The Best Garage Lighting [How to Guide]

Lumens, color temperature, lighting layout, what the heck! You want to get your garage nice and bright but wait for a second! You’re going to need to figure out the fine details of lighting a garage.

I spent more than 12+ hours compiling, researching, and finding you the best garage lights and layouts to make your life that much easier. You’ll find everything you need to light your garage properly and more in the guide below.

If you’re in a hurry, the best options are right below. For everyone else in need of help to light their garage, keep reading to get every question you have answered.

Best LED Garage Lighting: SANSI 60W LED Garage Light

Easy and fast installation to brighten up your garage in a jiffy.

Best Shop Lights for Garage: WARELIGHT Condor G2

Perfect for large garages that need heavy-duty lighting.

Best Strip Lights for Garage: Maxxima 2 ft. Utility LED Shop

Easily light up those hard-to-reach places other options miss.

Best Garage Wraparound Lights : AntLux 2FT LED Wraparound Light

Low ceilings aren’t an issue with wraparound lights.

Best Work Light for Garage: HOMCOM 5,000 Lumen LED

Great for rounding out any garage’s lighting layout.

Best Clamp Light for Garage: Simple Deluxe

Get up and personal with your workbench.

Best Outside Lights: LMP 4 Pack LED

You know what they say, the outside is as important as the inside!

Guidelines for Picking the Best Garage Lighting

1) How many lumens you’ll need in your garage

When picking the lighting in your garage, you need to make sure you sufficiently light the entire space. The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) guidelines recommend 50 lumens per residential square foot and 300 lumens/square feet for a workshop.

Below is a table for a residential garage. Remember these are only suggestions, if you like it brighter, it is your garage after all!

Garage Square FootageLumens Required
200 SQFT 10,000 Lumens
250 SQFT12,500 Lumens
300 SQFT15,000 Lumens
350 SQFT17,500 Lumens
400 SQFT20,000 Lumens
450 SQFT22,500 Lumens
500 SQFT25,000 Lumens
550 SQFT27,500 Lumens

2) What type of lights you’ll use in your garage

LED Lightbulbs

LED Lightbulbs – LED lightbulbs are the best bang for buck option for your garage. You can spend very little while still lighting up your garage plenty. It’s the best bang for your buck option if you don’t want to bother installing or wiring any hardware.

LED Shop Lights

LED Shop Lights: Also known as high bay lights, shop lights are heavy-duty, perfect for workshops. Electrical wiring will be needed as well as installation. They’re a bit more expensive than typical LED lights, but output far more lumens than a simple lightbulb.

Strip Lights: Not the prettiest but they offer the flexibility you won’t get with other options. You can find fixtures for around 30 bucks each and install them overhead or in hard-to-reach areas like under a workbench. The downside of strip lights is you’ll have to install a few fixtures but you’ll be able to place the lighting right where you need it.

Wraparound Lights: If your garage has low ceilings, you’ll want to look into wraparound lights. They install similarly to shop lights but don’t require to be hung from the ceiling. You’ll enjoy the light getting into hard-to-reach places.

Work Lights: If you need light to shine directly on your DIY projects throughout the night, work lights are for you. You can get light where you need and get into those unreachable areas if you were to rely solely on overhead lighting.

3) How easy it is to install

You want to factor in your ability to install the lighting. If you aren’t handy with tools and/or hardwiring shop lights, your best bet is going to be picking up some LED lightbulbs along with some under-cabinet lighting to brighten up your workbench.

If you’re a natural DIYer, you’re going to have no issue installing shop lights or wraparound lights. You’ll save money in the long run by installing it yourself, but professional installation is always an option.

Whenever you’re dealing with electrical wiring take the proper precautions and be safe.

4) Climate

Fluorescent lights have difficulty working below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a cold climate, you’re going to want to make sure you stick with LED lights.

5) Your Life in Your Garage

Different people will require different types of lighting. If you’re constantly tinkering around on engines in your car, you’re going to want to get a standalone work light to point the light exactly where you need it.

If you’re a woodworker, you’re going to want to make sure that your tools are all visible during the night to ensure smooth cuts and safety. Proper overhead lighting is a vital part of lighting your garage when using power tools.

