How Bright Is 800 Lumens and 1000 Lumens?

Are you looking for new lights for your home and wondering how bright are 800 lumens and 1000 lumens? Which light is ideal for your home?

Lumens are the standard unit for measuring brightness, with 1 lumen equivalent to the brightness of 1 candle. This means an 800-lumen lightbulb can produce the same amount of light as 800 candles. Meanwhile, 1000 lumens have the equivalent of 1000 candles.

Read on to learn more about how bright is 800 lumens and 1000 lumens and determine which one is best for you.

How Bright are 800 Lumens and 1000 Lumens?

how bright is 800 lumens and 1000 lumens

First, what is a lumen? A lumen is the standard measurement unit used to measure the degrees of light brightness. The more lumens a light has, the brighter it is.

In the past, people would buy lightbulbs, specifically incandescent bulbs. This depends on the amount of energy they use measured in watts. This is no longer the case these days, as LED lightbulbs have replaced incandescent bulbs.

They use just a fraction of the energy. This is why lumens are now the unit of measure used to determine the brightness of lights.

One lumen is approximately equivalent to the light from a birthday candle placed one foot in front of you. So, how bright are 800-lumens and 1000-lumens lights?

A light bulb capable of 800 lumens is the equivalent of 800 candles in front of your eyes. Meanwhile, 1000 lumens are equal to 1000 of those tiny flames.

What Is a Good Level of Lumens?

What Is the Difference Between Watts and Lumens?

Are you still confused about using lumens when choosing light bulbs? Do you still use the old watts system in your head?

Here is a quick guide to modern lightbulb brightness:

Incandescent Light Bulb Power (watts)LED Bulb Power (watts)Lumens (lm)

These are the most common available household LED lights and their equivalent incandescent wattage. Hopefully, this will give you an idea of how bright these lightbulbs are.

Is 800 and 1000 Lumens Bright Enough for Ceiling Light?

Between 800 and 1000 lumens, which is better for the main light in a room? 800 lumens might not be overly bright in an average-sized space in your house. Some people might find it a bit dim.

Many lighting experts consider 1000 lumens the entry-level choice for the main light of any room in the house. A 1000-lumen LED light should have enough brightness for usual activities like reading and watching TV. It is also enough for working on a laptop.

Is 1000 lumens bright enough for the main light? It depends on the room mainly. Although 1000 lumens might be bright enough for most people, some light output will be lost.

To compensate, you may need to replace the lights with something a bit brighter. Alternatively, you may want to add another 800-lumen bulb in the room.

Is 800 and 1000 Lumens Enough for Reading?

Is 800 lumens bright enough for a reading lamp? 800 lumens directly pointed at the page would be too bright.

However, the brightness level would be more acceptable when you use it as a wall light or in a lampshade. An 800-lumen bulb, in this case, would provide you with a pleasant reading experience without glare.

Just like the 800-lumen light, a 1000-lumen bulb would also be a great choice when used as a desk lamp. It also works as a localized wall light. The light emitted is bright but will not be harsh on your eyes. It will not also be glaring.

Is 800 and 1000 Lumens Bright for a Torch?

A head torch or flashlight is handy when you are outdoors. For instance, when you are out camping or hunting.

If you have a torch capable of 800 lumens, you would have a capable tool in your hands. It would have more than enough penetrating capabilities for whatever tasks you need it for.

If 800 lumens are already suitable for most outdoor needs, a head torch with 1000-lumen capabilities would be even better.

Are the 800 and 1000-lumen Bulbs Good for Camping Lanterns?

how bright is 1000 lumens

800- and 1000-lumen lights are fine for camping lanterns. When used outside, these lanterns would be a bit brighter than the average campfire.

However, when placed inside a tent, the brightness of these amounts of lumens would be enough to illuminate the interior. This is possible without producing too much glare.

Are 800 and 1000-lumen Bulbs Good for Security Lights?

When it comes to security lights, brighter is better. The glare can startle whoever trespassed on your property. In addition, it will allow your security cameras to capture more details.

An 800-lumen light is the starting point of most security lights. This means it is the weakest among the lights you can choose from. Also, 800 lumens are barely enough light for a motion-detector light.

How bright is 1000 lumens for a security light? A 1000-lumen security light produces a significantly brighter light. If trained on the focus area of the security camera, it can provide more facial details than an 800-lumen light.

How to Choose the Right Lumen for Your Home

You might think that 800 and 1000 lumens are already quite bright. However, in reality, they are not enough to illuminate most rooms in your home sufficiently.

Before learning about how many lumens you will need to light your rooms, you should learn another term – the footcandle.

Footcandle is the original form of measurement used for the intensity of a light source. It is the amount of light measured a foot away from a standard candle.

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) is the largest association of lighting professionals. They provided extensive recommendations on how many footcandles are necessary for specific areas. These are the average amounts of light humans need to perform particular tasks in the rooms.

For instance, the IES recommends 20 footcandles of light reaching 2’6″ off the floor when washing dishes. This is also known in the industry as a horizontal target. The lumen method is the most common technique used to determine the footcandle requirement for a room.

