Skip to Content

9 Most Common Types of Interior Garage Lighting Ideas

A collage of garages.

Do you have a dark and dull garage that needs powerful illumination?

When it comes to choosing the type of lighting for a garage, it can be very tricky to make the right decision. This is because firstly, the lighting options are far too many and secondly, the size of the garage can cause great problems.

You want to choose the kind of lights that not only cover the entire space but also distribute the light equally all across your garage.

Related: All Types of House Lighting | All types of garages | All home lighting ideasTypes of Garage Doors | Garages and Garage Doors | Carport vs. Garage | Types of Interior Garage Lighting Ideas | Standard Garage Door Dimensions and Sizes (Charts) | How to Prep a Garage Floor For Epoxy | Finished vs. Unfinished Garage Value | Should You Use Interior or Exterior Paint for Garage Walls? | Pros and Cons of Insulating a Garage

Where Do You Need Lighting?

Let’s assume you have an entirely new garage for which you need to decide the best kind of lighting. What do you do?

The most important step here is to start with a good workflow. You should have a plan to be able to decide what type of lighting you should go for. For that, you should first identify which areas or spaces of your garage need proper, focused lighting.

Some of these essential areas include:

  • The wall space where you would hang garage tools and other items.
  • The empty space above the door of the garage which is also an ideal place for storing things.
  • The workbench area that you would have in your garage where one typically carries out DIY projects.
  • Any empty space where you might have installed any electrical appliance.
  • The storage area, the most important of all where you would keep seasonal items and tools, for instance.

Tips on How to Choose and Improve Your Garage Lighting

Regardless of how you use your garage, whether it is a storage hub or a car workshop, you will need an adequate amount of lighting and illumination. To be able to do that, here are some key tips and tricks that you should consider before making a decision.

1. Have Layered Illumination

Artificial lighting has three main types: accent, task, and ambient. An ideally lit garage should typically have all three different kinds of artificial lights.

This is primarily because a garage is a multi-use space so it is ideal that you should have layered illumination in your garage.

2. Buy Bulbs That Have Enough Wattage

Every garage has varying lighting requirements. This hugely depends on the size of the garage. If yours is really big, you might want to invest in those bulbs or lights that have a high wattage. You also want to make sure that type of lighting you choose for your garage doesn’t give up on you way too soon.

3. Consider Bulbs with High CRI

CRI is an acronym for Color Rendering Index, which is a measure of how well or how able a bulb is to render the full-color spectrum. So, if you want your garage to render all the colors of the woodworks as well as the paint, you must choose lights or bulbs that have a high CRI.

4. Choose Light Fixtures Based on Function and Type

Whether you go for task, accent or ambient lighting, the key is to choose the fixtures based on the type of light. For example, when considering ambient lighting, you want the light to be distributed evenly across the garage floor.

So, if you install multiple flush-mount fixtures in your garage, you want to ensure that they are placed at an equal distance from one another. Similarly, if you go for accent lighting, you want the light to shine directly on areas that you want to highlight. So, if you install a pendant light, it should be placed directly above your focused area.

Types of Lights for Garage Interior

Garages are usually very dull and dim, especially if you have an indoor garage. However, there are many different ways in which you can brighten up the interior of your garage with the help of some of the most incredible lighting options available out there.

Shop Lights Multiple Shop Lights in a Garage

These lights are believed to be a must-have for garages, workshops, and many other commercial spaces. Shop lights are a new version of fluorescent lights and they make excellent lighting options for small and compact spaces.

Shop lights are great for garages because they require simple, cost-effective lighting fixtures that provide a great amount of illumination. Low watt and energy efficient shop lights are a great way to enhance the lighting of your interior garage since garages naturally tend to be quite dim and low on light sources.

A typical fluorescent shop light fixture can accommodate 4-ft fluorescent tubes. These tubes are more long lasting as compared to incandescent bulbs and they also have a lower amount of electrical consumption.

These lights consist of daylight balanced color temperatures, a feature that has significantly added to their popularity for garage and workshop-type lighting options.

Many shop light varieties nowadays come with LED technology that greatly helps them outperform fluorescent lamps. These also have increased efficiency and longer lifetimes. One of the biggest advantages of shop lights is that they are extremely cost effective.

This means that you can get plenty of those to install in your garage. They are also fairly easy to install and don’t require particular electrical knowledge or any complex kind of wiring.

Another great feature of shop lights is that they waste less light since they are positioned exactly where they are needed which further leads to electrical cost savings. There are two types of LED shop lights that are available: LED shop light retrofits and integrated LED shop lights.

The latter consist of LED chips and electronics that are directly attached to the fixture while the former type has the lamp separated from the fixture. Both of them provide great illumination and also allow energy savings.

