The 11 Best Garage Lighting Fixtures of 2023

The winner is the Freelicht 60W Garage Light

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The 11 Best Garage Lighting of 2022

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Proper lighting in your garage illuminates your space and helps you access tools and other stored items while preventing accidents and injuries. 

We researched the best garage lights, evaluating ease of installation, brightness, longevity, and added features such as motion detection. Plus, we sought guidance from Matt Blashaw, a licensed contractor and host of HGTV's Professional Grade. He tells The Spruce that LEDs are often ideal for garages because they "last forever," and recommends looking for options with high lumens (brightness) and kelvin (color temperature).

Our top pick, the Freelicht 60W Garage Light with Medium Base 6000LM 6500K, is a budget-friendly option that’s easy to set up and comes with a five-year warranty.

Here are the best garage lighting options on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Freelicht LED 60W Garage Light with Medium Base

4.7
Freelicht LED 60W Garage Light with Medium Base
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Easy to install

  • Five-year warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks motion sensor

The best option overall is this LED tri-light fixture from Freelicht. Per Matt Blashaw's recommendations, it boasts 6000 Kelvin and 6000 lumens, plus a CRI (color rendering index) of 80, which means the illumination makes colors look amazing. You get three options in each light: 3000 Kelvin/warm white; 4000 Kelvin/cool white; and 6000 Kelvin/cool daylight white. Equal to a 300-watt incandescent bulb, you get the total power of 60 watts.

Each flicker-free panel can be adjusted up to a 90-degree angle. We also appreciate that this deformable light doesn't need to be wired. You just screw it into an existing light socket—no tools necessary. What's more, you can expect to get a whopping 50,000 hours of illumination from the LEDs.

While we would prefer that garage lights turn on when motion is detected, the Freelicht LED lacks a motion sensor. Nevertheless, this product compensates with its super-bright illumination, variable warmth choices, and versatile light location.

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: Plastic | Lumens: 6000 | Kelvin: 6000 | Installation: Can be screwed into a standard base

Best Budget

Baloray LED Garage Lights 80W 9000 Lumens

Baloray LED Garage Lights 80W 9000 Lumens
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Easy to install

  • Waterproof

  • Energy-saving

  • Adjustable panels

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for large garages

If you're upgrading your garage on a budget, you can't go wrong with a Baloray LED Garage Light. This wallet-friendly high-white-light fixture has four adjustable light panels and offers 9000 lumens and 8500 Kelvin. Installation is a breeze—just screw it into an existing lightbulb socket, and you're good to go.

One of the best parts about the lighting is its adjustable panels. Each of its four LED panels can be angled to your desire, offering light to all parts of your garage. While the manufacturer claims that this product is energy saving, we note that its 80 watts is higher than some other garage lights we researched.

Finally, there is a belief that LEDs are cooler to the touch than incandescent bulbs. Although this is true, and the manufacturer claims the aluminum alloy light heads keep the bulbs cool, we also note that the panel has a heat dissipation system that could be hot when the light is on.

Price at time of publish: $19

Material: Plastic | Lumens: 9000 | Kelvin: 8500 | Wattage: 80 watts | Installation: Can be screwed into a standard base

Best Plug-In

Commercial Electric 4 ft. 4-Light 80-Watt Utility LED Shop Light with Pull Chain

Commercial Electric 4 ft. 4-Light 80-Watt Utility LED Shop Light with Pull Chain
What We Like
  • Multiple hanging options

  • Easy to install

  • Ample illumination

What We Don't Like
  • Relatively short power cord

For an easy-to-install design, consider Commercial Electric's LED Shop Light. With four oblong bulbs, 7000 lumens of brightness, and 4000 Kelvin, the light brings bright, cool-toned lighting to any garage. The bulbs are housed in a polycarbonate structure that shouldn't rust or dent. The manufacturer claims that the fixture uses 160 watts but the LED bulbs cost less to power than 160-watt incandescent lamps.

