In simple terms, lumens are defined as the total amount of light that comes out of a
single source. 1000 lumens from a flashlight (which casts all of the light in one direction) will look different
from a 1000 lumen light bulb that projects light 360°.
Finding the right amount of lumens is just as important as the color and kind of bulb
that you install. Garages, sheds, and workshops are often under-illuminated, which is why it’s so important that you
know how many lumens are required when you’re buying new light fixtures for your garage.
The answer is not as simple as lumens per square foot because no two garage conditions are the same. A fully
finished garage with white walls and ceiling will use light much more efficiently and require fewer lumens than an
unfinished garage with raw walls and an open rafter ceiling. That being said, lumens are important, More lumens =
In the fully finished garage, the light will bounce off of the walls and ceiling,
better lighting the space. The unfinished garage will not reflect light. In fact, it will absorb light and
therefore require more lumens. Dark walls or ceilings will have the same effect. Dark colors absorb light and
light colors reflect it.
That being said, lumens are important, More lumens = more light. Ensuring that
you’re using the proper lumen amount allows the garage to be illuminated without being too bright, dull, or
overworked. Maybe more importantly though, is how many points of light? More on this later in this article.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following information about using
lumens to light a garage:
Why lumens matter so much
Different product recommendations for illuminating your
How you can measure the lumens of your lightbulbs
Various maintenance suggestions and mistakes to
False advertising and false lumen ratings on cheap copy
Lighting a Garage with the Proper Amount of Lumens
Since lumens are the sole source of brightness from lightbulbs, you could imagine why they’re so important. If you choose a low-lumen
bulb, you’ll end up with a poor lighting situation. You won’t be able to adequately see your projects, storage, automobiles, and other
equipment without using a flashlightor work light.
If you know that you’ll be using the garage as a workshop, then it’s worth getting a fixture with a higher lumen count. If you will be using your garage or shop for more than just parking a car, then you will
want proper lighting to work in it. It is strange how the garage is
always the largest room in the house, but often the worst
What’s the Best Source of Lumens?
The best sources of lighting in your
garage would be multiple points of light. Meaning,
multiple ceiling light, or light locations. If you only have one, be sure that
you use aqualitylight with good lumen output. A
standard 60 watt light bulb only produces 800 lumens of light. If you only have one source of light, better make it
a good one!
We will give good examples of
single-point lights in the next two sections. They’re ideal because
they don’t take up much space, they’re energy-efficient, and
you don’t need to install dozens of bulbs to illuminate your garage. That being
said, a single light always creates shadows.
Having between 1 to 3 lights should be
more than enough for the average residential garage. By using energy-efficient, high-lumen bulbs or fixtures,
you’ll get the most for your money without sacrificing the visual
appearance and clarity of everything.
Many homeowners try to get around the problem by buying more bulbs. You could try accent lights,
fixed lights, and various other fixtures, but nothing will replace the proper level of recommended brightness.
Note: Contrary to popular belief, a brighter bulb doesn’t always
use more energy. As Reboot My
Garage suggests, you can save loads of energy while having
thousands of lumens to brighten your garage.
TheTrilight Motion-Activated Ceiling
Light is an excellent example of how you can get a high
lumen output without wasting energy. This incredibly efficient fixture produces up to 4,000
lumens and uses only 24 watts.
Compared to the average old-school bulbs, you’ll be saving almost ten times the amount of wattage.
Perhaps one of the most impressive features of this fixture is that it comes with
a built-in motion sensor that works in all lighting situations. If
you’ve ever used a motion sensor, then you’ve probably had to wave your hand around to activate it. Instead, this
light uses new motion sensor technology. It uses microwave technology to ensure the light comes on with
motion and stays on.
If you’re concerned about the motion sensor being too sensitive in small spaces,
you’ll be able to adjust the dial to increase or decrease the motion sensor. All in all, it’s as seamless and effortless as you want it to be.
Furthermore, these ceiling lights use SMD LED technology to save money,
heat, and energy. Unlike incandescent or halogen bulbs, they don’t get
hot when you turn them on. You’ll also have a higher brightness
without using hundreds of watts. To top it all off, LEDs can last up to 50,000 hours before they
have to be replaced. That could be a lifetime for average users.
This light fixture comes with three wings that each have built-in aluminum LED heads.
