Best Wattage for Outdoor Flood Lights. Here's a Quick Guide

What Wattage for Outdoor Flood Lights is Best?

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Outdoor lights are a wonderful thing to have if you want to enjoy some time outside even after the sunsets. But, in some situations, having an outdoor lighting system is also practical, aside from being comfortable.

Whether you have a normal floodlight for security purposes or one that just allows you to enjoy a barbecue in the backyard at night, you might be wondering about some of the tech specifications that you need to know about. And wattage is one of those specifications. So, how much electricity does a floodlight use? Let’s find out.

Low-Wattage Lights

Single Outdoor 20W Waterproof RGB LED Floodlight Or Lawn Light, Or landscape Light Isolated On White Background, Close Up

For the most part, all lights under 40 watts are considered to be low-wattage ones. These types of lights are really good for those who are looking to consume fewer amps of electricity. There are plenty of people who opt for multiple low-wattage lights and arrange them so that the edge of the light radius overlaps, in order to ensure that they have full coverage, as needed.

However, considering the fact that these lights aren’t as strong as others, there are situations where they will serve you well, and others in which they might be a bit frustrating to have. For example, low-wattage lights like this are useful for illuminating doorways, shed entrances, or can be used as accent lights to showcase your flower beds. If you want to illuminate the back yard so that you can barbecue with your friends or family past dusk, low-wattage lights will annoy you.

Medium-Wattage Lights

What is considered a medium-wattage light fixture is one that can accommodate lightbulbs with a wattage between 40 and 80 watts. You will actually find a wide variety of floodlights that accommodate this range. Plenty of people choose lights within this range for their outdoor lighting needs and they choose to attach them to extended arms or mount them on posts so they can get better coverage.

While these are not the most powerful lights out there, you still want to avoid installing them close to one of your home windows as they might disrupt your sleep.

High-Wattage Lights

Hand with LED floodlight, outdoor light equipment. Isolated on white background.

People who want really powerful lights, then you can choose fixtures with wattage greater than 80. These lights are most suitable for pedestrian areas, especially those that exceed 100 watts. In fact, the most common situations where you’ll encounter fixtures these powerful in parking lots, roadways, or next to public institutions.

In certain locations, there are roadside lights that can reach up to 400 watts. These lights are generally suspended high above the ground and directed at the ground, so they don’t disturb pedestrians and cars driving by. The angle is adjusted so that cars won’t be blinded because of the powerful light.

Making the Best out of Your Flood Lights

So far, we have established that the best wattage for outdoor flood lights really depends on what you want the fixtures to illuminate. For the most part, wattages between 40 and 80 should be more than enough for regular home use, while more powerful options are available for really large areas that homeowners are not that concerned about.

To make the most of your outdoor floodlights, you can pay attention to the following list of tips:


The location of the floodlights is a very important factor that might cause variations in the type of wattage that you actually need. Considering the area that a fixture has to cover, you will either have to choose low or medium-wattage lights. Another thing that will make a huge difference is the height and angle at which you are going to install the lights. The higher you mount the fixture, the more powerful it has to be as to actually light up at ground level.


Flood light on the stadium

Floodlights are available at different brightness levels, so you have to make sure that you choose the one that’s more suitable for your personal needs. Floodlight brightness can be anywhere between 700 and 20,000 lumens, sometimes even more. Naturally, 20,000 is a light output way too high for your backyard, which is why you’ll have to research more information on what type of brightness level is suitable for different situations.


The brightness chosen is influenced by the coverage area of the fixture in question. For example, if you only need to light up a driveway, you don’t need something brighter than 1,500 lumens. However, if you’re looking for a light that’s bright enough for something like a parking lot, you will need floodlights that are super bright and powerful.  A medium garden could benefit from about 2,400 lumens, while a large car parking lot may need up to 20,000 lumens.


These lights can have different kinds of features that you could benefit from. For example, you can choose floodlights that are equipped with motion sensors. This means that the lights will turn on (or turn from dim to bright) once movement is detected within a certain range from the sensor. This is a great option if you’re looking to save money on electricity as the light will only be activated when motion is detected instead of just staying on an entire night.


The best wattage for outdoor flood lights depends on where you want the light to be placed and the area that it’s supposed to cover. For the most part, lights with wattages between 40 and 80 should be more than enough for covering large areas of your yard, but if you want the fixture to focus on a very specific location, like perhaps the entrance to your house or a small group of plants in the yard, then you can opt for wattages that are even below 40.

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