You never seem to notice the lack of light in your garage until you’re doing something important. It always seems to happen when you’re working on your car or trying to find something in storage. During those times, it comes to your realization that your garage just isn’t bright enough.
This lack of light isn’t always because a bulb has gone out or because it’s a particularly cloudy day. More often than not, it’s because you aren’t putting enough light in your space.
Proper garage lighting should provide 50 lumens per square foot of space to ensure adequate coverage. The amount of natural light, ceiling height, and desired brightness will further influence how much lighting is needed.
Many people don’t realize that this is calculated in a particular way, so let’s dig in further to better understand how to get the perfect amount of lighting in your garage!
How Many LED Lights Do I Need?
The amount of light needed in a space comes down to a little simple math!
To begin, you need to know the square footage of your garage. For example, let’s say that your garage is 400 square feet – this is the typical size of what a two-car garage would be.
For a residential garage, it’s recommended you have 50 lumens per square foot of space. I know some of you may be thinking, “What the heck is a lumen?”
It’s simply a measurement of light. To calculate the number of lumens needed for your garage space of 400 square feet, you would multiply 400 by 50 lumens.
400 x 50 => 20,000 lumens
To get to the right amount of lumens in your lighting fixtures, you will need to research different types of bulbs and sources. You will want to stick with an LED form to maintain a lower electric bill and to have longer-lasting bulbs.
Something to keep in mind is that you will need additional lumens if you’re utilizing your garage as a workshop. The recommendation for that type of space is 300 lumen per square foot.
Which LEDs Should I Get?
There are several types of lighting that work well and afford you the appropriate lumens. You will want to start by identifying the exact type of bulb you want to use.
Different types to explore and research include:
- LED bulbs: These come in a variety of wattages. The bulbs will cost a bit more than a typical light bulb but will last over 10x longer.
- LED tubes: These look similar to the tubes seen in fluorescent lighting but use much less electricity. You will be able to get a large number of lumens out of just one of these lights.
After you decide upon the light source itself, you will want to consider what fixtures to use. Different fixtures have different lumens which will greatly affect how many you need.
You’re not limited to just one type throughout the room. Some to consider are:
- Portable Fixture: At times, it’s nice to have a light source that you can move. This is especially helpful if you’re working in one specific area and need additional lighting. Not only can you move these around, but they can also be up to 5,000 lumens each.
- High Bay Fixture: With this option, you will get a high amount of lumens (12,000). This one has deformable round panels and gives you a car dealership glow inside your space.
- Deformable LED Lights: These are very bright and adjustable. They also display light at a 360-degree angle. Each fixture gives off 6,000 lumens.
- Remote Control Fixtures: You will have some days where the weather is excellent, and the sun is bright. On these days, you may not feel the need to have all of the lights in use in your garage. For that reason, you may want to look into fixtures that include a remote control, so you can select the lights you want on and thus leave the others off.
- Motion Sensor LED Lights: If you wish to conserve as much energy as possible, this fixture will work well for you. It recognizes when a person is occupying a room and will turn on and off accordingly. You will get 6,000 lumens per fixture with this type.
- Dimmable and Color Adjustable: This fixture allows you to adjust the lighting type with whatever task you’re taking on. You can set it for its highest and brightest setting or dial it down for a warmer ambiance. This fixture gives off 6,000 lumens!
- Light Diffuser: LED lights can be extremely bright, and at times that can bother your eyes, especially if you stare right into it! This one has a milky color to make the light softer but is still 6,000 lumens.
What Else Can Affect How Many LED Lights I Need?
When you’re considering all the different fixtures out there on the market (I only covered a select few, there are many more out there), you need to think about which will work best and how many you will need with the space you have.
There are a few things to factor in when you’re doing this:
- Natural Light: Does your garage have windows? If so, you may be able to reduce the number of fixtures needed due to the natural light that comes in.
- Ceiling Height: How tall are the ceilings in your garage? This will eliminate some options that require more height.
- Storage: Do you have storage in the top portion of your garage? Not only will this reduce the space that you can utilize for lighting, but it will affect the type of fixture that you can safely use as well.
- Work Stations: What tasks do you fulfill in your garage? If you’re a woodworker or painter, it might be more feasible to get portable lights that you can utilize in the specific areas in which you work.
- Brightness: You need to consider the habitat that you live in. Do you have a lot of gloomy days, or is it often bright outside? This will play into whether or not you want a fixture with the ability to dim the amount of light or one that is always at full brightness.
- Color: If you’re a painter or do many household projects, the color of the light may come into question. Especially when painting, you want to make sure that you see the color for what it is. Different fixtures and light bulbs can accommodate this need.
- Adjustable: Depending on what you utilize your space for, you may benefit from having a fixture that goes in different directions. This can be nice when you have more than one workstation. You can change the direction of the beam as you need.
It’s important to remember that once you choose a fixture, you’re not limited to using only that type of fixture. You could choose a portable one to use in your workspaces, a high bay one for overhead, and a deformable to accompany them.
The ability to mix and match the different types can help you to get to the correct amount of lumens for your space.
Having different types also makes it easier to eliminate one or two on good weather, bright days. When you have a chance to allow natural light to come in, it’s an excellent opportunity to turn off the non-natural sources.
Not only will this decrease your electric bill, but it’s also better for the environment!
Now that you have all of this information, make the space and lighting in your garage work for you. You should now have all the info for how many LED lights to use In your garage.
With the correct amount of lumens and good fixtures that work for your needs, you will never find yourself in a place of frustration due to not having enough light when you need it most.