Choosing the Right Light Level for Landscape Lighting

Feb 16, 2018

The brightness or dimness of your landscape lighting will play a major role in creating the right mood, aesthetic, and feel for your outdoor space. This brightness or dimness is referred to as the “light level” or “lumen output,” and getting it right is an important part of creating landscape lighting that is both beautiful and functional. Lighting levels that are too high can make features blur out and blend into the background. Light levels that are too low may cause you to not notice certain landscape elements, which could lead to trips and falls. By achieving the best light levels, your Rock Valley, Iowa or Sioux Center, Iowa home will simply glow.

Level One
The lowest light level, or Level One, puts out about 80 to 120 lumens. This level is most commonly used to light foliage and objects that are no more than 10 feet (3.04 meters) off the ground. Level One is a good candidate for lighting porches and decks, bushes and shrubs, or other low objects. Level One lights are typically used in conjunction with wide beam angles.

Level Two
The second lowest light level, or Level Two, puts out about 140 to 180 lumens. This level is most commonly used to light objects that are 10 to 20 feet (3.04 ot 6.08 meters) off the ground. Some examples include two-story houses and medium-to-large size trees. Level Two lights are often positioned down below objects, and used for casting shadows. Level Two lights are often used in conjunction with medium beam angles.

Level Three
The third light level, or Level Three, puts out about 230 to 270 lumens. This level works best for lighting even taller objects, such as three-story homes and tall trees. Fixtures used for level three lighting include well lights, spotlights, and up lights. Level Three lights can be positioned down below objects, or affixed up above for a “moonlighting” effect. Level Three lights are often used in conjunction with medium or narrow beam angles.

Level Four
The forth light level, or Level Four, puts out about 350 to 1000 lumens. This extremely bright level is used for items 50 to 80 feet (15.24 to 24.38 meters) tall, such as oak trees, palm trees, and mansions. Like Level Three, fixtures used for Level Four lighting include well lights, up lights, and spotlights. Level Four lights are often used in conjunction with narrow beam angles.

Using a Mix of Light Levels
The landscape of your Rock Valley, Iowa or Sioux Center, Iowa home probably contains a mix of features, and they all need different levels of light. As such, a good landscape lighting design will include the layering of various light levels, various beam angles, and different types of light fixtures. By following some of these light level practices, you can ensure that all of your features are properly lit. This will help you achieve the best mood and maintain a safe outdoor a space. If you would like some advice, contact a lighting professional today.