When building a garage for commercial or personal use, much thought needs to go into what type of activity will be performed and how much space is needed. There are several home improvement and construction software programs that include a garage layout planner that will provide creative ideas to help with building the perfect workshop.
A software program that includes the garage layout planner will help with cabinet placement, floor layout and electrical diagrams. The program allows the user to move and adjust items, and in some cases, will provide a three dimensional view of the room once it is finished. This gives the user the opportunity to see if they like the way it looks before actually finishing the project.
Lighting and Electrical Diagrams
When using a garage layout planner, it is helpful to know where to place the lights so they offer the maximum amount of light without wasting energy. Proper placement will keep the garage from lookiing cluttered. It also helps to know which lights will work best for each activity. Long fluorescent fixtures work well when lighting large areas, but are often too much when used in a small, confined area.
With the right electrical diagram and knowledge of what types of lights work with each activity, a person can design a garage that is well lit, practical and energy efficient. along with the lighting, the user must also determine where electrical outlets should be placed and how many are needed to keep from overloading the garages’ circuits. The right diagram will also help in determining if a 220 outlet is needed. Individuals who weld or use large volume air compressors, may require a 220 outlet.
The right layout planner will help to create electrical and lighting diagrams for the outside of the garage as well. Outdoor lighting and outlets must be placed appropriately so they provide the maximum benefit without being in the way or posing an electrical hazard. Diagrams are also beneficial if lights are to be placed along privacy fences or driveways and sidewalks.
Types of Lighting
Once the garage layout has been decided upon, the next step is choosing the lights. Fluorescent and LED lighting are both popular for garage use and are extremely versatile. Both can be used with a variety of different fixtures and are energy efficient.
Fluorescent bar fixtures that are placed in the center of the workspace provide maximum general purpose lighting. Bar fixtures range in size from 12 inches to 12 feet and are suitable for both personal and commercial use. They work well in storage areas as well.
Drop lights can be pulled down to add more light to a specific area. This type of light is beneficial for working on cars, engines or other types of machinery. Once they are no longer needed, they can be drawn back up and will remain out of the way until they are needed again.
Smaller trouble lights can also be wired directly into the garage lighting diagram. These are even more versatile than the drop lights because they have a longer cord and can be placed exactly where they are needed. When no longer needed, they can be drawn back up. Unlike a drop light, a trouble light can be turned off when not in use.
Recessed lighting works well for worktables interior cabinet lighting. Recessed light fixtures can also be added to confined areas, such as closets where furnaces and water heaters are stored. When LED lights are used, they provide an abundant amount of light and will last several thousand hours, greatly reducing the need to constantly replace the bulb.
LED lights are environmentally friendly and can be used in the same ways as other types of bulbs. An LED bulb can last over 100,000 hours. LED lights are directional and will light a specific area. Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, send light in all directions and waste enormous amounts of energy. Unlike an incandescent bulb, LED lights remain cool to the touch and do not burn excessive amounts of energy by producing heat.
Using a garage layout planner will take the guesswork out of designing a garage or workshop. They provide an abundance of ideas and will help the designer avoid many of the mistakes that are commonly made, especially where lighting and electrical diagrams are involved.