When you think of household garages, you don’t think of light, airy, and spacious locations, you generally think of them as dark, cold, damp, depressing, cobweb-infested rooms that are for storing tools and mechanical objects in.
Garage lighting ideas are important.
When you think of household garages, you don’t think of light, airy, and spacious locations, you generally think of them as dark, cold, damp, depressing, cobweb-infested rooms that are for storing tools and mechanical objects in. However, this needn’t be the case with all garages, as all it can take is something as simple as changing your lighting in there, to literally transform the room.
Now, you’re probably thinking that all garage lighting has to come from artificial fluorescent lights but that is not the case at all. In reality, there are numerous lighting alternatives for you to consider, and to help you make the right decision, we’ve decided to compile this handy list.
Below you will find information on what type of garage lighting to install, which style works where, how lighting can be functional and decorative, and much more besides. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at how you can transform your garage with these wonderful garage lighting ideas.
Lighting on the outside
First and foremost, we’ll begin by taking a look at what’s on the outside, as outdoor lighting for your garage can really help transform the look and feel of the building. Some popular ideas include:
Remember, light is not only for decoration, it is also practical, and when your garage is concerned, security should be one of your main priorities. Whether you store your vehicle in there, expensive tools, or anything else, if your garage is not secured, you are always at risk of theft, no matter how nice an area you live in.
Not only that, but outdoor security lighting on a motion sensor can also be welcoming and practical, like when you arrive home in the dark and pull up and set off the lights.
Night Eye LED Bulkhead – PIR Sensor lights are great here, as they feature a 140 degree, 7-metre detection range, and what’s more, they stay lit for around 10 minutes. Some security lights stay on for seconds, which is just not enough.
Lights for decoration
Decorative lights also work very well on the outside of your garage, as they can really enhance the overall appearance and ambience of the room in question. Decorative outdoor wall lights work an absolute treat here, so make sure you know what to purchase.
One very popular example is the VEGA LED wall light, which not only looks great, but it is also economical as it is very energy efficient, so you can keep your bills down. With a matte black finish, if it’s contemporary, yet modern, you’re looking for, this is the perfect light for you.
Lighting for the interior
Now that we’ve looked at a few suggestions for the exterior of your garage, it’s now time to take a look at the inside. Inside your garage, you want to be able to see, yet you want a welcoming, light, and airy finish in the process. Take a look at these suggestions and see what you think:
If you’re like most people, you won’t actually use your garage for your car at all. Instead, it will probably be packed full of tools, especially if you consider yourself a bit of a DIY master. The thing to remember about garages is that they have to include a lot of light, especially as many of them probably won’t get natural light unless you open the door. Because of this, modern fluorescent lighting works an absolute treating.
The fluorescent lights you see nowadays, are nothing like those available decades ago, as they no longer flicker, they provide bright, natural-looking light, and they are very energy efficient. The T8 Weatherproof fluorescent light, for example, is very durable and hardwearing, so can be used indoors or out. It provides great light, is reliable, and is safe.
Garages are a great deal damper than other parts of the home, so go for lights providing an IP rating which is suitable for use outside.
Whether you’re looking for a mancave for you, your partner, your son, or anybody else, if you have space, and the creativity, your garage will serve as the perfect location. You can go with a games room, a gym, or just a general chill-out zone complete with a sofa and TV. Spotlight bars with an IP44 rating work a treat here, as they are very bright and hugely stylish.
The Aries 4 light bar for example, comes in a polished chrome finish and offers spotlight heads which can be individually adjusted as required. If your mancave has white goods, such as a refrigerator to store the beer, waterproof sockets are important, so consider something like the Outdoor 1 Gang 13 AMP socket, which is an IP55 rated socket that helps improve safety in areas with a lot of moisture.
Other garage lighting ideas
If we’ve now piqued your interests, here are a few more suggestions, which you may wish to consider, depending on your garage lighting ideas and what you plan on using it for.
Hanging store lights
If you want a tried and tested method of lighting your garage, you simply can’t go wrong with hanging store lights. These lights are incredibly primitive, but don’t let that put you off, because in this instance, simplicity is key. Simply hang a fixture, either consisting of four bulbs, or a double bulb fitting, above a workstation in the garage, and you will easily be able to see what you’re doing.
Compact Fluorescent Light Pot Lamps
Compact Fluorescent Lights, or CFL for short, are great for people who want a lot of brightness, without being overwhelmed as you can be with standard fluorescent lighting. CFL pot lamps can be installed in corners around your garage, where they will provide natural light, without casting dark shadows and creating ugly downlighting.
They cost very little to run, and are very reliable, so once they’re installed, you shouldn’t have to worry about changing them for a very long time.
Philips Hue lights
Over the years, technology really has come on leaps and bounds, especially where smart technology is concerned. Philips hue lamps are a perfect example of this, as the lights can be installed and controlled via your tablet or smart phone. With numerous lighting colours, shades, and brightnesses to choose from, you can switch from workshop mode, to party mode, in a matter of seconds, with the swipe of a screen.
LED lighting strips
LED lighting is now all the rage in the home decor world, and it’s easy to see why. LED lighting strips will brighten up any garage, creating a nicer, clearer, more appealing light for your garage.