Flush Mount LightingGarage with Flush Mount Lights

Many people prefer installing flush mount lights in their garage, as well as in their homes. These lights are basically dome-shaped fixtures that are mounted to the ceiling.

While these are a little more towards the decorative side and have a certain oomph factor, they are actually super versatile. Their versatility makes them ideal to be used in both casual and formal interiors, as well as outdoor spaces.

They work really well in all sorts of spaces and provide ambient light which is enough to perform daily tasks.

Flush mount lighting comes in various styles, designs, and sizes. One of the most popular and commonly used types of flush mount lights is the Three-Light Flush Mount Light, also known as Semi-Flush Mount Light. As the name suggests, it has three light sources that stem from the base of the light.

Most of these varieties consist of adjustable light heads. This feature allows you to change the direction of the bulb to wherever you want and direct it to the focal points of the room. Another option is the Semi Flush Mount with fabric shade which provides a very warm, diffused kind of light.

High Bay Lighting

This type of lighting is ideal for illuminating large spaces, areas or rooms so if you have a really big garage interior, high bay lighting is one of your best options. The kind of lighting provided by these lights is extremely powerful which makes them ideal for garages since they are usually very dull and dim.

High bay lighting fixtures suspended from the ceiling with the help pendants, hooks, and chains. They can also be fixed to the ceiling directly. As the name suggests, these lights are meant for places with high ceilings.

This is also because locations with high ceilings have to fill up and illuminate more space; these lights offer strong illumination that easily brightens up vast areas. This is also why high bay lights are natural fits for industrial as well as commercial uses.

A very big advantage of using this lighting method is that it provides a uniform and clear type of illumination that comes with very little glare. These lights are usually set up with the help of numerous types of fixtures.

Some of these fixtures like fluorescent lights, LED lights, metal halide lights, and induction lights. LED lights, in particular, provide increased energy efficiency and also offer extremely long life to these bulbs.

LED light technology in most high bay lights has surpassed the capabilities of conventional lighting to a great extent. It provides the bay lights with a lifespan that is more than 40 times longer than an average bulb.

Fluorescent Bulbs

These are considered to be a great advancement in small-scale lighting as well as a huge commercial success. When compared to other bulbs, especially incandescent bulbs, they are highly efficient and effective.

Fluorescent bulbs consist of tube-shaped bulbs that are filled with mercury vapor. They produce light when the mercury atoms are ionized. The glass tube of these bulbs has a phosphorus coating with a set of electrodes, inert gas, and mercury.

In terms of efficiency, these lamps are twice or thrice as efficient as compared to incandescent bulbs. The bulbs last for a very long time and they produce light at a wavelength that is highly useful to humans.

However, these bulbs require ballasts to function which are described as devices that that help controls the electricity for circuit protection. The temperature inside the bulb greatly affects the performance and light efficiency of these bulbs.

When the temperatures are low, the mercury inside the bulb transforms into dispersed liquid droplets. On the other hand, when temperatures are high inside the bulb, the yield of UV and visible light is reduced considerably due to the self-absorption that occurs in the vapor.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL)

These lights come under the umbrella of fluorescent light bulbs; however, they have a set of features and benefits that set them apart from other types of bulbs. They are also referred to as compact fluorescent tube, energy saving light, and compact fluorescent light.

The main purpose behind the invention of compact fluorescent bulbs is to replace the standard incandescent light bulbs. These bulbs use a tube that is folded or curved in a way that it easily fits into the space of an incandescent bulb.

CFLs are those twisted spiral bulbs that people normally for table lamps; however, they make an excellent choice for garages and warehouses. They are considered to be really energy efficient and they produce a very natural kind of light. Compared to the standard light bulbs, CFLs last almost ten times longer and they also have an average lifespan of approximately 10,000 hours.

Although compact fluorescent bulbs are placed at a higher purchase price than many other bulbs, they can actually cut down electricity costs as well as repeated purchase costs considering their extensive lifetime.

Another distinguishing feature of these bulbs is that they radiate a kind of spectral power distribution in which the color of the light emitted by the bulbs is exceptionally well. Many people have described the light produced by CFLs as the “best soft white” light.

CFLs have two main types: integrated bulbs and non-integrated ones. The latter has the ballast installed in the luminaire on a permanent basis, while in the former type, the tube and the ballast are found together in a single unit.

Halogen Bulbs

These are quite similar to incandescent bulbs considering how they also have a filament that is heated enough to produce light. However, what sets them apart is the fact that they consume less energy due to the halogen cycle.

The tungsten filament inside halogen bulbs enclosed in small quartz envelope casing. As the name suggests, the gas that is contained in the envelope structure is a gas from the halogen group. Halogen gases have different properties and characteristics compared to other gases.

