The Best Garage Lighting – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

For some DIY-ers, you spend as much time in your garage as you do anywhere else in your house. Having the best garage lighting can make that easier on you.

Your garage is a great place to put your car out of the elements and it’s a great place to store a number of your gear and gadgets. It serves as storage for your lawn equipment, your kid’s outdoor toys, maybe even as your workshop. 

But without the best garage lighting it really can’t do any of those things well, can it? You find yourself stumbling around trying to find things because the lighting is poor or you feel like you’re blinded because it’s way too bright for that which it is lighting. Well, there’s a way around that.

Here we have our comprehensive list of the best garage lighting options for you and your second home. Let’s take a look.

Sunco Lighting Ceiling Fixture

​This ceiling fixture is actually Energy Star rated and works great for a garage, basement, workshop or just about anywhere else. Available in a 5000 daylight style or a 4000 cool white style, it’s great for just about any purpose.

The lights have a 5′ plug-in cord and attach via hooks in the ceiling because they each have links on the ends. This makes them simple to put up and simple to plug into your existing electrical, no wiring required. You also get no flickering and there’s no UV or mercury. As a result, it’s safer to have around your children.

You’ll get up to 50,000 hours and 20 years out of the lights themselves and they draw only 40 watts but are able to put out 120 watts of power.

If you need more than one in an area you don’t need to worry about attaching extra power cords because you can actually connect up to 4 of the lights themselves into a chain.

Everything you need to install them comes in the box and the lights themselves are designed to instantly turn on, so there’s no waiting period. The LED lights don’t need to heat up at all.

Things We Like:

  • Available in 5000 daylight or 4000 cool white
  • No UV or mercury
  • Lasts up to 50,000 hours or 20 years
  • Draws only 40 watts of power

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Metal clips may prove difficult for application

Barrina LED Single Fixture

This 6 pack of lights are designed to be super bright and work great in a shop, under a cabinet or on the ceiling in the main part of your building. They put out over 2200 lumens of power but use only 20 watts, so you’ll be able to save a great deal on your electric bill.

They’re even linkable so you can attach up to 6 of the lights in a sequence without needing to attach a power outlet to each one. You just plug in the first one in the chain and you’ll be ready to go just like that.

What’s really great is that these chains are plug and play, so you just plug it into the wall with the included plug and you’ve got lights.

They even connect to the ceiling easily with snap joints. Complete with a 3-year warranty you can trust that if there’s anything wrong the company is willing to take care of it.

These lights don’t take up a lot of space wherever you put them because they’re actually narrow but 4 feet long, so there’s plenty of light wherever you want them. They also work just how you want with the built-in on/off switch to make things easier. With a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours, these LED lights can definitely keep you going.

Things We Like:

  • Lasts up to 50,000 hours
  • Puts out over 2200 lumens
  • Uses only 20 watts
  • 3-year warranty included

Things We Don’t Like:

  • More prone to flickering (spooky)

JackyLED 5-in-1 Light Splitter

This unique light is actually a socket splitter and works with LED bulbs to give you a really unique but definitely useful light fixture anywhere you need it. If you already have the setup for a standard bulb you can use this fixture in place of the bulb.

All you do is screw it in the same way you would a light bulb and then screw in additional bulbs to each of the 5 outlets.

It works with LED, incandescent or CFL bulbs so you can use whatever you prefer and get the ideal amount of light. CE certified and PBT fireproof, this system is heat resistant up to 200 degrees and is 100% safe from any kind of electric flaming.

Because each socket is able to rotate 360 degrees and bends up to 180 degrees you get plenty of flexibility and versatility to the overall design. You can direct the light wherever you need it and you’ll have no problem using these lights in any room of your house.

Even better, there’s a 60-day money back guarantee that says you will definitely love these lights or you can get your money back or get a new light fixture. All you need to do is pick out your own light bulbs and you’ll be ready to go, plus, because it fits into your current fixture, you don’t need to worry about wiring.

Things We Like:

  • Converts light insert from 1 to 5
  • Works with LED, incandescent and CFL bulbs
  • Heat resistant to 200 degrees
  • Rotates 360 degrees and bends 180 degrees
  • Very affordable

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Doesn’t cover as large of an area as other options
  • Not meant for larger garages

Striker Concepts Motion Activated Ceiling Light

This is another pretty unique looking light fixture but it’s definitely one you’ll want to look at closer because it’s going to give you the right amount of light.

All you have to do is screw it into an existing space for a light bulb and you’ll get 3000 lumens. That means you’ll have more than 3.8 times the amount of brightness that you would get from a traditional 60 watt light bulb.

