Garage lighting – Five factors that should influence your garage illumination
Have you been thinking about home renovation recently? Have you already come up with a perfect lighting design? Have you put garage lighting in your design? If you already have a lighting design for your garage, read this article to check if you have done it correctly. In case you don’t have a plan for your garage yet, let me help you make one.
I’ve heard many people complaining because they have read piles of lighting books and most of the books don’t have a single sentence dedicated to garage lighting. With this article, I would like to fill the gap. I will show you how to select high-quality fixtures that will not only look good, but will also increase the usability of your garage.
1.) Garage use and size
For some people, a garage is only the place where they store their car, which means that they only go into it when they need their car. But for many of us, the garage is much more than a place to store a car. We use it as a home workshop (for DIY enthusiasts), for storing things we only need once in a while (ski equipment, for example), and as a place to keep your large dog. So, when you are choosing lights for your garage, you should also keep in mind when and why you use your garage.
The size of any space is very important for selecting proper illumination. If your garage is small (you can only park one car in it), it will need less light than a bigger one. On the other hand, bigger garages will probably need more than one source of light for suitable illumination.
2.) The lowest temperature in your garage
The temperature of your garage is important for selecting suitable light fixtures. Incandescent lights are less sensitive than fluorescent ones. If you would like to have fluorescent lights in your garage (most people who use their garage often want to have fluorescents), you will need to make sure that you buy fluorescent lights that can handle the lowest temperature in your garage. You can check that on the light ballast of any fluorescent light bulb. It’s called a “starting temperature” and all you need to do is make sure that this number is lower than the lowest temperature in your garage. To be on the safe side, buy a fluorescent bulb with a starting temperature a few degrees lower than the lowest expected temperature in your garage.
3.) The source of natural light
Another factor you need to consider when you are choosing the perfect garage lighting design is potential sources of natural light. If you are also renovating your garage, you should consider adding sources of natural light (windows).
If you have natural light sources, you should design garage lighting with that in mind, which means that you should think of ways to combine natural and artificial light during the day and still have enough artificial light to cover all your lighting needs at night.
4.) Your personal taste
I always like to stress that your home is a reflection of you – that is why I encourage people not to leave the most important lighting decisions to professionals. You should ask them for advice, and see what they think about your situation, but the final decision should be yours.
Some options revealed
Now that we have considered all the factors, we can start thinking about concrete options. As you probably already know if you’ve read other articles on this site, we identify four different types of lighting (combining them all together is called “light layering”) – we have task, decorative, accent, and ambient lighting.
Task lighting in your garage is important especially if you are a DIY type of guy (or gal) and you spend a lot of time working in your garage. Task lights are also very useful around storage boxes to help you find things more quickly and easily. You can install permanent task lights in your garage, or you can use portable lights (especially if you rarely work in the garage). It’s important to know that task lights should be installed between your head and the table and not above your head (for example, on the ceiling).
Decorative lights are meant to make a room look better. If you would like your garage’s interior to look more attractive, you can use recessed lights or wall sconces. You can also combine decorative lights with ambient lights (using one light as a decorative and ambient light at the same time), especially if you don’t want to complicate things too much.
Finally, consider accent lights. Accent lights can be used if you would like to emphasize something. Accent lights should be used in garages to show off collections (for example, a glass cabinet with scale model cars). If you believe that your wall calendar is beautiful enough to merit the attention, you can use accent lighting for that as well…
I hope that by now you have some new ideas for your garage lighting. I also hope I’ve managed to show you how important it is to plan lighting in advance and to consider all the factors that may influence your final decision. You will be able to read more about garage lighting in my other articles and you will hopefully get some more ideas. I wish you good luck with your new light selection.