Written By
Published Oct. 14, 2021

Proper garage lighting is critical. With all of those nooks, crannies, and hard-to-reach areas, a proper setup can illuminate virtually every square inch of your space and allow you to peer deep into your engine bay. Our recommendations below cover a wide range of styles from simple tube lighting to fanlike bulbs for better coverage. They are all evaluated along the lines of the number of lumens, brightness settings, color temperature, construction, and ease of use. Keep reading to check out our top recommendations for garage lighting, features, and answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Best Garage Lighting Reviews & Recommendations

The STRK Concepts Motion-Activated Garage Light is a bulb-based design that plugs right into your garage’s overhead sockets and delivers a total of 4,000 lumens, offering both ease of installation and excellent coverage for garages up to 300 square feet. Those lumens also translate to five times greater brightness than standard 60-watt light bulbs, but only uses 24 watts of power.

One of the biggest draws of this light is its motion-sensing tech, which can turn the light on or off. It automatically turns off after motion is not detected for 90 seconds, resulting in energy savings. Another important benefit is its adherence to OSHA guidelines and UL standards, which speaks to fire and electrical safety standards. Its 50,000-hour LED lifespan means it’ll practically last an entire lifetime without the need for replacement.

Specs
  • Brand STRK Concepts
  • Model 00342-2
  • Weight 1.2 pounds
PROS

Accurate motion sensing

Above-average 50,000-hour LED lifespan

Adheres to OSHA guidelines and UL standards

CONS

High cost

Design may not fit all garages

The Tanbaby LED Garage Light’s design is modeled similarly to the STRK Concepts light, but this one uses three adjustable aluminum LED heads and 100-plus bulbs for a total of 6,000 lumens. The light’s 6,000 Kelvin color temperature offers a neutral white with a tinge of blue, and the adjustable wings (up to 90 degrees) allow for full coverage and spotlight coverage where needed. Expect no blind spots with this one.

One of our favorite features with the Tanbaby LED Garage Light is its durability, and it dissipates heat using upgraded aluminum fins while also promising a 50,000-hour LED lifespan. An aviation aluminum build also allows it to take a bump or two. It is, however, designed for those garages and shops that are larger than 600 square feet, so if you have a smaller space, these lights may be too bright for your application.

Specs
  • Brand Tanbaby
  • Model E27-TGD01-PT
  • Weight 1.37 pounds
PROS

6,000 lumens

Excellent visibility

Sleek, fan-shaped design

CONS

May be too bright for smaller garages

Barrina’s LED Integrated Garage Light consists of a pack of six corded LED bar lights that can be connected together via snap joints. In total, they deliver 2200 lumens per bar on only 20 watts, while also saving up to 65 percent more energy compared to traditional fluorescent tubes. A 6,500 Kelvin color temperature also replicates natural daylight and offers outstanding all-around coverage.

The light’s construction is a combination of aluminum and polycarbonate, and it can set up plug-and-play style using the aforementioned snap joints and plugged into an outlet or hardwired to a wall switch. If you are looking for more natural-looking lighting for your garage, shop, basement, or similar area up to 200 square feet, this is an excellent choice.

Specs
  • Brand Barrina
  • Model T5
  • Weight 4.79 pounds
PROS

Up to eight bar lights can be connected together

Generous three-year unlimited warranty

Low power consumption

CONS

Cannot point tube lighting in a particular direction like fan-styled options

The Hykolity Linkable LED Shop Light features a bar-light style. The four LED bar lights work to deliver a total of 4,400 lumens, good for garages and shops up to 500 square feet. And these lights are versatile, able to be mounted directly to the ceiling or hung using the included chain pendants, which is a good option for garages with higher ceilings. One of its biggest pluses is its 5,000 Kelvin color temperature, which replicates natural daylight.

Another key consideration with these lights is its adherence to electrical safety standards, including ETL certification, which promises adherence to a long list of electrical safety standards as established by Electrical Testing Laboratories, an internally recognized certification firm. What’s not great is that the included screws for flush mounting aren’t the best in the world and might break upon installation.