Don’t spend much time in the garage and just need to get in and out? You’ll find that a simple LED lightbulb will suit you well (and last a long time).

6) Deciding what color temperature is best for your garage lighting

Source: Wikipedia

The recommended color temperature for a garage setting is between 4500 and 6500 Kelvins depending on your preference. 5000 Kelvin closely resembles daylight sunlight to give you an idea of what to expect.

If you prefer a cooler color, you’re going to want to go towards the 6000 Kelvin range. If you like it neutral, stick to 5000 Kelvins. If you decide to go with light fixtures, you’ll be able to test out what color you prefer and ultimately decide what color temperature is best for you.

If you only relax in your garage and don’t ever do any projects or use tools, then you may enjoy a light with 2700K color temperature. That’ll give you a coffee shop-esque type vibe. Just be aware that 2700k is not optimal if you like to work in your garage.

7) Electricity consumption

The most efficient garage lighting options are going to be LED bulbs. LEDs produce the most light without the least amount of electricity. If you want to save on your energy bill, then going with a simple but effective LED garage bulb may be your best bet.

If you’re eyeing a halogen bulb system, know that Halogen uses 28W of consumption while LEDs use 6W. If you want a super bright garage, you’ll have to pay for it once the energy bill comes at the end of the month.

8) Mounting Options

Do you have the ability to mount your lighting where you prefer it will go? If you have low ceilings, then shop lights that hang aren’t the best solution. Wraparound lights are a good solution if you don’t have enough space to hang lights from the ceiling.

Factor in that you’ll also need to reach your ceiling and drill holes for certain types of lights. The most basic option would be a basic LED garage light, but you’ll also need to have a standard socket in your garage to make life easier.

The more advanced your garage lighting setup, the more mounting you’ll have to undertake to get the best garage lighting.

9) Heat dissipation

The brighter your garage lights, the hotter they get. This can be a good thing if you have a cold garage and don’t have a garage heater, but can take a toll on you during the summer. You’ll also want your garage lighting to have heat dissipation features so it won’t cause damage after extended use.

What is the best garage lighting layout?

Depending on the size of your garage and the type of garage lights you’ve chosen, you can go plenty of different ways. With such a variety of lighting options, your only limit is your imagination. You don’t have to spend a ton of money either to suitably light your garage.

One thing you will want to make sure you plan for is if you’re constantly working on projects in the garage. You’re going to want to install overhead garage lights above your workbench so you can see them at all hours of the day.

If you can’t install overhead lighting in some areas, remember you install strip lights in hard-to-reach areas. Every garage is going to be different, so remember that you’re going to have to study your garage layout and figure out the best option for you.

Here are a few examples to give you some of the best garage lighting ideas for a typical 1 and 2 car garage.

1) 14×20 1 Car Garage

2) 22×20 2 Car Garage

Remember that the amount of lumens is simply a suggestion. Feel free to go a bit under or over depending on your specific needs.

Placing Secondary Lighting

You’re going to want to purchase secondary lighting for those hard-to-reach areas that overhead lighting can’t reach. It’s also great for removing shadows if you’re doing intricate work that requires the utmost attention. Painting or woodworking is a good example of this.

You can purchase cheap cabinet lights to stick under your shelves so you can see your workbench at all times of the day.

You’ll also want to pick up some work lights if you need a complete view of your project without any shadows interfering.

Another option is getting a clamp light for getting up close and personal with your task at hand.

The Best Garage Lighting Reviews

Best LED Garage LightingSANSI 60W LED Garage Light

SANSI 60W LED Garage Light

If you want to spend the least money possible lighting your garage but still do it right, LED garage lights are a great choice.

This garage lighting system will light up your garage with 6000 lumens of output. Depending on the size of your garage, you can pick up 2 of these with a standalone work light and call it a day.

You won’t have to install anything, it’s as easy as screwing in a lightbulb. Instead of spending your precious time sweating over the details, you can have garage lights as bright as sunshine in a matter of minutes.

It comes with a deformable design that allows you to get the light where you need it. If you’re working on a DIY project, you can shine it and see what you’re doing clear as day even during the late hours of the night. You won’t have to limit yourself any longer when sunlight runs out!

