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How Many Lumens Is Enough for a Good Floodlight? What you need to know!

LED flood light

Floodlights are extremely useful pieces of modern equipment. Floodlights can be used for security purposes or to light up a treacherous part of your yard after dark. Floodlights often come with a slew of numbers and ratings that tell you how bright they are. But what do these numbers actually mean? It’s great that a particular floodlight says it has 600 total lumens of output but is that bright? How many lumens is enough for a good floodlight?

The answer depends on what you are using your floodlight for and what type of area you are attempting to light up. Here is a great overview of how many lumens constitute a bright floodlight for every conceivable purpose.

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What constitutes a good floodlight is going to depend on what your particular need is. Some people need very bright floodlights that light up very large areas like parking lots or construction sites. Homeowners might just want a flood light that illuminates the space between their side door and their shed in case they need to go out at night. Other people might want a security light that will illuminate any trespassers and hopefully startle them and scare them off. Each of these scenarios will require a light with a different amount of lumen production.

Use Lumens
General Purpose 700 – 1,300
Security 1,300 – 3,000
Large Spaces 2,500 – 10,000
Commercial 10,000+

Most homeowners will want a light that falls between 700 and 2,000 lumens. That is the range that is good enough for general purpose lighting, garden lighting, and home security floodlights. Any lights under 700 lumens will typically be too dim to be an effective floodlight. Anything over 2000 lumens is very, very bright and can easily overwhelm a small yard and could even become a nuisance to neighbors. Any lights over 2000 lumens will typically be security lights that come on for short amounts of time to deter criminals and animals from approaching your home.

Any lighting over 3,000 lumens is going to be used in some sort of municipal or commercial setting. Floodlights of this caliber are used to light up basketball courts, parks, roadways, parking lots, warehouses, and more. These lights will generally not be used by regular homeowners or typical people but could be used by local governments or companies.

General Purpose (700 – 1,300 Lumens)

Image By: anystock, Shutterstock

Not all flood lights have to be security lights. Some floodlights can turn themselves on at night and run all night. These general purpose floodlights are used to illuminate small areas of residential space. General purpose lights can be used to light up the area in front of a garage or illuminate a backyard path. These floodlights can be used as ambiance or for safety purposes by illuminating dark areas. These lights are bright at night but are otherwise just a little brighter than typical lightbulbs. This is one of the most common types of floodlights and the ones most likely to be found on a regular home.

  • Front of garage
  • Driveway lighting
  • Pathway lighting

Security (1,300 – 3,000 Lumens)

Security lights are placed in similar locations as general purpose floodlights but do not run continuously. These lights are brighter than general purpose floodlights and usually kick on when they detect motion. Security floodlights provide a burst of bright light to light up a large area. The bright light and motion activated features work to startle animals and people. Neighbors that see a bright security light go off will know to keep a wide berth from your home.

Security lights can also provide enough light for homeowners to see what is going on or provide light for HD cameras to capture the action in good lighting. The brightest security lights typically max out around 3,000 lumens, which will be noticeably bright on a residential property.

  • Deterrent
  • Startling effect
  • Illuminate a large area for examination

Large Spaces (2,500 – 10,000 Lumens)

Floodlights at a sports stadium

You might not realize it, but many large public and private spaces are lit with large floodlights. These lights produce at very high rates that can push 10,000 lumens or more. These lights are very bright, more expensive than other floodlights, and typically need to be mounted 10 feet or more in the air for best results. Regular homeowners rarely use these types of floodlights unless they have very large properties that require a lot of light at night. Places like parks, basketball courts, and sidewalks are often lit up by powerful floodlights.

  • Illuminate a park
  • Illuminate a large yard
  • Light a parking lot or section of road

Commercial (10,000+ Lumens)

Finally, commercial lights can be exceptionally bright. These lights are never used in residential settings and often need large, powerful power cables and professional installation and management. These floodlights light up things like large construction sites, airport runways, stretches of interstate highway, and whole warehouses. Some commercial floodlights can be as bright as 50,000 lumens and can completely overpower residential areas.

  • Illuminate a warehouse
  • Illuminate a highway or airport
  • Light up a full commercial yard
  • Provide daylight-like light for a large number of people at night

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The number of lumens that make for a good floodlight is entirely dependent on the floodlight’s primary purpose. A 5,000-lumen floodlight will be way too bright for a backyard but too dim for a construction site. The most common floodlights are general-purpose and security lights, and these range up to 2,000 lumens. Determining the primary purpose for your floodlight and the position of your floodlight will determine how many lumens you need to make it effective.

Featured Image Credit: Chatchawal Kittirojana, Shutterstock


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