Wattage For Outdoor Lights: Options To Consider

You can categorize your outdoor light wattage requirements as 40w light and below; 40w light – 80 w light and above 80w lights.

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Wattage for outdoor lighting: Photo credits Garden Builders

Last updated on February 17th, 2024 at 09:42 pm

The wattage for outdoor lights depends on the area of installation. However, there are certain guidelines you can follow when choosing suitable wattage for your outdoor light installation.

Let’s look at some common wattage for outdoor lighting systems:

40 Wattage And Below.

Lights with 40 wattages and below are ideal for lighting landscape areas, pathways, and garden beds. Notably, these lights are mainly used for lighting and not brightening the installation area.

40 Wattage To 80 Wattage

Lights within the 40 to 80 wattage category area are used in brightening their installation area. They are ideal for outdoor sites such as small yards, driveways, and your home’s interior. However, it is advisable you sparingly install lights under this category.

Remember, choosing such wattage for outdoor lights will definitely result in more energy consumption. You can learn more about the relationship between energy consumption and light wattage.

Above 80 Wattage

Lights under this category are incredibly bright. The primary example of such lamps is the floodlights.

You can use such lights to illuminate large lawns or driveways.

Alternatively, lights under this category can be fixed with sensors and used to scare off predators or thieves.

Facts About Wattage For Outdoor Lights


First, why is outdoor light wattage necessary?

 It is the power outdoor lighting will use to produce sufficient illumination. Therefore, outdoor light wattage will always vary depending on the illumination you need.

As we mentioned earlier, you can choose low-wattage outdoor flood light bulbs or opt for high-wattage outdoor flood lights.

Wattage for outdoor flood light - photo courtsey lepro
Outdoor flood light – photo credits: lepro

Again, you must know the kilowatt hour of your outdoor lighting systems. It will help you estimate the amount of power your outdoor light will use over time.

More importantly, even as you evaluate typical wattage for outdoor lights, you should remember these:

Outdoor Light Lumen

We use lumen to describe the intensity of visible light. It implies you will use lumen to describe the brightness of your outdoor lights. Therefore, you must consider lumen even as you look for the best wattage for outdoor lights.

wattage for outdoor light - photo credits: Arch daily
Lumen vs watts – photo credits: Arch daily

Color Rendering Index (CRI) For Outdoor Lights

For your outdoor lighting systems where colors are essential, you must consider CRI alongside outdoor light wattage. CRI is the ability of an outdoor lighting system to reproduce colors on various objects they illuminate. That is, the ability to reveal colors.

CRI - photo credits: Upshine
CRI Photo credits: Upshine

Average Rated Lifespan

Besides the recommended wattage for outdoor lights, always check the rated lifespan. It may range from 750 to 50,000 hours, depending on the type of light bulb.

Quality Certification

You must check the various certifications such as UL, CE, IP, RoHS, and CCC. More importantly, they should have Energy Star Certification.

So, even considering the recommended wattage for outdoor light, Energy Certification will ensure the outdoor light bulb meets strict energy efficiency guidelines.

Therefore, even as you consider “What is a good wattage for outdoor lights?’ focus on:

  • Significant energy saving (using 70 to 90 less energy)
  • Long service lifespan – say about 10 times longer (more durable)
  • Emitting low heat
recommended wattage for outdoor lights
Energy star outdoor light – Photo credits: Philips

More importantly, you should consider the efficiency rating of the light.

Light Kelvin Temperature

Kelvin is a measure of thermodynamic temperature. You can express the color temperature of outdoor lights as absolute temperature.

Watts for outdoor light - phot credits: BLTDirect
Light Kelvin Temperature – photo credits: BLTDirect

People Also Ask:

1.      Is There Recommended Brightness For Outdoor Lights?

Well, this depends on where you plan to install your outdoor lights.  For instance;

  1. Landscape outdoor lights may require 30 lumen lights to 300 lumen lights
  2. Outdoor path light requires 100 lumen light to 200 lumen light
  3. Outdoor post lights can be 120 lumen light to 180 lumen light

On average, when it comes to outdoor lighting, it can range from 12 lumen to 1300 lumen. It will depend on the location, landscaping needs or desired theme.

As a general rule, the brightest light bulb for outdoors will depend on your unique lighting requirements. Whether you want to use the lights for landscaping, security, etc.

2.      Will Wattage Matter In Outdoor Lights?


Wattage determines energy consumption requirements and brightness.

3. Are There 200 Watt LED Flood Light; Can You Recommend This Wattage For Outdoor Lights?


Theoretically, most 200w LED flood lights produce about 16,000 lumens. Additionally, they guarantee 5000k. It is a super bright LED flood light.

Of course, if you compare it to other lights, of the same category, with LED flood lights, you will still save 80% on electricity bills. An example of this type of light is the Philips SmartBright LED Floodlights.

Obviously, 200 watts is mainly suitable for outdoor lighting applications.

Our Take-away

With lights rating 40 watts, you can adequately illuminate the outdoor areas of your home. Such lamps are not blinding and provide enough illumination to showcase your home.

However, in night conditions, 80 wattage for outdoor lights are the go-to option. These lights provide enough illumination for dark conditions. Also, they do not produce damaging brightness that may affect the friendly night organisms.

Again the recommended wattage for your outdoor lights will depend on your specific needs such as landscaping requirements.


Lighting Principle

Color Rendering Index

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Join the Conversation


  1. Timothy Reply

    If I may ask, what is the best wattage for outdoor garage lights

    1. admin Reply

      Illuminating Engineering Society recommends 50 lumen of lighting per square foot of space. So, the total amount of lumen you may require depends on the size of the garage.
      For instance a big garage may require 20,000 lumen.
      But, why do I focus on lumen and not wattage for outdoor garage lights?
      Light wattage simply gives you an estimate of power consumption or energy usage – thus translating to the bill. Of course, higher wattage implies more lumen (and brightness). However, there is also wattage equivalence.
      Although for most outdoor applications, you may choose between 40 to 80w.

  2. jack Reply

    How about wattage for landscaping lights?