We like that that you can hang this fully assembled 4-foot-long light from your ceiling or mount it flush. Packaging includes two V-hooks, wall anchors, and screw hooks. Once it's plugged in, just pull the handy chain to turn it on and off. The power cord includes an outlet receptacle on one end to allow you to link up to four units. However, we note that the cord itself is only 5 feet long, so you might need an extension.

We do recommend this product for unattached and unheated garages since the manufacturer claims that it effectively operates in temperatures as low as minus-10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Price at time of publish: $72

Material: Polycarbonate | Lumens: 7000 | Kelvin: 4000 | Wattage: 80 watts | Installation: Flush mount or hanging

Best LED

Tanbaby LED Garage Light

Tanbaby LED Garage Light
What We Like
  • Super bright

  • 360-degree coverage

  • Lights stay cooler, longer

  • Has motion detection

What We Don't Like
  • Unreplaceable bulbs

We like this light for its superior brightness and its ability to cover virtually 360 degrees of your garage, regardless of its size. That's because each of the three wide-angle wings adjusts a full 90 degrees, more than most similar products. The aluminum fins dissipate heat to keep these lights cool, extending their life to a manufacturer-predicted 50,000 hours.

We like that this product, unlike several we researched, features motion detection and turns off after 30 seconds. However, we note that depending on where you locate the fixture, the motion sensor might not be as effective, and you may have to experiment.

While we appreciate the super-brightness of these LED lights, and recommend them for basic illumination, we have some misgivings. We note that under some conditions, this product might not turn on with some Homelink-equipped garage-door-opening vehicle mirrors. Finally, the hardwired LEDs aren't replaceable. If these factors aren't important to you, you will still get totally satisfactory illumination for a very reasonable price.

Price at time of publish: $20

Material: Aluminum | Lumens: 6000 | Kelvin: 6000 | Wattage: 60 watts | Installation: Can screw into standard base

Best with Motion Sensor

Lithonia Lighting SGLL 2 ft. Indoor Integrated LED Garage Light with Integrated Motion Sensor Flushmount

Lithonia Lighting SGLL 2 ft. Indoor Integrated LED Garage Light with Integrated Motion Sensor Flushmount
What We Like
  • Motion sensor

  • Mounting hardware included

  • Includes end-to-end connector

  • Adjustable light setting

What We Don't Like
  • Relatively expensive

If you're installing a light on a high ceiling or another hard-to-reach location, Lithonia Lighting's  LED Garage Light with Integrated Motion Sensor is a great option. The hanging fixture features an integrated motion detector that'll automatically illuminate when you walk or drive in the garage.

If you're concerned about utility costs, this light has got you covered. You can also set it to turn off after no motion is detected for a few minutes, so it won't light up too much. If you need extra lighting, however, you can easily connect multiple fixtures, thanks to an included end-to-end connector.

Price at time of publish: $135

Material: Polycarbonate | Lumens: 5000 | Kelvin: 4000 | Wattage: 80 watts | Installation: Flush mount

Best Moisture-Proof

Airand Waterproof LED Shop Light for Garage

Airand Waterproof LED Shop Light for Garage
What We Like
  • Energy-saving design

  • Waterproof

What We Don't Like
  • Short power cord

If you're worried about humidity damaging your fixture or causing an electrical hazard, we recommend the Airand Waterproof LED Shop Light. It has a 66 IP (Ingress Protection) rating, meaning it's impenetrable to dust, water, and other moisture.

The light is offered in two different sizes, with some sets including plugs and additional pieces. If you need additional lighting, it can be connected to up to ten tube lights as well, so you can create your ideal lighting experience.

