Hooray for Christmas and Happy New Year! I got a set of 4 sweet new LED overhead lights for my garage for Christmas. Read more to see what I got and how I hung them up!
One thing that can make a significant impact on your experience while working in the garage is lighting. I cannot express how much I hate dragging out hot halogen lights that always seem to need a $5 bulb every time you really need them. Lately my problem has been that since it is so cold my florescent lights haven’t even been turning on or take forever to warm up.
LED lighting has really come a long way in the last 5 years and continues to get cheaper. I have looked at some of the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes, but I couldn’t seem to find good options at the price point I was looking for (as cheap as possible 🙂 ). So I ended up looking at Amazon and found a lot of good options. The ones that I ended up asking for Christmas was a 4 pack of 36 watt LED shop light garage lamps with 3,600 lumens.
So what is a lumen anyways, and why does it matter?
Here is a good explanation from the US Dept of Energy:
When you’re shopping for lightbulbs, you can choose your next lightbulb for the brightness you want by comparing lumens instead of watts. A lumen is a measure of the amount of brightness of a lightbulb — the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the lightbulb.
Here is an infographic explaining the comparison:
So according to the chart, the lights I picked for my shop that put out 3,600 lumens are comparable to just over 2 100W light bulbs EACH! (sounds like a good deal to me)
One of the things I really liked about these specific lights is that they don’t have a top housing. The light from the two individual tubes throws some of the light upwards also which makes the room feel really bright.
I was going to take out the existing ceramic bases on the ceiling to the bulbs and put sockets in instead, but ended up just using the bulb electrical socket adapters that were already there. These come in a couple of different flavors to accommodate your situation. There are sockets with pull chains, without pull chains, and bases with plugs built in.
I used a fender washer with the screw to mount the wire hangers that came with the lights. Super easy. As you can see in the pic above, even if I decide to take these down later there isn’t any visible damage to the ceiling.
Once I got them all installed, I just needed to go back and zip-tie the wires to tidy them up.
Random note: I will never have another garage without a motion sensing light switch to turn on the lights. These things are worth every penny!! They turn on the garage lights when you walk out in the garage or open the garage door. No more stumbling through the dark to get in the house.
Viola!! Now I am ready to go out and work without dragging around a bunch of portable lights. Next up is to get rid of those 3 yellow (3000k color) light bulbs, they look silly next to the new LED lights (5000k color). I think another set of 4 LED lights would finish out the rest of the garage with light nicely, but this should work for now!
Now YOU, go outside and build something.