How Many Watts Do I Need To Light Up A Room?

In this time, where LED lighting is a popular option to light up your room, measuring in watts are no longer useful. Watts tells you how much electricity your bulb uses while lumen measure the brightness.

To illuminate your room, you must calculate how much lighting fixture required, and the size of the room. For instance, in a living room, you may need 10-20 lumens per square feet.

However, remember these figures are average measurements as you’ll need additional lumens per square foot if you have dark-coloured walls or you use shades. If you want a very bright room, you also must add 10-20% extra lumens with dimmers to reduce the light levels.

What Are Lumens And Watts?

Here is the reason lumen is more important when lighting your room: watts deals with energy consumption.

If you are calculating your electrical bill, then you’ll want to consider the watts of your fixtures and how much you can use before overloading your circuit.

But that all you need to know about watts- it helps you understand the efficiency of your bulb.

An old-school professional may not care about watts. But, for a person who is new to lighting, it is better to look at lumens.

Lumens (lm) are a measure of the amount of light that is visible to the human eye from a lamp or light source.

(Lumens vs Watts – What Is a Lumen? | Lightbulbs Direct, 2021)

Lumens can tell you how much lighting fixtures you’ll need in your room.

How Much Lighting Do You Need For A Room?


Calculating how much light you need to illuminate your room can be complicated. Whether it’s designing a home or business place accurate lighting is essential. To help determine how many lumens you’ll need, you can use the lumen method.

The method consists of a series of calculations using horizontal lighting criteria to determine a uniform layout in a room. For this calculation, several parameters, coefficients, lumen data and others must be obtained.

Read here for more information on the lumen method.

lumen method

Another method is understanding the different types of lighting.

It’s important to know what you are using your room for and the basic level of lumens. Rooms like the kitchen or dining area are often multi-purpose.

As a result, you can mix various types of lighting – from heavier, more target light to work, such as cooking, to lower ambient light to relax and entertain.

Types Of Lighting

Task lighting, ambient lighting and accent lighting are the three primary forms of illumination:

  • Task lighting lets you do specific tasks like reading, writing, cooking, or working on a desk and needs more lumens than other lighting types. You would need at least 450 lumens for a task like reading.
  • Ambient lighting refers to the overall lighting of the room.
  • Accent lighting helps you highlight areas in the room, including architectural and decorative features, images or artworks. Also, accent lighting can typically be about three times stronger than environmental lighting.

You don’t have to measure your lighting fixtures in watts anymore, as lumens can help you. Further, to illuminate your room you may need 10-20 lumens per square feet.

I am a wife and mom with two kids. I am also a writer, avid DIYer, and tech enthusiast. My favorite things are writing, shopping online for gadgets, and gizmos I can’t afford (yet). Being at home with my kids is the best part of my day!

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