How to Achieve Better Garage Lighting

Upgrade your shop lighting with new fluorescent fixtures.

garage lighting

Tools and Materials Needed

Wire Cutter

1-5/8-in. Screws

Cordless Drill

Voltage Tester (Non-contact is best)

CRI of 85 or better 4-ft bulbs

Wire Nuts

1/2-in. electrical bushing

8-ft. fluorescent fixture (electronic ballast)

Better Garage Lighting

Efficiently lighting up a large garage requires removing the bulb fixtures (turning off the power before you do this), and then replacing each with an 8 foot fluorescent fixture. 4 foot bulbs are much easier to handle than 8 foot bulbs, but use what you wish. You can then position the new lights over the existing ceiling boxes.

When you are shopping for new light fixtures. Remember that not all fluorescent lights work in colder climates, especially when it drops to below 50 degrees. Select your fixtures with this idea in mind, referring to the starting temperatures printed on the side of the ballast.

Most magnetic ballasts in T12 fluorescent fixtures are not recommended to operate in this type of climate. Instead, but fixtures with electronic ballasts because they are able to start in temperatures around 0 degrees F. T8 lamps are the best because they are more energy efficient. They cost more than regular lamps but they will save you money over time.

When deciding to buy new bulbs, especially for a woodworking shop or some other type of precise job that needs better-than-normal lighting, look for lamps that have a CRI of 85 of even higher. This CRI can be found in the listings of the bulb company’s product catalog or online.

Once you are aware of the exact place that you want your light, drill a ⅞-in. Hole at the base of the metal housing of the fluorescent base, which hangs directly over the existing ceiling box. Use your ½ in. electrical bushing and snap it so that it fits directly into the new hold so the sharp metal edges can’t destroy the wire.

Then you can attach the fixtures to the drywall by screwing them into the ceiling joists.