The Perfect Lumen Count For Your Garden – My Researched Answer

You recently worked on the landscaping of your garden and in broad daylight, everything looks great.

But when it starts to get dark, and you turn on your outdoor lights, you realize the lighting doesn’t give justice to your landscaping.

For smaller gardens, 100 to 300 lumens of lighting will be enough. For vast gardens, the lighting can go somewhere between 600 up to 1,800 lumens. You also need to consider the lumens for the lighting on the path, patio, and walls, which can be somewhere between 50 to 200 lumens.

So with that said, keep reading and you’ll learn everything you need to know about lighting for your garden and what questions you need to ask when shopping for new lights.

I’ll even throw in a few of my recommendations for excellent garden lighting options.

Lumens for Your Garden Landscape 

It’s never too late to fix the lighting in your garden. However, it would help if you also considered other factors for light fixtures, such as the ambiance, the overall look of the landscape, and how it may seem from a distance.

Here in this article, I’ll guide you through choosing the perfect lumen count for your outdoor lighting without sacrificing the garden’s vibe nor your friendship with your neighbors. 

Garden landscaping is one feature in any property that you can’t help but admire. It would be great if you could look out at your garden and enjoy the view even during nighttime and regardless of the season.

Proper lumen lighting strategically placed in your garden landscape will help bring out a different vibe in your yard. 

Gentle Lighting for Smaller Gardens 

For a garden that is about 1,000 square feet or less, it’s ideal to use lighting with around 100 to 300 lumens.

It’s ideal to think of a type of lighting that is functional and will highlight the beauty of your garden without taking up so much of your ground space.

A great candidate for that is the spotlight. Small garden spotlights can be strategically placed across your garden, adjusting the head to focus on the parts that need illumination.

Highlight your favorite garden features, be it an aged tree, a colorful shrubbery, or the freshly trimmed grass.

Having around two to five spotlights is good enough. 100 lumens is considered to be equivalent to 20 watts, which is bright enough to illuminate a specific spot and its surroundings without drowning your space with too much light.

One great spotlight to check out is the Mini 50X Solar-Powered LED Spotlight. You get two spotlights, each with 80 to 120 lumens, for only $39.99

Well-placed Lighting for Larger Gardens 

Having a more extensive garden means having more room for landscaping. You can add more plants or decorative pieces to your yard.

But the same principle applies when it comes to landscape lighting. Highlight the best parts or your favorite spots in your garden.

For vast gardens, it’s recommended to use around 600 to 1,800 lumens. There’s no need for you to put too many lights across your garden. 

Inground lighting with around 600 to 800 lumens will look great in your garden. It will not only illuminate the surroundings, but it will also create silhouettes when placed beside trees, shrubs, or huge garden ornaments. It’s also a good source of lighting for pathways.

Just make sure it’s strategically placed not to blind any passersby. One great inground lighting is something like the Flat Top LED Well Light by Hinkley that sells for $209. 

Post lights are staples when it comes to outdoor lighting. Placing a post light in certain parts of your garden invokes a feeling of safety that it feels inviting to stay on that spot.

It’s a great source of light that can blend well with its surroundings, and if you’re willing to spend on a luxurious post light, check out the 900-dollar Hubbardton Forge Loft Outdoor Post Light. 

Perfect Lumens for the Surroundings 

Most garden lights tend to be low lumens

Now that you’ve managed to provide lighting to highlight your favorite parts of the garden, it’s time to create ambient lighting to amp up the vibe of your landscaping.

Ideally, ambient lighting can be somewhere between 20 to 300 lumens on smaller gardens and 50 to 700 lumens on bigger gardens.

Remember, the goal is to create a vibe to your house’s overall look and not drown it with too much lighting.

Fairy Lights Leading to Your Doorsteps 

One great ambient lighting idea is a series of path lights. While most path lights look like a shorter version of post lights called bollard lights, other path lights are designed to look like vintage lanterns, while some are more ornamental, like colorful flower lights.

