How Many Lumens Do I Need For Outdoor Lighting?

How many lumens do you need for outdoor lighting? The intensity of light is measured in lumens. The type of outdoor lighting that you choose will determine how many lumens are needed.

Our professional recommendation on outdoor lighting lumens includes:

  • Path lighting: 100-200 lumens
  • Step lights: 12100 lumens
  • Floodlights: 700-1300 lumens
  • Motion sensor lights: 300-700 lumens
  • Pool/pond lights: 200-400 lumens
  • Hardscape lights: (on walls), 50-185
  • Landscape: 50 to 300 lumens (50 for small shrubbery or a garden)

If you’re considering outdoor lighting, seriously consider LED

There are only two choices for homeowners when it comes down to outdoor lighting.

  1. LEDs
  2. CFLs

Our recommendation is to use LED lights. We will explain the differences between them and why LED lighting is better.

Outdoor lighting: LED vs. CFL

How they work

  • CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) use an electric current to heat the filament within the bulb. The filament heats up to become white-hot, which creates light and heat. Due to the sensitive filament inside the CFL, the lifespan of a CFL is reduced if it is left in extremely hot or cold ambient temperatures (i.e. Florida’s summer temperatures are very hot. It takes lightbulbs a while to light up fully.
  • LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) on the other side don’t use fragile filaments. However, they do use an electrical current to illuminate tiny diodes within the bulb. LEDs emit very little heat and stay cool to the touch. They can also withstand all outdoor temperatures and are bright even in low light conditions.

Operational costs:

CFLs are more expensive to run than LEDs. To produce the same amount of light, LEDs consume 50% less energy than CFLs. This means that LEDs are the light bulbs with the highest lumens per wattage.


LEDs can last up to five times longer than CFLs.


CFLs are generally cheaper than LEDs, but they do cost more to buy. However, LED bulbs have become more affordable over the past few years as prices dropped.

Do you want to know more about outdoor lighting options? You can find more information on our blog “Comparing Outdoor Lighting Options: Incandescents Vs CFL vs. LED”.

Also, consider these facts

1. Lux.

This is the measure of how much light is emitted per square meter. It gives you an indication of how large a light can illuminate. It is useful because it shows how many bulbs are needed to illuminate a specific area.

For example, 1 lux equals the amount of illumination that a single candle can provide at 3 feet.

2. Wattage.

This is the amount of electricity that a lightbulb consumes. A 100-watt bulb, for example, consumes 100 watts every second it’s on. Higher wattages mean more electricity, so you will pay more.

You may need to have multiple outdoor lights installed (e.g., An electrician may be needed to install a new circuit if you have a lot of outdoor lights.

How many lumens are needed for a patio?

Most patio lighting is decorative, but some lights can be added for security reasons. String lights, outdoor lights, post lights, and outdoor hanging lights are the most common lights for patios. These lights will be brighter than security lights, so bulbs with fewer lumens are recommended.

How many lumens are needed for landscape lighting?

Landscape lighting is lighting that is used outdoors. This includes spotlights, pathway lights, and many other lightings. Landscape lights are lights that light up your landscape. They can also be used as security lights or decorative lighting. Because the use of these lights varies, so will the number of lumens required for landscape lighting. String lights are usually less bright than wall lights. They’re designed to be bright, but also dimmable to create the desired atmosphere. The number of lumens required for your patio will depend on the style you choose to decorate it.


How Many Lumens Are Needed for Spotlights?

Spotlights will require 120 lumens. It is recommended to use 100 to 200 lumens for path lights that you install along your walkway. You can use path lights to illuminate a path that runs from your driveway to your front door. Or they can be used as decorative lighting. You can choose how you use them. If you’re looking for more decorative pathway lights, use fewer lumens. You will need more lumens if you use them for security purposes.

How many lumens are needed for flood lights?

Flood lights are often installed for security reasons. Many flood lighting options can be used to illuminate specific areas outside of your home. For lighting pathways, wall pack lights can be installed while area lights can light entire areas like parking lots or entire yards.

Flood lights are more efficient for lighting a path, but area lights require more lumens to provide brighter wider-spread illumination.

Floodlights need 700 to 1300 lumens. Your space will be more secure if the lights are brighter. These flood lights come in a variety of brightness settings so the intensity may vary. These lights can also be used to illuminate an area when an object crosses them. A bulb with more lumens will produce a brighter beam of light than motion sensor lights.

Lumen Solar Lighting

There is a gradual transition in the public’s usage of incandescent lights to LED. These lights use less energy than traditional light bulbs and can be used indoors just as often as outdoors. The rebirth of solar-powered lighting is also possible with LED lights. Solar lighting is one the most efficient forms of lighting. These lights are powered by sunlight, which is renewable and clean. These lights can also be self-sustaining and require minimal maintenance. They emit no greenhouse gases, carbon emissions, or fumes. Solar power has many benefits, as you can see. Don’t be discouraged by overcast days. Solar-powered lights can still work in the shade.

Have questions about outdoor lighting? Ask an IL electrician

We can assist you with any questions regarding outdoor lighting. Landscape and exterior lighting design are our specialties. Contact us if you require professional exterior lighting installations. We are here to help

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