The Ultimate Guide to LED Garage Lighting (from Lowes)

If you’re anything like me you spend a lot of time in your garage, in fact, most of it. The garage has a TV, in-wall speakers, it’s own home theater receiver, HVAC, and most importantly lighting. You can never have enough of it. Working on engines, detailing cars, fixing small electronics… These things all require plenty of light to do and do well. The best LED garage lighting based on my testing can be found below.

When I bought my house it had two ceramic Edison light bulb sockets and the garage door opener light. As you can imagine, LED upgrades were my first priority. It started with a couple Cree LED bulbs, the first generation with the glass globe and heatsink. This helped on the energy and brightness fronts, but it wasn’t enough.

I started searching for a solution with a longer form factor, for more brightness and more coverage. It also needed to look good.  Big Ass Fans had just released their Big Ass Light, which looked perfect but carries a $400 price tag per light with it. I needed two. I headed to Lowes to find something a bit more reasonable. I left with a 4ft Utilitech LED Wrap Light, it was the only option they had at the time with a dressed up exterior. The reviews mention a lot of people using this as a nice kitchen light as well.

Utilitech 4Ft LED Garage/Shop Light
Utilitech 4Ft LED Garage/Shop Light

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  • 42 Watts
  • 3200 Lumens
  • Non-Dimmable
  • A bit slow to turn on and off
  • A bit of a pain to install
  • $69.98 (at time of writing)

I installed these in place of the old Edison sockets, giving me 6400 Lumens total. This setup works well, however it’s not quite bright enough. I still find myself reaching for more light under hoods or when polishing paint on a car. Two more of these or a brighter fixture altogether would be an idea solution.

The installation process for these lights is tedious as well. You remove the end caps, then the diffuser, then you line up 2 screws from the box with 1/4 turn slots on the light itself. After that you have to find a way to get the light straight in reference to a wall before putting one more screw on each end. Then you can tighten the center screws and replace the diffuser and end caps. All this while standing on a ladder by yourself, it can be a handful.

A few months later it was time to install LED lighting in the utility room. Lowes LED selection had expanded by this time and I chose a newer 4ft light. These turn on faster, are easier to install, cost less, and have the same light output if you choose the dual strip. Here are the links to the new fixtures in multiple lengths and strip arrangements .

2ft Utilitech Pro Strip Shop Light
4ft Utilitech Pro Strip Shop Light
2ft Utilitech Pro Dual Strip Shop Light
4ft Utilitech Pro Dual Strip Shop Light

I recommend the wrap light, but it’s not ideal for everyones needs. You may want to hold out for newer fixtures, or buy these now based on the look. Let me know what you decide to do in the comments!

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