Price at time of publish: $49

Material: Polycarbonate | Lumens: 3600 | Kelvin: 5000 | Wattage: 36 watts | Installation: Surface mount

Best for Workbench

Metalux 43-Watt 42 in. White Integrated LED Shop Light

Metalux 43-Watt 42 in. White Integrated LED Shop Light
What We Like
  • Glare-free illumination

  • Multiple mounting options

  • Five-year warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Short power cord

Blashaw says he's partial to slim LED fixtures for workbenches, like the Metalux Integrated Shop Light. With 4500 lumens and 5000 Kelvin, this garage light offers bright, glare-free illumination for the task at hand. It can be mounted or hung from the ceiling or wall, or underneath a cabinet, and it turns on and off with a convenient pull chain.

Price at time of publish: $50

Material: Not listed | Lumens: 4500 | Kelvin: 4000 | Wattage: 43 watts | Installation: Surface or chain mounted

Best Battery-Powered

TooWell Motion Sensor Battery Operated LED Ceiling Light

TooWell Motion Sensor Battery Operated LED Ceiling Light
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Motion sensor

  • Wireless design

What We Don't Like
  • Batteries not included

  • Might not be bright enough for certain tasks

Garages often don't have many outlets—or any at all—which is why battery-powered lights, like the TooWell LED Ceiling Light, certainly come in handy. The light takes four D-cell batteries and includes mounting hardware for easy installation.

Whether you hang it from your ceiling or attach it to a wall, the built-in motion sensor will activate the LEDs from as far as 20 feet away. It's worth noting, however, that the light doesn't include any batteries, so you'll need to purchase them separately.

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: ABS | Lumens: 300 | Kelvin: Not listed | Wattage: 3 watts | Installation: Flush mount

Best Under-Cabinet

Goodland Under Cabinet Lighting 80 LED

Goodland Under Cabinet Lighting 80 LED
What We Like
  • Motion sensor

  • Wireless design

  • Stick-on installation

What We Don't Like
  • Might not offer enough illumination on its own

Goodland Under Cabinet Lighting comes in packs of one or three bars, each with 80 energy-saving LEDs, three color temperature modes, and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. What's more, they're super-easy to install, thanks to the included adhesive magnetic strips.

"I like to have under-cabinet lighting under my tool bench, just in case I have something really important I'm working on," Blashaw tells The Spruce.

Price at time of publish: $41

Material: Aluminum, polycarbonate | Lumens: 280 | Kelvin: 3 different color temperatures | Wattage: 3 watts | Installation: Stick on

Best Light Bulb

SkyGenius Daylight LED Corn Light Bulb (200-Watt Equivalent)

4.5
Daylight LED Corn Light Bulb

SkyGenius

What We Like
  • Energy-efficient

  • Ultra-bright

  • High kelvin

What We Don't Like
  • Awkward shape

If you've got a light socket in your garage, all you really need is a good-quality bulb, like the SkyGenius Daylight LED. This corn-style bulb provides 3500 lumens and 6500 Kelvin for cool-white illumination. It also uses less energy than that of a standard incandescent light.

The light is offered in three different wattages—25, 35, and 120. Plus, it has a lifespan that's about five times longer than that of regular lightbulbs, so you won't have to worry about replacing it too often over time.

Price at time of publish: $35

Material: Plastic aluminum | Lumens: 3500 | Kelvin: 6500 | Wattage: 35 watts | Installation: Screws into standard E26 base 

SkyGenius Corn Light

The Spruce / Justin Park

Best Fluorescent

Kichler Wraparound Light

Kichler Wraparound Light
What We Like
  • Suitable for high-humidity spaces

  • Flush-mount design

  • Steel frame

What We Don't Like
  • Bulbs not included

Despite the increased appeal and market share of LED lighting, fluorescent lighting is still widely used because bulbs last longer, use less energy, and cast light over a wider area than incandescent bulbs. Licensed contractor Matt Blashaw is a fan of Kichler fluorescent lighting in the garage, and we can see why. Measuring 48 x 9 x 3 inches, the brand's fluorescent Wraparound Light has a steel frame, and a textured acrylic shade for ambient yet bright illumination.

