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5 Garage Lighting Ideas (2021)

Whether you plan on using your garage as a working space for DIY projects or as a storage area, you’ll need it to be well-lit to navigate around the space. Keep reading for five garage lighting ideas and tips on adding light to your garage.

Garage Lighting Ideas Nat Rea

Garages tend to be darker than other areas of your home because they don’t typically have windows to let natural light in. To make your space functional for DIY projects, the This Old House Reviews Team created this guide on the best garage lighting ideas. Keep reading for our lighting recommendations.

Amico Ultra-Thin LED Recessed Ceiling Light

This product comes with 12 six-inch recessed lights. They have a slim, modern design, allowing them to fit into shallow cutouts in your ceiling. Their junction boxes are also thermally protected to prevent fires, and they have five color temperatures that can be changed with a switch.

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HYPERLITE LED High Bay Light

This light is a great option for garages with high ceilings. It has a hook for attaching it to the ceiling and a five-foot power cord, making it easy to install within minutes. It also has a dimmable feature, allowing you to customize its brightness, and it projects the light out at a 120-degree angle to cover more of your garage.

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TALOYA Flush-Mount LED Ceiling Light

This circular light sits flush against your ceiling. It has a rim that comes in four colors, allowing you to use it in your garage and other spaces around your home to create. It’s available in two sizes and it has three color temperatures: warm white, neutral white, and daylight white. Additionally, it comes with a fire-resistant plastic shell to prevent electric shock and potential fires.

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hykolity Linkable LED Shop Light

This four-pack of tube lights hangs from the ceiling on chains. You can adjust the length of these chains depending on how close you want the lights to be to your workspace. The lights also come with a cord that has an on-and-off switch that plugs into a wall outlet for easy installation, and the light’s frame is available in black or white.

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FaithSail LED Wraparound Wrap Light

This product comes with four wraparound lights that sit flush against the ceiling. They’re wrapped in an acrylic prismatic lens to maximize light output and distribution. Not to mention, they’re easy to install and can be connected to create one continuous light through your garage.

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Types of Garage Lights

There are five main types of garage lighting fixtures.

Shop Lights

Shop lights have a tube-like shape and can be hung from a chain or rope from the ceiling, or they can be mounted directly to the ceiling. They typically have a cord for plugging into a wall outlet, preventing you from having to figure out how to hardwire the lights to your electrical system.

High Bay Lights

As the name suggests, this type of lighting is meant for garages with high ceilings, usually over 15 feet in height. They can be suspended from the ceiling by a hook, pendant, or chain or mount directly to the ceiling.

Recessed Lights

Recessed lights have a circular shape and fit directly into holes cut into the ceiling. These are hardwired to your electrical system and can be turned on and off using a wall switch. They concentrate light in a downward direction.

Wraparound Lights

Wraparound lights are in the shape of a semicircle. The flat side sits flush against the ceiling, and the circular side hangs from the ceiling, pointing light in a variety of directions.

Flush-Mount Lights

Similar to wraparound lights, flush-mount lights are mounted directly to your ceiling. They have a circular shape and are usually more decorative, making them great for other common spaces around your home, such as hallways, patios, or offices.

Tips on How To Improve Your Garage’s Lighting

Here are a few tips on how to get a well-lit garage.

Consider Other Types of Lighting

In addition to the lighting options mentioned above, consider ambient, task, and accent lighting. Ambient lighting creates a soft overhead light for a large area, allowing you to find tools and see what you’re working on. Task lighting produces a bright light that’s directed at one particular area, giving you light for detail-oriented work.

Accent lighting is meant to show off a certain area and is less common in garages. However, you could use accent lights to illuminate the tools hanging on a pegboard to help you easily select the items you need.

Determine How Much Light Your Garage Needs

The amount of light your garage needs depends on the size of the space, the number of windows in the space, and the type of lighting you want. Light output is measured in lumens, and, in general, you’ll need 50 lumens per square foot for ambient lighting, 300 lumens per square foot for task lighting, and 75 lumens per square foot for accent lighting.

After determining how much light you need, choose light bulbs that have enough energy to deliver that brightness. For example, let’s say you have a 360-square-foot two-door garage and you want to install ambient lighting in one half of the space and task lighting in the other half.

If you use the guidelines above, you would need 54,000 lumens on the task side and 9,000 lumens on the ambient side. Using a lumen-to-watt conversion chart, you can decide on the type of light you need, the number of lights necessary to brighten the space, and the wattage you want for your bulbs.

For example, 38-watt LED bulbs produce 3,000 lumens each, so you could use three of those for the ambient side, or you could use three 200-watt incandescent bulbs to produce that same amount of light.

Choose Bulbs With a High CRI

The Color Rendering Index (CRI) tells you how closely the light produced by a bulb resembles the light produced by a naturally occurring source, such as the sun. A bulb will have a rating on a scale of zero to 100, with higher numbers indicating a more natural-looking light. For your garage light, choose a bulb with a CRI of 85 or higher.

Consider the On-and-Off Mechanism on Your Lights

Garage lights can be turned on and off with a switch on a cord or they can be hardwired to your electrical system and turned on and off with a wall switch. Corded lights are easier to install, but they have to be close to a wall outlet. Hardwired lights require more work up front, but they’re more convenient to use.

If you don’t want to use either method, you can install lights with motion sensors. This requires hardwiring the lights to your electrical system, but you don’t have to find a switch to turn the lights on or off and the lights are more energy-efficient, as they automatically turn off when you leave your garage.

Incorporate Light in Other Ways

Installing a skylight or window will increase the natural light in your garage. You could also repaint your garage in a white or eggshell color to make the room brighter or hang a mirror to open up the space. Additionally, consider replacing your existing garage door with one that has windows to brighten the room.

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