When building a garage, which type of lighting is best? Or for those of us with existing garages, what to do if our current lighting just isn’t enough? What about fixtures for the exterior of my home, are they necessary? Good lighting is always important. It provides safety, prevents accidents, brightens your space and reduces eye-strain… even in the garage! In this blog post, let’s look at our favorite tips to help you brighten your space.
First, Create a Floor Plan
Draw your garage and its different uses:
- Work area for do-it-yourself projects
- Storage space for seasonal articles
- Hooks and shelves to get items off the floor
- Large equipment and appliances, like a chest freezer or lawnmower
Afterwards, for those with high ceilings, it’s time to decide how to use the empty space over the garage door. It can be used to stow large bins filled with holiday decorations, for example.
As soon as you have planned both the floor and wall space, you can then determine your specific lighting needs. Decide if you need general lighting, task lighting or a bit of both.
What Lighting Options Are Currently Available?
To start, let’s examine what lightbulbs are most popular:
These light bulbs are long and tubular. Inside the tube, there is a small amount of mercury and gas which are used to produce light. The phosphor powder that coats the inside of the tube determines the color of the light. Fluorescents are also called fluorescent tubes or fluorescent lamps, and are quite common. They are one of the simplest lighting fixtures, often affixed directly on the ceiling.
- Compact Fluorescent Lamp or CFLs
Available in a wide variety of shapes and dimensions, when we hear CFLs, we think of the spiral-shaped bulbs we use in our homes. CFLs outshine standard incandescent lightbulbs in both illumination and energy savings. The light they emit is more natural, and the bulbs stay cool. With an average lifespan of 10,000 hours, they last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. CFLs consume 75% less energy to produce the same quantity of light.
Halogen bulbs, although not as efficient as CFLs, still outperform traditional incandescent bulbs. Halogens use 33% less energy than traditional bulbs and have a lifespan of 3,000 hours on average. This type of bulb does not contain mercury and comes in many sizes, which means you can easily find one for every household use. The biggest advantage of halogen bulbs is the quality of light they deliver: clear, white and strong.
- Light Emitting Diode or LEDs
LEDs are the most energy efficient, with up to 90% energy savings over traditional incandescent bulbs. This type of bulb has an extremely long lifespan. LEDs do not contain mercury or lead, and they stay cool. They are a great choice for directional lighting fixtures. Higher initial cost is likely the biggest disadvantage of LED light bulbs, although they are quickly becoming more affordable. Even if the bulbs cost a little more, that money is easily recovered in the first few years once you consider energy savings.
Which One Should I Choose?
Many contractors will tell you fluorescents are a good option for general lighting in a garage. If this is also your favorite, just remember they take a little time to get to maximum brightness and they can make a buzzing sound.
But which type of fluorescent is most suitable? T5, T8, T12? The letter T corresponds to the diameter of the fluorescent tube, in eighths of an inch. T8 bulbs are often recommended since:
- They generate a similar amount of light as T12 bulbs, but are more efficient.
- The light looks more natural.
- Most T8 bulbs are made with rapid-start ballasts, which are better than instant‑start ballasts (which tend to burn bulbs faster, particularly when turned on and off repeatedly.)
- 4‑foot tubes are more popular than 8‑foot tubes since they are more manageable, are more energy efficient, and provide about the same level of light.
Finally, it’s time to decide how much intensity you need, from a warm 3000K to a cooler 5000K.
In areas where you work most often, you may need to add additional lighting. Just choose the type of fixture you feel is best for your situation. Ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, even lamps can be good options in a garage. Don’t forget to plan your exterior lighting, which can be located over the garage door, above other entry points and along walkways. For outdoor fixtures, CFL bulbs are often the best choice.
Do You Want To Change Your Garage Door?
Contact us today at 1-866-573-3667 if you have any questions about our well-insulated and weathertight garage doors. We can make your garage warm and comfortable! Why not come and visit our showroom? We would be pleased to provide details on our entire range of garage doors and help you choose the one most suitable to your home’s architecture. You may also request a free online quotation.
If you are curious to see what your home will look like with a new garage door, take a moment to test out our online Design Centre. Simply upload a photo of your home! Another great way to get a little inspiration is to explore our image gallery.