Garages are an integral part of any household and usually serve as storage areas or as parking space for vehicles. But in recent years, the need for sustainable resources has reformed the ways in which people choose to spend their time therefore these spaces are largely of use as DIY task spaces, home offices or automobile garages, workshops etc.
A garage is more than a toolshed and therefore being a part of a sustainable activity it requires a good lighting setup.
Garages are mostly isolated from the rest of the house and seldom have any natural light source, therefore it is essential to provide a light source which is capable of illuminating every corner of the garage and accommodate any activity relative to that space. To transform your garage lighting here are a few tips to consider:
Consider the layout
The layout is the first and foremost priority for any task space. It gives an overall idea of the use of that space and how to make it more efficient for the tasks. The architectural difference is certain for every garage but the layout helps in determining the suitable light fixture.
A layout helps in determining the following parameters:
Area of the garage
The area of the garage is the overall floor space which helps with dividing work zones and storage zones within the layout.
Ceiling height of the garage
The height of the ceiling specifically helps in determining the kind of fixture suitable for the garage. It usually ranges from 8-20 feet or above.
Appropriate light fixtures for the garage
Once after determining the layout it helps with filtering down the choice of light fixture for garages. As every fixture has a different range of lumen outputs it is necessary to determine the total lumen requirement and then select the appropriate fixture.
Calculate the lumen requirement
Calculating the lumen requirement can be done manually or a contractor can assist with planning the layout. It is done on the basis of lumens per watt. Garages require broad beamed light which covers a certain area with uniform lighting. Light fixtures with higher lumens are appropriate for higher ceiling garages while bigger fixtures like UFO high bays are also for higher ceiling garages.
The lumen requirements helps with:
- Adequate choice of fixture
- Number of fixtures
- Placement of fixtures ( mounting, spacing between each fixture)
Garage Lighting fixtures
There are many different commercial lights which are appropriate for garage lighting. It is because of their safety rating against the most common environmental factors such as presence of dirt, toxins, moisture, fluctuating temperature, use of machinery etc. There is a huge variety of different fixtures and to learn how to filter it down you can browse this link.
Canopy lights are multipurpose lights for different task spaces. Smaller canopy lights are adequate for garage lighting as these spaces require daylight like light around all times. They are compact, and ample for garages as they support the surface mounting option. In lower ceiling garages the canopy lights serve as broad beamed or flood beam task lights which also illuminates the rest of the area. LED canopy lights have integrated LEDs usually but older canopy lights allow retrofit options as well.
LED tubes are an excellent light source; they do not require any extra accommodation in most cases and are available in retrofit kits to replace traditional lights very efficiently. There are four retrofit options depending on the UL listing of older fluorescent fixtures and it is essential to check the LED equivalent against the preexisting fixture or it’ll malfunction.
LED tubes provide directional lighting and they are installable on both ceiling surfaces as well as on the walls. These tubes are available in different sizes and diameters which makes them another feasible option for fixtures like troffers, shop lights etc.
LED shop lights
LED shop lights are super convenient light fixtures for garages. They have a linear frame and the housing of the fixture is made up of aluminium with mounting brackets present at the back of the fixture. These shop lights are lightweight and convenient for installation around task zones, or for general lighting as they allow two mounting options: surface mounting and suspend mounting.
LED shop lights also support the plug n play feature and they are dimmable which also makes them quite energy efficient. LED shop lights have a lumen range of 1500 to 5000 lumens with different CCT (correlated colour temperature variation). These lights are the most convenient option for any kind of garage.
LED wraparound lights
LED wraparound lights are another form of shop lights. The design features are different and they support the flush or surface mount option. They got their name from the appearance of the fixture as the lens wraps around the lamp and housing. They have a broad beam, multidirectional light supply which is highly convenient in garages for general lighting. Since the lamp is protected inside the fixture is built to last. Wraparound lights have integrated LED lamps and they seldom require any maintenance.
UFO high bays
UFO or round high bay lights are another popular light application for garages especially workshops which use big machinery. They are very powerful and durable light fixtures which is why they are suitable for high ceiling garages. The housing is made up of aluminum with a builtin heatsink which efficiently regulates the heat production of the fixture and keeps it functional throughout the day. They have the highest lumen output and the light is usually projected downwards. There are different reflectors for UFO high bays which support the light spread at different elevation levels.
Garage lighting is not quite technical except it is necessary to learn the requirements of the space as it saves a lot of energy and costs for installation, maintenance, replacement etc. Using LED light fixtures are highly convenient and the safest option as they are energy efficient, allow smart control options, provide uniform lighting, reduce the costs of infrastructure and are very sustainable in the long term.