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What Is the Best Wattage for Outdoor Flood Lights? What You Need To Know

Led floodlight

Today, you’ll find outdoor flood lights in various wattages. When shopping, it can get quite confusing. With so many choices, it can be challenging to determine your best option. In the end, it largely depends on what you’re using the light for and how many lights you have. Lighting up a garden is much different from using a light for security purposes. Plus, if you have several lights, you may not need them to be quite as bright.

light bulb divider

The Ideal Wattage for Flood Lights

The wattage of the flood light is one of the more critical considerations. The higher the wattage, the brighter the flood light will be, usually. Most consumers only need a flood light of 80 watts or less. These lights are incredibly bright and more than enough for a small yard or driveway. You’ll find the brightest lights installed on residential homes to be about 80 watts.

However, 50 watts can also be utilized for this purpose. They are still considered mid-level, allowing them to be used for driveways and small yards. If you’re trying to illuminate a doorway or footpath, consider getting a 30- or 15-watt light. These aren’t as bright but provide enough light for smaller spaces.

You can find lights that go all the way up to 400 watts. However, many of these are used for sporting venues, airports, and highways. They are far too bright to be used outside a home. You’ll need to consider which area the light will illuminate and then pick a light that is just bright enough. In most cases, blinding your guests is not the right approach!

Image By: anystock, Shutterstock

How Bright Should Outdoor Flood Lights Be?

You’ll want outdoor flood lights to be brighter if they’re used for larger areas. Up to 80 watts max is a reasonable estimate. However, most residential bulbs are closer to 60 watts, which still works in most circumstances. This wattage is enough to illuminate driveways and larger areas around your home. Therefore, they work great in places you want to stay secure or as part of a more extensive security system.

However, outdoor lights closer to the pathway or door need to be toned down. You don’t want to blind your guests as they knock on the door. You want them bright enough to provide easy viewing so you can see who is at the door, but you don’t want to damage their eyesight in the process. Typically, sticking closer to 30 watts is a better choice.

Many people use 15-watt lights for aesthetic purposes. You can use these to illuminate flowerbeds, trees, or small portions of your yard. They aren’t going to give off very much light, but you can also use them to illuminate borders. Some people also use them to light up stairways for safety purposes.

Does Wattage Matter for Flood Lights?

Yes. The wattage you choose does matter for flood lights. Higher-wattage lights will be brighter overall, allowing them to illuminate larger spaces. However, that doesn’t mean you should choose the brightest option. For doorways and smaller paths, lower-wattage lights are often recommended. Front porch lights and similar lights probably need a lower-wattage bulb to prevent your guests from being blinded.

Lights that light up driveways or open portions of your yard also need to be lighter.

Led floodlight
Image By: oleg_picolli, Shutterstock

What Wattage Are Most Outdoor Lights?

Most LED outdoor lights are around 60 watts. However, this can be a bit too bright for some situations. This wattage should be utilized chiefly for illuminating larger areas, like driveways and yards. For your front door light, you need an even lower wattage.

If you illuminate an outdoor area, like a porch, you should use a regular light. Floodlights direct light very narrowly, so they aren’t good at illuminating a room or porch. Instead, they work a bit like a spotlight. In this situation, you can use similar wattages to the lights inside your home.

Does Higher Wattage Mean Brighter?

Yes, higher wattage often means significantly brighter. The higher the wattage of the light, the brighter that light should be. Even a few watts can make a big difference in this regard.

Of course, the type of light also matters. Flood lights are much brighter than regular lightbulbs because they direct the light in a particular direction. Therefore, flood lights will be significantly brighter at lower wattages. You can use this to your advantage to save money on energy. LED lights tend to have much lower wattage than traditional options and are much brighter. They’re more efficient in their creation of light, which is how they can use less electricity to produce the same brightness.

hallogen floodlight
Image credit: ClimbWhenReady, Shutterstock

Which Color Is Best for Outdoor Flood Lights?

Outdoor lights should be on the warmer side of the spectrum. However, in the end, it doesn’t matter all that much. It depends on your preferences and the color light you like better. Our only recommendation is to use the same colors for all lights. If you have one light that’s a different color from all the others, it will look a bit weird. You want all the lights to be the same and uniform.

light bulb divider


Outdoor floodlights should be of higher wattage than the lights utilized indoors. However, because flood lights are designed to concentrate their light, the bulb often needs lower wattage than you’d think. These lights are designed to be very bright, so they don’t need a very high wattage to accomplish that. This efficiency is one of the reasons that flood lights are recommended for outdoor use.

However, it would be best to consider what you’re illuminating. You need a brighter light if you’re trying to light up a larger driveway or portion of your yard. You’ll probably need less light if you’re trying to light up your doorway.

Featured Image Credit: Phakorn Kasikij, Shutterstock


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