The Outdoor Lighting Guide: How Many Lumens Do You Need?
Whether you’re a city dweller or an outdoor enthusiast, you’ve probably noticed how dark your nights can get.
Fortunately, this has never been an issue thanks to the abundance of light bulbs that have been invented over the years.
Even so, there are times when artificial lighting is not enough. Understanding this and taking advantage of outdoor lighting opportunities are as important as they are simple.
In order for a property to look its best, it needs to be well-lit at night. But what does “well-lit” actually mean? Do you need the same number of lumens in your light fixtures as you do lamps? The answer is yes and no. It depends on what type of lighting you want and where you intend to use it.
What is Lumen?
Lumen is a unit of light measurement that is used to compare the brightness of different types of light. It is measured in lumens, with 1000 lumens equating to one foot-candle of light intensity. While a foot-candle may seem like a small amount of light (which it is), it is still enough to see most things, including human-sized objects, clearly.
The amount of light a particular light bulb or fixture will produce will vary depending on a number of factors, including the color temperature of the bulb, the type of bulb you’re using, and the distance between the bulb and the object it’s being used to light up.
How Many Lumens Do You Need for Outdoor Lighting?
The first thing you need to do is to calculate how many lumens your outdoor fixtures will require. This will help you choose the appropriate lighting fixtures and measure the amount of light that each of them produces.
To get started, you will need to know the area where you want your outdoor lighting to be used. From there, you can calculate the amount of lumens you will require by dividing the area you need by the square footage of your outdoor fixtures. If you’re unsure what type of outdoor lighting you should buy, a good place to start is looking at the area of the space.
From there, you can calculate the amount of lumens needed and choose the right outdoor light fixtures.
How to Calculate Lumen Needed Per Area
There are several different ways to calculate the amount of lumens required for your outdoor lighting, but for most people, these calculations will be fairly similar (as long as you do a bit of research).
When figuring out how many lumens you need, it’s important to remember that the lighting fixture needs to be able to produce enough light to cover the area you’re using it in.
This means that if you’re using an 8′ x 8′ area, then your fixtures should be able to produce about 800 lumens per square foot. This is one of the main factors that will make a difference when picking out appropriate outdoor lighting fixtures.
To figure out how many lumens your fixtures need, divide the area where you want your lighting by the square footage of each fixture and multiply it by 800 (this will give you an estimate of how many lumens each fixture should have).
Lumen Output Per Foot
Another way to calculate the amount of lumens needed is by dividing the area where you want your lights by their length. If they are 4′ long then they should produce about 400 lumens per foot. To figure out how many lumens each type of light fixture should produce, just divide their length by two and multiply it by 400 (this will give you an estimate of how much light they should give off).
The following table shows some examples for calculating lumen output per foot:
Lumen Output Per Foot Example
Area: 10′ x 10′
Fixture Length: 4′
Lumen Output Per Foot: 400 (10/2 x 400) = 300 (10/2 x 100) = 50 lumens per foot.
Area: 8′ x 8′
Fixture Length: 8′
Lumen Output Per Foot: 800 (8/2 x 800) = 400 (8/2 x 100) = 200 lumens per foot.
Area: 10’x 10′
Fixture Length: 30″
Lumen Output Per Foot: 1600 (30/2 x 1600) = 900 (30/2 x 100) = 150 lumens per foot.
Area: 12″x12″x12″ (3ft high by 12ft long by 3ft wide). This is the area I use for my example of calculating the amount of light fixtures you need to light your yard properly. You can use this same idea to figure out how many lights you need for other areas such as a driveway, garage or shed. If you have a larger area then make sure that each fixture is the same length so that their light can be evenly distributed.
For example if your area was about 20 ft wide and 40 ft long then each fixture would need to be at least 20′. If your area is smaller then make sure that each fixture produces enough light to cover the entire area evenly.
For example if you had a 4′ x 8′ area, then each fixture would need to be at least 3′. You can also use this same idea to figure out how many lights you need for other purposes, such as for a plant light or for your workbench. In the example I used above I used it to figure out how many lights I needed to light my entire yard properly. But you could also use it to figure out how many lights you need for your workbench or garage, or even a small room. Just make sure that each fixture is the same length and has the same amount of lumens.
Understanding Lumen Ratings
Distance Between Bulb and Object – The farther out you place your outdoor fixtures and the longer your bulbs are, the more lumens they will produce. This is because more energy is released from the bulb as it heats up (and, therefore, the longer the bulb is, the more energy is produced).
Light Source – The source of your outdoor lighting can also affect how many lumens it produces. For example, two bulbs left on in the same area for an extended period of time will not produce the same amount of light as if they were both on for a shorter amount of time.
Surface Reflectance – Depending on where you place your fixtures, you may want to consider surface reflectance. This is when the bulb is placed on a non-white surface, like a black table or a black roof. This will help to prevent light pollution and save you on lumens.
The difference between lumens and lux rating
Lumens are a unit of light measurement that is used to compare the brightness of different types of light. Lumen ratings are provided for outdoor lighting fixtures and are based on wattage and voltage.
Lux, on the other hand, is a unit of measurement used to rank outdoor lighting based on how much it contributes to outdoor lighting pollution and energy consumption. Lumens are useful when you are comparing the brightness of different outdoor lighting types. However, it cannot be used to compare one bulb’s output to another’s. To do this, you need to know the lux rating of the bulbs you’re using.
