Not long ago, light intensity measurements were given in watts. This directly translates to the total amount of power consumed. This means that the light intensity of any bulb you got, whether a 100 watt or 1000 watt would be directly proportional to its wattage.
However, things have changed of late. Light is nowadays measured in lumens. Determining the brightness of any source of light based on its Wattage ratings is not reliable. It simply predicts the brightness based on the extent of power usage.
When you go camping, you will need to have some lighting system outside your campsite. This may be in the form of solar lanterns while some may use generators. Irrespective of the means you’ll use to light your outdoors, to get the perfect lighting system, you may ask yourself this question, “how many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting?”
Definition of a Lumen
A lumen is a unit that shows the intensity of visible light. It is normally related directly to the amount of light being emitted from a light source. Once you purchase a bulb, in its packaging you will find details on the number of lumens a bulb emits upon lighting. It is every manufacturer’s responsibility to include that information.
Is a Higher Wattage Directly Proportional to Brighter Light?
The simple answer is that a higher wattage does not mean that the light will be brighter. Some time ago, that was the case, but it no longer applies. Modernization has helped us advance lighting, and it's now possible to produce more light while using less energy.
Now that most people are used to using power smartly and efficiently, it will be easier for them to measure the actual units of the intensity of visible light.
How many Lumens do I need for outdoor lighting?
Knowing the right amount of lighting to use outdoors is very important. Lack of sufficient lighting is dangerous as it could enhance insecurity while too much lighting, more than what is necessary is not ideal as it would lead to the accumulation of unnecessarily high power consumption.
Even if you use solar power which you harvest every day, there is still no reason why you should let the energy go to waste. For the outdoor path lighting, decorative track lighting is the best. For walkways, a well-lit lighting system will work. For this one, 100 lumens for every bulb are ideal.
For landscape lighting, the number of lumens per bulb can vary from 50 to 300 lumens. Landscape lighting can be used for both utility purposes by securing the property from crime and to enhance appearance. You can rely on the 50 lumens per bulb for a garden.
3 Factors that are likely to affect outdoor lighting
The way you deal with outdoor lighting should be different from how you are used to dealing with indoor lighting. Here are some important factors you should put into consideration:
1. Light pollution
Among the factors that affect outdoor lighting, there are the components of light pollution. They are light trespass, sky glow and light glare. These elements are undesirable because they affect the quality of light produced by a light source.
Light trespass is the extra amount of light that illuminates other items that are neighboring. Sky glow, on the other hand, represents the quantity of light that escapes into the night sky while light glare is the term used for the harsh brightness generated at times by outdoor lighting.
You need to control this and only then will you get the best outdoor lighting.
2. Background shades
In areas which have been painted with colors of darker shades, you need to install more bulbs that are of a higher intensity. This is because the dark background shades tend to absorb the light.
3. Light distribution
It is right for you to know how well your light should be distributed. There are areas which need bright light while others need some rather dim light. For instance, at the entry points, the light should be brightly focused on the pathway. Make it uniformly spaced to enable people to watch their steps. Objects within the area that needs lighting
In a situation where the area that needs lighting has very many objects, you should use more bulbs than you would use in a clear area. The reason behind this is that too many objects present in an area will cast shadows and make the area darker.
How to Deal with the Light Wastage Factor
In some instances, you may install the light bulbs, and it could fail to reflect in direct proportion to the number of bulbs that you have used. The reasons behind this could be that you have installed your light too close to the ground. The only way you can minimize wastage is by installing the light far from the ground.
For economical purposes, there are some very popular energy saving LED bulbs which are suitable for outdoor lighting. These bulbs will help you save several thousands of dollars every year on the electricity bill.
After going through this article, I am sure that you can now make detailed plans for lighting the exterior of your homestead or even your campsite. Stated are some of the factors that you should put into consideration when making plans for your outdoor lighting.
These factors will help you a great deal in selecting the right intensity as well as the type of lighting that is right. Beware of the laws governing lighting and its intensity due to environmental purposes.
In the long run, you will have an area that is well lit, and you will have achieved it most economically. Leave a comment on the article and let us know your thoughts on the topic ‘how many lumens do I need for outdoor lighting?’
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