How Many Lumens Do You Need to Light Your Space Properly?

When it comes to properly illuminating your home, it can be hard to decide how many lights you’ll actually need. There are a few different factors to consider when answering this question. 


Understanding What Lumens Are

Lumens are the standard unit of measurement for how bright light is. For context, a standard candle emits around 12 lumens. While you might typically think that more Watts makes for brighter lights, you’re best off considering the lumen rating on your LED light bulbs when you’re planning how to illuminate your home. 

Wattage is the amount of power it needs to work, but with LED lighting being more efficient than conventional bulbs, you’ll get more lumens for less wattage. So, start out by calculating the lumens, then find the wattage accordingly. 


Factors to Consider When Choosing How Many Lumens You Need

The light requirements in lumens will vary depending on the room’s function and size. For example, in the kitchen, when you’re preparing food, you’ll want a higher number of lumens so you can see clearly. For spaces like the living room or bedroom, where you’re resting and relaxing, a lower light level is likely going to be better. 

This also comes down to personal preference. Aside from how much light you want, you should also consider where you want your light focused and in what form. Some people prefer more ambient, soft light from lamps in the corners of rooms, while others prefer central, brighter downlights. You can also consider dimmable bulbs to give you more control over your at-home lighting. 

To find the perfect illumination for your home, you’ll need to calculate a few things first. 

Room Size

Not every room in your home is going to serve the same function, nor is it likely to be exactly the same size. Aside from general guidelines surrounding how much illumination each room needs, you’ll also want to calculate the square metreage. 

Room Type

Places where visibility is essential will naturally require more light. For places like kitchens, bathrooms and offices, aim for around 400 lumens per square metre. Bedrooms, hallways, living rooms and dining rooms generally need more ambient lighting rather than extremely bright illumination. For these areas, 200 lumens per square metre is usually enough to brighten things up without making the space feel too clinical. 

Room Purpose

Where you actually place your lighting and what kinds of light fixtures you’re using are also important to consider. For example, in the kitchen, you might want to add pendant lights over your primary workspace, with a few downlights throughout the rest of the room. You could also add strip lights under shelves and overhead cupboards to help brighten up otherwise gloomy spaces. For rooms designed for rest and relaxation, like the living room, combine floor lamps with an overhead oyster light to create a more diffused light. 


Calculate How Many Lumens You Need

Once you have an idea of how bright you’d like your space to be, how large it is, and what kind of lighting you’ll be using, you can use an easy calculation. Simply take the room's size in square metres and multiply it by the recommended lumens for that space. 

For example, if your kitchen is an average-sized 14 square metres, you’d multiply that by 400 or 500. Depending on your lighting preferences, you may wish to have more or less light. Your range would be between 5,600 and 7,000 lumens. When it comes to your bedroom or living room, do the same, but multiply the square metres by 200 to 300 instead. 

For context, LED globes offer a lot of light for the wattage they require. A 6-watt bulb delivers around 450 lumens, a 10-watt bulb gives around 800, and a 13-watt bulb delivers 1100. So, for the average kitchen from our earlier example, you might use lighting that collectively uses around 65 watts. 


Ozlighting Has a Vast Array of Lighting Options for You

Whether you’re looking for bright illumination or want something softer and more diffused, Ozlighting has comprehensive options to suit your home. Discover the full range of lighting fixtures and globes and have them delivered to your door with New Zealand—and Australia-wide shipping.