18 Types Interior Garage Lighting: Which One Most Suits For Your Home?

If you’ve ever tried to work on a car in the dark, you know it can be frustrating. And that’s just one situation where lighting is important. Interior garage lighting plays an integral part of the home or business and should never be overlooked when designing your space.

There are many different types of interior garage lights that have specific purposes such as accenting a particular feature, outlining an object for safety, or providing general light inside the building. The following list will give you 18 common these various types of interior garage lights:

Recessed and surface-mounted fixtures

Indirectly mounted lights are great when wanting to just provide general light in a room for safety purposes without drawing too much attention to the fixture itself.

Surface-mounted fixtures can also be used as pendants or hung from the ceiling and provide a great variation of other types of fixtures.

Light bars and stripes

Light bar can be used to highlight a particular object or architectural detail in the space. It's usually positioned directly above the object, either suspended from a ceiling rafter or mounted on the wall, but may also span across multiple walls as well.

In most cases, the light bar is self-contained and may have its own switch or power source. Light strips are used for general fixtures that span around a room above eye level.

Shop Lights

Shop lights  are typically on the smaller side and usually don't have a light bar. They're designed to be portable, so mounting them isn't always an option (i.e., woodworking projects) or convenient (i.e., changing light bulbs) and thus need to be moved.

Another great use is to hang shop lights from the ceiling in places where you don't have mounting space or want to eliminate as much task lighting as possible, like a garage work bench .

Recessed wall sconces

Sconces can be a great opportunity to bring some extra light and design into your garage. Sconces work best if you are looking for drama or decorative lighting that accentuates the architecture of the garage itself.

Customize them with colored glass and high-end bulbs for an added touch, making sure they don't get too hot in the process.

Wall-mounted fixtures with downlights

Wall-mounted fixtures with downlights  are typically mounted around the perimeter of a room and act as more general overhead lighting.

With today’s technology, fixtures can be independently controlled on an individual basis by installing a separate electrical circuit dedicated to that fixture. That way, you can turn off one light while leaving others on if desired. However, most residential homeowners opt for wall-mounted lighting to have a more uniform look and feel.


Track-lighting  is a great way to highlight a particular object, such as an antique car or motorcycle, within the space. Oftentimes, these fixtures are used in utility rooms with lower ceilings where the light source has to be positioned above eye level for maximum effect.

There are generally two types of track-lighting, linear and helical. Linear is typically used to highlight a particular feature (i.e., car) while helical is better for general illumination purposes.

Task Lighting

A great way to get some task lighting in different parts of your garage is with portable task lamps . Find the spots you need light, then pick fixtures that will best illuminate them.

For instance, if you want more light under your car during those early morning oil changes , go for a bright desk lamp with a long neck. If you have to stand at a workbench and need full illumination of the area, consider an adjustable standing lamp with a tall pole and wide light-source.

Recessed ceiling lights

Recessed ceiling lights are essentially the same thing as a track-lighting fixture discussed above, except that they hang from your garage’s overhead joists.

The benefit of recessed ceiling lights is that they provide a more diffused, uniform type of lighting over an area. One disadvantage to this type of fixture is that it can be harder to get the desired placement due to limited hardware for attachment and installation.

However, there are also some decorative types with built-in downlights (i.e., ovals and semi-circles) that can get you more creative with your installation.

Construction lights

You can use construction lights for temporary lighting needs while you’re working on something in your garage. However, if you’re doing a major renovation or remodel of your garage, you might want to look into permanent fixture replacements instead.

One of the most obvious differences between construction lights and more standard fixtures is the fact that they're only meant to be used temporarily. Because of this – and because they're typically free with the purchase of new construction materials – they are relatively inexpensive.

Aside from this, there isn't much to differentiate a standard fixture and a temporary one. You get the same basic bulb size (usually between 60w and 100w), design options, ease of use and installation process when choosing between a permanent or temporary fixture.

Flush Mount Lighting

Flush mount interior ceiling lighting fixtures are designed to be mounted into the drywall of your garage.  They can be installed by anyone with minimal skill and knowledge with a drill/driver or screwdriver within an hour or two at most – if you already have wiring in place.

However, given that they're hanging from wires attached to the ceiling, they can be more prone to vibration-related issues resulting in humming or flickering lights. If you have an existing home with hardwood flooring, these types of fixtures might not be suitable for your installation given their propensity for vibration and resonance.

If the thought of potentially unreliable lighting seems like a huge risk to you – and it would to me as well – you should consider a more stable fixture.

Fluorescent lighting

Fluorescent light fixtures are very common in shops and garages where more specialized or intensive work is being done, such as auto repair.  If you have a large project you’re taking on that requires frequent changes in lighting levels throughout the day, you might want to consider fluorescent lighting.

The benefit of using a fluorescent bulb is that they’re able to produce light with less energy than most incandescent bulbs. This makes them more affordable and eco-friendly while making them last longer than their high-wattage counterparts.

