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How to Provide Proper Lighting for Your Garage

Having a hard time fixing your vehicle or spending about half an hour looking for an important tool? Even if you know all your stuff like the back of your hand, finishing your D.I.Y. projects and searching for certain valuables will often be troublesome, due to poor or improper lighting.

To help you solve such problems, in this article, we’ll help you look at ways of improving your garage’s lighting standards, by breaking down each key factors you should consider. We’ll also teach you how to make an additional storage shelf.


Since the average garage is approximately 300 square feet, the purpose of a garage lighting doesn’t just end with helping you see clearly when parking your vehicle. 

The truth is, your garage also serves as your storeroom where you put important items like repair tools, spare tires, etc. Since you’ll be using those items to fix something, it naturally means your garage can also be your work area. That’s why the average number of light bulbs in a garage is 10.


Aside from being an invaluable tool for helping you search, here are other benefits you can get through proper garage lighting:

  • Optimal lighting means clearer security camera footage.
  • Burglars are driven away by proper lighting because they’re easily noticed. 
  • Lifts or improves your mood.
  • Cost and energy efficient.


how should hazardous materials be stored

Keep in mind that personal safety isn’t just about proper garage lighting. It also comes from how you put order in your garage. Specifically:

  • Put items of the same purpose in one place.
  • Lock away hazardous chemicals and items that only you can access.
  • Check garage doors if they need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Throw away damaged or dysfunctional tools.
  • Make sure the cabinets are still well-mounted to hold your stuff.


Choosing the right garage light bulbs isn’t a mere walk in the park but you’ll get by if you do it systematically. Observe the following steps carefully so you won’t get confused.

Identify Light-Worthy Spots

lighting area

A garage is not only an isolated place where you keep your 4WDs but also an extension of your house. And just like your house, you have to familiarize yourself with its various spots and spaces. Does your garage have an area where you’ll be doing repairs or other tinkering tasks? If so, don’t forget to include this in your lighting goals. If your garage door accommodates an extra space where you can squeeze in some of your valuables, instead of just compiling them all in a single cabinet, you have to put a lighting fixture on it as well.

Imagine this as some sort of a mapping procedure that points out which areas of your garage need a well-deserved attention, as it’ll help make your future activities in them easier.

Categorize Them According to Purpose

garage organization

Once you’re done with the mapping out procedure, you can now evaluate the areas based on their level of necessity. Doing this will help you decide the kind of lights needed for such areas and if they require mild or strong lighting effects. It appears to be an extra effort at a glance but through it, you actually put organization into your garage by helping you avoid the temptation of just storing your valuables anywhere you like and by giving priority to those you’ll most likely use on a regular basis.

Believe it or not, your garage consists of six zones that can accommodate all sorts of stuff. However, as a rule of thumb, items that you normally use should be the ones nearest to your garage’s point of entry, and the rest located farther as you go in.

  • Point of Entry – This is the area that goes in between your house and your garage door. Others call it the patio depending on what it looks like but experts call it the transition zone because it instantly connects you to your two different living spaces.
  • Quick Access – Next to the point of entry is the quick access part. This is the area where you put all the valuables that you use every day. The simple logic behind this is to avoid the possibility of still rummaging through your stuff when you’re in a hurry for work. This usually contains shelves or cabinets where you put food, toiletries, tool boxes, etc.
  • Slender Storage Area – This is more or less an extension of the quick access part because it’s the place where you put long items that can’t be accommodated in the former but you may still often need. These include; mops, brooms, paint rollers, etc.
  • Large Storage Area – As the name itself suggests, this is obviously the area where you put bulky items that won’t fit anywhere else. It may contain boxes, appliances you haven’t used yet, or similar items that are just as important as those in slender storage area but heavy and not needed for daily use, unlike the ones in quick access.
  • Storage for Occasionally Used Items – This area houses valuables that you need on an occasional or seasonal basis. It may include; Christmas decorations, snow plows, surf boards, etc.
  • Work Area – It’s the place where you put all other valuables you use for your Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Projects or repair tasks that you can’t fit inside your typical tool box. It may store hydraulic jacks, spare tires, screw drivers, etc.       

