DIY Garage Lighting Installation Cost

Tired of fumbling around in your poorly lit garage? Trust me, I’ve been there too. Having recently moved into a house with less-than-great garage lighting, I dove headfirst into researchlandia to sort out the best DIY solution.

This article is a compilation of all things Garage Lighting – from understanding basics like luminosity and fixture types, safety precautions, essential tools needed for installation onto simple actionable steps to install great lighting yourself.

Hang tight, you’ll transform your dingy workspace into a well-lit paradise soon!

Key Takeaways

  • LED lights are the more advantageous choice for garage lighting due to their durability, energy efficiency, suitability for colder temperatures, and longer lifespan compared to fluorescent lights.
  • Lumens measure the brightness of a light bulb, and choosing high-lumen fixtures ensures a well-lit garage workspace.
  • Garage lighting can be achieved through strip lighting or individual bulbs, with each option offering its own benefits in terms of energy efficiency, life expectancy, installation ease, suitable temperature range, and light distribution.
  • The three primary fixture options for garage lighting are recessed, hanging, and mounted lights. Each has its pros and cons depending on your specific needs and garage style.

Understanding Garage Lighting Basics

When it comes to choosing the right garage lighting, there are a few important factors to consider. Fluorescent and LED lights are two popular options, each with their own advantages.

Lumens and brightness levels should also be taken into account, as well as whether you prefer strip lighting or individual bulbs. Additionally, you’ll need to decide between recessed, hanging, or mounted fixtures depending on your garage’s layout and ceiling type.

Fluorescent vs. LED

When it comes to garage lighting, it’s important to compare and contrast the two commonly used types: fluorescent and LED. Here are some key differences:

  Fluorescent Lights LED Lights
Durability Fluorescent lights are made of glass tubing and are more prone to breakage. LED lights are more durable and are not easily broken.
Energy Efficiency Fluorescent lights consume more power and may increase your energy bills. LED lights are highly energy efficient and can help reduce your energy bills.
Temperature Sensitivity Fluorescent lights may not work well in cold temperatures, posing a challenge in some garages. LED lights are suitable for cold climates and will not be affected by extreme temperatures. This makes them a better choice for garages in colder regions.
Longevity Fluorescent lights have a shorter lifespan and require frequent replacements. LED lights have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent bulb replacements.

Given these factors, it’s clear that LED lights are a more advantageous choice for your garage lighting needs. They are reliable, cost-effective and offer better performance in different environmental conditions.

Lumens and Brightness

Lumens measure the total amount of visible light a bulb emits, making them a vital factor in garage lighting. It’s not about the wattage anymore; it’s all about lumens when we talk about brightness.

The higher the lumen count, the brighter your garage will be. LED lights are spectacularly effective in this regard – for example, the Sunco Lighting 2 Pack Industrial LED Shop Light emits an impressive 4,000 lumens and Barrina LED T5 Integrated Single Fixture delivers 2,200 lumens per light.

Opting for high-lumen fixtures ensures that every corner of your garage workspace is well-lit. Tailoring lumen output to suit your needs can help create an efficient and comfortable working environment without wasting energy or straining your eyes.

Strip Lighting vs. Bulbs

Garage lighting can be primarily categorized into two types: strip lighting and bulbs. Each has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, which are summarized below.

Features Strip Lighting Bulbs
Energy Efficiency Strip lighting, particularly LED strip lighting, is highly energy-efficient, cutting up to 90 percent of energy consumption compared to incandescent bulbs. Bulbs come in a variety of energy-efficient options like LED which also cut up to 90% of energy consumption.
Life Expectancy LED strip lights have a long life expectancy of over 10,000 hours. Bulbs such as LED ones can also offer a lifespan of over 10,000 hours, but incandescent bulbs only last around 1,000 hours.
Installation LED fixtures that screw into a basic light base are easy to install, and plug-in systems with simple clips can be easily installed throughout a garage. Bulbs, depending on their type, may require hardwiring into the garage’s electrical circuit, such as fluorescent bulbs.
Suitable Temperature Strip lights, particularly LED ones, are suitable for a wide range of temperatures. Some bulbs, particularly fluorescent ones, are not suitable for temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Light Distribution Strip lighting can provide even, widespread light distribution which is ideal for garages. Bulbs can also provide good lighting but may require multiple fixtures for even distribution.

