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LED Lighting Guide for Your Garage

When you head out to the garage for a project, a party, to dig items out of storage or just to go to the office on a dark winter morning, visual clarity is just as vital — if not more so — as it is in the house. Unfortunately, many garages and shops have inadequate lighting, making it harder to work and easier for accidents to occur.

Installing the best LED garage lights makes it easier to navigate this space and find what you’re looking for while also reducing injury risks. They also burn brighter, last longer and use less energy than fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. Use our LED garage lighting ideas to illuminate every square inch with the proper amount of light.

Types of Garage Lighting

There are three primary LED garage light fixtures. Since the garage is a multi-use space, you should have all of them in some form.

  • Ambient LED Light Fixtures: This usually means ceiling lights, but can also apply to garage door openers that have large lights built-in. You can get low-bay lights for smaller garages or high-bay lights if you have a taller ceiling. Troffer lights and panel lights are two other good fixtures.
  • Garage Task Lights: Shop lights, led ruler under cabinet lights, hanging caged lights and other super-bright fixtures provide high-powered lighting for specific projects. Set each of these fixtures up as down-lighting and mount them a few inches behind the work surface so light reflects away from you.
  • LED Accent Lighting for Garage: Wall sconces, ceiling pendants or LED light strips are easy on the eyes for nighttime arrival, offer decorative lighting for gatherings and can highlight a display or trophy case.

LED Outdoor Garage Lights

High-quality lighting isn’t just for inside your garage. Some LED outside garage lights serve two purposes: they illuminate the driveway and sides of the house for after-dark activities such as shooting hoops, and they also function as security lights to scare off intruders. You might consider LED wall pack lights for lining the outer walls, LED floodlights to hang above the garage doors or LED area lights for either end of the driveway.

General LED Garage Light Tips

Wherever you’re putting your lights, there are some basic LED garage lighting rules of thumb everyone should follow:

  • Measure your space beforehand to determine what you need for light output. See the Frequently Asked Questions below for more about how much light is recommended for each lighting type.
  • Use smaller bulbs and by more of them. For example, if you’re installing T8 linear tubes in your ceiling lights or hanging shop lights, go with four-foot bulbs instead of eight-foot bulbs. The smaller tubes are easier to find, offer more flexibility for layouts and mean a burned-out or broken bulb has less of an impact on the overall illumination.
  • Get bulbs with a high CRI (Color Rendering Index) so you get a truer look at colors. When you’re painting wood or tinkering with a car engine, you’ll be glad to have that visual accuracy.
  • You can lower energy usage and improve safety even further by installing motion sensors. In particular, they’re a practical option for outdoor flood lights and garage door opener lights. With motion sensors, you don’t have to manually turn the lights on and off whenever you’re leaving or arriving home.
  • Add windows or a skylight to further enhance the lighting in your garage. Letting some natural light in will lower utility bills while ensuring better lighting quality — because nothing beats the sun!

Find the Best LED Garage Lights at Birddog Lighting

No matter how many LEDs for the garage you need, Birddog Lighting will help you find them. We have numerous fixtures for custom residential or commercial lighting projects. Call us for advice about installing LED garage lights in your home garage, professional mechanic shop or shared apartment shed. Visit our Resources page or the Birddog Lighting blog for more useful information.

LED Garage Lights Frequently Asked Questions

What type of lighting is best for a garage?

The two best LED garage lights for ambient shop lighting are T8 integrated LED lights and LED panel lights. They emit bright light to illuminate every corner of the shop. You will also need some task lighting for workbenches and other specific project areas. LED light bars and puck lights both are excellent area lighting options.

How many lumens do you need to light a garage?

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recommends 50 lumens of light output per square foot for residential garages and 300 lumens per square foot for commercial garages or workshop areas. The number for task lighting is significantly higher because of the visibility needed for precision projects.

Can LED bulbs interfere with a garage door opener?

Some lower-quality LED lights have been known to stop garage door openers from functioning. This is because the drivers in LED bulbs use radio frequencies similar to those used by most garage openers. To prevent interference, invest in higher-grade bulbs that have shielding to block the radio waves from intersecting.

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