It’ll last you 50,000 hours which will last quite a while since you won’t be in the garage all day. Ain’t nothing wrong with it if you are, though! No wiring, no hassle, no headache, the SANSI 60W LED Garage Light is the best plug-and-play garage lighting I could find out there.

  • Easy installation
  • Directionally point the light
  • 50,000 Hour Lifespan
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Once it dies, you’ll need to buy a new one
  • Will need 2-3 to meet the lumen requirement

Best Shop Lights for GarageWARELIGHT Condor G2 Premium

WARELIGHT Condor G2 Premium

Big garages require big lights. The shop light is going to light up your garage or workshop while giving it that professional look.

It’s a high bay light with 11970 lumens, perfect for illuminating large workshops. The benefit of high bay lights is the sheer amount of light they produce and they don’t produce any heat. You’ll save on energy, they last 10x longer than fluorescent and it’s safer in the long run.

The lifespan is 100,000 hours and it is dimmable down to 10 percent allowing you to save on power. That’s 4166.66 days of continuous use and 4166.66 days where you don’t need to change a lightbulb.

It comes with hangers, but you will need to provide your own chains. Shop lights are made for commercial spaces, but when used in a residential space they make planning your lighting layout incredibly easy. 2 of these will light up a standard 400 sq. ft garage with ease. You won’t need to worry about installing 10 different fixtures with these led shop lights.

I think if you want to turn your garage into a well-lit oasis, WARELIGHT Condor G2 Premium is an investment rather than an expense. You’ll have to purchase one or two to sufficiently light a 2 car garage. The only downside is that you’ll need to hardwire them and purchase chains yourself.

  • Makes planning your lighting layout simple
  • Lasts 100,000 hours
  • Incredibly bright
  • Required hardwiring + installation
  • Need to buy chains separately

Best Strip Lights for GarageMaxxima 2 ft. Utility LED Shop

Maxxima 2 ft. Utility LED Shop

The Maxxima 2 ft. Utility LED Shop is perfect for anyone with a garage that needs light in specific areas. If you’re a woodworker, you’re going to want overhead lighting for precise lighting placement.

I know what you’re thinking, only 2500 lumens each? You’ll gain the flexibility to place the lighting exactly where you need it. You don’t need to purchase 10 of these, you can opt to go for a few and only install them directly overhead your workbench.

They come with the option to link up to four units, making for incredibly easy planning and installation. You’ll be able to hardwire them as well as plug them directly into a 120v outlet if you’re electrically challenged like I am.

The Maxxima 2 ft. Utility LED garage lights also come with a 3-year warranty, 50,000 hours LED life, and the flexibility any DIYer is going to want to light their garage.

  • Install directly overhead work areas for perfect lighting
  • Link 4 units at a time to make installation easy
  • Hardwire or plugin, it’s your choice
  • Will require additional planning ahead of time to ensure proper lumen requirement is met

Best Wraparound Lights for GarageAntLux 2FT LED Wraparound Light

AntLux 2FT LED Wraparound Light

When your ceilings are too low to hang shop lights and you don’t want to mess with strip lights, these wraparound lights are the perfect fit for your garage.

Each light is 2400 lumens, with 4 of them bringing the total to 9600 lumens getting you to the halfway point to adequately lighting a 2 car garage. You’ll be set in a 1 car garage with the 4 pack and additional secondary lighting to round out the layout.

Wraparound lights are also wider, allowing more light to reach every inch of your garage. You’ll have to install less secondary lighting since the light won’t be directly overhead like a high bay light would.

Even if you don’t have low ceilings, the AntLux 2FT LED Wraparound Light 4 pack is going to make lighting your garage easy. They last 50,000 hours, come with a 5-year warranty, and get light into hard-to-reach areas with their wide application. I think they’re a pretty good choice considering the price!

  • Great for low ceilings
  • Wide application
  • 50,000 hours of usage
  • Requires hardwiring

Best Work Light for GarageHOMCOM 5,000 Lumen LED

HOMCOM 5,000 Lumen LED

You want secondary lighting in your garage, ESPECIALLY if you are going to be doing intricate work like woodworking or working on your car. The HOMCOM 5,000 Lumen LED is going to round out your garage’s lighting layout perfectly well.