On the negative side, fluorescent bulbs are more prone to flickering and buzzing, which can be distracting during longer work periods.  Fluorescent bulbs also take a while to reach their full output, so you should factor this into your planning – especially if you’re looking for brighter light.

LED lighting

LEDs are the brightest of all the bulb types discussed here: they can produce up to 100 lumens per watt in the right configuration.  They’re slightly more expensive than fluorescent bulbs, but they can last significantly longer – up to 20 years or more if properly cared for and installed.

What differentiates LEDs from other types of lightbulbs is their low-wattage costs and ability to produce bright light while drawing very little power from your electrical system.  They do this by using a completely different type of technology than other bulbs, which results in brightness that some people find lacking in warmth.

If you prefer something with more natural color quality (and the way your eyes are used to), you might want to consider another form of light.  LEDs are excellent for brightness and efficiency though, so they're great for garages that require continuous light or high-output lighting throughout the entire structure.

High Bay Lighting

High bay lighting fixtures are designed to be used in large, open spaces like garages.  They're very flat with a shield surrounding the bulb and they hang down from track lighting at about 12-18 inches above the ground.

One of the drawbacks associated with high bay lights is that they use more power than smaller fluorescent or LED bulbs.  They also aren't designed to be used as general lighting, so they’re meant to provide supplemental light in larger areas instead of being the main source of illumination.

They've got several benefits though: their large size allows them to produce more light while using less energy than other types of bulbs, making them one of the more efficient types of lighting out there.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs produce the most light per watt and can be used to provide general, ambient lighting in your garage.  Their biggest drawback though is their high-wattage usage requirements: you'll need a separate circuit just for your lights unless you're going with something more efficient like fluorescent or LED bulbs.

In order to properly use incandescent bulbs in your garage, you'll need to research the load of the lighting circuit - how much power it uses on average.  You can then determine if a light fixture with more wattage could be used instead without exceeding the capacity of your circuit.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs produce similar light quality to incandescent bulbs but can also produce a very intense flame-like appearance when dimmed.  They use less energy than their incandescent counterparts, which makes them more cost effective in the long run and better for you in terms of your power bill.

One drawback is that you'll need specific light fixtures to accommodate their heat.  If you opt for something like track lighting, this won't be a problem.  You'll just need to make sure the fixture is rated for halogen bulbs and follow the manufacturer's recommendations for bulb placement.

Sensor-activated lights

Sensor-activated lights are a great alternative to CFL bulbs, since they can be used anywhere in the garage. They provide superior brightness and are available for most any type of bulb base, making them very easy to install. They've also got some drawbacks though: they're more expensive than both incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and don't last quite as long, on average.

The good news is that sensor-activated lights have a high lumen per watt rating and can produce  excellent brightness equivalent to the output of incandescent bulbs, making them very energy efficient as well.

They're also available in an assortment of different colors - including natural white, which helps simulate the color quality you’d find with incandescent bulbs. In addition to all of this, there are many different makes and models available and the ability to control them wirelessly via remote or smartphone app.

Chandelier light fixture

Chandelier light fixtures provide an excellent option for adding ambient lighting to your garage. They've got a high lumen per watt rating compared to other types of bulbs and will produce a brighter, more uniform light than CFLs or fluorescent lights.  They also last longer - up to 20,000 hours in some cases - making them a very cost effective lighting choice.

While they provide excellent light quality, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of: chandelier lights are expensive and may obstruct things like doors or garage door openers.  If you're looking for something that's going to cover a larger area with more uniform and brighter light output, check out the other options on this list.

Troffer lighting

Troffer lighting can be a very effective way of producing the brightness and uniformity you need to make your garage more functional.  They have some drawbacks, though: they're less energy efficient than most other types given their lumen per watt rating, and will generally cost more to install as well. They also take up considerably more space than the other lighting options on this list.

Conversely, they have a longer lifespan than many of the other types of bulbs out there and will produce excellent brightness and uniformity in addition to lasting for up to 20 years or more.  They're also available in a variety of different color temperatures, giving you an excellent selection to choose from.


What should I consider when buying my next light fixture?

It's important to make sure you've got enough brightness to be able to do everything you need to do in your garage.  You'll also want the lights to have a consistent, uniform level of illumination so that you know exactly where your cars and tools are at all times.  

You'll also want to make sure you're getting a bulb that's rated for the use you plan on putting it through, as that will help extend its lifespan and save money on repairs.

How can I know exactly how much wattage my  lights need?

A good rule of thumb is that you should multiply the length and height of the area you're trying to light by 20 to get the number of watts you'll need.  You can further fine tune this estimate based on whether or not there's a lot of stuff in your garage.

What kinds of bulbs should I be looking to purchase for my garage lighting?

It's best to stick with LED or high output halogen bulbs.  These bulbs will generally produce the largest amount of brightness and are also very efficient, making them a great choice. In addition, they don't generate as much heat as many other types of bulbs.


Because our purpose to write this article is to make people who read this can understand and find inspiration related to the Types Interior Garage Lighting on their own cars or motorbikes they have, and hopefully the article can provide benefits to all of you and can help you get what you want better.

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