The fixture accommodates two standard two-pin bulbs with a maximum 32 watts (not included). And it is UL-certified for use in high-humidity areas, which could include other home areas, such as bathrooms, in addition to your garage or basement workshops. Blashaw also likes that it mounts flush to the ceiling. "A flush mount sticks down maybe 3 inches, so you're gaining room in your garage as well as a really broad spectrum of light," he notes.

Price at time of publish: $110

Material: Glass, acrylic | Lumens: Not listed | Kelvin: Not listed | Wattage: 32 watts | Installation: Flush mount

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Freelicht LED 60W Garage Light with Medium Base 6000LM 6500K. We appreciate the tri-panel design, the high kelvin and lumens ratings, and its ability to screw into an existing light socket. However, if you're looking for something even more affordable, go with the budget-friendly Baloray LED Garage Lights 80W 9000 Lumens, which also calls for screw-in installation and boasts high lumens and high kelvin. For those who prefer fluorescent lighting, we recommend the Kichler Wraparound Light.

What to Look For in Garage Lighting

Fixtures

When shopping around for garage lighting, the first thing to consider is the type of fixture you need. Blashaw says to ask yourself, "Is it a task light? Is it a light to show off your architecture? Is it a utility light?"

There are options that mount to the ceiling or screw into an existing socket, which are designed to illuminate the entire space. Then, you'll find models better suited for smaller areas. Some garage lighting (such as under-cabinet bars) should be used to supplement larger fixtures, as they don't typically offer enough illumination on their own.

Whether you opt for traditional fluorescent fixtures—long, encased metal fixtures that use long tube-like bulbs—or LED arrangements, figure on 8 feet of lighting per vehicle. So if yours is a two-car garage, install two 8-foot-long fixtures or four 4-footers, which are easier one-person install jobs.

If you live in an area that gets plenty of moisture, your garage may require a fixture rated for high humidity. Check the packaging to see whether this is specified.

Lighting Type

You can find three types of bulbs: incandescents, fluorescents, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Incandescent bulbs, invented in 1879, have stood up into the 21st century as the most widely used type of electric lighting. Each bulb is a glass enclosure that encases a wire filament, usually made of tungsten, that heats rapidly and dispenses much of that energy as light. The bulb also contains an inert gas that prevents the filament from melting away. Incandescents are still widely available, because they have low manufacturing costs and thus low consumer prices. They also connect with standard current and switches, and are available in many wattages and colors. Their biggest disadvantage is they have relatively short life spans: At some point, the filament breaks under the strain, breaking the circuit and rendering the bulb useless. Incandescents also consume a lot of energy to produce the extreme heat that generates light. Because so many are thrown away, they can be a detriment to the environment.

Though LED bulbs were invented in 1962, they have begun to widely replace incandescents in the 21st century, because they use up to 75 times less energy than incandescents and can last up to 25 times longer. Each bulb contains a tiny diode that is illuminated when electrical current passes through a microchip embedded in the bulb. The heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink within each bulb. LED bulbs don't suddenly "burn out" like incandescents, but their brightness gradually dims, requiring replacement. LED bulbs connect with standard outlets and use standard current. Anyone who has driven at night and been startled by the LED headlights of an oncoming vehicle can attest to their occasional annoying brightness. Their biggest disadvantage, as far as most consumers are concerned, is their cost: these bulbs can average $5 to $7 apiece.

Fluorescent bulbs, which were patented in 1901 but gained widespread use during World War II, are still common for garage lighting, because they are more energy-efficient than incandescents but cost less than LEDs. The bulbs produce light by using an electric current to excite enclosed mercury vapor. Fluorescents come in tubes with diameters of 5/8 inch, 1 inch, and 1.5 inches (T5, T8, and T12, respectively) and have two-pin connectors. A fixture might not accommodate all sizes. You also can purchase compact fluorescent lightbulbs, which screw into standard lightbulb fixtures, like incandescent bulbs. Instead of a bulb-like glass enclosure, however, each has a twisty tube that contains the same components of a fluorescent tube and emits light in the same way.

