How it Started?
You might be wondering how I found myself writing about garage lighting solutions.
Well, even me I didn’t see it coming so allow me to give you a quick account of the events that led me to pen this article so that readers like you can learn a couple of things about garage lights.
Before the end of last year, I decided to write off one item from my bucket list – can you guess it? ‘Purchasing a couple of garage lights?’ Wrong!
I decided to install a car lift in my garage to make it easier for me to undertake repairs and inspections on my car without any hassles.
I settled for the two-post lift, then told myself ‘Hi, why stop here?’. I would as well go the whole nine yards and replace the old fluorescent garage lights with brand new garage LED lights.
But here’s the kicker.
I didn’t know much else about garage LED lights apart from the fact that I had heard from a couple of my friends that they were much more efficient than fluorescent lights in terms of lighting and brightness.
I pretty much didn’t have a choice but to go through the hundreds of customer reviews and feedback from both disgruntled and happy clients littered across the internet.
It’s out of this information that I got that enabled me to come up with a list of some of the best garage lights currently available in the market so that you’ll be able to get the best value of your money.
If your garage is like mine as shown above without any windows, you definitely require ample lighting for your day and nighttime projects.
You really don’t have a choice, and this is why.
How Important Is It To Have Proper Lighting?
There are two main benefits of proper lightings: increased productivity and reduced accidents.
Effective lighting helps to reduce eye strain and work stress which results in increased work productivity by at least 10 to 40% as numerous studies have shown. Your garage consists of machinery which is sharp and dangerous.
Therefore, having proper lighting is extremely important as it will go towards increasing your workplace safety and productivity at the same time. For many people who are new to sourcing for garage lighting, the many options out there can be overwhelming.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Your Garage Lighting System
There are various factors to consider before heading to the hardware store to buy your garage lighting system. These factors are important because the right type and spectrum of light will have a major influence on your work productivity and safety.
This buying guide will provide you with a couple of tips to look into to have the most cost-effective lighting system for your garage.
Level of Lighting
Contrary to popular belief, the brighter the light is not necessarily the better light. The nature of work will ultimately determine your level of lighting in your garage.
Let’s break it down. If you want light near your work area, it may be unwise to have anything over 8,000 lumens as the reflection may blind you and reduce your work productivity.
This is something you may not know. Brightness is measured in lumens and the higher the lumens, the brighter the light. Due to varying garage sizes and a number of windows, each garage may require a different level of lighting. Your best bet would be to go with a lighting solution having a brightness level of 4,000 lumens.
You might be wondering what age got to do with this. Allow me to break it down for you.
If you’re young, you will require less light than an older person.
Therefore, the level of lighting will depend on your age and nature of work you intend to do within your garage workplace.
Dimensions and Bulb Housing
The majority of garage lights are usually around 50 inches in length with most units having up to 4 bulbs within the housing.
The basic setup would be something like this: a housing cover consisting of 4 bulbs surrounding your car, one unit over your workbench and another to provide light to your garage toolset.
You might be wondering: Is a lighting housing cover really that important?
Yes, it’s important, and this is why:
Lifespan and Energy Efficiency
A good quality garage lighting solution should last at least 10,000 hours for it to make economic sense.
LED’s consume at least 60% less energy compared with other forms of fluorescent lighting, saving you significant amounts of money.
The Depth of Color Lighting
What is the color preference of your lighting?
Kelvin is the unit of measurement of the color lighting of a bulb.
The common range falls between 1,000K and 10,000 K and provides a yellow to blue glow.
I highly recommend a Kelvin range of between 4K and 7K as it provides natural color lighting.
Installation of Garage Lighting
Since garage lighting consists of heavy-duty housing with large bulbs, they are usually heavier than your average house lighting solution.
The lighting options which I have highlighted are lightweight and can easily be installed with a variety of hardware and mounting brackets. Many of them are offering linkable capabilities, enabling you to operate them from a single power source. Pull chains are a useful feature for those not wanting to wire the power to a wall light switch.
LED Garage Lights Vs. Fluorescent: Which Is Better?
Garages from back in the days understandably use fluorescent lights for they have been around for many years.
However, the reduction in the price of LED lights and numerous other benefits as outlined below have made them a favorite choice for garage lighting solutions.
- LED lights are 30% more efficient than fluorescent lights in terms of lighting and brightness.
- They are directional. Meaning they only focus their light at a particular area, unlike fluorescent lights whose focus is 3600 degrees wasting a lot of resources.
- The lifespan of LED’s is approximately 50,000 hours as compared to fluorescent light is only 14,500 hours.
- Much healthier. LEDs do not omit Mercury or UV, unlike fluorescent lights which do.
