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The garage is a multipurpose space that requires different types of lighting so you can complete all tasks, from detailed jobs at your workbench to getting to your car at night without tripping on the steps.
This probably means that your standard incandescent light bulbs need replacing.
How do you achieve the most functional lighting in your garage? Read through this quick guide full of tips on ambient and task lighting for a multi-use garage.
7 Tips To Improve Garage Lighting
1. Switch to LED Bulbs
LED technology cuts down your electricity costs because it is more energy-efficient and has a very long lifespan. To save even more, you can look for some solar alternatives.
The average LED light lasts anywhere from 30,000 hours to 50,000 hours meaning you won’t have to replace them for decades.
Compare this to the average of 1000 hours for incandescents and 10,000 hours for fluorescent lighting and you will understand why the higher price tag of an LED actually works out cheaper over its lifespan.
Another reason to make the switch is the brightness despite a lower power consumption. LEDs can deliver the same brightness at a much lower wattage, often just a quarter or 1/10 of what an incandescent light would require.
2. Install Tube Lights
Tube lights are great for illuminating larger spaces. Replacing regular bulbs or round lighting with overhead tube lights lets you cover a larger area at a higher brightness while still using fewer fixtures.
Depending on the size of your garage, you may want to choose between a 4-foot tube (for smaller spaces) or an 8 foot tube (for larger spaces).
If you already have fluorescent lighting fixtures in your garage, check what length they are and use the same length for a quicker replacement.
Also, check the size of the fixture, meaning whether it is a T5, T8 etc. Again, stick to the same size with the replacement or you will have to do some extra handiwork.
On the other hand, if you are good with performing these tasks, calculate how many lumens you actually need in the garage and adjust the overhead lighting to meet this standard. The industry standard is 300 lumen per square foot for task lighting and 50 lumen per square foot for ambient lighting.
3. Task Lighting for Workshop Space
Parking a car is often not the only use of the garage. Many people also use the space as their workshop or have a workbench in there.
When you are working in greater detail it is important to have task lighting which in this case would be a bright overhead light with additional flexible lamps so you have more control over the illumination angle.
For a workbench, we recommend a rectangular panel light also known as a rectangular high bay light. This design gives you the best coverage, especially if you choose a version that has an adjustable height and dimmer.
In addition to that, you should also look for a smaller lamp with a flexible neck for even more precise work. Consider one that has a clamp so you can move it around the table easier.
If it is a car or motorcycle that you will be working on, get a standing work light that you can move around for use as an adjustable floodlight. Then, use a small battery-powered light that you can hold in your hands for checking the small crevices.
4. Only Choose High CRi Values
CRi refers to the color rendering index (CRI) of a light source. In other words, it is how colors are reflected and how close to the natural color it seems.
High CRi values of 85 or above are best because this will give you the most accurate show of color.
Lower values may bring out different shades instead so that the color of what you have been working on may seem different in daylight versus the artificial light that you are using.
5. Use Motion Sensors
Motion sensors, with their wide range of products, are useful for several reasons. The first reason is that it prevents lights being left on unnecessarily when there is no one in the garage, but it can also be made purposeful for security basis.
The second way they can cut down costs is if you choose the more sensitive kind which only turns on lights in your direct vicinity. If you have a larger garage, only using the overhead lighting on the side that you are on can significantly lower your monthly bills.
The beauty of motion sensors is that they are triggered by your movement so you don’t even have to think about switching them on and off. This way you are never left in the dark in your garage.
You can install motion sensors for any type of lighting but make sure that the model is compatible before you order it.
6. Don’t Forget About Low Angles
Like in the bedroom, a bright overhead light might be too intense during certain times of the night. If you are looking for softer illumination, perhaps when you are coming home after a long night or just going into the garage to grab something from the pantry, a light that is placed close to the floor can be enough.
This does not have to be a big task, simple LED strip lights or even under cabinet lighting can function perfectly. Install them along your baseboard or elsewhere low on the wall for a gentle illumination.
7. Accent Lighting for Highlighting
Finally, don’t forget to place accent lighting strategically. Think about strip lighting for steps and cabinets or even to mark off the parking space.
You might also want to use accent lighting if you are displaying memorabilia in your garage. In this case, think about the angle of the light source and possibly a lower brightness level for a more interesting glow.
With these 7 tips for lighting you will step up the illumination in your garage. Remember that a combination of different types of lighting works best so think about the different uses and find the right lighting for each task.