However, fluorescents have several disadvantages. They scatter light, so you may need more than one fixture, depending on the size of your workspace. Older fluorescents take time to warm up. Some bulbs can emit an annoying buzz because of a faulty magnetic component. They might not function in sustained temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so they aren't suitable for unattached garages in many cold-weather locations. Finally, all fluorescents, whether tubes or CFLs, contain some amount of mercury, which can have ill effects.

Watts/Lumens/Kelvin

Two factors to consider in lighting are brightness and color. While a fixture might be bright, the bulbs it contains might not have the necessary appearance of light necessary to accomplish what you want to do in your space such as repair work or carpentry. Brightness is measured in lumens; color is rated by a Kelvin scale. According to Blashaw, for garage lighting, "You want high lumens in the 5000s or 6000s and the highest Kelvin you can find."

Watts are a measure of how much energy a light bulb uses. Most of us are used to seeing bulbs rated as 40 watts or 100 watts, for example. But that doesn't truly measure how much light they provide. That is why the U.S. federal government has standards for all lightbulbs that mention wattage but emphasize lumens.

Lumens are units of "luminous flux," which means that they measure the amount of visible light emitted by a bulb. A 40-watt bulb is equivalent to an energy-saving bulb emitting about 450 lumens; a 60-watt bulb, 800 lumens. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you shop for lightbulbs in terms of lumens instead of watts.

Kelvin measures the color temperature of lights in terms of coolness (white, producing higher contrast) or warmness (yellowish-red). Lightbulbs range from 2000 Kelvin (2000K) to 6500 Kelvin (6500K). The higher the Kelvin, the closer a bulb's color temperature is to mimicking natural sunlight. Lights rating 5000K or higher are recommended for garages and workshops.

Installation

You should also consider the installation method before ordering a lighting fixture for your garage. For instance, some options can be screwed into a light socket, while others must be wired. You also can find flush-mount and hanging models, as well as battery-powered options with adhesive backings.

FAQ
  • What type of lighting is best for a garage?

    Whether you use your garage to store vehicles, as a DIY workshop, or as a home gym, it’s important that this room be generally well lit for safety purposes, as well as include task lighting for DIY workbenches or other activities. While blaring fluorescent lights were once the go-to for illuminating the garage, bright, long-lasting, energy-efficient LEDs have become the new standard go-to. When choosing LED lighting for your garage, look for brightness of around 3500 lumens (the measurement for brightness) for the best result. You might also consider installing motion-sensor lighting in a garage that turns on and off by itself for convenience and safety. 

  • Are LED garage lights worth it?

    Yes. Energy-efficient LED lights cost more upfront, but they will save you money over time. LEDs are also better for the environment—a small, simple consumer choice we can all make to help reduce energy consumption. Because they do not need to heat up in order to light up, LEDs are also particularly well suited for unheated garages in cold climates. 

  • What color temperature is best for garage lighting?

    A garage should be well lit for safety purposes, whether you are driving in and out, moving between the car and your door, or using the garage for hobbies like woodworking, working out, laundry, or other activities. In the garage, you want a bright, white light rather than the warmer glow you would choose for interior rooms. Choose a cool temperature in the range of 5000K to ensure that your garage is brightly lit and safe for multi-tasking.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland is a professional commerce copywriter based in Portland, Oregon. She has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, covering home improvement and interior design. When living in their 100-year-old house, she and her husband had to figure out how to illuminate their closets and basement with limited outlets, and in the process, she learned how to spot high-quality fixtures. For this roundup, Theresa spoke to a contractor, researched various types of garage lighting, combed through user reviews, and considered dozens of products before making her final selections.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. LED lighting. Department of Energy.

  2. Environmental Protection Agency. What are the connections between mercury and CFLs?

  3. Lumens and the lighting facts label. Department of Energy.

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