How Many Lumens Do You Need for Outdoor Lighting?

How Many Lumens Do You Need for Outdoor Lighting?

The future of LEDs is bright. LEDs take the least amount of energy and are rapidly being perfected in brightness and appearance — evolving from their bluish/white glow into a variety of incandescent, warmer options. It’s no wonder they are gaining dominance in the marketplace.

Whether you are interested in the quality of light or the energy-saving benefits, it’s time to start thinking in terms of lumens when it comes to lighting your outdoor space. How many lumens you need, depends on the use of the area you are lighting.

What is a Lumen?

A lumen is simply a unit of measurement of visible light. When shopping for newer, energy-efficient LED light bulbs, understanding light output in lumens is essential. Not surprisingly, more lumens equals more brightness. If you are looking for the brightest LED bulb for floodlights for example, simply find the one with the most lumens.

How Do Lumens Compare to Watts?

Watts and lumens measure two different things. Wattage measures the amount of electrical power the light bulb consumes. So in the old days, when we shopped for incandescent light bulbs, we loosely estimated the brightness of a bulb based on how much power it required.

Lumens, on the other hand, measure the actual brightness — regardless of how much power is needed. Buying a light based on lumens is actually a more accurate way to determine the brightness than buying a light based on wattage.

Does a Higher Wattage Mean a Brighter Light?

Nope. Not anymore. A long time ago, conventional logic dictated that a bulb with higher wattage would produce a brighter light but today, this isn’t always the case. Thankfully, advances in modern lighting allow us to produce more light using less energy. A 23 watt LED for instance, can produce the same amount of light (or lumens) as a 100 watt incandescent — and the technology is only getting better!

Why LED Lighting (Lumens) Will Eventually Replace (Watts)

As improvements in energy and power evolve, wattage will become irrelevant when trying to determine the brightness of a light. Wattage never did a good job predicting the exact brightness of a light to begin with. It was just a guess based off of the power usage. Now that we are using energy and power in a smarter and more efficient way , people will get more accustomed to measuring light based on actual units of visible light.

Are Your Outdoor LED Lights Bright Enough?

Whether it’s for saving money on electricity, or being an environmentally-aware homeowner, many people have already switched to energy-saving LED bulbs for their outdoor lights. Some have even invested in solar powered LED outdoor lights saving thousands of dollars per year on their electricity bill.

Because most of us are still used to thinking of light output in terms of watts, here is a cheat sheet to give you an idea of the average lumens needed for various outdoor LED lighting.

LED Outdoor Light Recommended LED Lumens
Security Floodlights 700-1300
Shed Lights 150-300
Lamp Posts 120-180
Landscape Spotlights 120
Outdoor Path Lighting 100

How Many Lumens are Needed for Outdoor Path Lighting?

Gs-214 Solar Lighting


Generally, path lighting is considered decorative accent lighting. But it’s actually very useful for visitors to see the walkway. Solar LED path lighting has come a long way. Bollard lights are a popular choice for effective path lighting. 100 lumens is considered bright enough for most walkways — including commercial properties. 100 lumens is equivalent to about 20 watts.

How Many Lumens are Needed for Landscape Lights?

Landscape lighting varies in brightness. LED landscape spotlights which are generally accent lighting for shrubs, signs and architecture can range from 100 to 300 lumens. Solar powered LED spotlights have come a long way in clarity, duration and brightness.

For garden lights used as accent lighting, 50 lumens is generally sufficient to add dimension, color and interest in your yard.

Solar Powered Outdoor LED Lights Are the Best Choice for DIY Landscape Lighting.

The best part of using solar-powered outdoor landscape lighting is that anyone can install them! Because they don’t need to be wired, you don’t need to hire an expensive electrician or buy complicated tools to do the job. In fact, we at Gama Sonic® feature an EZ Anchor system for our solar lamp posts which allows for easy installation in just 15 minutes!

Today’s outdoor solar LED lights are continuing to improve in quality, durability and of course, brightness. Solar LED lights offer you clear, attractive lighting for your outdoor space. They also save energy and money! The future of LED lumens and solar energy is promising. As you get used to measuring light intensity by lumens, you will quickly be able to determine the best lights for your home and yard.


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