Garage Lighting Ideas

Illuminating your garage properly can make it safer and more efficient whether you’re tackling tough woodworking projects, taking on a new hobby or just trying to organize your holiday decorations. Better lighting can make your garage a more functional part of your home, so we’ll give you some tips on how to light it effectively.

A bright bulb lights up an empty garage.

Garage Lighting Layout Tips

Whether you’re parking your car or creating a workspace, choosing the best garage lighting for your needs is essential. Here are some tips to choose the right lighting for your space:

  • Your garage should be bright without dead spots. Bright, clear lighting will make your space more accessible and safer.
  • Planning your layout before you buy lights will help you manage your budget and get everything you need. Include supplemental lighting above garage doors, on walls, near appliances, above workbenches and near storage areas. You’ll also want lights near the entry and exit points.
  • Installing 8-foot fixtures per vehicle bay is highly recommended. 4-foot bulbs are the ideal size for vehicle bays.
A shop light hangs above a workbench.

Choosing the Best Light Bulb for Your Needs

Not sure which bulb type is best for your garage? Here are some tips to help you choose the best lights for garage ceiling installation:

  • Colour rendering index (CRI) ratings above 85 are best for seeing true colours. This may be important if you work with paint or other colour-specific materials in your garage.
  • Fluorescent lights may not work in garages that are very cold. Fixtures with electronic ballasts perform better in very cold climates.
  • LED lights don’t require any warmup period. They also provide a very even light spread while lasting longer than traditional bulbs.

Types of Garage Lights

You’ve got a variety of choices when it comes to garage lighting. While the best options will depend on your specific needs, many homeowners make use of multiple light types to create the perfect lighting scheme. Below you’ll find some of the best garage lights for any space.

A bright bulb lights up an empty garage.

Shop Lights

A traditional choice for garage spaces, shop lights are among our top sellers. Here’s what you should know about shop lights:

  • Comes in a traditional single bar fixture that can be hung or ceiling-mounted.
  • Inexpensive, easy to install and plugs directly into any existing wall outlet.
  • Hard-wired types can be used with accessories like motion sensors.
Strip lights help to light up a garage space.

Strip Lights

Another popular garage lighting choice, strip lights offer a range of benefits for users:

  • Strip lights are very easy to install.
  • They come in various sizes to fit your space and lighting needs.
  • Can be upgraded to take LED bulbs with a retrofit kit.
A bright garage and a grey car.

LED Wraparound Lights

Offering a similar look to shop lights, LED wraparound lights are great for all-over lighting in your garage. Here are a few reasons to install them in your garage:

  • They utilize high-efficiency bulbs that don’t need to be changed often, making them ideal for hard-to-reach fixtures.
  • They can easily be wired to a switch near your entry and exit points for safe operation.
  • Flush installation is ideal if you have low garage ceiling. This will help you save space while providing ample overhead lighting.
A high bay light lights up a dark garage.

High Bay Lights

Some of the best LED garage lights for large spaces, high bay lights are a go-to if you need some serious lighting for a workspace or if you’re dealing with a currently unlit garage. Here are some things to know about high bay lights:

  • Best for large spaces with high ceilings that exceed 15-feet.
  • They utilize bright LEDs that evenly distribute light in oversized garages.
  • Often require bulbs that can maintain a high lumen output.

Secondary Lights for Workstations and Focal Points

A task light lights up a workbench surface.

Work Lights

Overhead lights can do the heavy lifting in your garage, but most spaces need supplemental lighting. That’s where work lights come in. Here are a few types of work lights you can add to your space:

  • Clamp-on lights. Inexpensive and portable, these lights can be positioned close to any task at hand and moved at will. They can also be set up in tight, hard-to-light spaces.
  • Task lights. Similar to a standard lamp, these workhorse styles help you focus directly on your work area. Position the light beam above your workspace so that shadows don’t block your view.
Under-cabinet lights illuminating a workbench surface.

Under-Cabinet Lights

Another space-saving option, under-cabinet lights are great for dedicated work benches. Here’s what you need to know about them:

  • Under-cabinet lights come in tube and individual bulb styles. Consider your space to make the right choice for your garage and the nature of your work.
  • LED bulbs save energy and last longer. LEDs also come in a variety of colour temperatures.
A motion light lights up the exit of a garage for a person to walk though.

Motion Sensor Lights

Available in a variety of configurations, motion sensor lights are a practical choice for almost every garage. Here are a few things to know about motion sensor lights:

  • Motion sensor lights come in a variety of styles. For a garage, these include simple lights that can be placed in the corner of your garage for safety or larger overhead shop lights.
  • LED bulbs are more efficient and tend to last longer as well, making them an ideal pick for high-up and hard-to-reach garage lights.
  • Some styles come with a remote that will allow you to turn motion sensor lights on and off at will. These are a great pick if you’re using motion activated shop lights for overhead garage lighting.

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