Choosing between strip lighting and bulbs largely depends on your specific garage needs, personal preferences, and budget.

Recessed vs. Hanging vs. Mounted

When it comes to garage lighting, you have three primary fixture options: recessed, hanging, and mounted. Each has its own unique benefits and potential downsides, and the best choice really depends on your specific needs and the style of your garage.

Lighting Type Pros Cons
Recessed Lighting Recessed lights are installed in the ceiling, providing a clean, modern look. They’re great for garages with low ceilings, as they don’t hang down and take up space. LEDs are often used in this setup, offering energy efficiency and durability. Installation can be a bit more difficult, as you need to cut into the ceiling. Also, they may not provide as much light coverage as other options.
Hanging Lighting Hanging lights are suspended from the ceiling, often providing more general lighting coverage. They can work well in larger garages or spaces with higher ceilings. They can be in the way if your garage ceiling is low, or if you use your garage for activities that could potentially knock into them. Fluorescent lights are commonly used, but they don’t perform well in cold temperatures.
Mounted Lighting Mounted lights are attached to the wall or ceiling. This can be a versatile option, as you can aim the light in different directions. LED lights can be used, for their energy efficiency and performance in extreme temperatures. They may not provide as much light coverage as hanging lights, and installation requires drilling into the wall or ceiling.

Safety Considerations for Garage Lighting

When installing garage lighting, it is important to prioritize safety. Working with electricity can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. One of the main safety considerations is wearing non-conductive gloves and safety glasses throughout the installation process.

These protective gear will help protect against electrical shock and prevent any debris or particles from entering the eyes.

Another crucial safety measure is ensuring that the power source is turned off before starting any work. Switching off the breaker for your garage will cut off electricity supply and minimize the risk of electric shocks.

Additionally, it’s important to handle all wiring and electrical connections carefully and ensure they are securely fastened to avoid any loose or exposed wires.

By considering these safety measures, you can reduce the risk of accidents or injuries while installing your garage lighting. Stay safe and take necessary precautions when working with electricity to create a well-lit and secure workspace in your garage.

Essential Tools and Parts for Garage Lighting Installation

To successfully install garage lighting, you will need a set of essential tools and parts. These include a screwdriver, drill, ladder, electrical nuts for wiring connections, safety glasses, non-conductive gloves to protect against electric shock, and LED or fluorescent light fixtures depending on your preference.

Tool List

When installing garage lighting, it is important to have the right tools on hand. Here are the essential tools you will need for the installation process:

  1. Drill/screwdriver: This tool will be used to remove old fixtures and install new ones.
  2. Ladder: A sturdy ladder is necessary for reaching high areas where the lighting fixtures will be installed.
  3. Non-conductive gloves: These gloves provide protection against electrical shocks while handling wiring and fixtures.
  4. Safety glasses: Safety glasses protect your eyes from any debris or sparks that may occur during the installation process.

Parts List

To replace your garage lighting, you will need the following tools and parts:

  1. LED panel lights – these are recommended for their energy efficiency and brightness.
  2. Optional fluorescent panel lights – if you prefer a different type of lighting, you can choose these as an alternative.
  3. Drill/screwdriver – to remove the old fixtures and install the new ones.
  4. Ladder – for reaching high areas where the fixtures are mounted.

Step-by-Step Guide to Garage Lighting Installation

Switch off your garage’s breaker before starting the installation process. Then, carefully remove the old fixtures and install the new ones according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once everything is in place, flip the breaker back on to ensure that your new garage lighting is working properly.

