How Many Lumens for Outdoor Lighting is Required

lumens for outdoor lighting

Having outdoor lighting is a major priority among homeowners. This is due to the significant benefits of having outdoor lighting that complements your home’s exteriors. However, setting the right mood needs your fixtures to output the perfect amount of lumens for outdoor lighting. Determining the ideal amount of lumens can be a tasking job and is best left to your local, trusted outdoor lighting company in Tampa.

What is a Lumen?

During the early ages of lighting technology, the intensity of a lighting fixture was measured in watts. Watts is a measure of the amount of electrical power consumed by a light bulb. This was done because the power output of a light was highly dependent on the amount of energy it consumed. However, this led to a significant rise in power consumption and the electricity bill. A lumen is the measure of the amount of light energy that a bulb can emit from as a light source. Typically, the packaging of any kind of bulb contains information about the number of lumens the bulb has.
The recent technological advancements in the world of lighting have bridged the gap between wattage and lumens. With newer innovations like LEDs, the lumen output is much higher for significantly lower wattage, contrary to its predecessors.

How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting?

Outdoor lighting can appear complicated, and getting them right can be challenging. However, here are a few suggestions you can follow to revamp your exterior lighting and take it to the next level. Since LEDs are the most popular lighting choice of the day, here are the lumen recommendations for each exterior feature of your home.

  • Step Lights: 12 – 100 lumens
  • Landscape Lights: 50 – 300 lumens
  • Path Lights: 100 – 200 lumens
  • Hardscape Wall Lights: 50 – 185 lumens
  • Landscape Spotlights: 120 lumens
  • Pool Lights: 200 – 400 lumens
  • Flood Lights: 700 – 1300 lumens
  • Motion Sensor Lights: 300 – 700 lumens

Although these are the recommended lumen levels for each type of exterior lighting fixture, every home is different and needs mild tweaking for every property.
Besides the general fixtures, here is some detailed insight into the lumen requirement for each outdoor fixture.


Since patios make up most of the outdoor living spaces, most of the lighting fixtures are of a decorative nature. Although some homeowners prefer installing additional lights for security purposes, the most common types of lights used in a patio are string lights, wall lights, post lights, and outdoor hanging lights. Their illumination is lower than lights meant for security reasons but still high enough that you can host dinner parties outside.


Pathways need a subtle balance of illumination of about 100 lumens. Since the lights have to be bright enough to distinguish between the paved path and the ground without blinding onlookers, they must be under 200 lumens. If there are steps along your path, you want to create a practical lighting arrangement free from shadows.


If you have a pool and want to use it after hours, you will require pool lighting. However, they need to be inside the 200 – 400 lumen range in order to provide ample illumination across the pool without blinding anyone in the pool.


Landscape lighting is a blanket term used to cover any pathway lights, spotlights, and the combination of lights across your home’s exteriors. Each home’s landscape has varying needs, and the number of lumens you need for each fixture will vary. Typically, the dimmest landscape lights should not be dimmer than 50 lumens, while the brightest lights should not be brighter than 300 lumens.

Why Choose LEDs?

Homeowners have been installing vast landscape lighting for years, even when incandescent bulbs were the norm. However, with the advent of technological innovation, LEDs have become the most popular type of lighting. This is due to their highly energy-efficient nature and long-lasting nature. LEDs consume less power and output higher quality, brighter lights with high lumens.

The Bottom Line

You can follow the above-mentioned lumen recommendations for your outdoor lighting. However, every home and every landscape has different requirements, and they need specific fixtures and lighting solutions. This is why you should hire a professional to help raise the curb appeal of your property, as they can fine-tune the ideal amount of lumens for outdoor lighting.