When determining the appropriate garage lighting layout, the first thing that must be considered is where prime work areas will be. This will determine where specific types of lights will need to be placed. Specific lights for garage tasks should be considered such as drop lights, recessed lighting and track lighting. Each type of lighting can have several functions ranging from low light to bright spot lights for tasks that require the ultimate level of precision.
Know Your Work Areas
Each work area will need a specific type of light. Large open areas will do well with general lighting. Knowing the best fluorescent lights for garage tasks will help find the ones that offer the most light without taking up a lot of space. Fluorescent light fixtures can be attached to the ceiling or recessed into the ceiling to allow for more room. These types of fixtures can also be hung from chains or pulleys that can be raised or lowered as needed.
Creating a garage lighting layout that accounts for work benches and counter tops is important. Small work areas are just as important as larger, open areas. While larger areas work well with generalized lighting, small areas are normally where more intricate tasks are performed. This type of precision work needs some type of garage track lighting to provide adequate amounts of light for those particular tasks.
Lighting designed for countertops include small fluorescent fixtures and small recessed lights that are built directly into cabinets. Lights used for areas designed for close up work often come equipped with dimmer switches so the light can be increased or decreased as needed. Adjusting the amount of light that is available can prove to be useful if a low light source is needed.
Lights can also be placed within the counter top itself to create a light board that allows for drafting and design work. Depending on the nature of work to be performed, there are several styles of garage lighting that cannot only prove to be functional, but stylish as well. A little fore thought when it comes to the layout and design of the
Spot or Drop Lighting
When designing a garage lighting layout, it may be a good idea to consider a drop or spot light in the center of the ceiling. Spots or drop lights are retractable. When not in use, they can be raised up so they are out of the way. When they are needed, they can be pulled down and their light directed to wherever it needs to be. This is ideal for mechanics or individuals who make specialized repairs to vehicles or various types of lawn equipment.
General lighting normally consist of the long fluorescent light fixtures that provide ample amounts of light to illuminate the entire garage. Lighting layouts can include any type of light resource, including natural lighting. It also includes the placement of light fixtures where they will provide the maximum amount of light while using the least amount of energy.
Fluorescent bulbs replaced incandescent bulbs in the past when it came to energy efficiency. While they produce an abundant amount of light with minimal energy usage, they have been surpassed by LED lights. LED lighting systems use much less voltage while produce several times more light than even the strongest fluorescent bulbs. LED lights are also environmentally friendly because they do not contain toxic materials.
Track lighting systems work well for providing general lighting to a large space. The tracks can be placed along walls, counters, cabinets and in the center of the largest area to provide adequate lighting to all areas of the garage. Track lights can use different types of bulbs. Energy efficient, spiral fluorescent bulbs burn for long hours and provide a softer light than other forms of lighting. LED lights can also be used in different track lighting systems.
Designing the Garage Lighting Layout
If renovations are being performed, it may be a good idea to find out how the lights were originally laid out. This will help determine the best places to run the wires and place the fixtures. By using previous diagrams, a homeowner may be able to use some of their ideas when creating a new and improved work area.
Make notes as to what type of lighting will work best in each area. There is no written rule that states only one kind of lighting system can be used when designing a garage or work area. Large fluorescent lights may be the best idea for the center area, while track lighting may work best around the cabinets. Recessed lights are ideal for under the cabinets.
Dimmers, timers and motion activated lights can also be incorporated into the layout. Dimmer switches make it easy to save electricity. Being able to dim the lights allows a person to be able to see without having to have the lights up to full brightness when walking from the exterior door to the inside door. Timers are a good idea if a homeowner wants to make others think someone is actually in the house, even when they are gone on vacation or away for the weekend.