Realizing garage and workshop lighting in an energy-saving and cost-effective way is a difficult but not insurmountable task. Many people talk about lumens, lux, candela, efficiency, beam angle, luminous depth and illuminance. But what is really behind these terms and what do you need to equip a workshop / warehouse with good lighting?
We have often written about the best lighting of living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms on our blog. Unfortunately, the garage rarely gets such attention. However, this room also deserves a bit more analysis, as poor garage lighting can be frustrating.
What do you need for good garage, workshop, warehouse lighting?
When it comes to the illumination of a garage, workshop or an adjacent warehouse, the question always arises: “What is being done in the room?” Thus, it does not make sense to install lighting with dimmed light in a small parts warehouse, as this makes it more difficult for employees to search for small parts and thus wastes manpower and time. It also makes no sense to install daylight lighting in a warehouse where pallets are only moved intermittently.
As much as necessary, as little as possible
When it comes to lighting, you should always save on the right places in order to get the most out of the available space. Furthermore, attention should be paid to the illuminance that can be achieved with different light sources and luminaires in a workshop.
Where should you install garage lights?
In a garage, we usually need two types of lighting:
- General lighting
- Working lighting
General lighting consists of a handful of fixtures that illuminate the entire garage. Ceiling fixtures with diffused light are perfect for this application. It would also be advisable to get two points of light. This way, the front and the back will be evenly lit. Also, pay attention to the garage door. If it is open, it will block the ceiling light above.
In some garages, these lights are supplemented by task lighting. For example, let’s say that you repair electrical appliances as a second job. Then you need a workbench in the garage. To make this precise work easier, it would be advisable to get work lighting above the workbench. This could be, for example, ceiling lights or office lamps.
What light intensity do you need in a garage?
The minimum luminous intensity in a garage should be is 300 lux at a height of 0.85 meters / 2.78 feet.
Attention: this is a minimum value. In some areas you can easily require a higher light intensity. For example over the above mentioned workbench 500 lux. is not superfluous. The more precise the work becomes, the more light you need.
How bright should a garage/workshop be illuminated?
Light in a garage, workshop or warehouse is always a “must have”. The installation takes place shortly before completion and many save on proper lighting, because the budget was possibly already exceeded and there are also apparently cheaper variants.
But you should not try to save money on lighting. It makes more sense here to invest capital in efficient lighting and to reconsider the given budget. Money invested in the right lighting will come back to your own wallet or that of the workshop over the years.
Proper Garage Lighting is an Investment in the Future
As we have already seen above, the choice of the right illuminant is decisive for the illuminance achieved from the same electrical power. This is exactly the point of departure. It is not a good idea to go to the nearest hardware store, buy a damp-proof diffuser luminaire that happens to be cheap at the moment, and screw it to the ceiling without a care in the world. Even the best luminaire will produce poor results if used incorrectly.
What color of light do you need in a garage?
Apart from the light intensity, we also need to consider the light color. Since the garage is a functional space, we choose a cool white light. Then these are lamps whose color temperature is about 4000 K.
What lamps are best to use in a garage?
Until now, fluorescent tubes were the first choice for garage lighting. But times are changing. Nowadays, the so-called LED tubes are becoming more and more popular because they offer a few very interesting advantages:
- Fast start-up time
It always takes a little while before fluorescent tubes reach their full light intensity. This disadvantage does not exist with LED tubes. The fast start time is very convenient in a garage, where you often spend only a few moments.
- Energy saving
Do you spend long hours in the garage? Maybe because of a hobby? Then you will definitely be pleased to hear that LED lamps are much more energy efficient than fluorescent tubes. There is no doubt that this lower energy consumption is very interesting.
- Long life
Many people simply do not have time to replace broken lamps in their garage. Then they just go on without lighting. Fortunately, LED lamps have a much longer life. Some models can even burn up to 30,000 hours.
The Perfect Wiring and Sockets for the Garage
Most garages are not plastered on the inside. Built-up wiring in this case is nicer than the built-in version.
Therefore, use thin PCV tube, so that the flexible cables can still be pulled a little. With the help of the pipe clamps you can fix them against the wall.
Also get enough sockets in the garage. You never know when they might come in handy: for the compressor so you can pump up the bike tires, for recharging a screwdriver on batteries or for your electric bike.
Summary – The most important points at a glance:
- LED lighting saves energy and costs, has the longest service life and is available with protective devices.
- Provide bright ambient lighting (min. 500 lx)
- Illuminate work surfaces separately and with high luminosity
- Ensure cool color temperature (4,000 K or 6,500 K), low glare and high color rendering
- Ideal for basements, attics or garages: LED damp-proof luminaires or LEDs with IP65 level (protected against dust and water)
Why are LEDs suitable for garage lighting?
Luminaires with LED technology offer many advantages over conventional light sources such as fluorescent tubes or halogen lamps. They consume up to 70% less energy and thus save on electricity costs. In addition, their longer service life eliminates maintenance and replacement costs. Unlike halogens, whose reflector gets very warm, you cannot burn yourself on LEDs. So you won’t be disturbed by accidental, painful contact while working in the garage. LED lighting is also flicker-free, which makes it much easier to use than fluorescent tubes and does not cause secondary symptoms such as eye irritation or migraines.
LED damp-proof lights, which you can mount on the ceiling of your garage, also offer good protection against moisture. If there’s ever a little jolting while you’re working, you don’t have to worry: LEDs are insensitive to vibrations. If you have concerns about mounting them on high ceilings (for example, in the attic), LED tubes with shatter protection or a cover made of polycarbonate are ideal for your lighting design. This is a particularly shatterproof plastic that gives your luminaire added robustness.
For general well-being and health, LED lights are thus highly recommended – so, replace your old bulbs in your garage today!