After going through hundreds of customer reviews, feedback from customers and my actual experience in using a couple of these models, I was able to compile a comprehensive list of the best garage lighting currently available.
The Barrina T5 Integrated Single Fixture 4ft LED utility is among the best shop light that will light up your garage in the most efficient way.
The light is long-lasting with a lifespan of 50,000 hours which is 10x longer than conventional lighting. It also comes with a hardware package that contains 5 connecting cords of 20 inches in length and power cords with an On/Off switch (59 inches) allowing for either hanging or mounting.
The con is that the mounting clips do not hold the bulb tightly and will easily dislodge if bumped. However, the short mounting screws are sufficient for under-cabinet mounting, just make sure that you get longer screws if you will be attaching them through the drywall into a stud.
Motion Activated garage light bulbs have been gaining prominence for the last couple of years, and it is evident why this is the case.
Its three aluminum LED heads are adjustable and can be folded up to 90. Its microwave sensor that responds to movement from people, cars, and doors is truly a game-changer within the sector.
It is a high-intensity mining lamp with a 6000 high lumen output, providing natural white light resulting in a wonderful lighting experience for your garage.
Even though the motion-activated feature is really a pro, it is also the feature that a number of people wish it had an option of overriding it.
Here’s why. When working for long hours and out of a line of sight of the lights, they tend to go off, and you’ll be required to constantly keep moving your hands when they do go off.
The AntLux 4ft LED garage shop lights give you a super brightness of 5500 lumens at 50 Watts and a color temperature of 4000k.
It provides considerable energy savings of up to 70 %, over 50,000 hours of maintenance-free operation, and its galvanized sheet covering goes a long way in improving its durability. Easy to set up and comes with mounting hardware items and a 5-year warranty to give you peace of mind.
One of the common cons of these lights was that it doesn’t come with a center cap inside the fixture to cover the wiring and LED drivers.
This results in people seeing its wiring and components through the lens and looks a bit messy. However, its brightness level and easy setup override any cons.
The Streamlight 44910 Waypoint 1000-Lumens Spotlight with 120-Volt AC Charger is perfect outdoor camping lights you can use to brighten up the underbelly of your car suspended on a ramp, as you perform repairs and regular cleaning on it.
It produces 1,000 lumens with a farther-reaching 678m beam! It features 3 modes: High, Medium, Low.
It has a trigger-style switch for easy momentary and constant-on operation, an extremely handy tool when you’re out there camping. Also, it has an integrated stand for scene lighting, which is also handy when you’re under a car.
It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, that fully recharges in 4 hours. It’s PX8/waterproof up to 2 meters.
Weight: 1.52 lb (691 grams). Colors available: Yellow or Black.
The Astro 40SL rechargeable COB LED is a slim work light gadget that packs a powerful punch of 410 lumens of light output in its small size.
It’s a robust LED which is externally and internally designed for harsh conditions and dirty environments.
The Astro 40SL rechargeable COB LED will give you 10 hours of work time at 50% and at least 2.5 hours at full power. Its 40 chip COB LED array provides a light density of up to 850% more times than SMD LED’s while consuming much less power.
It comes with a swivel and stays base that features a 20Lb magnet that can be removed.
It comes equipped with a swivel and a base that features a 20lb magnet that can be removed.
Hands-free and hassle-free – that’s its mantra.
The majority of its customers have remarked how bright the fixture is but decry that its battery doesn’t last as expected and the light becomes dimmer as the battery power decreases.
The Cobiz Headlamp headlight provides a super brightest of 6000 lumens and with a reliable hands-free led headlight that leaves your hands to work; it’s a truly handy gadget you should have. It’s waterproof and rated as IPX4 water-resistant grade and its switch is completely waterproof, allowing you to use it even when it is raining.
It comes with four different modes of use; low, medium, high, and bright emergency mode. It is also USB rechargeable giving you wider options of charging.
The fixture has only a 100% brightness level and only one selection for brightness – no high, medium, or low levels.
I found this as a con for most people who don’t require that much light. Due to the lack of ability to reduce power consumption, batteries will most likely drain power much quicker than anticipated. Carrying a couple of extra batteries would be a great idea.
If you’re still using the older, less efficient fluorescent lights, you should consider upgrading to LED garage lights that will dramatically reduce your lighting expenses.
You may be tempted to say that there are other options out there. I wouldn’t blame you.
But here is the deal.
Do you really want to buy garage lights from a random guy who hasn’t installed them himself? Am sure you wouldn’t want that.
There is a multitude of garage lighting options out there but sticking to my recommendations will ensure that you have the best possible garage lights currently available in the market.
Comment below and let me know your experience with garage lights so that I can continue updating my list and outlining their pros and cons.