Are you looking for garage lighting to illuminate this part of your house? Though your garage is technically outside your house, it serves an important purpose for sheltering your vehicles. It also provides a connection for you indoors, so you are not exposed to the elements if you want to get into your house from your vehicle.
Thus, garage lighting matters more than you think. It holds even more true if you use your garage as an additional storage space or if you use it as a workspace for hobbies. Sadly, most garages have insufficient lighting.
After all, you will rarely find a window in the garage so relying on natural light is out of the question. If you do not have sufficient lighting, you can trip and have an accident. Besides, a well-lit garage can help you if you need to find things inside your vehicle.
If you need help finding the best garage lighting to enhance your space, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will identify features and specs to help you figure out what upgrades to get to improve illumination.
Why Lighting Matters
Sufficient lighting matters, especially if you work in your garage. If you have insufficient lighting, you will strain your eyes, and lead to headaches and poor eyesight. If you do not want your eyesight to deteriorate, ample lighting is key. Otherwise, you may need to start wearing glasses prematurely.
On top of that, dimly lit garages increase your difficulties. It becomes a hotbed for accidents because you can trip over a cord or another object. When you cannot see, you can also inadvertently cut yourself. Finally, it is hard to work in poor lighting conditions.
Fortunately, you can find tons of high-quality lighting products, from energy-efficient fluorescent lamps to screw-in multi-position LED bulbs. There is no excuse to avoid illuminating your garage with the best lighting system. With the right lighting in place, you will:
- Transform a dark and dreary garage into something brighter.
- Minimize potential hazards to your family and guests.
- Create a brighter and safe space for you and your family.
- The Different Types of Garage Lighting
You do not need to be stuck with your old incandescent bulbs that eat up energy while delivering insufficient illumination. These energy-drainers will make your bills skyrocket, so you must ban them from your garage once and for all. Even if they come dirt cheap online, do not get fooled because you will spend more in the long run.
Instead, most people have veered towards energy-efficient bulbs like LED and fluorescent. Like any other product, each light comes with its own set of pros and cons. Thus, it is vital to pick what works well for your garage space and working style. Check them out below:
This is an acronym for a light-emitting diode. This is a fancy term for explaining a minute component inside the fixture that becomes illuminated whenever electricity courses through it. These bulbs are famous because of the following:
- Super brightness
- Superior energy efficiency
You will spot LEDs in objects like the spotlight and flashlight. The primary reason for this is they cast a bright beam from the diode, which creates excellent directional light that is concentrated in a tiny area.
Perhaps you are wondering how this can work for your bigger garage? Most manufacturers compensate for this LED feature by:
- Making LED lights with multi-positional wings to cover the space.
- Installing reflectors to diffuse and distribute the light in a more expansive area.
Either option is a great choice for your garage. They will provide sufficient illumination and work so much better than old incandescent bulbs.
Thanks to innovation, you can also enjoy fluorescent lighting. In this fixture, a mercury-vapor gas produces light. This is the opposite of a solid filament use by incandescent bulbs. It also varies greatly from the diode of an LED.
Instead, the gas substance in fluorescent lighting emits ultraviolet light when electricity runs through it. The benefits of using this lighting for your garage are:
- It distributes light evenly and effectively.
- The gas ensconced in long glass tubes provides a 360-degree light pattern.
- They have a longer life span than incandescent.
- These lighting systems offer energy efficiency.
However, the downside of fluorescent lighting is the disposal method. You must take them to a hazardous material center once they reach their lifespan. The mercury-vapor gas inside is toxic. Thus, you must dispose of them properly. You cannot conveniently throw them out or place them inside recycling receptacles, unlike LED.
Factors to Think of When Purchasing Garage Lighting
Now that you are shopping for lights to upgrade your garage illumination, you must weigh your choices carefully. After all, you want to get the best light that suits your garage space and needs. Most importantly, you want to get the best value for your money. Here are some crucial factors you must think of when buying garage lighting:
Check Level of Brightness
Your garage hardly gets any natural light because windows are typically missing. If you want illumination, you may need to open your garage door. Unfortunately, this means exposing yourself to harsh elements.
Thus, you need good garage lighting to ensure better clarity. When you upgrade your light, look for fixtures that offer tons of brightness. Currently, you measure this in terms of lumens, or the amount of light produced during a specific period.
In general, the higher the lumens rating, the brighter the light emitted. Notably, lumens are not the same as wattage. Watts merely measures the energy consumed when the light is one. Lumens specifically measure brightness.
For example, a 75-watt bulb can produce an 1100 lumens rating. However, the ideal rating must be around 3500 to ensure proper lighting and brightness for your garage.
Assess Color Temperature
You must be wondering why light is referred to with color temperature. This term refers to the color produced by the fixture. It is commonly measured by the Kelvin scale. Typically, temps range between 3500K to 6000K. The lower number is warmer and yellowish, while the higher number emits a cool blue glow.
