Upgrading Your Garage Lights to LEDs: The Definitive Guide
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Upgrading Your Garage Lights to LEDs: The Definitive Guide

There are many modifications you can make to your garage. An essential one is changing the lights that you use there. The type of lights you use can increase your power consumption and raise your power bill. An excellent choice is LED lights. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and produces light 90% more efficiently than other light sources. That means solar garage lights

 use a lot less power to create the same amount of light produced by incandescent bulbs or fluorescent tubes, for instance.

Benefits Of LED Lights

Long Lifespan

While an ordinary incandescent bulb can work for 1000 hours, LED garage lights have a lifespan of 50,000 hours. That makes them long-lasting and great value for your money. Bear in mind that you also save money on maintenance and replace costs compared to other types of lights.  

Energy Efficiency

LED lights are more energy-efficient than traditional light sources. Energy efficiency in light bulbs is measured using lumens which refer to the amount of light produced for each unit of power used by a light source. If you replace your garage lights with LED garage lights, you will notice an improvement in energy efficiency just like your energy-efficient garage freezer would. That will also lower the amount of money you pay for power in your home.

Eco-friendly

LED lights are eco-friendly and help reduce your carbon footprint. They are a good choice as they will help you lower your power consumption and bill too.

Operate In Cold Conditions

Conventional lights do not do well in cold conditions, meaning when the temperatures drop, they dim. It can be frustrating to look for items in your garage with dim light during the winter. LED lights will shine bright and not use up more power than they usually do. You will be able to see every corner of your garage.

Minimal Heat Or Uv Emission

Incandescent bulbs can get very hot when you are using them. These bulbs turn most of the energy they use into heat and use only a tiny percentage to light your garage. LED lights do not give off heat or produce UV rays. Some medical experts see them as a solution for Seasonal Affective Disorder which affects several people in the darker months. If you spend a lot of time in the garage during winter, consider using LED garage lights.

Design Flexibility

LED lights are tiny, which means you can use them in a variety of ways. They are used to create bulbs, indicator lights, and Christmas lights. That means if you are looking for creative light in your garage, you can find the perfect LED lights to use.

Instant Lighting

Garage lights should come on instantly and be able to withstand frequent switching. If you have metal halide lamps, you have to allow them to warm up, while fluorescent lights tend to flicker when you turn them on. You can say goodbye to these problems by replacing your light with LED light bulbs.

Low Voltage Operation

LED lights use nominal voltage, which makes them very safe to use in your home. If you live in an area prone to flooding, this is an excellent choice for your garage.

Best LED Lights for Garage Use

Tanbaby LED Garage Light

Tanbaby LED Garage Light comes with three ultra-bright, adjustable LED light heads. It has a modern, stylish look and is made with aviation aluminum which makes it light. You do not need to put in new wiring for this product as you can use it to replace your old bulb, and it will work perfectly. The adjustable lights ensure that you can light every corner of your garage.

Pros

  • This bulb is easy to install, and you will not need to hire an electrician to rewire or modify your wiring. You can screw it into your light fixture.
  • It is adjustable, which means you can customize it to your garage’s lighting needs.
  • Its light remains bright for a long time and does not start to fade with extended use. Even after using the same light for two years, you will find that it is as bright as when you bought it.

Con

  • The Tanbaby LED garage light is not equipped with motion sensors.

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Linkable LED Shop Light By Hykolity

The Linkable LED Shop Light has very high energy efficiency at 105 lumens per watt. They are lightweight and shatter-resistant. They, however, take a bit longer to install and require that you have a socket to plug them in your garage. That said, you can link as many as you like, so you only need one socket to light up your entire garage. They are excellent if you have a large garage as you can buy several at a pocket-friendly price.

Pros

  • They are very bright and offer excellent energy efficiency.
  • They are available at a reasonable price that offers excellent value for your money.
  • They are lightweight and shatter-proof.

Cons

  • You may have problems flush mounting these lights as the screws are of low quality. You can use the hooks instead, and you will have an easier time.

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Lohas LED Light Bulb

These light bulbs are an excellent choice for your garage if you are looking to replace your incandescent bulbs. They use 12 watts to produce 1200 lumens, which means they are very energy efficient.

Pros

  • They save energy and are an excellent choice to replace 75W incandescent light bulbs. They are brighter but only use 12W to light up your garage.
  • They are easy to install, and you only need to screw them into the fixture like your incandescent bulb.
  • These bulbs do not produce UV light and do not have mercury or lead in them. That makes them an excellent choice if you are going green in your home.

Cons

  • They are not dimmable.

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LED Garage Lights By Huttoly Runparts

This Huttoly LED light is made of aluminum and uses 60W to produce 6000lm. It is adjustable such that it can provide 360-degree lighting in your garage. It has a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours and has fast heat dissipation.   

