Every light bulb, from LED bulbs and smart lights, does what it was designed to do: light up a dark space. When it comes to outdoor lighting, there are many light bulbs to choose from. But how do you know how bright a light source is? How does knowing the brightness of a light bulb help when choosing light bulbs for outdoor landscape lighting? The answer lies in lumens.
What are Lumens?
People purchase light bulbs to improve safety, provide ambiance, and extend the time spent outdoors when the sun sets.
Traditionally, wattage, the amount of energy a light consumed, was used to determine a light’s brightness. However, as lighting technology improved, wattage became an unreliable source to measure brightness. Modern lights, such as LED bulbs, used less energy, but produced brighter light.
Now lumens, the measurement of how bright a light source is, is used to determine a light’s brightness. A higher number of lumens means brighter light and a lower number of lumens means dimmer light. The switch to lumens makes it easier to purchase light bulbs when people know exactly what they are getting.
Using Lumens to Shop for Bulbs
Packages of light bulbs now have a lighting facts label on them. This label provides all sorts of information about that particular light bulb such as lumens, estimated yearly cost, color temperature of the light bulb, and more. Use the information provided by these labels to easily choose a light bulb that is required for any job.
Other than the label, it is also important to answer questions about the particular outdoor space that needs to be lit up. What is the outdoor area that needs to be illuminated? Is it a small porch, pool area, outdoor kitchen? Next determine what the area is being used for. Is this space used for entertainment or cooking? Personal preference, how big or small the space is, and the desired aesthetic for the space also come into play when it comes to choosing the lumens of a light.
For example, if the outdoor space is a small cooking area, maybe light bulbs with a higher lumen (and therefore brighter light) will be preferable and a lesser amount of lighting fixtures would be necessary to light up the area.
Knowing what area is being lit up and the lumens of a light bulb can make it simple to shop for any light bulb.
Choosing the Right Lumens for Outdoor Landscape Lighting
Lumens for outdoor landscape lights will vary as each outdoor area is unique and its requirements are different. What works for one outdoor space will probably not work for another.
A blog from The Home Depot lists the following ranges for outdoor landscape lighting fixtures:
- Hardscape lights (on walls) 50-185 lumens
- Path lights: 100-200 lumens
- Pond/pool lights: 200-400 lumens
- Landscape spotlights: 120 lumens
While knowing the lumens and therefore how bright a light is useful, it is not the sole indicator of what light is best suited for the job. Color temperature, color rendering index (CRI), lux, and the unique focal points of an outdoor space are some other factors to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a light source. Each of these factors have a hand in how a light source will appear and the effects it will give to the surrounding area.
Use lumens in conjunction with other factors to truly determine which light bulb or light source is suitable for a particular lighting project or lighting fixture. For example, maybe an outdoor area is designed for relaxation. In that case, choose a light bulb that has a lower lumen and on the warmer side of the Kelvin scale.
Lumens are only one factor when it comes to choosing the right light for outdoor landscape lighting.
Light bulbs at LightCh8in
LightCh8in is your one stop shop for light bulbs and more. From LED bulbs, smart bulbs, halogen bulbs, and integrated outdoor landscape lighting fixtures, find them all on our website. Use them to brighten up and add a unique atmosphere to any outdoor environment.
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