Again, how bright is 800 lumens? Lumens refers to the unit of measurement for the light emitted by a source. An 800-lumen bulb has a brightness equal to 800 candles. This brightness is good for LED, CFL, or incandescent lighting, suitable for downlighting, recessed lighting, up lighting, and more.

How to Determine the Required Lumens for Any Room

Here is how you can compute the lumen requirement for any room in your house:

1. Measure the Room’s Floor Area

You do not need to get the exact floor area of the room. Note that just a rough estimate is enough. For instance, measure the length of one wall and then the adjacent wall. After that, multiply the two numbers.

The result is your rough floor area. For instance, if the room is 10 feet wide by 15 feet long, the total floor area would be 150 square feet.

2. Establish the Footcandle Requirements

The lighting requirement of the room will depend mainly on the type of room. For instance, bathrooms and kitchens are rooms where you must do very accurate tasks (shaving and ingredient preparation).

These rooms will, therefore, need more light. You can consult the IES recommended footcandle requirements for the rooms in your home.

For a residential area, here are some of the recommended lighting requirements for every room in the house:

RoomFootcandles Recommended
Living/Family Room10 to 20
General Kitchen Area30 to 40
Kitchen Stove and Sink Area70 to 80
Dining Area30 to 40
Bedroom10 to 20
Bathrooms70 to 80
Hallways5 to 10

3. Multiply the Floor Area with the Footcandle Requirement

Let’s refer again to the previous example. For a 150-square-foot living room area, you need at least 1,500 lumens for comfortable lighting. On the other hand, if this is a kitchen, it would need at least 4,500 lumens.

4. Take the Ceiling Height into Consideration

You should only consider the ceiling height if yours is higher than 10 feet. The lumen method should be sufficient if your ceiling height is 10 feet or below. It is enough to determine the room’s lumen requirements.

To figure out the recommended footcandle multiplier for the room, use the following formula:

fc = cd/h


  • fc = footcandle requirement
  • cd = candlepower
  • h = distance between the lightbulb and the horizontal target

After determining the recommended footcandle level, multiply it with the room’s floor area. What if your walls and furnishings are pretty dark, and the light fixtures come with shades? In that case, you will need to add roughly 10 lumens per square foot to the footcandles requirement.

5. Consider Personal Preference

Finally, consider your personal lighting preferences when computing lumen requirements for your home. Let’s say you prefer a particular room to be quite bright. In that case, add 10% to 20% to the lumen requirement you got from the lumen method.

On the other hand, you can install dimmer lights if you want the lights a bit darker than usual. This will allow you to dim the lights when you use the room. Other people will still not feel uncomfortable when they come over.

If you design the lighting setup correctly, the space or objects within the illuminated area will be much better.

In other words, people will better see the lit objects or area and not the lighting setup itself. Poorly designed or insufficient lighting will look like dark spots and ugly shadows in the room.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

800 lumens vs 1000 lumens
Self-defense Flashlight

Is 800 Or 1000 Lumens Enough for Outdoor Lighting?

No, 800 or 1000 lumens are insufficient for proper outdoor lighting. Security lights are different since they often concentrate on a particular spot. Proper outdoor lighting must be brighter to illuminate your garden or anything you want to highlight correctly.

For outdoor lighting, you will need at least 1,200 to 1,300 lumens. However, if you are looking for landscape lighting, 800 and 1000 lumens should be bright enough. These include lights for pathways and highlighting your flower boxes.

Do Higher Lumens Mean Brighter Lights?

Lumens are the standard unit for measuring the brightness of a particular light source. One lumen is equivalent to the amount of light produced by one standard candle. The more lumens a specific light has, the brighter it is.

Are Watts the Same as Lumens?

Watt is the unit for measuring electrical power. In lighting, this is the amount of electricity a bulb or tube consumes to produce light. Before, when incandescent bulbs were still the most popular home lighting, people used watts to measure brightness.

However, measuring a light’s brightness also progressed as lighting technology progressed.

LED bulbs are now more energy-efficient compared to old incandescent bulbs. This means using watts to measure light bulb brightness is no longer accurate. This is also why you can find the number of lumens that light can produce printed on its packaging.

Are 800 or 1000 Lumens Enough for A Self-Defense Flashlight?

800-lumen brightness is the starting point for most tactical flashlights. If concentrated enough, this light will be enough to blind or at least daze potential attackers temporarily. That said, a 1000-lumen tactical flashlight will work better for self-defense purposes.

In Closing – How Bright Is 800 Lumens and 1000 Lumens?

The lumen is the standard unit for measuring the brightness of a light source. 1 lumen is equivalent to the amount of light produced by a candle. That said, 800 and 1000 lumens are roughly equal to the light of 800 and 1000 candles, respectively.

Both these amounts are commonly used for outdoor and indoor lighting, but these are not typically bright enough for most rooms.

For instance, in a kitchen setting, you will need at least 3000 lumens. However, 800- and 1000-lumen lights have their uses, so you should still not discount them.