Garage Ceiling Light Fixtures

When it comes to garage lighting, most folks consider that an incandescent bulb or maybe a fluorescent fixture is sufficient. However, a garage can have many uses and very little thought goes into lighting for most of them. Even such a simple task as parking the car and walking into the house can be compromised by poor lighting design. Bumping into low shelves, tripping over toys and many other common accidents could be avoided with proper garage ceiling light fixtures and a little planning.

The process starts by first recognizing the difference between wattage and illumination. A hundred watt incandescent bulb draws one hundred watts of power from the electrical outlet. That is how the number is assigned. The bulb consumes one hundred watts and is only indirectly related to how much light is given off, measured in lumens.

A standard hundred watt bulb gives off about 1,740 lumens. By comparison, a pair of four foot fifty four watt fluorescent tubes, the type commonly found in garage ceiling light fixtures, can provide anywhere between 5,000 to 8,800 lumens, depending on the design. That is a considerable difference in efficiency, which is one of the major reasons fluorescent lighting are so much cheaper to use.

In many garages, that ordinary two tube fluorescent light fixture may well be adequate, but only just. Any garage with shelves, corners, and most especially, a workbench, will need much more.

As in any other area of the home, there are three types of lighting: ambient, task and accent. Accent lights are just what they sound like, lights used to highlight some feature, such as a decorative wall painting. Ambient light provides the overall illumination for the room. Task lights are especially important in a garage that is used for anything more than just to store the car.

Even something as simple as storing tools and toolboxes, gardening supplies and the like will benefit greatly from task lights. Imagine going into the garage to pull out the right chemical and grabbing weed killer instead of plant food. That means a trip back to the garage for the right stuff. Grab a flat head screwdriver instead of a cross point head and you have the same problem.

Good ambient light is still important, though. No one should have to feel their way around the garage to avoid bumping into things. Slips and falls are more common in the garage than they are on indoor floors, even though both are about equally slick. Installing lights that provide good ambient light are a small investment to minimize that risk.

Finally, although it is rarely a consideration, a garage too creates a mood. Compare the dark hole of many home garages to the well-lit atmosphere of a professional car dealership garage. Safety is one factor but having lights to lift the spirits is just as important, especially since many garages have few or no windows.

Design a lighting scheme for the garage with the same attention to goals as you would any other room in the house. If you spend time there, it is worth lighting right.

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