Did your new home come with a builder’s grade bare bulb in the garage? Or are you building a garage and need advice on the best type of lighting?
Choosing lighting solutions doesn’t need to be tricky. Today, we will give you our top tips for finding great fixtures for any garage.
Start With a Floor Plan
Before going shopping, start with a quick sketch of your space. Identify different areas, such as:
- Parking for your car
- Storage for lawnmower or other large items
- Shelving units
If your garage has a high or cathedral ceiling, don’t forget to take advantage of vertical space. The wall above your garage door, for example, can be lined with shelves to store seasonal items or other keepsakes.
Once you have established what goes where, you can pinpoint where to install your lights. Most garages include ceiling fixtures for general lighting as well as task lights near storage and work areas. Adding windows – which can easily be done in the garage door – can also brighten your space.
Lighting Options on the Market
Now that you have decided where to install your lights, let’s examine your options. There are many types of bulbs on the market. Here are the best choices for a garage space:
Also known as fluorescent tubes and fluorescent lamps, you’ll recognize these bulbs on account of their long, tubular shape. The sealed glass tube is coated with a phosphor powder, and contains a small amount of mercury and gas, usually argon. They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Fluorescents are a popular option for the garage since they are affordable, widely available and provide good lighting.
Compact Fluorescent Lamp or CFL Bulbs
Another popular option, CFLs are inexpensive and widely available. CFLs come in many sizes, although most have that spiral shape we’ve come to expect. These bulbs are a great choice since they cut energy use by about 75% when compared to standard incandescent bulbs. CFLs have an expected lifespan of 10,000 hours, which is approximately ten times more than incandescent lightbulbs. CFLs provide a good amount of light, which comes in a variety of shades, from a soft, warm white to a brighter, bluish tone.
Halogens are another great choice for the garage. While not quite as energy efficient as CFLs, they still use 33% less power than incandescent bulbs. And with an average lifespan of about 3,000 hours, they don’t need to be changed often. Those who choose halogens often do so because they don’t contain mercury and come in a variety of strengths and sizes. Halogens are also known for their clear, bright light.
Light Emitting Diode or LED Bulbs
With energy savings around 90% over traditional incandescent bulbs, LEDs are currently the most efficient bulbs on the market. They are also one of the longest‑lasting. The disadvantage? LEDs tend to be the most expensive to purchase. Luckily, prices for these bulbs have been steadily going down, making them more affordable as time goes by. LEDs don’t contain led or mercury and don’t emit heat, which helps to keep your space comfortable all year round.
I Like Fluorescents, But Which Bulb Should I Choose?
If fluorescent bulbs are your top choice, you’re not alone. Contractors and builders agree that they are the best choice for general lighting. If you haven’t had fluorescents before, it’s important to know that they take a few minutes to warm up and get to full brightness. They also tend to emit a low buzzing noise.
With so many choices on the market, which bulb is best for your garage? Fluorescents come in different sizes such as T5, T8 and T12. The letter T represents the tube’s diameter, in eighths of an inch. We recommend T8 bulbs because:
- They generate almost as much light as the larger T12 bulbs but are much more energy efficient.
- T8 bulbs emit a natural looking light.
- These bulbs are usually made with rapid‑start ballasts – which are likely to last longer than instant‑start ballasts.
- We recommend choosing 4‑foot tubes over 8‑foot tubes. The smaller size is more energy efficient and easier to handle while giving off a similar amount of intensity.
Bulbs come in a variety of strengths, from a warmer tone at 3000K to a cool white at 5000K.
Finally, don’t forget the outside of your home! Good exterior lighting is essential around the garage. Wall sconces, spotlights and pot lights are all good options. Make sure there’s adequate lighting above the garage door, front door and along walkways. For outdoor fixtures, we recommend CFL bulbs since they can withstand harsh weather the best.
Looking for a New Garage Door?
For all of your garage door needs, contact us today at (207) 878‑3749. You may also visit our showroom! Our experts will happily show you our wide selection of insulated, weathertight garage doors and accessories. Bring a photo of your home and we’ll help you design a beautiful garage door that coordinates with your home’s architectural style.
For those who rather do a little research first, why not explore our online image gallery? Wish you could see what your home would look like with a new garage door? Then try out our design center. Once you upload a photo of your home, you’ll be able to try out all of our door styles, colors and finishes. Found a look you love? Simply complete our online form for a free, no obligation quote.