Your garage is a valuable extra space, regardless of whether it is attached to your home or not. You will certainly need lights in the garage, even if it is not regularly used for parking your car. In fact, most garages aren’t used to park cars in!
It is essential to get the lighting right, too much light is simply wasteful, but not enough light can be very frustrating when undertaking tasks. That’s why you need to consider the following.
You should note, upgrading the lighting system in your garage, or even installing one is best done by a qualified level 2 electrician. This will ensure it conforms to current standards and keeps your insurance company happy.
Consider What You Do
If your garage is mainly a storage area then you need enough light to see what is stored and find items. But, if you tend to do work in your garage you may need brighter, or more focused lighting. This doesn’t include working on vehicles as inspection lamps are normal for this.
The best approach is to use different types of lighting. That means task lighting where you will be working and softer lighting where you just need walkways illuminated or to be able to read what is in a specific box.
Knowing what you do in your garage and which sections are used for what is instrumental to getting the lighting right.
It is recommended that you have 50 lumens of light per square foot. To calculate how many lumens you’ll need, you’ll need to measure the length and width of your garage. This will allow you to work out the square footage and then you can work out how many lumens you need.
However, while 50 lumens is a good guide, this is the level for softer lighting. If you have work areas and need task lighting it’s recommended you have 300 lumens per square foot.
Once you have calculated how many lumens you need to adequately light your garage you’ll know how many bulbs will do it. For reference, a 100w bulb offers 1,600 lumens.
Having calculated brightness and what type of lighting you need in the different sections of your garage you can now start looking at light fittings. Spots work well over task areas as they offer directional light with very few shadows.
In contrast, a standard room lamp will usually do for walkways and even checking boxes. Of course, the best option may be to cover the garage with downlighters and use more powerful bulbs above the task areas.
Don’t forget, energy-efficient bulbs use considerably less power than standard bulbs but still do the job of lighting just as well.
To Help assess light levels consider bringing in some floor lamps or table lamps from the house. This will allow you to see the effects of different lightbulbs and lamp positions, helping to ensure you get the perfect result.