Choose the Kind of Lighting

type of light

Of course, lighting your garage doesn’t just stop from determining the important areas’ purpose because it means it’s time you choose the kind of lighting that fits the spots. And to get the most out of it, you have to match it with the appropriate areas.


  Motion Detecting Lights Micro-fluorescent Lights Standard Florescent Lights Clamp-on Task Lights
Other Names Motion Detectors, Motion Sensors Compact Fluorescent Lights (C.F.Ls) Fluorescent Tubes, Fluorescent Bulbs Desk Lamps, Bench Lamps, Work Lights
Lighting Intensity Moderately Bright and Scattered Bright but Dimmable Very Bright and Scattered Moderately Bright and Focused
Price Range $12-$29 $9-$24 $39-$50 $29-$84
  • Motion Detecting Lights – These lights quickly switch on when they sense even the slightest movement near your garage’s vicinity. Putting them on your garage’s door or anywhere near its point of entry is an excellent option to immediately ward off potential thieves before they even have the chance to touch and turn the door knob.
  • Micro-fluorescent Lights – These lights are very useful on the quick access area because of their focused lighting capacity with a sufficient coverage that’s enough to help you instantly access your valuables, even those neglected in the far end of the shelves or cabinets. In turn, you save time and energy if you have other important and urgent chores to do.
  • Standard Fluorescent Lights – Since valuables found in the long, large, and occasional storage areas are reasonably visible enough due to their sizes, they don’t necessarily need focused lighting. Therefore, the standard fluorescent variants will do the trick. These lights provide proper, stable, and silent illumination, with a wider coverage.
  • Clamp-on Task Lights – These lights produce a very clear beam pattern that’s specifically made for work areas. Some of them come in portable, adjustable LED variants that you can dim or brighten based on your preferences and others in micro-fluorescent that you can install on under cabinets.


type of light bulb

Before you pick certain types of light fixtures for certain parts of your garage, take time to note a quick yet vital information about some usual lighting choices because all of them have their corresponding pros and cons. For further details, click here.       

  • Fluorescent Bulb – It’s the most commonly used lighting option for garages because of its clear and focused lighting scope. Although it comes in different colors based on the internal coating, its typical white light appearance is fueled by the mercury vapor.
  • Compact Fluorescent Bulb – It’s the mini and curled version of the fluorescent bulb that’s known for having a longer service life of 10,000 hours. It’s also cool on the hands despite the natural light it produces.
  • Halogen Bulb – It’s a hybrid of the first-two light bulbs but doesn’t say much about energy efficiency, unlike the compact florescent bulb. On the contrary, it’s still widely used due to its strong illumination capacity.
  • Light Emitting Diode (LED) Bulb – It’s the most effective way of cutting down energy costs at about 90% in the long run. Plus, it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals like its other counterparts and offers a more narrowed lighting pattern.

Fluorescent Bulb Variants

sizes of fluorescent tubes

If you want to take the route of the standard fluorescent light in terms of lighting your garage, it’s available in three sizes. However, the T8 Fluorescent bulb takes center stage because it gives a clear, consistent amount of lighting, which is energy-efficient, and easy to replace.

LED Bulb Classification

led bulb classification

If you prefer LED bulb as a substitute for the usual fluorescent one, be aware that LEDs are classified according to color and power. Obviously, the single-color only exhibits one lighting appearance as opposed to its counterpart, which’s possible to show different colors. Whereas in terms of power level, the low-power one produces dimmer lights for narrowed lighting but the high-power has a brighter and wider lighting coverage.


If you ran out of shelves or under cabinets but still see an available space in your garage where you can place more of your valuables, you can still maximize it by creating your own double-decker garage storage shelf. See the exact procedures here.

diy garage storage shelves


  1. What’s the average cost of installing a garage light?
  • The average cost to install a garage light is between $100 and $200.

2. Are LED lights expensive?

  • LED lights are the most expensive type of garage light, but they have the longest life span.

3. Should the garage light be UL approved?

  • It is important to make sure the garage light you choose is UL listed so it’s safe.


These are the factors you should consider in order to provide proper lighting for your garage. By grouping your valuables in their respective areas and using the correct lighting fixtures, you make them always accessible for your various activities. It’s even possible for you to come up with your own storage area if you ran out of space. Share us your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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