A few years back, I started listening to all the talk about switching over to LED lights at home. While LED bulbs were expensive upfront, the energy savings proved to be outstanding, and I have to agree that the bulbs paid for themselves within just a couple of months.
The future of LED lighting is shining even brighter. According to government estimates, by 2027, the increasing usage of LED lights will save the energy output of 44 large electric power plants, equalling more than $30 billion of savings in current electricity prices.
But, at least initially, I have to admit that I forgot about LED lights in one important “room” in my house—the garage.
I finally decided to switch and put LED lights in my man cave. That’s right, you heard me! My garage also serves as a hangout spot and a hobby room. And maybe you’re in the same position. Because for many of us, the garage serves multiple purposes.
So are LED garage lights worth it? My verdict is yes.
Why I Went LED In My Garage
When I’m in the garage, I like to play hard, and I spend quite a bit of time there tooling around with my vehicles and doing some projects.
Because LED lights run on such a low voltage, there’s no competition for my power tools, and the considerable savings on my utility bills put a smile on my face!
Plus, I’m relieved knowing those LED lights last for years—one LED light lasts up to 10,000 hours for every incandescent bulb that burns out after a measly 1,000 hours.
So, I won’t climb ladders nearly as much to change bulbs 😉
What To Look For in LED Garage Lights
When I was first shopping for garage LED lighting at a local box store, I was unimpressed by how harsh some of those LED lights were. That’s the not-so-good news.
But the better news is, the LED lighting market is exploding, and LED lighting is getting way easier on the eyes.
Look no further than LED garage lighting on Amazon. You’ll see so much selection that it might make it seem like it will be harder to choose.
But if you are also getting convinced that LED garage lights are worth it, here’s what to consider to make the decision easier.
Measuring Brightness in LED Garage Lights
When my garage door isn’t open to the world during daylight hours or on warm early evenings in Spring, Summer, or Fall, I require enough brightness in the garage to make my hobby area safe and workable.
Lighting experts measure brightness through lumens, and the more lumens, the brighter your lights are. But don’t confuse lumens with watts because watts measure energy.
If you want the ideal brightness for your garage, look for a measurement of approximately 3,500 lumens.
Choose the Right Color Temperature
You might think that brightness is the big problem with harsh LED lighting that makes you squint, but more often, it’s an issue of color temperature.
The color temperature of any lighting gets measured on the Kelvin scale, ranging from 3500K to 6000K. The lower end is considered warmer and yellower in color. Higher-end temps are cooler and bluer looking.
While you might think a “lower” color temperature is less harsh, a yellower tone usually makes a garage look too dingy.
My recommendation is an LED bulb in the higher 5000K range. The color will be bluish, but it will not cause glare, and it won’t be too harsh on your eyes.
If you’re still unsure, you can search for garage LED lighting with an adjustable color temperature. This way, you’re free to experiment with the color range and choose the temperature that’s best for you.
Consider the Climate
Yes, I know that LED lights are environmentally friendly. That’s great, but it’s also key to get LED lights that work with the climate and the weather conditions where you live.
If your winters are bitterly cold or your garage isn’t heated, LEDs are a perfect choice!
LEDs are even more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly in cold weather because they don’t need heat to operate.
Fluorescent light is more sensitive to cold, and most fluorescents fail to work if the outside temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Easy on the Installation
I was concerned about LED garage lights being worth the installation cost because I’m not a licensed electrician.
If you’re like me, rest easy because there are many types of LED light fixtures that are easy to install in your garage without any extra wiring or a huge effort.
LED Lighting Choices For a Garage
The best thing about LED lights is they stay pretty cool to your bare-handed touch. But there are other factors to consider in choosing the best LED lighting for your garage.
LED shop lights maintain that old-school garage look of a light fixture with a single bar, and they’re often as easy to install as any LED fixtures.
Anywhere you can get them plugged into a wall outlet, you’re good to go, either ceiling-mounted or hanging on a chain assembly.
I recently upgraded my LED shop lights in the garage with a hard-wired motion sensor (see review here), and it’s been a lifesaver. I no longer have to fumble for a light switch while juggling tools in my hands!
And let’s not forget. A motion sensor deters anyone from breaking into your garage to get at your stuff.
If your garage has a lower ceiling, an LED wraparound light fixture stays flush with the ceiling height so that the fixture won’t collide with ladders or other tools and equipment in your garage.
Wraparound lights also offer direct lighting from the sides and the bottom to spread more lumens.
Are Deformable LED Garage Lights Worth It?
While they sound a bit weird, LED deformable lights are perhaps the most innovative kind of fixture available for your garage. The deformable LED lights look distinctive—like a three-leaf clover with a base that screws directly into a regular light socket on any garage ceiling.
The three aluminum heads on a deformable light fixture contain many LED lights. These aluminum heads rotate in many directions off the unit’s base, allowing you to customize the lighting to suit your garage.
If your garage is like most, it probably only has one light socket on the ceiling. That’s fine because one deformable LED fixture shines enough light in every direction to equal three separate light panels of LED bulbs.
These fixtures are still the priciest option, but they’re a cost-effective alternative to getting an electrician to install more electrical outlets.
Take a look at my top recommendation for a deformable LED light here.
Multi-Positional Wing Fixtures
As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That might be the case with multi-positional wing fixtures because they are an awful lot like deformable LED lighting, but often at a less expensive cost.
As with any screw-in LED lighting fixture, these are easy to install after removing an incandescent bulb from the electrical outlet. The multi-positional wings improve lighting throughout your entire garage by allowing you to point a wing towards a darker area to illuminate it.
It’s essential to do a product review check when you’re thinking about LED multi-positional wing fixtures for your garage. Some are cheap knock-offs of the original deformable LED fixtures, and they offer a host of quality control problems.
In conclusion, anytime I’m asked if LED garage lights are worth it, my answer is a definite yes.
The costs per bulb have decreased, installation is often a no-brainer, and the energy efficiency does your wallet—and the planet—a ton of good.
Make sure to take a look at my article reviewing the best LED garage lights here before you go!