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Best Lighting For Garage – Buyer’s Guide
2019-12-23




The market is flooded with all sorts of lights for commercial and residential use. Some of them are ideal for use in the garage, others are not. How do you know that you have the best product? Your garage space determines the type, the size, and the brightness of the lighting product you will purchase. The following are key features you should consider before choosing a particular product.

Brightness

The whole point of choosing a garage lighting system is to illuminate the space. This is the most important factor. Traditionally, the brightness of a bulb was measured by how many watts it consumed. The higher the wattage meant more brightness. Nowadays, lumens are used. So, what exactly are lumens?

Lumens are the scientific measurement for the output of true light regardless of the energy consumption. A bulb with the highest number of lumens means it is the brightest. Generally, a light with 3500 plus lumens will do well in your home garage. After considering the lumens, look at the brand and verify the claims to see if the number is truly what it says.

Lumens Incandescent light bulb (watts) Fluorescent / LED (watts)
375 lm 25 W 6.23 W
600 lm 40 W 10 W
900 lm 60 W 15 W
1125 lm 75 W 18.75 W
1500 lm 100 W 25 W
2250 lm 150 W 37.5 W
3000 lm 200 W 50 W
3800 lm 250 W 60 W
4500 lm 350 W 75 W
Lumens to watts table

Lifespan

A bulb with a good lifespan will last longer, which means it is the better option. This also means that the replacement costs or maintenance costs are less. You should prioritize a light with extra-long life. Typically, LED lights have a longer life than the fluorescent types.

Energy Efficiency

Saving energy is ideal for you and the environment as well. It minimizes the costs of energy bills. Depending on the number of hours you spend in the garage, lighting can contribute to an increase in the household energy bills. This is the reason why you should consider an energy saving bulb.

LED lights are again, the top picks and they consume less than 60 percent of energy compared to the conventional lighting system. While scouting for the best energy saver lighting system for your garage, look for ones with the Energy Star certification. You will save good money.

Ease of Installation

Some lights come with no installation instructions, or even worse, the instructions are unclear. The last thing you want to do is damage the new product while trying to install it in your home garage. To make things easier, you should look for a product with chains for hanging or one that allows you to easily mount it on a surface. Most importantly, ensure that your purchase comes with all the accessories required for the installation.

Dimensions

Most garage or storage room lights are just under 50” in length. Some have two while others can take up to four bulbs. The most important thing to consider is the garage setting. This will tell you the type of lighting you require and the size. What you have in the garage affects how many lights you will need.

Normally, about three to four lights should surround the car and if you have a workbench, have another light for it. This can be solved by lights, which are super bright. You might need less than the number stated.

Protection

Your garage is also mostly your workshop. With lots of activity going on in there, if your lamps are not protected, you will keep replacing them now and then. The housing for the bulb, therefore, is worth considering. It will keep your lights safe and durable.

Switch Types

This is highly dependent on you. Some still prefer the pull-down chains, which are often very convenient, while others think that plugs attached to the switch are better. Whichever the case, it is up to you. There are other sophisticated types that use smart technology; those that have motion sensors.

Color Temperature

Garages are better illuminated with lights that have a Kelvin temperature of between 4000 and 7000K. At this level, the brightness is sufficient and much more like the sun during the day. Anything lower than that means it is dim and your eyes will strain, which is not a good thing for your vision.

Kelvin Temperature Chart



Garage lighting FAQ

What type of lighting is best for a garage?

According to Garage Master, LED fixtures are the best option for a garage. LEDs are Light-emitting Diodes that operate via a semiconductor to produce what can be a very bright light. The technology is energy efficient and the lighting is extremely bright. LED housings are most often durable aluminum, requiring little to no maintenance, and the majority come with satisfaction guarantees. Although the bulbs are not replaceable, these lights get excellent reviews for performance and long life.

High-end models like the Hyperikon are available with motion sensors with a range of up to 80 feet. These fixtures dim themselves automatically within two minutes after lack of motion. Fixture installation does require hardwiring.

