The Top 34 Garage Lighting Ideas
“My study is a converted garage which is largely lined with bookshelves and cardboard boxes filled with manuscripts of my film scripts, plays, and books.” – William Nicholson
Do you have lights in and around your garage? If so, they are probably a single spotlight outside, and the light inside is the one that comes on your garage door opener. These are simply not enough lights.
You need an additional light fixture in the garage and an exterior garage light that can create a broader wash of light on your property. These garage lighting ideas will help you find the perfect lighting for in and around your garage.
Most people think of their garage as storage or workspace, so they don’t think about adding decorative lighting to their garage. However, this means they are missing out on a prime opportunity.
Add decorative lighting to your garage and make it a more enjoyable place to be while you are hanging out in your garage or driveway.
Homeowners should also add lighting to the outside of their garage. These outdoor lighting fixtures create more outdoor light. Now you can use your property when the sun goes down.
Exterior lighting also makes it safer to be outside walking around at night. Consider the color temperature of the light you choose. A yellow light isn’t as bright but is softer on the eyes. Bright white will be more effective at illumination but can feel harsh.
Adding exterior lights to your home serves multiple purposes. The first is to make your home and property safer. Flood lights illuminate the entire area so that you can safely walk around without bumping into things and tripping.
Choose motion sensor lights to add safety by making your home less appealing to criminals who may want to target your home. Those with bad intentions tend to move around in the dark, so take that away, and they will look for an easier target.
Your outdoor lighting fixture can also add a decorative appeal to your home. Adding landscape lighting illuminates your property at night, making it look more appealing and welcoming. This is smart if you want to improve the curb appeal of your home.
3. Flushed Mount
Recessed lighting is great for a garage because it removes the light fixture that would have to hang down below the height of the ceiling. You aren’t going to accidentally hit recessed lights as you’re moving around and working in your garage. They are also great for adding task light.
Garage ceilings can also be quite low. Adding flushed mount lighting helps to keep the ceiling feeling as high as possible. The drawback of this type of lighting is that you’ll need to install more of them because they don’t work well for creating full-room ambient lighting.
LED lighting is the modern lighting solution that is perfect for your garage. This type of lighting requires you to change out the light fixtures that you currently have to ones that are LED light bulb compatible.
Many homeowners decide against this because it represents a larger upfront investment. However, these people are missing out on the long-term benefits of LED garage lights.
Switching your garage lights to LED will save you monthly because of their low energy consumption. You also have a broader range of lumens and temperature options. These are what allow you to create a custom lighting solution. LED bulbs also last significantly longer than standard bulbs, so there’s no need to worry about replacing them.
You don’t have to treat your garage as a rugged, industrial, or commercial space. Plenty of lighting ideas can help you elevate your garage and give it a luxurious feel. Try using lighting ideas that are traditionally meant for the interior of the home.
You could hang pendant lights, mount string lights, or even hang a chandelier. Now you have a hangout space that feels more like a room than a storage facility.
Whatever light you choose, make sure it has the right light output. Pendant lights meant for a kitchen island may not have the proper lighting ability for illuminating your garage.
6. Panel Lights
Adding panel lights can give your garage a modern look. Skip the accent lighting that are just solid panels with a trim of LED light around the edge. This is a cool visual effect but does nothing for adding light to your garage.
Instead, look for lights where the entire panel is the light. You can then mount them flush to your garage’s ceiling or walls. The gentle glow is bright enough to add plenty of light, but the blocked bulbs won’t blind you. What’s nice about these panels is that you can add as few or as many as you want. This lets you customize the amount of light you have in your garage.
7. Pin Lights
Pin lights are a modern lighting solution that uses LED bulbs. These small lights come in a compact housing that makes them easy to install almost anywhere in your garage. The light you get from them is ultra-bright and directed.
These lights aren’t ideal for most homeowners because they won’t deliver enough light. This means you’ll have to install a ton of them to get enough ambient light. These are best used as spotlights when you want to highlight one specific thing, like a piece of decor, signature plant in your landscaping, or architectural element.
8. Strip Lights
Add some accent lighting to your garage by installing LED strip lights. You could add them to the underside of your workbench, to the bottom of your shelving, or even on the floor.
Adding them to your storage shelving makes it easier to navigate the shelves and know what you have. Adding them to the workbench just makes it look cool. Installing them on your garage floor can make it easier to properly park your car in the garage.
Stick with LEDs for your accent strip lighting. It is brighter and more durable than other types of strip lights. Rope lights or string lights are decorative but don’t create enough illumination. LEDs also can come with a control for changing their color and illumination pattern.
An easy solution for adding garage ceiling lights is to install fluorescent lighting. All you need to do is install some hooks in your ceiling to hang the lights from. Most come with hanging chains that allow you to adjust the height of the lights to suit your garage ceiling height.
For a clean install and permanent solution, hardwire the lights into your home’s electrical system. If this isn’t an option, you can run the electrical cable to one of your plugs in the garage. Either way, make sure there is an easy way to turn the lights on and off.
A switch by your interior garage door is the best option. That way, you don’t have to navigate a dark garage to and from the light when turning it on and off.
10. Track Lights
Track lights tend to make a home look dated and aren’t a great option for the interior of your home. However, in your garage, they can be a great option.
Adding track lighting to your garage gives you more freedom in how you use the lighting. You could arrange them in one position while you use your garage as a workspace.
Then you can reposition the lights when you decide to convert our garage into a home gym. Then perhaps you sell your home, and the next owners want to keep their car and motorcycle in the garage. They can adjust the lights to suit their new use.
When choosing track lights, think about the amount of illumination you need. The more light you want, the more individual lights on the track you need. Small spotlights will create more directed light. While larger lights can create a broader wash of light for more ambient light.
11. Tube Lights
Your garage is your workspace and storage space. You don’t need fancy lighting or elegant lighting solutions. All you need is functional and reliable ambient lighting.
Fluorescent tube lights are the lighting solution you are looking for. Fluorescent fixtures tend to lack style and design, but that’s ok. Their industrial or commercial feel doesn’t matter.
Fluorescent bulbs do not last as long as LED bulbs. Replacing them is relatively affordable, though. Just be careful handling them because they are delicate. If you do break one, you have a mess on your hands as the glass shatters into a million pieces.
Instead of installing lights on the ceiling, consider adding wall lights. These won’t interfere with the operation of your garage door or lower the visual height of the ceiling.
Just be sure to mount them high enough as to not be at eye level. Lights with a shade that directs the light downward can be perfect over your workbench.
You can also install lights on the outside wall of your garage. While many people install them next to entry points, such as windows and doors, you can install them anywhere. Solar-powered outdoor security lights give you the freedom to add light anywhere.
Garage Lighting FAQs
The best lighting for your garage is fluorescent and LED lighting. Which one you choose will depend on your budget and lighting needs. Keep in mind that fluorescent lights do not work in temperatures below 50 degrees, so this can be an issue if your garage doesn’t stay warm enough.
The best design uses three lights across the entire garage space. There should be lights on the left and right sides and one in the center. This will illuminate the entire space evenly. Be mindful of the garage door and know that it could block ceiling lights when it is open.
The rule of thumb is that you should use lights that generate 130 to 150 lumens per square foot. You need to know the total square footage of your garage and the square footage of the area you want to illuminate. A standard 40-watt bulb generates about 2,200 lumens.