You can adjust the angle of each wing with your hand, ensuring that
it illuminates every corner of your garage. Despite the complex nature
of the light, you can quickly change it up in a matter of seconds. This design eliminates shadows and is
the best single point light on the market.
Screws right into an old light bulb socket for a quick and easy installation
Costs a fraction of the energy and money of a traditional incandescent bulb
Puts out five times the amount of lumens (brightness) as most other bulbs
Includes an adjustable motion sensor
Many cheap Chinese copies have flooded the market. Buyer beware! Do your research and buy the safe and smart
option. You get what you pay for!
STKR Concepts is the original inventor of this new light design. They
produce top quality light that is designed and built to UL certifications and is safe to use in your house. Plus,
they are honest with their claims and are based in North
Carolina. They honor their 3-year warranty and have amazing customer service. Don’t waste your money on cheap and
unsafe copy products.
Multi-Point Illumination Light
If you’re looking for a garage light setup that truel lights your entire garage and installs in minutes with no wiring required,
then theMulti-Point Illumination Light is worth
trying out. Although it has almost twice the lumens as the previous
suggestion (7,500), the MPI has 5 points of light, so 7500 lumens
actually feels like even more. All corners of your garage will have light illuminating from itfilling the entire room with
light and reducing shadows.
These bulbs come with over 50,000 hours of running life, which means you may never have to replace them as you do with incandescent bulbs. The main hub simply screws into your existing light
fixture. Then you can mount the 4 remaining pods on the ceiling. You can choose where the remaining
lights from the kit go ensuring your garage ends up with a full custom lighting
Trying to light your garage with 7500 lumens worth of traditional incandescent bulbs
would cost hundreds of watts per hour, whereas this powerful
system only consumes 60 watts. You’ll save tons of money without having
heat from the bulbs blasting down on you while you work in the garage.
Another convenient feature of this system is that it has a USB port if you
want to install a camera. Once the motion sensor triggers (it covers a 360-degree angle), you’ll be able to see
everything that’s going on in your garage.
To install these lights, all you need is a single light socket. Twist the main light hub into the
socket, mount the remaining four lights around the garage ceiling,
and twist each fixture to tighten up the cords using their
built-in cord management design.
Each package comes complete and includes five different light sources to cover your
A quick and simple installation requires no professional help and under 30 minutes of
Produces 7,500 true lumens of light, enough to brightly light any average 2-3 car
Adjustable microwave motion sensing technology is extremely sensitive and
Auxiliary USB port for an external security camera through the built-in 360-degree
Why Do Lumens Matter?
Now that you’ve seen the power of modern lighting setups, it’s time to learn why lumens are so important. After all, they’re more than a simple measurement of brightness once you’re spending money to light up the garage!
Here are five reasons that you need to check the lumens of your lightbulbs:
As you’ve hopefully read throughout this article, lumens directly correspond with the
amount of total light that you’ll get. When you’re trying to see clearly in
your garage, the lumens will be the essential component to get the brightness level that you’re looking for. Never
choose anything too low or too high.
If you’re using the wrong type of light fixture, high lumen fixtures can be very
expensive to run due to a rapid increase in wattage. Incandescent or halogen
bulbs are often the worst culprit. They are inefficient, hot, and require high wattage to generate lumens.
Therefore, they are expensive to operate. Most modern fixtures use LED technology. If you’re not sure where to
start, proceed to the next section.
By knowing the lumens of your lightbulbs, you’ll be able to explore the health
benefits. That’s right; your lightbulbs can actually produce all sorts of
benefits, including light therapy. According to 1000 Bulbs, lights with a high lumen count
can reverse anxiety and depression associated with long-term overcast days.
More light will allow you to see more details and make your space an effective and
efficient workspace. Consider lighting just another tool in your garage.
Upgrading your lighting setup can make everything easier to see and more pleasant to work in. It also makes it
easier for you to work on all sorts of projects, including automobile repairs and other fun home projects,
including home gyms which are very popular at the moment.
Many first-time buyers assume that high wattage and high lumen numbers ensure a wide
area of illumination. Beware of non branded lights claiming high lumen
counts. Many less than ethical lighting companies are less than honest with their lumen counts. Many claim false
numbers to gain the sale. Buy your lighting from reputable companies who design and develop their own lights.
