Now more than ever, garages have become extensions of our main living spaces. They provide adequate shelter from outdoor elements and are the perfect place to work on projects long after the sun goes down. The only problem, however, is that garage lighting isn’t always adequate and can cause a variety of frustrations.
To help you illuminate your garage the right way, here are a few tips and suggestions on how to achieve better lighting and improve the quality of your workspace.
Fluorescent Light Fixtures
If you’re looking to light up your entire garage, fluorescent lights may be your answer. Fluorescent light fixtures are inexpensive and the bulbs give off enough light so you are able to see true colors while you work. They are also easy to install and can be positioned and mounted over your existing ceiling light boxes.
One drawback to fluorescent lighting is that the bulbs don’t always like to work in cold weather. However, you can purchase fixtures based on temperatures. Magnetic ballasts are fine if your garage never drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you plan on working in more frigid temperatures, make sure to buy fixtures with electronic ballasts. The electronic ballasts are fully functional down to 0 degrees and lower.
If you want to go the more energy efficient route, we suggest you purchase the 1-inch-wide T8 lamps as the energy-saver T12 lamps only work at 60 degrees F or higher.
For more information on fluorescent lighting, check out this guide.
If you’re working in a designated area of your garage, like a work table, incandescent lighting is a great option. Incandescents, like halogens and xenon bulbs, give off a more focused light that is bright and perfect for meticulous projects.
While halogens are the brightest bulbs available, they also generate heat. If your lighting is mounted under a cabinet just above your work table, you may want to consider buying low voltage bulbs. Xenon bulbs are another great option as they also provide about the same bright light, but without the heat.
If you aren’t looking to add new fixtures to your garage, but still want to improve garage lighting, LED bulbs are another great option. The best thing about LEDs is that they last a very long time—often 20 to 30 years So if your garage is poorly lit because you don’t want to climb a ladder to keep changing your bulbs, this is the perfect solution. In fact, it’s a perfect option for any hard-to-reach lighting around your home.
While LEDs are typically a little higher in price, they use less energy than traditional light bulbs and need to be replaced less often. If you take into consideration that you’ll need to replace your traditional bulbs at a much faster rate, you’ll realize that the upfront expense is a good investment and will save you money over time.
Just keep in mind that garage organization can be easy, especially if you can see what is in your garage!