From afar, these ambient light fixtures are almost reminiscent of the illuminating forest spirits we see in movies and read about in stories. 

Now, you might wonder if it’s still wise to add path lights if you already have spotlights in your garden. Path lights are supposed to illuminate the walkway. You can place them in areas in your garden that might need extra attention.

Some examples are the steps to your patio, the end of your driveway, or a decorative rock where you can sit and bask in the ambiance. For a modern look, there’s something like the Quad LED Path Light by WAC Lighting that costs only $179.95.

If you want a vintage feel to your path lights, the Sunklly Waterproof LED Outdoor Candle Lantern retails for around $35.99, will be a great choice.

For a quirkier option, check out the TONULAX Solar Lights Outdoor, with prices ranging from $14 to $21

A Patio that’s Inviting and Warm 

One favorite spot in a garden is the patio, so it’s essential to decorate it with a warm and inviting vibe. Amp up your deck by using ambient string lights that will go well with a comfortable feel.

Here’s one by Brightech Ambience Pro – Waterproof Solar LED Outdoor String Lights that’s only $39.99. Another option is to use an outdoor chandelier to add a bit more sophistication to your patio.

One excellent choice is Hinkley’s Carson Outdoor Chandelier that retails from $649 to $2,398. 

The Perfect Wall Lighting 

Another great way to add personality to your house’s look is to add wall lighting that can be about 50 to 190 lumens.

Hardscape and deck lighting graze the wall with soft light, creating a depth to its surroundings, especially if the wall of your house or garden is textured or decked with wall plants. 

There are many options for hardscape and deck lighting, depending on how big you want each light to be. One is WAC Lighting’s Hardscape Strip Light that retails from $70.79 to $129.50.

Deck lighting like the Sonic LED Step Light by Kuzco Lighting will also give you the same grazing effect, only smaller and softer. 

Lighting Up Your Garden Without Dimming Friendships and Finances 

I’m sure you’re all pumped up and excited to start working on your garden’s landscape lighting.

Preparing a rough design of your landscape lighting is a significant first step. When doing so, consider how your lighting will affect your neighborhood.

You wouldn’t want your light to disrupt the spaces between you and your neighbors. Take a step back and look at your house from a distance, perhaps from a block or two away. 

Remember, what you want is to create a vibe or add depth to your garden, and not make your house stand out from all the lights shining across it. 

Check Out Dimming Outdoor Lights 

One option in shopping for outdoor lighting is to look for dimmable outdoor lights. While you can go ahead and get lights with lower lumen counts, it’s also great if you can find lighting that has this function, so you can easily adjust its brightness depending on the occasion.

There are dimmable wall lights like an outdoor flush mount, post lights, and not only dimmable but also color-changing string lights that range from $25 up to $400. 

Don’t Break the Bank: Consider Solar Lighting 

Solar powered lights are relatively affordable

I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up seeing solar lighting options while you’re shopping. It’s the best in the market because it’s efficient and environment friendly.

You won’t need to worry about soaring electricity bills because the electricity source to light up your garden will also come from your garden! 

As for aesthetics, there are outdoor lights that have individual panels on them, like this 18-dollar SUNNEST Solar Outdoor Lights that automatically recharge during daytime and turn on at nighttime, perfect as path lights.

Another great option is a wall light like this Home Zone Security Solar Wall Lantern Lights that retails for $39.99. 


Finding the perfect lumens for your garden lighting is an excellent way to up your landscape lighting game.

While it’s ideal to consider the light fixture design in landscaping, it’s more important to consider the right lumen count needed for any space—lower lumens go well with more intimate spaces.

In comparison, higher lumens are better for larger areas. While an ample amount of lighting serves its purpose by illuminating its surroundings, knowing how to maximize that amount of brightness can help create a warm and inviting feel in your garden without breaking the bank. 


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Steve Foster

Suburbanite, tech geek, handy man, automation enthusiast who started blogging about the stuff I do around my home and found he had a knack for it.

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