performance.

Upgrades And Energy Efficiency

Upgrading to LED bulbs or fixtures will improve the energy efficiency of your outdoor lights and lower your utility bill. They consume less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs, making them more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than incandescent bulbs. Installing timers or motion sensors allows you to optimize the energy efficiency of your fixtures.


How Much Light Do I Need To Illuminate My Yard?

Factors such as yard size, lighting purpose, home style, and existing fixtures all influence the amount of light required to illuminate your yard. Different types of outdoor lighting offer varying levels of illumination. For example, a floodlight supplies more light than a porch light. So, how bright should outdoor lights be? It depends on many factors.

Can Outdoor Lights Be Too Bright?

Yes, outdoor lighting can be too bright, causing glare and hurting your guests’ eyes. Excessive brightness may also result in light pollution, which harms the environment by disrupting wildlife. Choose the appropriate lighting levels based on location, function, and type of your lighting fixture.

What Color Should I Choose For My Outdoor Lights?

Your personal preferences, house style, and lighting purpose will influence the color you choose for your outdoor lights. Soft, warm, white lights produce a comfortable environment that attracts guests, whereas cool, bright white lights increase security. To achieve your desired lighting effect, a professional will help you select the appropriate color temperature.

Find The Right Outdoor Light For Your Home With Blingle

Consider all factors when determining how many lumens you need for your outdoor lighting project. The key to achieving your desired feel involves careful selection of bulbs with the right amount of lumens. At Blingle, our experienced lighting technicians have conjured up some of the most romantic living spaces and secured outbuildings. Call us at 1-833-BLINGLE to schedule a free consultation with one of our lighting experts today!