One very interesting property is that these gases combine with tungsten vapor. This goes to show that high temperatures will cause the halogen gas to combine with tungsten atoms. This will result in the atoms beings evaporated and depositing on the bulbs’ filament.

In other words, unlike in incandescent bulbs, the halogen cycle in halogen bulbs help eliminate the tungsten evaporation. These bulbs last for almost a year and they produce a nice, white light that is similar to the kind of daylight you typically see around noon time.

Other than garages, halogen bulbs are also commonly used in cabinet lighting, pendant lights, and recessed lighting. In terms of benefits, halogen bulbs are considered to be the most efficient and effective of all lighting sources.

One of the key benefits has been said to be the white light that it produces which greatly helps reduce eye strain and is perfect for performing those tasks that require an adequate amount of light.

They are also incredibly energy efficient, almost 10 to 20 percent more than other light bulbs and they even last longer and burn brighter for long periods of time. You might find halogen bulbs to be a tad pricier than normal bulbs; the price is still worth all the benefits that it has to offer.

LED LightsLED Lights in Garage

Also known as LED lamps, LED light bulbs to consist of light emitting diodes that produce electric light in the light fixtures. Compared to fluorescent lamps and incandescent lamps, these light bulbs have a longer lifespan and way more efficient in their performance.

LED light bulbs are considered to be one of the most energy-efficient options for lighting that are available out there. They are often used as energy savers, primarily because the heat that is produced by these light bulbs is absorbed by a heat sink.

This helps keep the bulbs really cool to the touch and also results in a great amount of energy being saved. Some of the best features of these lights are that they don’t make any noise, they don’t contain mercury, they don’t burn out, and they also don’t emit any infrared or UV rays.

The only downside attached to LED light bulbs is that they are directional. This means that they only throw or emit light in a single, specific direction. So, if you want to go with LED lights for your garage interior, you might have to install them in large amounts.

Additionally, these light bulbs display full brightness without any delay caused by a warm-up session. Even after frequently switching the light bulb on and off, their life expectancy doesn’t get affected.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

These are some of the most commonly used light bulbs in various spaces like bedrooms, bathrooms, and terraces. They are also quite a popular choice for interior garage lighting.

Incandescent light bulbs typically range from 40-110 watts. They are also known as incandescent light globe’ and ‘incandescent lamp’. These bulbs are a source of electric light that is caused by the heating of the filament. They follow the incandescence process, which, in other words, refers to the emission of light.

These bulbs have been used for over a hundred years as a major source for electric light. They come in a variety of different sizes, voltages, and wattages.

Although Thomas Edison is the first person to have invented the incandescent, a number of different prototypes and components of this light bulb were invested by other people before Edison.

One of these prototypes was invented by a British physicist called Joseph Wilson Swan who basically created the first complete incandescent bulb sometime during 1879. Interestingly, his was the first house ever to have been lit by a light bulb.

This bulb typically consists of a glass exterior within which you will find a tungsten filament. The filament serves the purpose of generating an electric current, heating the temperature enough to produce light. The base of the bulb usually has a stem or a glass mount that allows the electrical current to pass through easily without any air or gas leaks.

Since incandescent bulbs have a very low manufacturing cost, don’t require any regulating equipment and are compatible with control options like dimmers and timers, they make an excellent option for interior garage lighting.

The light produced by this bulb is a warm, yellow-white tone that has the ability to last for a year which makes it perfect for garages.

Recessed Lighting Recessed Lights in a Garage

This type of lighting is also known as pot light and is the kind of light fixture that is supposed to be attached in hollow openings in the ceiling. Many people installed recessed lights in their garage interiors because they perform really well and provide powerful illumination.

Once they are installed in the ceiling’s hollow openings, they concentrate the light in a downwards fashion or manner which makes them great options for a garage or warehouse.

Recessed lighting is divided into three parts. In other words, the fixtures that these lights use consist of three main parts. First is the trim which is defined as the part of the light that is visible to the eyes.

It is basically the part or inserts you can see when you look up at the light fixture. The second part is called housing which is the fixture itself. It consists of a lamp holder and is installed in the hollow openings in the ceiling.

The last part is obviously the bulb which occurs in different varieties. Each variety generates a different amount of heat and light which is a unique point to consider when choosing the type of bulb for your recessed lighting fixture.

Some of the key benefits associated with recessed lighting are that they provide great illumination while hiding away its fixtures. One of its strongest points is, after all, its ability to shrink and hide into the ceiling. Secondly, these lights provide complete and total room coverage.

If arrayed and installed correctly in a garage, for instance, they will cover the entire room and the source of light won’t be directional, like with LED lights.

However, there is also a downside attached to it. You do need these lights in a large number if you are to provide full coverage or an equal amount of illumination throughout your garage or any other space.