LED testing reports that bulbs have a lifespan up to 60 times greater than incandescent bulbs; 10 times greater than standard fluorescents.

What kind of bulb is best for a garage door opener?

Although LED lights are recommended for garage lighting, the common consensus among the experts is that standard LEDs are not an option for a garage door opener. Standard LED bulbs produce a frequency that can interfere with communication between the door opener and the remote.

Many manufacturers of garage door openers have their own brand of LED bulb specifically designed to:

  • Minimize radio frequency (RF)
  • Fit most garage door opener brands
  • Produce a warm light comparable to a standard 60-watt bulb
  • Withstand high and low temperatures
  • Last longer than Incandescent bulbs
  • Resistant shattering
  • Save energy

What size should my garage lights be?

Calculating your lighting needs will depend upon two main factors:

  • what you’re doing in your garage, and
  • how much natural light is allowed in.

Some believe that you can never have enough light. But if all you’re doing is parking or using your garage for storage, too much can be overkill. If the garage also doubles as a workshop, then you truly can’t have too much light. For a work area, light fixtures that extend the length of the garage provide optimal illumination. The number of fixtures will depend upon the width of the building and, again, the projected use of the structure.

How many lumens do I need per square foot?

They began by analyzing how much light you’ll need. Proper lighting is important for both productivity and safety. Higher light levels (lumens) are needed for more detailed tasks. The Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA) recommends 300 lumens per square foot for intense visual tasks, 20 to 30 lumens for more standard applications. To calculate your square footage measure and multiply length times width of each individual space.

How many lumens is a 12×12 room?

Recommendations span from 300 lumens per square foot for intense visual tasks, to 20 to 30 lumens for more standard applications. Calculate:
1. 12 x 12 = 144
2. 144 x 300 = 43,200
OR
2. 144 x 30 = 4,320

How tall should a post light be?

Del Mar, a well-known Florida lighting company, recommends that a light pole be at least eight feet in length. One and a half feet, minimum, should be buried underground for stability. The remainder of the exposed pole will be at an optimal height to install a fixture on top. Standard fixtures will add 18 to 24 inches to the height of the pole.

Can I use indoor LED light bulbs outside?

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an established organization that claims to be “a world leader in product safety testing and certification.” You should never buy a light bulb that is not UL rated. The rating will be listed on the packaging and will include specifications, whether the product is approved for indoor or outdoor use, or both. Packaging should also indicate if the fixtures are able to handle exposure to rain or humidity. Only completely enclosed LEDs have the ability to withstand the elements.

Do outdoor LED lights attract bugs?

The most reliable studies of LED lights attracting bugs was done in Pakistan at the University of Agriculture. The university tested various bulb types and colors. The results showed that most insects preferred blue light to any other form. The fact that LEDs do not emit UV rays did not have any effect on the findings. Bugs are attracted to any form of light, including LED technology.

Are LED bulbs brighter than other options?

Lighting is measured by “lumens per watt.” Fluorescent lights operate at a higher lumen per watt; 61 lumens per watt as opposed to LEDs 57 lumens per watt. Although this would lead you to believe that an LED is less bright, the fact is that the focused technology produces a brighter end product. Incandescent and fluorescent lights are normally installed in recessed housings which reflect light behind the fixture. LED lights aim where needed without wasting any of the light produced. The result is a brighter light source.

Does extreme cold effect LED light bulbs?

In extremely cold climates LED technology is the preferred source of lighting for both industrial and personal use. Fluorescent lighting tends to have issues in cold weather, especially below 20 degrees. The lack of glass components in LED lighting allows them to withstand sudden drops in temperature and extreme conditions. LED lights that are Energy-Star certified require no additional energy to operate in any environment.

Does extreme cold affect fluorescent lights?

Fluorescent lights can be inexpensive to install as well as operate, but they do have limitations. Fluorescents are not recommended for unheated areas in cold climates. Standard fluorescent bulbs are not reliable in the cold and many have failed testing below 50 degrees.

