Your garage can be like your second home if you choose to spend much of your time there. Like your home, you may need to find more appropriate lighting for a more comfortable setting or work environment.
The type of lighting you may be looking for would vary dependent upon the size of your garage, the distance or closeness you need for what you do there and the brightness you are looking for.
TWO CAR GARAGE WORK ENVIRONMENT
To efficiently light up a two car garage, remove the bare bulb porcelain fixtures and replace each with an 8-ft fluorescent one. Since 8 ft.bulbs are alittle difficult to handle, use two 4 footers. Avoid regular magnetic ballasts in standard T12 florescent fixtures if the temperature in your garage will drop below 60 degrees.
If your garage temperature will drop below 50°F, buy fixtures with electronic ballasts (not electromagnetic) because they start in temperatures down to 0 degrees F and lower. The more energy efficient fixtures take size T8 lamps (1 in. wide). The cost will be more initially but will save you money over time. Avoid energy-saver.
If you need to use your garage lighting to distinguish true colors of paints and stains, make sure you get lamps with a color rendering index of 85 or above. This number will not be on the bulb or the packaging, but will be in the company procuct catalog or on some web sites.
LEISURE GARAGE LIGHTING ENVIRONMENT
In having a garage game room, the light you choose may not be as important as a workshop, of course. You may want to try different types of lighting.
For instance, a pool table or some other gaming table light may be needed directly above your game area for the serious gamers and its brightness will be important, but you may want softer light at a sitting area nearby.
Be creative by thinking about the lighting with similiar game rooms you have been in. Did they create the atmosphere you are looking for? Many game rooms have a dark feel to them. Is this what you are looking for? Think about the lighting from your garage windows and the time of day you will be spending most of your time there.
GARAGE HOME OFFICE LIGHTING
With a shortage of space in the house or the volume of noise and distractions, an office in the garage may be just the right answer for the sake of peace or to get your job done.
It will probably be most helpful to partition your garage office from the rest of the garage for several reasons, including some of those just listed above. But also, it may be a good idea to avoid showing off your computer to the neighbors while the garage door is opened or make visitors too curious by being able to easily access your office, especially if entry into the house is usually via the garage.
Consider what electrical outlets you are going to need and the lighting you are comfortable with in your typical office setting. And you should know from experience what type of lighting you work well with in your current office setting.
You may need to adjust your lighting in the rest of the garage to get the optimal and comfortable environment your are looking for so that you will be able to work long hours in your office.
Whatever lighting environment you are looking for, with the difficult economy, using your garage rather than building on an addition to your home may be just the right answer to providing the right place and space for your needs. It is certainly a cost efficient answer when considering the alternative.