How Many Lumens Do I Need To Light My Area [2021]

What is a lumen? | What are led lumens? | How many lumens light up an average room? | Led lumens chart by brightness

When you are trying to decorate a certain area, you will inevitably find yourself asking this question – How many lumens do I need to make this area bright enough? The answer will vary depending on the lighting requirements of the area and whether it is a dining area, a living area, or if you are dealing with outdoor lighting.

A general rule that we can mention here is this – a sitting room or bedroom needs anywhere from 10 to 20 lumens per square metre, while bathrooms and kitchens will need up to 80 lumens per square metre. As for landscape lighting, you can use anywhere from 200 to 300 lumens, depending on the size of the area.

What Is A Lumen?

Before you start contemplating how many lumens do I need for a certain area, I would have to know what lumens are. Lumens are closely connected to lighting as they can be found in light bulbs and other lighting products. A lumen is the brightness of a LED light or a regular or incandescent light bulb.   

When trying to choose light bulbs, it is best to look for the lumens as they measure the light output. Many people look at the watts thinking that they have to do something with the light output but the truth is that watts only measure the energy use.

A smart decision would be to try and be more energy efficient with your light and you can now do that with energy efficient LED lights. These new LED lights come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colours to choose from so you will have no problem finding lights that fit your area best. They will not only make your home look better but will also save you a lot of money on energy!

If you have set your mind on using incandescent light, I advise you to at least get halogen lights instead of the regular ones.  They are more energy efficient and they tend to last a lot longer than incandescent light bulbs.

What Are Led Lumens?

Not only in LED lights but other types of lights as well, a lumen is just another word for the brightness of the light. Simply put – more lumens means more brightness, less lumens means less brightness.

LED lights are becoming more and more popular these days, but some people still find it hard to compare the lumens in these lights with the watts that regular light bulbs were measured in. If you want to know how many lumens are there per watt in LED lights, here is a simple explanation for it:

  • 6 watts = 450 lumens
  • 9 to 10 watts = 800 lumens
  • 13 watts = 1100 lumens
  • 16 to 18 watts = 1600 lumens
  • 24 watts = 2600 lumens
  • 45 watts = 5800 lumens

How Many Lumens Light Up An Average Room?

If you are still trying to figure out how many lights you need above your dining table or in your living room, you have come to the right place. I will help you determine the exact amount of light you need for a certain area but for that need, I will have to explain what foot candles are. Simply put, a foot-candle is the brightness of a light one foot away from the source. Here is the room foot candle requirement for all rooms in your house:

  • Hallway – 70 to 80 foot candles
  • Living room – 10 to 20 foot candles
  • Bedroom – 10 to 20 foot candles
  • Dining room – 30 to 40 foot candles
  • Kitchen area – 30 to 40 foot candles
  • Kitchen stove area – 70 to 80 foot candles
  • Kitchen sink area – 70 to 80 foot candles
  • Bathroom – 70 to 80 foot candles

With that being said, you should keep in mind that one foot-candle equals 10.76 lumens and using this, you can do the math and see how many lumens you need.

Led Lumens Chart By Brightness

I already mentioned the lumens per watt ratios for LED lights, but I would like to add those ratios for standard, halogen, and CFL lights as well. Here is a closer look into these ratios:

  • Brightness in Lumens: 220+ 400+ 700+ 900+ 1300+
  • Standard light bulb: 25W 40W 60W 75W 100W
  • Halogen light bulb: 18W 28W 42W 53W 70W
  • CFL light bulb: 6W 9W 12W 15W 20W
  • LED light bulb: 4W 6W 10W 13W 18W

How Bright Is 100 Lumens?

Lights of 100 lumens are bright enough and offer a decent amount of light for walkways or some other outdoor area. However, you can use up to 300 lumens in an outdoor area if you want to make it a bit brighter. The brightness of 100 lumens equals 20 watts!

How Bright Is 200 Lumens?

Landscape lights with a brightness of 200 lumens are enough to make an outdoor area pleasant for sitting, while you can also use this amount of brightness around pathways, pools, and ponds. Usually, household flashlights also have a brightness of 200 lumens.

How Bright Is 250 Lumens?

The brightness of 250 lumens equals an incandescent light of 25 watts. This amount of brightness is not recommended for sitting areas, bathrooms, or kitchens. However, you can use a LED light of 250 lumens in a hallway or an outdoor area.

How Bright Is 400 Lumens?

The brightness of 400 lumens is recommended for some sitting places like living rooms or libraries, while you can also use this amount of brightness in bedrooms. With that being said, you should keep in mind that this is far from the brightest option possible and it even might be more on the dim side.

How Bright Is 800 Lumens?

Well, the brightness of 800 lumens is something else compared to the previous brightness options that I mentioned. This amount of brightness is recommended for areas like kitchens or bathroom, while you can also use it in closets or vanity spots where you need more light.

How Bright Is 900 Lumens?

The brightness of 900 lumens is more than enough for living spaces. You can use this amount of brightness in certain large commercial spaces or outdoor area that you want to be visible from quite a distance. If you have a flashlight or 900 lumens, chances are that you will be able to see as far as 100 meters and more.

How Bright Is 1000 Lumens?

The brightness of 1000 lumens is usually used for certain lenses or reflectors. A light of this brightness is too bright for an indoor area and is only recommended for certain outdoor areas or spotlights that need to reach a distance of some 200 meters and even more.

How Bright Is 1500 Lumens?

I think that the brightness of 1500 lumens would be too much for the human eye. You can use it for some larger spaces but I do not recommend using it for smaller rooms or other indoor spaces under 19 square meters.

How Bright Is 2000 Lumens?

The brightness of 2000 lumens is usually used with projectors when watching movies on a 100 to 120 inch screen. However, this refers to watching movies without any other light – if you want to have your lights on, it would be better to use a projector with 3000 lumens.

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