More recently electronic ballasts have been introduced to the manufacturing process and are reported to withstand temperatures down to 0 degrees. All fixture packaging should include specifications. Fluorescent lighting specs should include ballast information, either magnetic or electronic. For cold climates, electronic ballasts are the only choice, but LED remains a more reliable choice.

How does LED bulb temperature compare to competitors?

The word “incandescent” actually means “emitting light by heating.” Fluorescent bulbs work through a similar process of being heated. As a result of this technology incandescent bulbs reach a surface temperature between 150 and 250 degrees. Fluorescent bulbs can reach a temperature of almost 180 degrees.

LED bulbs work by passing electrons through a semiconductor to produce light. Due to this process average LED bulbs typically only reach a temperature of 87 degrees.

Do LED lights lose brightness over time?

According to Construction Junkie testing, the lumens produced by LED light bulbs do fade over time. LED bulbs do have a longer lifespan than their competitors, but that statistic is comparing the lights actually going out. Unlike incandescents and fluorescents, LEDs do not just fail. LED bulbs normally die slowly by losing brightness over time. LED lights are considered in need of replacement when the lighting output fades to 70% of their lumen measurement when new. A light meter can be used to measure the LED output.

How long can LED lights stay on?

The lifespan of LED bulbs is one of their main selling points. LED lights are reported to have a life of 50,000 hours. When calculating at that level LED bulbs can be used 12 hour each day for 11 years or eight hours a day for a whopping 17 years.

Which color is brighter, cool white or daylight?

Light bulb color temperatures are rated with a unit of measure called Kelvin (K) which is equal to the Celsius scale. The lowest number on the Kelvin scale is 0 degrees Kelvin. The higher the Kelvin measurement, the whiter the bulb.

There a three standard light bulb color temperatures:

  • Soft White: 2700K to 3000K
  • Bright or Cool White: 3500K to 4100K
  • Daylight: 5000K to 6500K

What bulb colors are better for which uses?

All bulbs emit light that is rated by color. Each color produces a different effect in the area used. With LED bulbs the choices are Warm White, Cool White, and Daylight. Which choice is “better” depends upon the use of the bulb.

  • Warm White
    A bulb in the warm white range emits soft yellow tones. Warm white enhances the reds, yellows, and oranges in a space. Warm white is an excellent choice for cozy areas like bedrooms and living rooms.
  • Cool White
    Cool White bulbs offer a brighter, mid-range alternative for areas where details are more important. Kitchens and bathrooms are normally a good place for cool white bulbs.
  • Daylight
    A daylight bulb has a clear and cool emission creating a more natural lighting effect. Daylight is a better option for mirrors in bathrooms or spaces used for reading or detailed tasks.

What are the downsides of LED lights?

The greatest disadvantage of choosing LED lighting could be the higher price. But the price can be balanced by the extended lifespan. Other negatives could be the limited color options, the slow degradation of the bulb’s brightness with age, and the fact that changes in voltage can alter brightness. There is also speculation that increased exposure to LED can be harmful to the retina of the eye.

Which light is best for your eyes?

Natural light is always the best choice for eyes. Although direct sunlight produces dangerous UV rays, sunlight through a window is considered safe. Keep in mind that incandescent and fluorescent bulbs have both been proven to emit UV rays.

According to testing conducted by the Australian National University Traditional, excessive exposure to fluorescent bulbs in cool and bright white increases the risk of irreparable damage to your eyes. According to the findings, warm white fluorescents, non-blue LEDs, and halogen bulbs are a safer option when considering eye health.

Can LED light bulbs be used in any fixture?

It is always recommended to buy appropriate fixtures for your lighting choice. Traditional bulbs can be replaced with LEDs in most fixtures. That said, it is not recommended to place LEDs into enclosed fixtures designed for other types of bulbs. Enclosed fixtures seal the light source to protect against weather including water. This enclosure retains the bulb’s heat which can cause overheating. The lifespan of the LEDs can be affected, but any danger of malfunction is minimal.



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