It comes with an adjustable tilting head, letting you adjust the light 270 degrees vertically or 360 degrees on the axis. That’s going to be just what you need when you’re tinkering in the garage late at night working on an engine or an intricate woodworking project. You won’t need to bust out any flashlights with this puppy.

You can also take the lights off their stand and put them even closer to where you need them. If it’s not bright enough, disconnect them and get up and personal with your projects. No more swearing when you can’t quite find the right spot to screw in that last bolt.

You’ll be able to take it with you or a friend, whoever needs a light late into the night. It’s also weatherproof, making the HOMCOM 5,000 Lumen LED one of the best secondary sources of light for a garage.

  • Rounds out any garage’s lighting
  • Weatherproof
  • Detachable lights for perfect placement
  • It’s a solid choice, hard to find a con here

Best Clamp Light for GarageWoods Clamp Lamp Light

Woods Clamp Lamp Light

It’s a clamp light. You clamp it onto something, and light will come out. The Simple Deluxe HIWKLTCLAMPLIGHTMX2 is going to be great to latch onto your workbench and get a direct lighting source.

Don’t think too much on it, get it if you need it.

  • Good source for secondary lighting
  • Doesn’t come with lightbulb

Best Outside Lights for GarageLMP 4 Pack LED

LMP 4 Pack LED

You’re so worried about the inside that you conveniently forgot your wife told you to buy lights for the outside. The LMP 4 Pack LED is an aesthetically pleasing choice to make any home look amazing.

If you’re like me, you don’t know left from right. That’ll make coming home incredibly easy when you can spot your house a mile away. It’s great having lights that help you be aware of your surroundings so you don’t step on any poor frogs.

It’s also fully waterproof so you won’t have to worry about any damage from them being left outside. You’ll be glad to know that LMP does add 2 lightbulbs with these so you’re not high and dry. They’re also lightbulbs, so you can swap them out should they ever die on you.

You won’t have to fumble when looking for your keys late at night anymore, the LMP 4 Pack LED is a great addition to any home’s aesthetic.

  • Pretty as heck
  • Comes in a 4 pack
  • Have to install them

What are the best features of LED garage lights?

When purchasing the best garage lights, you’re going to want them to be able to support a few features. Below you’ll find everything you need to buy the right garage lighting for you.

1) Brightness: You want your garage lights to be bright enough so your garage is well lit at all hours of the day. If you are a painter or do intricate detailing work, you’ll want lighting that doesn’t create a shadow. You can remedy this situation by purchasing a moveable light such as a work light.

2) Installation: LED garage lights are super easy to install. All you need to do is plug and play and that’s it! If you want a more intricate setup, you will need to hire an electrician to do some wiring work if you don’t know how to do it yourself. That’s why I recommend an LED bulb setup if you aren’t sure of what you’re purchasing.

3) Longevity: Unlike normal lightbulbs, the best-LED garage light can last upwards of 100,000 hours of use. You don’t want to be continuously changing your light bulb or having to deal with poor lighting, so it’s imperative that you invest in the right type of garage lighting.

4) Size: If your garage is tiny, then it may be difficult to fit a full set of shop lights in your garage. An LED is great for this with its compact size, letting you still get workshop-quality lighting without creating a dangerous environment.

5) Electricity consumption: You don’t want to pick up an LED light that will drain your bank account from being on all the time. Pick up an energy-efficient LED light that will be suitable for your garage.

Wrapping it Up

What’re you waiting for? Your garage is your home, your paradise. When it comes to lighting, make sure to get the job done so you’ll be able to enjoy every minute you spend in your garage.

I think getting the best garage lighting is going to help you stay more attentive and make the garage a better place to be in when it gets dark. During the winter months, sunlight is sparse so you may find yourself doing a lot more work in the garage because you took care of the lighting.

Learn how to soundproof your garage and your new garage lighting will turn your garage into a paradise.

About Roy Cohen

I'm Roy, founder of Hack My Garage. I started out like most not knowing how to hammer a nail, but now I know more than most people about home improvement and DIY. I want to spread my wealth of knowledge with the world and hope to make it a better place.