Switch Off Your Garage’s Breaker

Switching off your garage’s breaker is a crucial step to ensure safety when installing new lighting fixtures. By cutting off the power supply, you prevent any risk of electrocution while working with electricity.

It’s important to wear safety gloves and glasses during this process to protect yourself from any potential hazards. Switching off the breaker effectively disconnects the power source for the old fixtures, allowing you to safely remove them and proceed with the installation of your new lighting setup without any electrical interference or danger.

Remove the Old Fixtures

To begin the garage lighting installation process, I needed to remove the old fixtures. This involved unscrewing the hardware that secured them to the ceiling and disconnecting the electrical wire nuts.

By removing these outdated fixtures, I was making way for new LED panel lights that would provide better illumination and enhance safety in my garage. It was a straightforward task that set the stage for upgrading my garage lighting system.

Install the New Fixtures

To install the new fixtures for your garage lighting, begin by connecting the wires of the new fixture to the existing electrical wiring. Use wire nuts to secure the connections and ensure they are tight.

Once the connections are secure, you can attach the new fixtures to the ceiling or wall using screws. If you’re installing LED strip lights, make sure to screw them in securely for stability.

Take care not to overtighten and damage any components. With the new fixtures properly installed, you can now enjoy brighter and more efficient lighting in your garage space.

Flip the Breaker Back On

To complete the installation of your new garage lighting fixtures, it’s time to flip the breaker back on. This is an important step as it restores power to your garage and allows you to test out the newly installed lights.

Remember, before flipping the breaker back on, make sure all the wiring connections are secure and double-check that everything is properly installed. Taking these precautions ensures a smooth transition when you turn on the breaker and brings your upgraded garage lighting system to life.

So go ahead and flip that switch with confidence!

Pro Tips for Garage Lighting Replacement

When replacing garage lighting, there are a few pro tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose LED lights: LED lights are energy-efficient and long-lasting, making them the ideal choice for garage lighting replacement.
  2. Consider brightness levels: Determine the lumens needed for your garage space to ensure sufficient lighting. This will depend on the size of your garage and the activities taking place inside.
  3. Opt for strip lighting: Strip lighting can provide even illumination throughout the entire garage, ensuring no dark spots or shadows.
  4. Use recessed fixtures for a sleek look: If you prefer a more streamlined appearance, recessed lighting fixtures can be installed flush with your ceiling.
  5. Position lights strategically: Place light fixtures near workbenches and other areas where task lighting is needed. This will enhance visibility and make it easier to work in your garage.
  6. Don’t forget about safety: Always turn off the breaker before working on any electrical components, and wear safety gloves and glasses to protect yourself from potential hazards.


In conclusion, installing new garage lighting can greatly improve the functionality and safety of your workspace. By following this step-by-step guide, you can confidently replace old fixtures with LED panel lights for better illumination.

Remember to prioritize safety by switching off the breaker and using the necessary tools and protective gear. Enjoy your newly lit garage!


1. What tools do I need for garage lighting installation?

Some essential tools you will need for garage lighting installation include a screwdriver, wire stripper, electrical tape, drill with bits, ladder or step stool, and a voltage tester.

2. How do I choose the right type of lighting for my garage?

When choosing the right type of lighting for your garage, consider factors such as the size and layout of your space, the level of brightness needed, energy efficiency options like LED lights, and any specific tasks or activities you plan to use your garage for.

3. Is it necessary to hire an electrician for garage lighting installation?

While it is possible to install garage lighting yourself if you have some knowledge of electrical work and feel confident doing so safely, hiring a licensed electrician is recommended to ensure proper wiring connections and adherence to local building codes.

4. Can I install motion sensor lights in my garage?

Yes, installing motion sensor lights in your garage can be beneficial as they provide convenience by automatically turning on when motion is detected and help save energy by ensuring that lights are only on when needed.

Let us know what you think of the information provided in this article.