How Do You Light a Dark Garage?

How Do You Light a Dark Garage?

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Nobody likes a dark garage. Sure, it could be the most obscure part of your house, but whenever the need arises for this room, light is an absolute necessity.

Lighting a garage comes with plenty of options. If it’s structurally possible, you can use natural light through the strategic placement of windows or a skylight. However, in most cases, you will likely need to install a lighting fixture. When doing so, it is imperative to choose a suitable lighting device.  

Read on to learn about the practical tips and innovative lighting fixtures you can install to cast the darkness out of your garage. Some, that don’t even require the need to call the electrician!


sunset over the mountains

How Do I Get More Natural Light in My Garage?

Having access to natural light can help you save more energy and money when using your garage. If your house is structurally capable of inviting natural light, consider several modifications.

Nonetheless, check out some of the tips you can carry out to get more natural light in your garage.

  • Put up a skylight

A Skylight is a sure way to get ample light from the outside. If the structure of your garage permits a skylight, you can opt for this structure. 

After all, it is always beneficial to exert an equal amount of effort and value on your garage as you do with other parts of your house.

Most garages with skylights have elevated appeal making them more inviting. If you’re planning to turn your garage into a tiny studio or a gym, then a skylight is an elegant yet practical choice.

  • Install bigger windows

If your house has multiple floors which cross out the skylight from your options, the next best thing is putting up bigger windows. But even with a slightly smaller window, you can gain ample natural light if you go for the right type and strategic window placement.

Garage windows like picture windows allow more light to come into the garage. If one of your walls is adjacent to the outside area, you can put up an extra window on that side.

You can also add windows to your garage’s entry door. Fiberglass has become a trendy material incorporated into garage doors as accent designs or overhead window panels.

  • Repaint your garage

The color of your garage pretty much enhances the atmosphere and lighting in the room. You can invite more light if the walls, floor, and ceiling are painted with cooler palettes like eggshell or dove grey. On the other hand, edgier and stronger colors can make the space feel tighter and darker. So you better stay away from black or darker tones.

  • Put some mirrors in strategic places

Mirrors are great elements for any darkroom, not just the garage. It creates the illusion of a lighter and even wider room as it reflects light in various corners.

Installing mirrors is perfect if you are turning your garage into a home gym. Not only is it efficient, but it also adds another layer of style to your garage, depending on where you place the mirrors.


garage comparison between a standard light bulb and the TRiLIGHT motion activated garage light

How Do You Add Lights to a Dark Garage?

While natural light is an ideal lighting source for the garage, it’s not exactly easily attainable for many house types.

Most of the time, installing lights is still the best option to brighten up a dark garage. But there are several ways to light your dark garage. In doing so, factors like the amount of time you spend in the garage and the general purpose of the area should be considered.

For example, if you use your garage for storage and rarely stay there to work, you might do away with portable lights you can hang whenever you feel like digging in the storage area.

Here are some ways you can add light to a dark garage using top-notch light fixtures and devices.

close up of the TRiLIGHT motion activated garage light
  • Motion Activated LED Light

Nothing says modern garage like a motion-activated light sensor. If you have existing fixtures or light bulb sockets in your garage, you can opt for the TriLight Motion Activated Ceiling Light fixtures that can be screwed in just as easily as a single bulb, but with 5 times more light.

Likewise, you can also choose the Multi-Point Illumination if you want a lighting fixture that ensures a broader spread of light despite being attached to a single fitting and get almost 9 and half times more light than a standard bulb.

MPI banner featuring 2 images. one product studio pic and one garage lifestyle pic featuring a boat in the garage

Motion-activated light has tons of benefits. Considering how dark garages and basements are most of the time, finding a switch can be tricky.

With a motion sensor, you don’t have to feel the switch constantly. Instead, simply walk inside the room, and the lights are automatically turned on. It helps a lot when you are carrying things into or out of the garage. Or even just pulling in to park.