You’ll only need to use 24 watts of power as well, which is a great way to save money and be more energy efficient.

Completely motion activated, you don’t need to worry about switches or plugs when you need the light. All you do is walk into the room and it’s ready to go. The LED heads are made of aluminum and provide a flood of bright light that lets you get to any task you need.

They also perform for over 50,000 hours. Made to surpass UL standards and SGS certification, these lights are safe to use in your home and are made by a company that’s based in the United States. This lightweight fixture is easy to install and doesn’t require any kind of wiring.

Things We Like:

  • Provides 3000 lumens
  • Over 50,000 hours
  • Meets or exceeds UL and SGS standards
  • No wiring needed
  • Motion detecting elements

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Uses power than other models
  • May rack up your bill a bit

FrenchMay Linkable LED Shop Light

Our final option is a simple design garage light that attaches with chains to your ceiling joists. From there, you have 5000 daylight power in these LED lights. It offers 4800 lumens in each 4 foot light as well, which is plenty for you to get your next project done.

 All you have to do is plug it into the current outlet and you’ll be ready to go by just pulling the attached daisy chain. The whole thing is plug-and-play with no flickering and no process to the install.

You can use them at low temperatures, even 4 degrees below zero, and they come with a 5-year warranty. Because of the design, it’s also durable and made to last up to 22.8 years.

Just plug it in for your workshop, garage, utility room, storage space or anything else and you’ll be able to see anything and everything you could possibly need.

Things We Like:

  • Provides 4800 lumens
  • 4 foot light
  • No flickering
  • Works well in low temperatures
  • Made to last up to 22.8 years

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Requires pre-drilling for the holes for the clips
  • Creates radio-frequency interference 

Garage Lighting Features that Matter

There are a number of different types of lights out there to choose from and in your garage and you can use just about any of them. It’s going to be a matter of personal preference for the most part, but it’s also going to be a matter of how large the garage is, what you’re going to be doing there and how you want to set things up. 

Here are some of the factors to put into consideration when choosing which option is the best garage lighting for you.

Considering the fixtures can also be beneficial to you as well.


The number one thing that matters most is what you’re actually doing in that particular space. If you’re just going to park your car in the garage then general lighting, such as fluorescent fixtures, can be the best option.

They’re simple to install, provide enough light to see by, and they’re inexpensive as well. For those who use the garage for their workshop, special task lighting may be essential. These could be small lights that fit just over one machine or section or larger ones that fully illuminate the entire area.

Different Types of Lights

Fluorescent lights are energy efficient and very easy to install as well as being extremely bright (or as bright as you want them to be). Because of this, they can be the best option for your garage lighting.

High-Intensity lights can be better for security purposes, however, as they can be quite intense and focused.

An LED light is bright, efficient and lasts a long time, but they can be quite expensive, especially in the large sizes that you would need for a garage.

An incandescent light is not as powerful, is not energy efficient and tends to last a shorter amount of time than the rest of these, but it’s the least expensive option.

Electronic vs. Electromagnetic Ballasts

If you do get fluorescent lights then you need to look at the specific ballasts that come with the lights. Electronic ones are able to start even when the temperatures get really cold (lower than 0 degrees Fahrenheit).

On the other hand, electromagnetic ballasts may be unreliable when the temperature gets less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Color Rendering Index

Take a look at the color rendering index (CRI) of the bulbs that you’re looking at. The higher the index the more true to life your colors are going to be. 

That means without any natural light you’ll be able to see the color as close to what it actually is as possible. A lower CRI means that you could have difficulty matching colors or knowing the exact color you have if you’re using the space for any type of work.

 Especially if you’re going to be painting or staining you need to know what your colors are before you get the project outside.

Power Capability

Consider just how you turn on your new lights as well. Some lights have a switch, pull cord or button that turns them on. Others may be motion activated. It’s going to be up to your personal preference how exactly you turn on your garage lights.

If you want them to be ready for you as soon as you walk in or pull in then motion activated is the way to go. If you prefer to save a little on electricity you can turn on only the lights you need, when you need them.

Wrap Up

Your garage is your domain. When it comes to making yourself as comfortable and productive as possible, lighting is an essential aspect of this. Whether it be when you’re working at your station or using risky equipment such as a table saw or something of an equally unsafe caliber, you’re going to need that extra lighting.

If you only need a space to store your vehicle then basic lighting may be the way to go. If you need something that you can easily work in with power tools then more specific task lighting may be essential.

Create a full plan for your garage and what it’s going to be used for and then start searching for your next garage lights based on your new plan.

Our personal choice for the best garage lighting for all projects is the Sunco Lighting Ceiling Fixture.

About Gus Donaldson

I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

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