How bright should lights be in the home?

Unsure about how many lumens you need in certain rooms, and where task lighting should be placed? Here’s a little refresher!

In this Article:
Multi-functional areas need a variety of options
Accent and directional lighting must be well thought out
Colour-adjustable LEDs or warmer colour temperatures
In food prep areas, think multidirectional

How bright should lights be in a living room?

As they tend to serve multiple functions – for example, hanging out watching TV, entertaining and eating – living rooms need flexible lighting solutions. Smaller rectangular rooms can be lit from one central spot, while non-rectangular rooms and larger spaces will need more.

Ceiling mounted, warm whites are recommended here, with dimmers used for mood lighting.
Brightness 350-800 lumens
Colour temperature 2700-3000K

To complement, accent lighting can be used to highlight features in the room via directional lights, while task lighting is valuable, too.
Brightness 350-500 lumens
Colour temperature 2500-3300K

How bright should lights be in a bedroom?

In the bedroom, you also need a variety of lighting, because while most of our time in there is spent asleep, we also need good lighting for getting dressed and doing hair and makeup. In addition, people may also be using their bedrooms as a workspace during the day, too – so a range of lighting is important.

Warm whites and LEDs with good colour rendering are recommended here. As blue light suppresses the sleep-promoting melatonin, colour-adjustable LEDs or warmer temperature lamps are a positive addition.
Brightness 500-800 lumens
Colour temperature 2500- 3000K

Bedside lamps, or task lighting that’s controlled easily from the bed, are popular for reading and creating ambience. Again, warm whites are the go here.
Brightness 350-500 lumens
Colour temperature 2700- 4000K

How bright should lights be in a kitchen and dining room?

Like the living room, the kitchen is a multi-functional area of the home – being used for cooking as well as socialising. General lighting and task lighting that can be used independently and together is important – with good visibility a key priority.

For general kitchen lighting, high colour rendering is key.
Brightness 800-1000 lumens
Colour temperature 2500-3000K

For task lighting, CFL, LED or linear fluorescent lights with good colour rendering and a CRI of 85 or more are recommended. In food preparation areas, lighting from two or more directions is recommended, while continuous LED lighting mounted under cabinets can create good task lighting for the benches below, too.
Brightness 350-500 lumens
Colour temperature 2700-3300K

In dining areas, meanwhile, good lighting that’s dimmable is recommended – a CFL or LED directly above the dining table creates a focal point.
Brightness 500-800 lumens
Colour temperature 2500-3300K

How bright should lights be in a bathroom?

Bathrooms, too, need a variety of lighting options. For showering or bathing, you need to create a more relaxed environment, while for grooming, shaving and brushing your teeth, for example, more illumination is required.

For general lighting, warm to cool white with good colour rendering is recommended.
Brightness 500-800 lumens
Colour temperature 2700-4000K

Task lighting around mirrors and sinks help provide good visibility for shaving or doing makeup.
Brightness 350 lumens
Colour temperature 2700-4000K

Light Bulb Saver

The Light Bulb Saver app, published by The Department of the Environment and Energy, on behalf of the Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Program can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store, and is packed full of useful information. Add it to your phone today – you never know when it’ll come in handy!

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