How many lumens will you need to properly light your space

When you purchase your outdoor lights, do you often wonder how many are needed to properly illuminate your desired area? Do you ask yourself questions like, “how many lumens is a 60 watt bulb?” While LED garden lights, also known as LED lumens, provide a greater vibrance than the standard selection of bulbs, it’s also true that they are superior because fewer are needed for the same outside lighting scheme. Whether you’re starting a new project with your fixtures or simply sprucing up the clarity of your space, it’s important to know how many LED lumens are equivalent to the number of fluorescent, incandescent, or halogen lumens so that you can appropriately swap out and replace your lights with something more efficient and exceptional. 

How much light is needed in your outdoor setting?

The answer to this question is challenging because we each possess a different taste for lighting. For example, some homeowners prefer the soft vibrance offered from fixtures that provide just a pop of light, while those who own businesses or large properties prefer installations that will flood the surrounding area with illumination. Needless to say, when purchasers are faced with having to calculate how much LED lighting is needed to create a well-lit space, they will first have to determine how many lumens are needed before ordering accessories and equipment. 

To successfully find the right balance, they must understand the meanings of the following lighting terms:

  • Lumens: The lumen output is a measure of the total amount of visible light that’s emitted by a light source per unit of time. It’s then weighed according to the human eye’s sensitivity to wavelengths, which is known as luminous efficiency function. This means that for those asking, “how many lumens is a 60 watt bulb?” The stand 60-Watt incandescent light bulb produces about 800 lumens. 
  • Watts: This unit measures how much energy a light bulb consumes to reach its optimal brightness. Each type of light source (LED, fluorescent, halogen, or incandescent) has a different lumen-per-watt ratio. 
  • Wattage equivalence: For the purpose of comparison, if a 60-Watt incandescent produces 800 lumens, and a 9 to 10-Watt LED does the same, this means that a 9 to 10-Watt LED will likely be advertised as a “60-Watt equivalent” on its label. 

Refer to the below wattage equivalence chart:

  • Efficacy: This key term refers to the number of lumens that a bulb produces for each watt it consumes. That being said, the higher the number translates to a more efficient bulb. 

How much light is enough to properly light your space?

Taking all of the above into account, you will first need to determine the square footage of your area. This can be done by multiplying the length times the width of the space. Then you will need to determine the foot candles by area type or area purpose. A foot-candle is how bright a light is one-foot away from the next lighting source. Each area’s lighting requirements and needs are dependent on what the space is being used for. For example, you will want to have a brighter deck and pathway versus the lining of your garden beds. 

Rounding back to our original question, the average indoor space of about 250 square feet will require around 5,000 lumens for a primary light source. So, this means that you can look to the brightness of your dining areas for reference and lower the amount you need for your outdoor areas. 

Did you find the above information helping in the preparation of your lighting scheme? Drop a comment below if you have further questions or comments.