In order to successfully convert a garage to a workshop, the homeowner has to know exactly what they want to accomplish. If they choose versatility over functionality, a general layout will work. Overhead shop lights placed over the open spaces will provide ample lighting but will do little to help illuminate small areas that are created for a specific purpose. Exploring garage layout ideas will help give homeowners suggestions as to what is available in the way of lighting and fixtures.
Assigning Each Area a Purpose
Garage shop layout plans will help a homeowner designate specific areas for each type of task. Having a picture of what they want to accomplish along with a shop lighting layout that details the best placement for light fixtures and electric outlets will help keep things organized. The right type of garage shop lights will be important, especially if highly precisioned work is to be done.
In most cases, if mechanical work is going to take place, leaving at least one of the bay areas in tact is preferable. Overhead shop lights and a drop down trouble light are the best options. Once the bay area has been established the key is figuring out what other activities will be performed in the garage, how much space they will take up and how much lighting will be needed in each area. For the most part, this is easily accomplished. The hard part comes with determining where to add outlets and the best location for the light fixtures.
The Perfect Light for Each Area
Once the area for each activity has been determined, the next step is to create a schematic that details where each light will be placed and where outlets are needed. The best shop lights for a garage vary depending on the type of activity or the level of security that is needed. In some cases, homeowners add dimmer switches to raise and lower the amount of light in the garage. This is most beneficial when track lighting is used.
When actual work is to be performed, brighter lights are needed. Long ballasts that use fluorescent bulbs can be found in lengths from two to twelve feet. These are ideal for large bay areas where working on cars often occurs.
LED and recessed lighting fixtures work well when placed under cabinets or over smaller areas where brighter, more direct light is needed. This type of lighting works well for drafting tables or areas where small machines and motors are repaired. They offer bright enough light for precision work and do not waste energy.
Smaller fixtures that offer direct lighting to a particular area illuminate only the area where work is being performed. These lights are often put on their own circuit or switch. Following this shop lighting layout, lights are left off when they are not needed. The switch only turns on the one or two lights that are needed to successfully complete the task at hand.
When it comes to outdoor garage lighting layout plans, using motion sensitive lights is extremely beneficial. The level of sensitivity is set by the homeowner and will cause the lights to turn on when motion is detected. The lights themselves can range from average wattage (60w to 75w) to the bright LED lights that are capable of lighting up an area several feet on either side of it. When the motion is no longer detected the lights will turn off after a specific amount of time.
Utilize Space Wisely
Utilizing space wisely is the key to having a garage that is highly functionally as well as versatile. Movable shelving units and work areas that can be collapsed and put away or work benches that can double as storage or counter space are ideal because they serve several purposes. The same is true for the wide open spaces within the garage.
If the homeowner wants to continue to use the area to park their vehicles, then the lighting chosen must be able to accommodate that. Overhead lighting, retractable drop lights, track lighting or recessed lights can be used and will work well no matter what purpose the garage is used for. Retractable lights that can be kept as close to the ceiling as possible and pulled down when in use will work well for mechanics who need closeup lighting in addition to the general fluorescent lighting.
When working on a workbench or a small counter top, the ideal lighting would be something that takes up as little space as possible. A small fluorescent light fixture that can be recessed into the bottom of an overhanging cabinet will allow maximum direct light without taking up the much needed workspace at counter level. In this situation, the light is out of the way and the homeowner doesn’t have to worry about hitting the light fixture or breaking a bulb.
Laying out a floor plan for a garage requires knowing what one wants to accomplish. Whether it is working on cars, rebuilding appliances, woodworking, creating a piece of art or any other type of activity, knowing how much space is needed and the type of lighting that is desired will determine how everything is laid out and how well things are organized.