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woman installing light bulb to improve poor garage lighting

Improving Poor Garage Lighting: Designer Tips

The fact that garage lighting is typically poor and garages are frequently used as a storage catchall doesn’t mean that your garage must be the most cluttered and neglected space of your household.

On the contrary, the possibilities of organizing your garage are unlimited. Because cars and motorcycles occupy most garages, look to the walls and ceilings for inspiration. But before you start, let’s think about improving your garage lighting. 

We’re here to help you learn more about the different types of lighting for your garage. Read on to find out how you can improve your garage experience with lighting.

Types of Garage Lighting Options

Incandescent Bulbs

This classic version of garage lighting is the type most often found in mid-century, and earlier homes. Incandescent light bulbs used in older homes provide a warm glow that is familiar to everyone since childhood. 

Incandescent lamps have a useful color rendering index: colors are not distorted. It is recommended to place an incandescent lamp in a unique protective cover to protect the glass bulb from breaking.

Halogen Bulbs

Improving garage lighting with halogen lamps can be tricky. Halogen bulbs are similar in design and qualities to incandescent lamps but are about 30% more efficient, which means they offer more light and longer lifespan while using less electricity.

However, keep in mind that halogen lamps can break from voltage fluctuations, and it is better not to touch them with your bare hands—this will cause the bulb to blacken and disable the lamp. 

Fluorescent Tubes

The advantages of fluorescent lamps include low power consumption, long service life, and a high light output level. Fluorescent lamps take time to warm up before reaching their full light and power level. 

Fluorescent lamps are bulbs filled with quicksilver vapor, making a light source dangerous if the bulb’s integrity is damaged, making them a less than ideal choice for garage lighting now that LED lamps are available. 

LED Light Fixtures

LEDs come in a wide range of options and are a highly recommended choice for improving garage lighting for their energy efficiency and longevity. For example, you can replace fluorescent lighting with LED-tube light fixtures in your garage. LEDs have the highest level of light output and last longer than other types. 

These energy-efficient light fixtures can continue to work even if the bulb is slightly damaged and will illuminate at low temperatures and high humidity. Thanks to the LED technology, these garage lighting fixtures have a wide range of color temperature: warm, neutral, and cool white.

Cold or neural lights are the most suitable for the garage, depending on the duration of work in it. Cold light invigorates, improves performance, but blue light can lead to discomfort to the eyes and nervous system over a long period, so it is better for short-term use. 

LED light fixtures are energy efficient, consuming the least electricity of the light fixtures we mentioned above. The only downside is that they are more expensive, but the upside is they can last up to 20 years or longer. If you decide to install LED lighting in your garage, it will pay off in energy savings.

Installation Tips

The classic installation “one light bulb in the middle of a ceiling” is no longer accepted in building codes. Proper garage lighting in the garage ideally should consist of several functionally lit areas.

All home hobbyists—classic car enthusiasts, home improvement contractors, and Etsy shop owners— take garage lighting seriously. So many garage-based activities require a well-lit space. 

The correct placement of light fixtures can play a decisive role in making your garage a more usable and functional space. And one that is a fun place to hang out. 

Take a cue from lighting designers who agree; multilevel lighting is considered the most effective way to illuminate rooms. When it comes to garage lighting, fixtures are placed in four levels of the room: Upper lighting is suspended from the ceiling), middle (1.8 meters from the floor), and low level (0.75 meters from the floor).

As for the overhead lighting, it is better to install lamps to allow the light to fall vertically, without creating shadows as it will help to illuminate the entire garage better. 

The mid-level garage lighting can help eliminate shadows and ideal for task lighting in the work area. Low-level lighting is useful when repairing cars.

Choosing the best garage light fixtures and where to install them should be based on how you plan to utilize this space. Also, don’t forget about your light switches. 

Sometimes having just one in the garage light switch may not be enough. So consider investing in smart-light controls that will allow you to turn your lighting off and on as well as dim or brighten your lighting remotely.


Underestimating the importance of good lighting is common, and even a good desk lamp can significantly change your boost your productivity at work! It’s not hard to imagine what a significant impact on your productivity you can make by improving your entire garage lighting!

When choosing a garage lighting solution, an incandescent or halogen lamp may be sufficient for those who rarely utilize this space. For most scenarios, however, LED fixtures are the most highly recommended, 

And even though you’ll be spending more money on purchasing LEDs upfront, their 20-year lifespan will help you forget about replacing them for a long time. And in-between time, you’ll be saving on electricity bills.

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