What are Lumens?
Updated: Jun 16, 2020
If you are confused by the difference between Lumens and Watts when looking at lights, rest assured, you are not alone. Here is a quick summary to help you out.
Lumens vs Watts
Watts is the universal standard measurement unit for lights but these days people talk more in terms of Lumens. Watts essentially measures the amount of energy and light emitted or in other the words the power needed to light the bulb. Whereas Lumens measures just the light output: or in other words the brightness. So more Lumens means a brighter light. Fewer Lumens means a dimmer light.
How do I convert Watts into Lumens?
Unfortunately, there is no simple Watts to Lumens conversion because it depends on the type of bulb and therefore energy source which can vary a great deal.
Therefore the simplest and quickest way we recommend to calculate this is to use an online converter such as this one: https://toponlinetool.com/watts-to-lumens-calculator/
How many Lumens do I need for Outdoor Lighting?
How many Lumens you require for Outdoor Lighting ranges from 12-1300 depending on what you will be using the lights for and the size of the area needing to be lit. Here is a good guideline:
Wall Lights: 50 - 185
Landscape Lighting: 50 - 300 Lumens (50 should be good for a Garden of small shrubbery)
Step Lights: 12 -100 Lumens
Path Lights: 100 - 200 Lumens
Pond/Pool Lights: 200 - 400 Lumens
Motion Sensor Lights: 300 - 700 Lumens
Flood Lights: 700 - 1300 Lumens
If you have a large landscape or complicated space to light, an Electrician will also be able to help you determine this for you.
Once you've figured out the Lumens you need, you then need to take a look at the Watts.
Yep! Remember that Watts is the amount of energy needed to power the bulb. The more energy you use the higher your energy bills. So checking out the Watts as well and looking for Energy Saver bulbs will help you save dollars in the long run.