The Importance of Color Temperature in outdoor lighting
Color temperature is an important factor to take into account when choosing the right outdoor lighting types. Warm (2,700–5,500 K) and cool (5,500–9,000 K) colors are the most common ones. Warm colors are preferred because they produce a more realistic and balanced look.
While color temperature is an important factor to consider, you should also keep in mind how much light it produces. A color with a low color temperature will produce a lower amount of lumens, while a higher-quality, high-color-temperature bulb will produce a great deal more.
Understanding the different types of outdoor lighting
The types of outdoor lighting can be broken down into two categories: decorative and functional. Decorative lighting is dedicated to creating a certain mood, while functional lighting is used for illumination.
Both decorative and functional outdoor lighting types come in a variety of styles and sizes.
Decorative outdoor lighting includes both indoor and outdoor fixtures that are used to create a particular mood or atmosphere. Some examples include chandeliers, pendants, wall sconces, lighted trees, bollards, LED lamps, and more.
Decorative outdoor lighting can be found indoors as well as outdoors in the form of furniture such as lamps or chandeliers that can be placed anywhere in the home or outside on patios or walkways.
Functional outdoor lighting includes lights that produce illumination for specific purposes such as security lights, spotlights, floodlights, reflective light strips (also known as down lights), and more. Functional outdoor lights are designed to replace other fixtures without losing their purpose.
They do not alter the atmosphere but instead produce illumination for specific purposes such as security lights that illuminate dark areas or spots where it is difficult to see so you can safely walk by them at night without tripping over something unexpected.
Spotlights that illuminate areas where you need to see something clearly;
Floodlights that illuminate an entire area with bright light reflective light strips (also known as down lights) which reflect light upward so it does not shine directly on an object but instead shines up into the sky so it does not create glare and more.
Weatherproof lighting is designed to be used outdoors in all weather conditions including rain, snow, sleet and even hurricanes.
Weatherproof lighting can be used indoors as well but it is typically not designed to function in extreme weather conditions such as extreme heat or cold. In this case, a weatherproof light can be used to create an atmosphere that is warm and welcoming but it will not illuminate anything in the room.
It will simply provide extra ambient light for the area so you do not have to turn on several different lights when you are just trying to get something done around the house at night.
The color temperature of a weatherproof lighting fixture is usually lower than an indoor light fixture which makes it feel warmer but also creates a warmer overall atmosphere in the room.
Outdoor Solar Lights
Outdoor solar lights are also known as solar floodlights, solar path lights and more.
These types of fixtures use either fluorescent or LED technology to produce illumination for outdoor use such as for walkways or patios where they are placed on posts at either end of the walkway or patio where they shine up into the sky with ambient outdoor lighting for a beautiful ambiance when the sun goes down. Outdoor solar lights are commonly used on patios because they are easy to install and maintain because they do not require wiring or hardwiring into any structure such as a house or building walls like some other types of outdoor lighting.
They can also be very attractive when used in a garden or yard of any kind. Outdoor solar lights are also commonly used on pathways to illuminate the pathway and walkway as well as provide extra ambient light for the area so you do not have to turn on several different lights when you are just trying to get something done around the house at night.
The color temperature of an outdoor solar light is usually lower than an indoor light fixture which makes it feel warmer but also creates a warmer overall atmosphere in the room.
Outdoor Solar Path Lights
Outdoor solar path lights are also known as solar floodlights, solar path lights and more.
These types of fixtures use either fluorescent or LED technology to produce illumination for outdoor use such as for walkways or patios where they are placed on posts at either end of the walkway or patio where they shine up into the sky with ambient outdoor lighting for a beautiful ambiance when the sun goes down.
Outdoor solar path lights are commonly used on paths because they are easy to install and maintain because they do not require wiring or hardwiring into any structure such as a house or building walls like some other types of outdoor lighting. They can also be very attractive when used in a garden or yard of any kind.
Outdoor solar path lights are also commonly used on patios because they are easy to install and maintain because they do not require wiring or hardwiring into any structure such as a house or building walls like some other types of outdoor lighting.
They can also be very attractive when used in a garden or yard of any kind.
Which Outdoor Lighting Fixture Should You Buy?
When it comes to outdoor lighting, the price of the fixtures and the type of light they produce is more important than the brand name. Keep in mind that the overall cost will include the fixtures and the bulb, so you will want to keep an eye out for deals on those.
From there, it’s all about what style of outdoor lighting you want for your property. Do you want something traditional or modern? Do you want to go with a classic bulb or a more modern fixture? These are all questions you will want to consider before making a purchase.
When it comes to outdoor lighting, you don’t need to spend a fortune on the latest, greatest fixtures. Instead, you should consider cheaper options that provide adequate lighting and that won’t break the bank. When choosing the types of outdoor lighting you want to use, you need to consider how they will be used and how attractive they will be to the eye.
If you want something that can be used in a wide range of settings, consider investing in lighting fixtures that are more traditional. If your outdoor lighting needs are more specific, you may want to consider buying fixtures that provide a specific type of light. No matter which type of outdoor lighting you choose for your property, you can rest assured knowing that it will be functional and affordable.
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