Pros

  • Easy to install, you can install it the same way you do an ordinary bulb.
  • It is durable as it is made of high-quality PC material.
  • It is adjustable, which means you can use one or two of these lights to light your garage, depending on its size.
  • This product is reasonably priced and gives value for your money.

Cons

  • This light is not waterproof, so ensure that your garage has no leaks; otherwise, the water will damage it.

Installing Garage Lights

You can choose to install LED bulbs or tubes. Bear in mind that if you have fluorescent tubes in your home, it is advisable to buy tube LED lights instead of bulbs. Here are the steps to Install both.

Installing An LED Bulb

  • Remove the old bulb and take your new bulb out of its packaging. Bear in mind that different LED lights on sale today require screw-on installation, so you can use these steps to install them too.
  • Place the LED bulb in the lighting fixture and screw it in like you would a traditional bulb. Ensure that you turn it slowly so you do not damage the bulb or the light fixture. Make sure you make it as tight as possible.
  • Avoid squeezing the bulb as that could break it.
  • Turn on the light and ensure that your new light works.

Installing An LED Tube

  • Remove the old tube from the fixture after turning off the lights and switching off the power on your main switch. Handle the fluorescent tube with care as fluorescent tubes contain small amounts of mercury.
  • Check whether the fixture has a magnetic or electronic ballast. If it has a magnetic ballast, the light will flicker when on, or you will hear a light buzzing sound. You can also take a picture of the light when it is on, and if you see black stripes, it is magnetic, and if it is clear, the ballast is electronic.
  • Make sure that you remove the electronic ballast to protect your new LED tube. To do that, disengage the wires for the electronic ballast, remove it, then connect and insulate the cables to create a circuit.
  • It would help if you considered bypassing or removing the magnetic ballast. Removing the starter is another option as most LED tubes come with their starter to ease installation.
  • Connect the LED tube to your lighting fixture, ensuring that you match the live and neutral connections in the tube to the lighting fixture.
  • Check that the LED light is instalLED correctly and that there are no loose wires, then turn on the lights. Bear in mind that LED lights do not produce a buzz or flicker, so if yours does, switch off the light, remove the tube and reinstall it.
  • Please dispose of the old tubes correctly; do not put them in your household wastebasket; instead, send them to a local recycling company.

Factors To Consider When Choosing LED Lights For Your Garage

Here are essential factors to consider when choosing LED lights for your garage.

Type Of Lighting

There are three types of lighting you can choose from;  accent, task, and ambient. You can install task lighting if you do detail-oriented tasks in the garage, accent lights if you display prized trophies in your garage, or ambient lighting if you want to walk around your garage comfortably. Ambient lighting should be bright to ensure that you do not trip and is great if you store items in your garages, such as Christmas decorations or tools. You can also use adjustable LED lights that provide a 360-degree angle light for your home.

Brightness

You do not want light in your garage that is dim as it puts you at risk of trip and fall injuries. The dim lights can also make the room scary for the younger members of your family. LED lights are generally bright but make sure that the lights you buy are at least 3500 lumens. You can purchase dimmable lights if someone in your home suffers photosensitivity. The idea is the higher the lumens, the brighter the light. If you want to know how much light you need for your garage, experts recommend 50 lumens/square feet for ambient lighting, 75 lumens/square feet for accent lighting, and 300 lumens/square foot for task lighting.

Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of your lights ensures that you save money you spend on power. If, for instance, your new LED bulb uses 10 watts to produce the same lights as a 60-watt conventional bulb, it will save you money. You should buy LED bulbs for your garage even if you do not spend a lot of time in it. LED tubes and bulbs do not give off heat, making them perfect for small spaces and do not contain harmful chemicals as traditional lights do.

Color Temperature

Make sure that the light you buy has a color temperature of between 4000 to 7000 Kelvins. Lamps with a lower temperature make your garage look dim, and you will strain your eyes when working in there.

Size Of The Garage

You need to consider the size of your garage when buying LED lights. For instance, you will need more than one light to sufficiently light it if you have a two-car garage. If you use one light, you will have many shadows that can result in accidents when walking around. You can use your garage door size and count to estimate your garage size.

Installation

Make sure that the light you choose is easy to install to avoid incurring further costs. If you have a bulb in your garage, consider buying an LED bulb that will be easy to install. In case you have fluorescent tubes, choose LED tubes. Make sure that the light you buy comes with all the accessories that you need for installation. If it does not, consider buying them with your purchase or picking another type of light.   

Lifespan

Check the manufacturer’s descriptions of the LED light you wish to purchase. If it has a lifespan of fewer than 50,000 hours, then it is not a good choice for your garage.

How do I convert my garage lights to LEDs?

Here are some of the ways you can convert your fluorescent lights to LED.

