How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting?

How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting

After getting to know the many types of outdoor light fixtures, the different light sources, and the standards for outdoor lighting, you may start to think about one question. What are some of the most important factors that determine whether I can choose the right light? And one of the answers will be lumens. Nowadays, people no longer decide the brightness of the lights merely depending on the wattage. Instead, many people will also ask, “How many lumens do I need?” If the answer is not clear for you, the following passage is what you need right now!

What is lumen of light?

Why is wattage no longer the only thing we look for when choosing outdoor lights? That is because different light sources have different efficiency. For example, for an LED light to emit light of the same brightness as a 100 W incandescent light, it may only need 15 W. So choosing lights according to the wattage will make you end up buying a light that is too dim or too bright. To make a universal way to measure the brightness of lights, the lumen was invented.

Lumen measures light by weighting and adjusting the human perception of light. The higher the value of lumen, the brighter the visible light. To be specific, 1 lumen is the intensity of light from 1 candela shining on one unit of solid angle. Since candela and the size of one unit of solid angle are both recognized by international institutions, the value of one lumen is the same in different countries. For lights of different colors, even though their efficiency and power are the same, their lumens will be different. The reason is that people are sensitive to light of certain wavelengths and less sensitive to others. For example, the lumen of cold white is higher than the warm one.

The following is a table about the lumens and wattages of incandescent and LED lights.

2600 lm150 W25-28 W
1600 lm100 W16-20 W
1100 lm75 W9-13 W
800 lm60 W8-12 W
450 lm40 W6-9 W

Lumens for urban street lights

Generally speaking, the number of lumens of street lights will vary according to different needs and environments. On urban roads, in order to provide sufficient lighting brightness, street lamps need higher lumens. The lumens for average roads can be between 5000 and 10000. Such brightness can ensure that pedestrians and vehicles on the road can clearly see the surrounding environment and improve the safety of driving at night.


Lumens for rural street lights

In rural roads or low-density residential areas, due to the small traffic flow, the requirements for lighting brightness are relatively low, so street lights can have low lumens. In this case, the lumens of street lights are usually between 500 and 1000. Although the brightness is low, it can still provide enough illumination to enable pedestrians and vehicles to recognize the road and surrounding environment.

Nowadays, LED street lights are gradually replacing traditional high-pressure sodium lamps and fluorescent street lights. LED street lamps have the advantages of high efficiency, energy savings, long life, and adjustable light color, so they are widely used in modern urban lighting. The lumens of LED street lights are usually between 2000 and 4000, which can provide higher brightness and better lighting effects. So choosing LED lights is a way to save energy and money.

Lumens for garden lights

There are many types of garden lights, and they vary in size and application. Because the lumens of the garden lights are also related to the size of your garden, You can roughly determine how many lumens they should have by considering their uses, sizes, and so on.

  • Strip lights: Strip lights are usually used for lighting up the stairs or being set at the edges. For the strip lights that light up the stairs, their lumens should be 20-100. In this way, they can help the visitors see the stairs clearly. For those that light up the edges to create an atmosphere, the lumens can be less than 20-100 lumens. The light won’t be too bright to have a negative impact on the aesthetics of the garden design.
  • Column lights: In private gardens, there will also be street lights that light up the path, but they are elaborately designed, shorter, and don’t need to be as bright as the street lights for the roads. 100-200 lumens will be enough for them because the paths in the gardens are safer.
  • Wall lights: Wall lights have comprehensive applications. They can be used to light up landscapes like trees or to ensure security around the house. Some can even be equipped with cameras. The recommended lumens of 50-175 will be bright enough for its applications and will not be very dazzling.

Lumens for flood lights

We can use flood lights at different places, and the lumens of these various flood lights will be different.


  • High mast lights: Each of the flood lights at the high mast lights needs to have a lumen of 200-500. High mast lights are used for lighting up a large area, so they require a high brightness. And usually there will be a module of flood lights on them; each has 4 to 8 flood lights to achieve brighter lighting.
  • Sports court: There are many outdoor sports courts, such as the tennis court. Depending on factors like the different types of sports, the size of the court, whether there will be contests,etc., we will need different lighting. One flood light for these courts can have 200-500 lumens, and we will decide how many of them are needed by analyzing the specific situations.


No matter how many lumens you need for your lights, LED lights are always more energy-efficient than other lights. So it will be wise to choose different types of outdoor LED lights from Mokolight. We have the most professional experts who work on designing and producing LED lights and making customized plans for your project. With 17 years of experience and certifications from CE, ISO, UL, etc., we are the manufacturer you are looking for. Contact us now for the best outdoor LED lights!

Written by ——
Scott Hughes
Scott Hughes
Double Bachelor's degrees in Architecture and Electrical Engineering, 5+ years of experience with LED lighting, intelligent moving lights, and conventional fixtures. Reach Me Now>>
Scott Hughes
Scott Hughes
Double Bachelor's degrees in Architecture and Electrical Engineering, 5+ years of experience with LED lighting, intelligent moving lights, and conventional fixtures. Reach Me Now>>
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