What Wattage For Outdoor Lights?

Lighting for your Maryland, DC, or Northern VA home

What's A Watt?

Which watts the right watt? The one with the right amount of power. Watts measure power. It quantifies the rate of energy transfer for those who want a more technical definition. It's the amount of energy a light bulb uses. The lower the wattage, the lower the energy use, which means spending less money.

How many watts do outdoor lights need?

The best wattage for outdoor lights is 80 watts or lower. 40 watts and lower is ideal for lighting pathways and garden beds. 40-80 watts are great for brightening areas like driveways and smaller yards. 80 watts and lower are Dark Sky lighting approved, meaning you're helping the environment too.

In other words, it ranges like chip sizes in a bag. You've got large, medium, and small. They're all used for different lighting types, so you'll want to get the right one. Don't want to burn out your lights too quickly or not have them turn on at all.

You can also learn the difference between solar and wired lights >>

watt meter for outdoor lighting

High Wattage for Highways

It's like Zeus' thunderbolts! There are wattages up in the tens of thousands for lighting up stages. But we're focusing on the lower end. Lights with wattages of 80 or more require a lot of power for a lot of light. We're talking pedestrian areas, commercial areas, and highways. These lights are placed high above the ground, sometimes over 100 ft. Not the best lights for backyards.

high wattage highway light

Mounted Mid-Range Wattage

They light up your house. Anything from 40-80 watts, but the most common is 60. You'll see these bulbs used around the house in ceiling lights and other areas. They're perfect for use around the home, but not for outside. Unless you want to turn your house into a lighthouse. If you decide to use mid-range wattage, use them sparingly and mix them in with low wattage bulbs.

mid-range wattage for lights are used mainly in and around homes

The Low Down On Low Wattage

These would go in the lamp post from Narnia. Below 40 watts is the range for low watt bulbs. They'll light up your pathways so people can see where they step. Driveways, porches, accenting, and other exterior lights mostly use low wattage bulbs. Most outdoor lights use LED's, so you'll get bright lights at low cost! Perfect for outdoor use, go with low wattage lights.

example of low voltage lighting using the shadow creating lighting technique

The Correct Wattage For Outdoor Lights

Using the correct wattage for outdoor or any lights is essential, as is knowing the differences between high and low voltage. It's an easy way to extend the life of your lights as well as keep everything in safe, working order. Of course, learning the correct wattage and getting the actual lights are only a couple steps in the installation process. There are a few more key steps to correctly installing outdoor lights.

You can learn the 9 step lighting installation process >>

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