Tips on How to Replace Your Garage Light Bulbs with LEDs

Garages are usually musky, damp, dark, and dated spaces.  It’s not their fault.  Many garage spaces were created back in a time when cars weren’t so large (and probably before the notion of a “man cave”). 

One way to transform your garage is to replace its light bulbs with LEDs.  LED lights are the way of the future.  They last longer, they’re brighter, and they represent the best bang for your buck. 

replacing light bulbs with LEDs

Here are ways how you can easily upgrade the lights in your garage:

Understanding Lumens Versus Wattage

Once you stick your head in the world of lightbulbs, you’ll quickly find yourself deciphering a language of lumens and wattage.  One tip in upgrading your garage lights is to ignore wattage for now and simply focus on lumens.  Lumens are a measure of brightness and if your garage is dark, you’re going to want to seriously brighten it up.

understanding lumens in LED bulbs

Translating between watts and lumens can be misleading.  Sometimes, the equation doesn’t quite add up.  For example, some manufacturers will state that a 9-watt LED will be the replacement for a 100-watt incandescent, but that will only give you 1,000 lumens when you need at least a 14-watt LED. 

If that all makes your head spin, then use these guidelines and focus on lumens.

Here are a few guidelines of wattages to lumens:

  • If your garage has a 100-watt incandescent bulb you want to replace, then move to an LED bulb with about 1,500 to 1,600 lumens.
  • Another example is if your garage light bulb is 75-watts.  Replace this bulb with an LED light bulb of at least 1,100 lumens.
  • Does your garage light bulb only have about 60-watts to its name?  Drop the lumens a bit lower and look for an LED that’s around 800.

Understanding Kelvins

Another term to understand when upgrading your garage to LEDs is “kelvins.”  Kelvins measure the color temperature of your light.  This is important to know when outfitting your garage with LEDs because when you’ll be working on projects, you’ll want a lot of bright light.  Incandescent lights are known for their soft yellow hue and sometimes that’s simply not enough for a garage.

The range of 4600k to 6500k will provide you with a bright blue-white light.  The blue-white hue is best for workspaces and probably what you’ll be needing for a garage space.  The 2000k to 3000k range will provide you with a soft white, closer to yellowish, hue.  This softer lighting is what most people choose for relaxing indoor spaces like bedrooms or living rooms.

LED Elements to Consider

Your garage isn’t as well-insulated as the rest of you home, so be sure to purchase LEDs that can handle temperature shifts.  Unheated garages experience shockingly cold temperatures in the winter and incredible heat during the summer. Make sure you check what temperature ranges your LED can handle before swapping out old bulbs in your garage.

Coupled with using energy efficient LEDs, you’ll save even more money if you include light timers and dimmers.  Timers will automatically turn off your lights when you aren’t using them.  Dimmers will lower light levels.  Both will save electricity and money on your next utility bill.  While you may not use dimmers in a garage, you can include timers since you won’t be in your garage all the time. 

You can also buy smart bulbs.  These LED smart bulbs will connect to your smartphone and may be controlled with a smart home device such as an Amazon Alexa or Google Home.  Smart bulbs take the place of a timer because you can set schedules for your LED lights.

Why Make the Switch?

LEDs are popular for a reason—they’re amazing at energy efficiency and will save you money over time.  An incandescent light bulb is cheaper to buy, but expensive to run—the opposite of an LED light bulb.  LEDs are up to 80% more energy efficient and only waste about 5% of heat.

According to the U. S. Department of Energy, lighting accounts for 15% of an average home’s electricity usage.  An average U. S. household will save about $225 in energy costs per year by using LED lighting.  Not only is that an easy way to save money on your utilities, but that’s a couple hundred bucks of savings to boot!

On top of that, LEDs last up to 25 times longer than your traditional incandescent bulbs.  While the upfront cost may be a little more than a regular old incandescent bulb, you’ll have that LED for much longer and save more money in the long run.

Danley’s has been around since 1959. We’ve built over 100,000 garages and have been the #1 choice for Chicagoland homeowners. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote today!

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