Test and rate them properly. Build to UL standards, and are honest with the lumen claims. A well built 4000
lumen light can produce much more light than a cheap 10,000-lumen copy light, and not burn down your house, or
only produce enough light to cover a closet!
Picking out the type of the bulb is just as important as the lumens. You probably
know by now that all bulbs use lumens; Some of them have a
high output, others require far too many watts to make it worth the
Below, you’ll find a quick review of different types of bulbs and recommended light
These bulbs are some of the most commonly found types in old
houses. Anything built before the mass production of LED lights likely has some
sort of incandescent bulb found throughout the building. They heat up quickly, cost the most watts of all types of
lightbulbs, and they require replacements often.
Another issue with incandescent bulbs
is that they’re not very eco-friendly. They are not efficient, produce
low lumens per watt, they cost plenty of money to use and
put off heat, requiring you to spend more money on cooling down your
These types of bulbs were the initial answer to the energy crisis of old-school light bulbs. They look like swirling cones, saving quite a bit of energy. According to Live
Science, fluorescent light bulbs save as much as 75% more
energy than their incandescent
counterparts. It’s quite a good trade-off for the price.
The downside of fluorescent light bulbs
is that they contain trace amounts of harsh chemicals (mercury). When
they break open, they can cause respiratory
problems. On top of that, cheap fluorescent bulbs often show a slight
flicker, or their ballast don’t work well, especially in cold climates, even if
they’re brand-new. Ultimately, they were replaced most often by LED
These bulbs are widely believed to be the most energy-efficient,
long-lasting, low-temperature solution to replace all bulbs. They can be found
in vehicles, grocery stores, smartphones, houses, and more. Using an
LED bulb in your garage is undeniably the best way to illuminate
it safely and effectively.
As far as the drawbacks of LED bulbs, there aren’t really any known issues.
They last for multiple decades while using hardly any energy at all.
There’s no replacement for LED bulbs in the foreseeable future, so it’s likely that they will be the bulb to
use for many years to come.
How Long Does Each Light Bulb Last?
You might be surprised to discover how long (or short, in the case of incandescent bulbs) light bulbs last. Lighting up your garage shouldn’t be an annual issue. Instead, you should be able to set up a light fixture and forget it while you work on
other projects around the garage.
Incandescent light bulbs usually last about 1,000 hours before they have to be replaced. It might seem like a lot, but a simple math equation
shows us that you’d run out of power after only one year with an average of 3 to 4 hours of daily usage.
Fluorescent light bulbs typically stretched upwards of 30,000
hours; A significant increase from incandescent bulbs. You could probably
imagine why they were such a popular choice once they were mass-produced. However, the ballasts used to light the
bulbs often fail before the bulb cause you to replace the entire fixture instead of just the bulb.
LED light bulbs push all the way up to 50,000 hours, making them the longest-lasting bulbs on
the market. Not too long after they were produced, LEDs quickly became the go-to choice. They’re not even very
expensive since they’re produced with very little materials.
As you can see, LEDs are the best type of light for your garage. They produce the best light for the cheapest operating cost. Compared to the 100-500+
watt equivalent from high powered non LED bulbs, you can see why people often replace their non LED
fixtures as soon as possible.
However, knowing the proper type of bulbs and lumens is only part of the decision-making process. You also need to know how to place
your lights to get the most out of them. For more information, read on.
Where Should You Place Your Lightbulbs in the Garage?
Whether you’re using a single bulb or several, it’s crucial that you know where to place them. In many
instances, it’s safe to say that the center of the garage is the best placement. You could use theTrilight
recommendation and fan the wings up at different angles to illuminate the entire room if you choose.
If you decide to go with theMulti-Point Illumination
Light, you can place the main hub in the
center of the ceiling. String the four other lights in different
directions, ensuring that they’re spread evenly with the cords held snug.
The most important part is to know where the light sockets are
located. If you don’t have any
through the ceiling of your garage, you should definitely consider hiring an electrician. If you can only
afford to wire one socket choose to place one right in the
center of the ceiling. This placement will allow you to place a
variety of bulbs to brighten up the garage.
Consider the following tips:
Think about different pieces of furniture, cars,
and anything else found throughout the garage. They’ll all cast a shadow or limit the area that’s illuminated by the bulbs. It’s wise to have your
lightbulbs right over a workspace to provide the brightest light
High ceilings are great because they allow you
to cover a wider area without focusing on one spot. When you have a
lamp that’s too close to the ground, it won’t cast a broad
light. Instead, you’ll have a dimly-lit room with an incredibly bright circle
on the ground or bench in your garage.