They may not be quite as bright as fluorescent lighting, but truthfully, unless you require a lot of light, I.E for safety reasons, this shouldn’t actually matter too much. Best of all, LED lights last, on average, an astonishing 6 years nearly, so you will barely have to lift a finger to maintain them.
Most garages don’t feature windows, so even during the daytime, they can become dark and dingy places. Here, your options are to turn on the lights, or open the door. But there is an alternative. You can instead have windows fitted, either into the wall, or into the door, to allow more natural light to flood in. If your garage gets damp a lot, or if you live in a cold climate, windows may not be practical for heating. Plus, direct sunlight can tarnish paints and other materials.
For people who primarily do their DIY in their garages, task lighting in the form of ceiling lights will work wonders, though, on desks and workbenches, shadows may be cast. In this instance, lights aiming directly onto worktops and counters will work best, just like these hanging ceiling fluorescent lights as seen here.
These downlights and pendant lights also work very well for workshops, as does under-cabinet lighting shining downwards directly onto workspaces. Finally, you could go for magnifying lamps, and adjustable wall lights, just like those pictured below.
If you require a light, welcoming, friendly, and inviting garage, neutral bright walls with fluorescent lights work very well for a minimalistic approach. Rather than just ceiling lights, try to instead layer them by going for a combination of wall lights, floor lamps, ceiling lamps, or even hanging string lights if you feel you’re creative enough to pull them off. Drapes and throws can also soften everything and create a welcoming space.
If you can’t seem to get enough brightness for your garage, do-away with the porcelain lights and fixtures and go with a large 8ft fluorescent fixture instead, making sure to always switch off the electricity before you tamper with your lights. The bulbs here should be mounted directly above the ceiling boxes, over any vehicles stored within the garage.
Different bulbs to choose from
Not only are the fixtures and fittings important in terms of lighting a garage, but so too are the bulbs. Fluorescent lighting, whilst being reliable, is not always ideal in low temperatures, so if your garage is cold, look for lighting that works well in low temperatures. T12 fixtures with magnetic ballasts, for example, will not work in temps below 50F.
Instead, electronic ballasts should be used. Look for lighting 1 inch wide, with a T8 size to get the best results. Another great benefit here is that your electricity bills will be kept low as well, so it’s a win-win.
Decorative finishes for garage lighting
If aesthetics are just as important as functionality, you may wish to look for lights which improve the decor of your garage. Whether you want a modern, vintage, minimalist, or shabby chic approach, the bulbs and fixtures and fittings you use in your garage can really help enhance the overall decor of your home.
Industrial chic is very much in fashion at the moment, so you may wish to consider an Edison-style lamp perhaps? If you have a nice car, you’ll want to show it off in all its glory, so look for a bright and vibrant light in this instance.
Pendant and flood lighting
If you’re looking to break the mould slightly, you may wish to go with floodlights located on the ground. These lights can then be aimed anywhere where light is required within your garage. Pendant lights also work very well, and with so many unique motifs to choose from, you will instantly be able to find the lights that best-suit your garage. For a really quirky finish, try inscribing your name on the lights, or go with personalized fittings to really enhance the look of your garage.
Light for practicality
Whilst having a lot of light in a garage can help improve the ambiance and lift your mood, light is also important for practical reasons. If you’re doing DIY in there, you’ll want plenty of light to help ensure you can easily find the tools, screws, and anything else you’re looking for. For practical reasons, you want as many different sources of light as possible.
Overhead lights will work well, as will lamps, floodlights, and natural lights via windows if possible. This is important because it means all angles will be covered, plus there won’t be any shadows.
Different color schemes
When choosing a color scheme for your garage, unless you have something unique in mind, try to match the color and decor with the rest of your house. Bright, vibrant, and bold colors will add light, whereas softer colors may compliment softer furnishings in the rest of the house.
Stop lights and Chandeliers for Piston-heads
Yes you are reading this right, we are indeed recommending chandeliers for the interior of your garage. When you think of chandeliers, you probably imagine crystal ones like the ones you see in stately homes. In reality, you can get custom-made chandeliers in a number of styles, including ones made from old mechanical parts.
If you’re a piston-head, this would be the star attraction of your garage lighting ideas, though it probably wouldn’t come cheap. Stop lights are also very popular in some garages, as these stop lights, just like those found on intersections, can be made to be constantly lit up, where they look fantastic on the wall of any garage. You could also mix and match with rail lights and sconces if you felt so inclined.
Different switch ideas
Before we wrap things up, let’s take a quick look at a few switch ideas and suggestions, shall we? For practicality, a switch installed both on the inside of the garage, and inside your home, will work well, especially if you forget to switch the light off before coming in the house at night, and don’t to go back outside. Remote control light switches are also hugely popular nowadays, as are motion sensors. However, if there is a lot of wildlife, or movement from large trees, or traffic on the road etc, motion sensors may not be quite as ideal, so just bear that in mind.
And with that, we shall draw proceedings to a close. Before we go, however, let’s first sum up what we’ve learned. Put simply, in terms of choosing the right lighting and decor for your garage lighting ideas, you really need to look at your own circumstances and preferences. For standard garages, fluorescent boxes work just fine, but for a workshop, you’ll want light from other sources, from other angles. You can go with lamps, under-cabinet lighting, sconces, hanging fixtures, or even custom-made chandeliers. Basically, find what works for you, think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to get adventurous.