Noteworthy, most garages tend to have an industrial gray color. After all, most garages have sleek doors, unfinished bare walls, and concrete floors. Hence, the higher Kelvin scale or cooler glow will work best.
Warmer temperature will not work well with an unfinished garage. Instead of looking bright, fresh, and neat, a yellow light will make the space appear dingier. For best results, aim for a Kelvin rating of 5000K. This is the perfect number as the light is only slightly blue but not overly glaring or harsh to your eyes.
If you have extra money, you can also invest in an adjustable light fixture. Some come with adaptable color temperatures. As a result, you can vary the range and choose the one that works best for your needs.
Pay Attention to Energy Efficiency
Regardless of what fixture you choose one thing you must pay attention to is energy efficiency rating. Definitely, incandescent bulbs are out of the list. Notably, if you opt for a fluorescent bulb, you cut 70% of energy consumption than old-school incandescent.
Meanwhile, LED is even better as it cuts down 90%, giving you tons of energy bill savings. On top of that, LED is the most long-lasting, so you do not need to keep replacing your light, saving you on upfront costs.
Figure Out Installation and Connection
How you install and connect the lighting fixtures also plays a role in your purchase. If you do not have much electrical knowledge or experience, an easy-to-install option is your best bet. The best choice would be fool-proof screw-in bulb replacements.
For example, a multi-positional LED fixture will readily screw into a base. This does not require any extra wiring at all. You also do not need to put in much effort to get it in place.
Alternatively, you can try a plug-in system. Then, once you string it all over your garage, you can count on copious amounts of light to illuminate your space. Thankfully, this works like a gem with your standard outlet.
All you need to do is plug the system on then press the “on” switch. This purchase will come with jumper wires that allow you to connect a set of lights with each other. They also come with simple clips, assuring you can brighten your garage without any issues.
On the other hand, fluorescent lights will require more technical installation. This fixture usually comes with ballasts for regulating voltage into the bulb. To begin using this, you must hardwire them into your garage circuit. Though the entire process is not complex, you must have the experience to ensure proper placement.
When it comes to longevity, the LED bulb wins. It is known to last 30 times longer than incandescent, clocking in at 30,000 hours. Best of all, it reduces energy consumption, so you will enjoy tons of savings in the long run.
Likewise, fluorescents can last for up to 9,000 hours. In contrast, an incandescent can only provide 1,000 hours. As you can see, both fluorescents and LEDs can outshine an incandescent bulb. The reason for this is the former does not have a fragile and sensitive filament the burns up with use.
Take Note of Climate
If you live in a temperate zone with harsh winters, LED lights will do well in your unheated garage. LED fixtures perform well in cooler climates because the bulb does not need to heat up. It becomes bright instantly and produces consistent energy no matter how cold it is.
In contrast, fluorescent lights will be inoperable if the ambient air hits below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius. So, if you live in a cold area, you cannot rely on fluorescent at all. Instead, you must invest in a slightly more expensive LED setup.
Think of Other Related Features
Finally, when you upgrade your garage lighting, consider other essential elements. For example, do you use your garage as a workspace or hobby area? If so, then you need truly bright lights.
To illustrate, you can easily hang a chain from the ceiling to attach a fixed hanging light. Alternatively, you can clip a LED light on a working bench. This option offers convenience since you can move it around.
Peruse the market for different styles so you can find the best product that suits your design preferences and needs. You can even combine systems together. For example, it will serve you well to put in an overhead fixture for general use. But if you also use your garage for DIY home projects, you can put in portable lamps with movable arms.
On top of that, you can opt for motion sensor lights. This will truly make everything convenient because your light can turn on if there is movement, like opening a garage door. It helps not to fumble for the switch when it is dark. It can also prevent unwanted visitors from fumbling through your belongings.
How to Choose the Best Garage Lighting
Whether you pick LED or fluorescent, you make a good choice. Ditch the old-school incandescent because, apart from poor performance, it will eat up your money because of energy inefficiency. However, between LED and fluorescent, there is no definite answer on which one is the best because this depends on your lifestyle needs.
It also hinges on the projects you do in your garage. Remember, a well-lit garage is the safest for you and your family. It will brighten your dark and dim garage to ensure that everyone can avoid accidents and stays safe. It will also prevent eyestrain and headaches because you do not need to struggle to see clearly.
Remember, seeing where you are going or what you are doing can make a world of difference. Poor lighting is not only frustrating but hazardous for your physical and mental health. If you are struggling to see in your garage, it is time to spruce the lighting to improve your space.
If you need help choosing your garage lights, call our team of garage experts at Coastal Garage Doors for insight. We can give you recommendations based on your garage space and layout. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need help, especially with garage door repairs and maintenance.