Garage lights are necessary if you want
to see anything in the room when the main door is closed. Choose a
quality light that will light the entire garage even when the garage door is closed. Choose a
motion-activated light if you want the luxury of the light turning on when you
enter from the large garage door or the small man door. This is a nice feature if you don’t always enter near the
light switch. Plus, it turns off automatically when you leave, saving money.
They’re quite simple, but you should know a few things before you purchase a garage
light. Here’s a list of considerations:
Always choose the right color. Brightness is
crucial; the “color temperature” of the light is equally important. “Daylight” or around 5000 kelvin is the best
to work by. Warmer lights (less than 4000 kelvin) are easier on your eyes but are better suited inside your
living room. Higher than 6000k light are considered “cooler” because they tend to have a blue tint. They can be
very hard on the eyes and aren’t useful for much. Our recommendation for the garage is about 5400 kelvin. Once
you have the color and lumens picked out, you can set a budget.
Don’t be afraid to get brighter lights. Some say
“you can never have too much light in a garage. Especially as you age. More light in a garage is generally a
good thing. Spreading that light into multiple locations is best. If you’re not sure how to do it, there’s a
quick guide in the next section.
Not all LEDs are made the same. You should check
out not only the color and lumens but the quality. Whether you’re getting a lightbulb with a coned covering or a
full-blown fixture like the ones mentioned above, different designs will play a huge role in how well the garage
is lit up.
Set a budget. Never go over the amount that you
intend on spending. You should be able to get a full garage lighting system for far less than $1,000. Anything
more than that will either be a waste of your hard-earned money or far too complex for a small garage. The only
exception to this suggestion would be if you had a large workshop.
Figure out where you’ll place the lights. As you
saw in the section about placements, you’ll be able to place the lightbulbs wherever you can find a light socket.
It’s not a bad idea to connect the lights to one another, creating a long strand to illuminate the entire
How to Measure Lumens
Many people think you can
measure lumens with a light meter,
but that is not possible. Lumens can only truly be
measured in a special tool called an Integrating Sphere. This tool captures the total
amount of light and measures it. Using a light meter
willonly measure LUX.
What is a Lumen?
The lumens definition is: “a unit of luminous flux in the International System of
Units, that is equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one-candela intensity
radiating equally in all directions.”
If you buy quality LED fixtures, there
is no maintenance. A quality LED fixture will use
high-quality LEDs, and they will use quality aluminum heat sinks to keep the LED cool and working well for years. If you buy cheap fixtures, the
only maintenance will be prematurely replacing them. Good luck with the warranty. Cheap copy lights on Amazon are all based in China and
willnot fulfill their warranty claims. Stick with high-quality USA
Mistakes are inevitable, so let’s review a few ways that you can avoid as many
problems as possible below.
Don’t buy cheap copy lights. Amazon is full of
cheap Chinese copy lights offering dishonest claims, unreal lumens, and unusable warranties.
Make sure you have enough lights set up around your garage. If you only have the opportunity to install one light, then make it a good one, like
the STKR Trilight. However, more points of light is always better.
LED is always the way to go; Don’t choose incandescent, halogen, or fluorescent if
you don’t have to. Homeowners often reach for these low-end bulbs because they
want to save money. Unfortunately, you’ll have to spend more on your utility bill and on bulb replacements making
them cost more in the long run.
As you can see, it’s fairly easy to avoid the most common issues with lighting up your garage. As long as you follow the plethora of helpful suggestions
from this page, you’ll be ready to work in your garage under the perfect set of lights.
Lumens are nothing more than a measurement of brightness. There’s no need to
complicate things. Just avoid false claims and buy quality lights that are safe for your home and garage. It is
always more expensive to hire an electrician, so opt for designs that utilize the fixtures you have.
Here’s a quick recap of the post:
LED lights are the best type of bulb for your
Electricians are expensive, so opt for designs that
utilize the fixtures you have.
Quality lights produce better light than cheap lights
with false claims
Anything can happen at any moment in time. Being prepared can make a major difference in how safe you remain during an emergency. It’s recommended that everyone has an emergency kit ready so that they are prepared anytime that the unthinkable happens.