Specs
  • Brand Hykolity
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 4.24 pounds
PROS

ETL certified

Durable aluminum and polycarbonate construction

Good for garages and shops up to 500 square feet

CONS

Included screws are not the most durable

The Lightdot Garage Bulb Light offers a combination of value and function, starting with a wide-angle design for full 360-degree coverage. Three adjustable LED panels contribute to a total output of 6,000 lumens, which is excellent for garages and shops up to 600 square feet. We like the fact each LED panel can be adjusted from zero to 90 degrees for coverage in a particular direction or full 360 coverage.

A 5,000 Kelvin color temperature also replicates natural daylight and is as close to neutral as you can get versus the yellow and bluish sides of the color temperature spectrum. We also like the light’s aluminum alloy housing and a cooling system for improved heat dissipation. It also has a 50,000-hour lifespan, which is above average for the class. Installation is on the easy side, attaching to any standard E26/E27 light socket.

Specs
  • Brand Lightdot
  • Model ‎LGL-100W
  • Weight 2.94 pounds
PROS

6,000 lumens

Adjustable LED panels for control of lighting direction

Replicates natural daylight

CONS

Design may turn off some users

How We Selected Garage Lighting

For this review, we researched and evaluated more than 20 garage lights, assessing them based on several factors, including style, lumen count, color temperature, and mounting options. Buyers should purchase garage lighting offering 1,000 lumens for every 100 square feet of space as this ensures adequate and even coverage. Additionally, color temperature is superbly important, with a 5,000 Kelvin color temperature offering more of a natural daylight feel versus the cool-white-based 6,000 and 6,500 Kelvin color temperatures.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look for 

Here are some of the more important criteria to consider when buying garage lighting.

Style

Our recommended garage light picks come in one of two styles: fan-shaped and bar lighting. Fan-shaped options use adjustable heads that can be pointed in one or multiple directions for focused lighting, good for workshops with tables. Bar lights are more traditional and aren’t able to be adjusted to one particular focus area. Choose from either option depending on the types of tasks you would regularly perform in a garage or shop.

Lumens

The higher the lumen count, the greater the brightness, and the larger the spaces, the more lumens needed. As a rule of thumb, 1,000 lumens is good for every 100 square feet of space. This translates to 500 square foot garages needing 5,000-6,000 lumens for adequate coverage.

Color temperature

Garage lighting typically comes in three color temperatures: 5,000, 6,000, and 6,500 Kelvin. A 5,000 Kelvin color temperature replicates natural daylight and offers softer lighting than 6,000 and 6,500 Kelvin color temperatures, which contain slightly greater blue hue. These typically fall in cool white territory and mimic more of a traditional hospital feel. For a comparison, expect a 5,000 Kelvin color temperature to look more neutral and a 6,000 Kelvin color temperature to look brighter overall.

Mounting options

All of our garage lighting options offer surface/flush mounts or are plugged into sockets, with select tube lighting using chain-style pendants for hanging. This is especially useful for garages and shops with higher ceilings.

FAQs

Q: Are LED garage lights worth it?

Yes. In general, LEDs last longer and save more energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Additionally, garages and shops are often tight spaces with nooks and crannies that traditional incandescent bulbs simply do not have the power to illuminate properly.

Q: Do LED garage lights get hot?

Yes. We recommend purchasing LED garage lights with ETL certification, which ensures it adheres to fire and electrical safety standards set by Electrical Testing Laboratories.

Q: Are 4,000 lumens bright enough for a garage?

It depends on the size of the garage. Purchase garage lighting good for 1,000 lumens for every 100 square feet of space. A 500 to 600 square foot garage can easily use 5,000-lumen fan-style or tube lighting for adequate coverage, even in the tightest of spaces.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best garage lighting, our choice is the STRK Concepts Motion-Activated Garage Light. It packs a powerful punch with a 4,000-lumen count (good for spaces up to 400 square feet) and uses motion-sensing technology to turn off 90 seconds after no motion is sensed, offering tremendous savings on your next electric bill. We also like its 50,000-hour LED lifespan, which is above average in an industry where 30,000 hours is the norm.

MORE TO READ