  • You can replace your fluorescent tubes with retrofit tubes. You will need to remove or bypass the ballast on your light fixture.
  • Fluorescent tube users can also replace them with magnetic LED strips.
  • You can remove your old light fixture and replace it with an LED-ready lighting fixture along with new LED tubes.
  • Users can also swap out their light fixture for a troffer or an LED panel light.
  • Some LED tubes come in an all-in-one design that includes the fixture and the tubes. You can remove your fluorescent fixture and replace it with such a model.

How much does it cost to change fluorescent lights to LED?

It costs between 50 and 150 dollars to change fluorescent lights to LED tubes. You can save money by doing it yourself instead of paying an electrician to do it for you.

Can you put LED bulbs in garage light fixtures?

If you have incandescent light bulbs in your garage, you can replace them with LED  lights bulbs. All you have to do is remove the old bulb and screw on the LED bulb.

Do I still need a starter with an LED tube?

Your LED tube does not require a starter, but the light fixture does. Most LED tubes come with a starter that you can use to replace your fixture’s original starter. The starter is usually on the light fixture frame, and you can remove it by turning it a quarter-way clockwise and pulling it out. To install the LED starter, line up the pins on the starter, push it in, and turn it till it sits in place.

How to bypass a fluorescent light fixture ballast when installing LED tubes

The ballast regulates the amount of energy that goes into the tube. It is not necessary when using an LED tube. You can follow these easy steps to bypass the ballast.

  • Before you start, turn the main breaker switch to the off position before you start working on your garage light.
  • Remove the covering so that you can see and access the ballast.
  • Locate and cut the neutral and live wires. The neutral wire is covered in white insulation. The live wire is also referred to as the hot wire and has black or red insulation. Cut two inches away from the ballast but ensure that the cables leaving the fixtures are long enough so you do not have problems connecting to the power lines.
  • The socket lead wires are on the other side of the ballast. They are usually covered in red and blue insulation and allow power to reach the light. Cut these wires two inches away from the ballast.
  • You have now separated the ballast from the fixture and can choose to leave it in its original position or remove it by unscrewing it and easing it out of the lighting fixture.
  • Next, you need to connect the wires to complete the circuit so your LED light will work. Find the hot wire, which is red or black, and strip off one inch of the colored insulation. Do the same with the output hot wire, input neutral wire, and output neutral wire. Connect the input wires connected to the power source to the output wires. If you do not have tombstones (non-shunted sockets), make sure that you do not link your hot and neutral wires to the same side of the lighting fixture.  
  • Replace the coverings and your LED tube, turn the power back on the switch on the light.

What type of light is best for the garage

The best light for your garage are LED tubes with 13000 lumens for a one-car garage and 20000 lumens for a two-car garage. LED lights offer excellent energy efficiency compared to traditional fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs. They will also save you money on a replacement because they last a very long time.

How many amps per circuit do I need to run LED garage lights?

If you are replacing fluorescent or incandescent lights with LED lights, your circuits should be able to run the lights. LED lights use up less power compared to traditional lights. A 10 watt LED light bulb produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. A 10 watt LED bulb draws 1/12 Amp, which means you can run 180 similar lights on a 15 Amp circuit, for instance. If you purchase a 60-watt Tanbaby garage light, it will draw about ½ Amp, which means if you need to, you can run up to 30 similar lights on it.

What color LEDs are best for the garage?

The best light for your garage is white. White is also referred to as daylight or warm white and ensures that your garage is well-lit.  

How many LED lights do I need for my garage?

The number of LED lights you buy is determined by the number of lumens that your garage needs. The recommended number of lumens per square foot is 50. To find out the number of lights you should buy for your garage, follow these steps.

  • Measure the then length and width of your garage and multiply them to find the size of the space in square feet.

            12ft x 22ft gives you 264 ft²

  • To find the number of lumens, you need to multiply the square footage of your garage by 50 lumens.

 264ft² x 50 lumens  gives you 13,200 lumens.

  • If you were going to purchase LED lights that produce 3000 lumens, you need to divide the total number of lumens you need by the total number of lumens per bulb. That will give you the number of lights to buy.

For example, 13200÷3000= 4.4

  • You should buy four lights.

Check this too: Allister Garage Door Opener & How-to Guide

How to mount LED strip lighting on a garage ceiling

Follow these easy steps to mount LED strip lighting on your garage ceiling.

  • Measure the ceiling perimeter of the room. After making the measurement, you can choose the length of strip lights to buy. If you need to cut the strips, ensure your reel has copper cutting points.
  • LED reels have a power supply that should be close to the power outlet you intend to use. It will also ensure that they look good and you do not waste any of the strip lights. It is also essential to ensure that the room is well ventilated.
  • Most LED strip lights come with built-in adhesive. Ensure that the area is clean as dust and particles may affect the effectiveness of the bond.
  • Peel and then stick the lights to your ceiling. Ensure that you only peel small portions as you attach it to ensure it is easy to handle and looks neat. You can use mounting clips to reinforce the adhesive and ensure that the lights remain in place for a long time.
  • After sticking all the lights, plug in the power supply and turn the lights on.

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