How Many Lumens For Outdoor Wall Light: A Bright Guide

Outdoor lighting can transform your space into an inviting sanctuary for outdoor activities, hosting guests, or just enjoying the fresh air. They can also be added as a security measure to protect your home. 

However, choosing an outdoor fixture amidst all of the available options can make your lighting decisions feel impossible!

In this guide, we’ll discuss:

  • Outdoor lighting brightness
  • Define the ideal lumens for the purpose of outdoor lighting
  • Provide tips on how to avoid light pollution.

The goal of this article is to ensure that you walk away feeling equipped to illuminate your outdoor space in the most perfect way possible. Let’s get started!

How Many Lumens For An Outdoor Wall Light?

Outdoor wall fixtures for ambient lighting should range from 200-400 lumens, but brighter task lights are usually between 400-800 lumens. This will ensure that you have appropriate lighting for each specific area of your home.

Understanding Lumens for Outdoor Lighting

For aesthetic purposes, lighting can really elevate an outdoor space such as a patio, pool area, or lawn. 

Additionally, outdoor lighting fixtures may increase perimeter visibility and overall safety for you and your family. 

However, in order to get the most out of your outdoor lights, it’s important to understand the lumen measuring system to ensure that you’re installing the most appropriate lighting for your space.

What are lumens?

Lumens are a unit of measurement that tells us about the brightness of a light source. 

In the context of outdoor lighting, lumens serve as an important measure of the effectiveness of a light source, as well as a gauge of aesthetic lighting preferences.

The shift from wattage to lumens

Prior to the use of lumens, wattage was the standard unit of measure for brightness. 

However, as lighting technology evolved, it was discovered that lumens gave a more accurate depiction of lighting efficiency. 

Additionally, lumens are more intuitive to understand than wattage as lumens directly measure brightness and are consistent regardless of lightbulb type. 

Importance of choosing the right lumens for outdoor lighting

The lumens of your outdoor lighting determine its utility and aesthetic. Prior to choosing your outdoor lighting fixture or scheme, you may want to consider your intentions for your outdoor space. 

For example, is your outdoor space mostly used by your kids when they use the pool or play on the swing set? 

Or, is it your reprieve from work and a space to unwind in? 

Maybe your backyard is the only place where you’re able to craft your DIY projects the list is endless and completely unique. 

Determining the Right Amount of Lumens for Outdoor Wall Lights

It’s good to be aware of the purpose of lumens, but how does that information transfer to your lighting requirements?

In this section, we’ll discuss important considerations and recommendations when shopping with lumens in mind:

Factors to consider (size of the area, desired brightness)

You don’t need exact measurements (although they are helpful), but having a general sense of how big your unlit space is will determine your desired lumens. 

For example, mood lighting in a large backyard requires very different lumens than mood lighting for a small patio. 

So, ask yourself how bright you want your space to be, while also considering space size. 

Recommended lumens for different outdoor wall light applications (pathways, entryways, security lighting)

Pathway lighting is typically softer than other types of lighting (such as entrance or security lighting). With that said, it is recommended that lights are around 150 lumens.

In your entryway, brighter lights are typically preferential as they’ll give you more coverage (especially if you also have a Ring camera). Therefore, lights of approximately 200-400 lumens should provide you with enough brightness for your entryway.

Finally, for security lights, a brightness of 700 lumens or more will make the whole area very visible!

Tips for Avoiding Light Pollution

Any outdoor light that is excessive or distracting in an area can be considered light pollution.

 Light pollution can have negative impacts on people and wildlife, such as being a constant annoyance to your neighbors. 

Here is a list of ways to avoid light pollution while still enjoying outdoor lights!

Turn off unused lights

If you have left an area, it is both energy efficient and considerate to turn the lights off. 

Conveniently, there are many apps that can connect to your outdoor lights and provide you with a method for turning them off from your phone. Plus, if you turn your outdoor lights off regularly, your electricity bill will thank you!

Use LED lighting

LED lighting can be directed toward the exact desired area of effect, making it a more suitable choice for the purpose of avoiding light pollution. 

Also, LED lights come in a variety of colors that can dull the harshness of your lights as the night progresses. 

Choose IDA-approved light fixtures

IDA (International Dark-Sky Association) approved light fixtures are certified through a rigorous process that involves meeting responsible outdoor lighting criteria. 

Finding a fixture that is certified by this organization almost guarantees that your contributions to light pollution will be minimal (if any). 

Install time and motion sensors

Since turning the lights off can be easy to forget, installing motion sensors around your lights is a great way to ensure that the light leaves with you! 


Hopefully, you now feel ready to embark on your next outdoor lighting project after reading this article. 

For any further specific inquiries about lighting, speak with local hardware or lighting store staff or have a look through this site. 

Otherwise, get out there and start creating the outdoor lighting setup of your dreams!

John Bayly

John Bayly

John has dedicated his career to the lighting industry. Starting out as an interior designer with a specialism in lighting, he went on to found his own commercial lighting business. He now shares his expertise and passion for all things lighting with readers of