Simple Ways to Update Your Garage Lighting
As we head into fall, this is the perfect time to consider updating your garage lighting to maximize function and exterior design.
When it comes to garage lighting, most homeowners rarely think about it unless a lightbulb burns out. For the most part, whatever was there when they moved in is what is there today. However, for a space that is used on a daily basis, lighting can work wonders — provide safe passage from outside to inside, highlight landscape features, and improve the usability of workbenches and outdoor storage. Here are a few ways you can update your old garage lighting, both outdoors and indoors.
OUTDOOR LIGHTING IDEAS
1. Illuminate your garage entry door by adding a sconce or two. If you have the exterior wall space, consider a sconce on both sides of a traditional garage door. However, a sconce to once side will help with safe passage if your main point of entry and exit is the garage door. The head-height installation of sconces helps remove the issue of blinding glare.
2. Install fixtures to each side of your garage car door. This will facilitate pulling in and backing out during nighttime hours. To help direct light downward and reduce glare, use shaded fixtures like sconces. Also consider looking into garage lighting that utilizes photocells to turn lights off and on as daylight increases or diminishes. Another option is adding fixtures to the soffit above the garage doors.
3. If needed, use portable lights. A great option to add direct light to shelves or work surfaces are movable work lights. They can also be used to provide light for additional work projects as necessary.
4. Install motion sensor lighting at key points on the garage. An added benefit of garage lighting is to project light out and illuminate dark areas in the yard. For added safety and security, try garage light sensors that react to motion.
5. Highlight architecture by installing uplights at the corners. Garages often reflect interesting architecture found on homes. Uplights (also called accent lights) can highlight those features.
For flexibility without the hassle of invasive and expensive wiring, consider researching wireless controls for both indoor and outdoor garage lighting. They will enable you to control illumination from inside your home.
INDOOR LIGHTING IDEAS
1. Add more overhead lighting. It’s sad to say, but many garages have only a single bulb overhead for light, which isn’t enough lighting for even the most basic of tasks. Your goal for overhead garage lighting should be to illuminate as much of the garage floor as possible — even if it means adding fixtures every 4 to 5 feet. You may need to consult with an electrician to determine the proper wiring needed, electrical load, and fixture installation.
2. Install garage task lighting. If your garage houses storage shelves or a workbench, task lighting is essential. Simple under-cabinet fixtures are perfect to help illuminate shelves and make finding things much easier. For work surfaces, consider sturdy compact fluorescent work lights hung from the ceiling. They are popular and effective.