TRiLIGHT shoplight banner featuring two poses of the product and a title
  • Shop Lights

Shop lights like the TriLight Shoplight are like a blend between a permanent and portable light fixture. It is effortless to install as all you have to do is hang the hook on the ceiling or a pole. You can even move or hold it when you need closer light when working.

The TriLight Shoplight is essentially the new age replacement to the age-old drop light that as its name suggests, was dropped a lot. And almost every time that meant that the incandescent light bulb inside would get hurt and need to be replaced.

They would also get very hot and be dangerous to the touch. Now, with the advent of LED technology STKR has created a trouble light/drop light that is durable and safe.

  • Recessed Lights

Living rooms and bedrooms commonly have recessed lights. They are neat, aesthetically pleasing, and provide high levels of illumination. 

If you use your garage daily for work or other activities, having recessed lights installed in the area can be worth it. It brightens the garage well enough to perform any intricate job if you fit them with good LED bulbs.

This becomes a laborious task having to cut holes for each can insert and then get power to each can.

  • Linkable Lighting

Long lights can be of utmost use in a highly functional garage. Linkable lights are made of lights connected in different configurations. You can choose to have a specific layout, including the number of lights.

The downside is that most of these lighting configurations require someone with the knowledge to hardwire them into the house.


MPI delorean garage poster featuring entire room features and graphics including 7500 true lumens by STKR

How Many Lumens Do You Need to Light a Garage?

If your garage also functions as a workshop, then you will need 300 lumens per square foot. On the other hand, if you rarely use your garage or convert the area to a storage room, you can get away with 50 lumens per square foot.

This lumens per square foot model breaks down really fast when you take into account what is present in the room and what color and shape the room is.

The great news about the best lighting choices for your garage is that most of these devices provide brightness way beyond the typical light bulb. This means that if you need more light, you won’t experience any shortage of it.

The MPI, for example, has true lumens that go up to 7500. That’s incredible brightness that illuminates even the very corners of your garage.

Learn more about Lumens when you click here.


diagram breakdown of an LED bulb

Which Lights Are Good for a Garage?

LED lights are always on top of our list when discussing an ideal lighting source for a garage. Among the different light sources in the market, LED bulbs are considered the most efficient and durable.

It is safer and cooler than CFL and incandescent bulbs. Although you can still use other light sources, the benefits of LED, such as the level of brightness it provides, are undeniable.

Incandescent bulbs tend to increase the temperature of the room as heat is needed for the device to produce light. In the case of LED, heat is unnecessary. Hence, it will not make the room hotter when the light is turned on.



old ford engine bay illuminated by a TRi-Mobile magnetically stuck to the underside of the hood

How Can I Light My Garage Without Electricity?

So you need a lighting option for your garage that doesn't plug in, lets talk portable lighting devices. And we are not talking about regular flashlights here.

One STKR lighting device that would be perfect for lighting the garage in the absence of electricity is the TRi-Mobile area work light featured in the image above. It is available in with an optional tripod accessory that can let your work light stand on it's own as high as four feet.

The TRi-Mobile has three three deformable LED light panels that can rotate in so many different ways that it allows for a large numbers of very useful lighting arrays like the 360° area light or the more traditional spot light.

On top of being a tripod mountable light, it is also designed to sit on flat surfaces, hang upside down by a built-in hanging hook, and can even be attached magnetically to steel objects via the 3 neodymium magnets in the base. All of these features make it the perfect garage project companion.

Mobile task light on a garage floor illuminating an out of focus racecar in the background

Another really nice option is the Mobile Task Light. This handy little device is highly durable with a rotating head that contains LED for its light source.

Its structural design will allow you to hang or place the Mobile Task Light above a surface within your workstation. It also has four different modes allowing you to adjust or select light intensity based on your needs.  


A bright garage encourages productivity. That’s why it is imperative to carefully plan your lighting system in obscure rooms like your garage.

While traditional lighting remains functional, new lighting designs will allow you to save more energy and money without sacrificing the needed illumination intensity.

With that, choose a modern lighting system designed to spread light in the entire room, such as the MPI and the TriLight.

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