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What type of lighting should you install in your garage?

What type of lighting should you install in your garage?

Exterior renovationsWhat type of lighting should you install in your garage?

The garage isn't a space just for cars anymore. With homeowners becoming more creative with their personal space, the garage is often used as an alternative workspace, gym or haven from the rest of the house.

If you plan on spending a significant amount of time in your garage, various lighting options are important and possible! It isn't all about overhead lights anymore.

Depending on what purpose your garage serves, choosing the right lighting can be tricky! It is important to consider tasks, safety as well as comfort before making the final decision. Luckily, has created a list of different lighting types and styles for you to mull over before moving forward with that garage-turned-gym renovation!

Here are some tips to help narrow down lighting options for your garage!

Incandescent Lights

Incandescent lights are the standard bulb you might find in your neighbour's garage. This type of lighting comes in either halogen lights or xenon bulbs. It comes on immediately and is a very focused light. Therefore, incandescent lighting is best for detailed projects. Halogens produce the brightest and most focused light but also generate the most heat.

Low-voltage versions with built-in transformers work well to light areas underneath cabinets without temperatures rising too much. However, xenon bulbs last longer and provide the same focused light without the additional heat.

If you are not working in your garage, and you only plan to house your cars there, incandescent lighting is your best bet! This type of lighting comes on immediately, uses very little energy and does not flicker in cold temperatures.


Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent lights are great for placing above a workbench or beneath a cabinet or shelf where you may be working long hours. This type of light is energy-efficient and burns cooler than an incandescent bulb.

Therefore, they won't add any unnecessary heat to the space. Energy-efficient tubes or continuous strips won’t infringe on a valuable workspace, and this is a great option for overhead lights. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) are an alternative option. Usually shaped like spirals, they fit into standard fixtures and offer more light alongside less energy.

However, it is important to keep in mind that not all fluorescent lights work in cold weather, so if you're selecting this type of light for your garage, make sure to choose a fixture based on the lowest temperature. Regardless, if you plan on using your garage as a workspace, high-quality fluorescent bulbs are an excellent option.

Task Lighting

Bring focused light to specific areas of your garage where forms of more intricate work will take place and the extra light is required. Task lighting is ideal for the garage if you plan on using it as a workshop or studio. One common type of task lighting is the portable halogen light, providing outstanding light to your workspace. Something worth considering before incorporating task lighting is where shadows might fall, as well as how bright the lights will be.

You don't want your task lighting to turn out as more of a hindrance than a help, as incorrectly placed lights can cause the room to appear awkward and uncomfortable. As well, if the lights are too bright, there is a chance they will shine in your eyes, which is what you're ultimately trying to avoid. Make sure the placement of each light is well thought out in relation to the space, otherwise, you may have a few issues on your hands.

Clamp-On Lighting

source: Flickr, Erin Boyle 

Like task lighting, lights that clamp onto places around the garage can be extremely beneficial for even the most detailed of projects. Clamp-on lights are removable and can be turned to face any direction. Consider an adjustable hooded office light to hang over your desk or workspace.  This light can be adjusted to face and illuminate an area underneath cabinets and shelves, depending on the nature of the work and the layout of the garage. Regardless, clamp-on lighting is a great option for its movability. 

Other Garage Lighting Factors to Consider

So, you may have chosen the type of lights as well as the placement, but what other factors should you consider? Ambiance plays an important role in the installation of lights in your garage. You can determine whether the lighting will be warm or cool as dependent on the light's colour temperature, which is measured in degrees on the Kelvin scale.

The higher the degree, the cooler the light! Make sure to ask your contractor or local hardware store how your lights measure before installing them.

Something further to consider if you plan on using your garage as more of a workshop, and need to see the true colour of paint and stains, is the light's CRI or colour rendition index. When shopping for bulbs, look for lighting with a CRI of 85 or above.

The colour rendition index measures how “true” colours appear under certain light, expressed as a bulb or tube colour rendition index. Ranging from 1 to 100, a majority of individuals find that colours look the most natural at 85. A high CRI rating is most desirable.

Get 3 renovation quotes for your garage lighting project can help you get quotes for your garage lighting project. If you submit your project, we’ll put you in contact with 3 qualified professionals. Fill out the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted renovation specialists.

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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