Recessed Lights In Garage: Best Tips!

Garages are no more places to only park cars. We use garages for varied purposes; some have turned their garages into man-caves while others use them as spare living space. 

Thus, with the shifting functions of a garage, it’s important to change its look. One way of doing that, and might we add a popular way, is to add recessed lights in garage. 

Recessed Lights in Garage
Recessed Lights in Garage

Recessed lighting is an affordable option to light your garage in style. However, before you install these lights, consider the points below: 

  • The type of lights you need.
  • Is recessed lighting ideal for you.
  • How to effectively illuminate the garage.

The perfect garage lighting

Besides the factors mentioned above, there are a few things that you must take into account while choosing the perfect light fixture. Of course, the choice of light will depend on the functionalities. For instance, you need to determine if you want bright lights or do you want the option to dim them. 

Additionally, if you plan to use different parts of the garage for various purposes, you need top lighting. Weather conditions are also important to consider, as some lights don’t do well in a constantly cold climate. Finally, price, durability, and energy efficiency are the other factors that you must take into account.

The perfect garage lighting
The perfect garage lighting

Types of recessed lights in garage

Before buying a recessed lighting bulb, you have to get proper housing for the same. For instance, if you have insulation, do get IC-rated accommodation to make way for extra heat protection. You can use non-ic-rated housing with uninsulated ceilings. 

In addition to the housing, the voltage system should be correct. Using a low voltage system should be ideal for the rest of your house if you use low voltage lights. On the flip side, low voltage systems are more focused. 

Types of recessed lights in garage
Types of recessed lights in garage

Many people add the trim around the lights, and if you want added reflection, use a reflective trim. 

Many use the garage these days for art or as a workstation; such people benefit from wall wash trims or Accent Lighting. 

💁Common Recessed Lighting Types 

To make your selection process more straightforward, you need to identify the various recessed lights. Not all lights will be ideal for your use. Thus take a good look at the list below and make your pick. 

💁Modern Recessed Lighting 

These recessed lightings have a sleek and functional appeal and help to create the perfect night ambiance without affecting the design and space of a room. You can install these lights directly on the walls or ceiling to provide a sophisticated lighting ambiance. You will find many options of modern recessed lights in the market, so select one that suits your purpose. 

💁Contemporary Recessed Lighting 

Contemporary recessed lighting plan considers three important factors: ambient lighting, base layer for task lighting, and accent light. Of all the three layers, ambient lighting is the most essential. If you opt for contemporary recessed lighting, you can go for celling ambient lighting as this setup prefers overhead light.

💁Traditional Recessed Lighting 

If you opt for traditional recessed lighting, you will have to buy three components separately and assemble them. These components include recessed housing, bulb or LED bulbs, and decorative trim. The bulb and the decorated trim are visible from the outside upon installation.

For traditional recessed lighting, you need to plan the lighting layout thoroughly and ensure that all the parts are compatible with one another and rated for the location you are planning on installing.

This type of lighting mostly uses halogen and light bulbs which emit a lot of heat. So, if you are planning on working with traditional recessed lighting, you should find a way to dispense heat. 

Types of Light Bulbs for Recessed Lighting (based on shape)

The light bulb’s shape will determine the direction of the light emitted. In the US, a standard letter code system is prevalent to identify the shape of the lights. 

Types of Light Bulbs for Recessed Lighting (based on shape)
Types of Light Bulbs for Recessed Lighting (based on shape)

R: These are the most popular bulb shapes used in recessed lights. As evident by the name, these lights have a reflective surface that directs the light in one direction: downward. Owing to its shape, no light is wasted, which would otherwise shine upwards into the fixture. You can also control the light beam angle coming from this bulb. 

BR (Bulged Reflector): These lamps are contemporary and significantly improve the reflector lamps. The only difference between these and the reflector lamps is the ‘bulge’ at the lamp base. Owing to the shape, more light is focused on the beam, thereby directing it out of the recessed fixture. 

PAR (Parabolic Aluminized Reflector): These lamps are primarily used as parabolic shape reflectors, producing a more compact and controlled light beam than standard reflectors. These lights are primarily not used at home and are commonly seen on stages and in theatrical setups. If you do use it at home, it’s best to use it for art lighting. 

MR (Multifaceted Reflector): These lights have a reflective surface inside that includes multiple facets, which allows the light to produce a more compact and controlled beam. 

Tube, Spiral, or Twist: These shapes are mostly used with compact fluorescent lamps. Owing to the shape, it’s possible to change the tube length creating a more compact form to place the light bulb. However, unlike the other options listed here, this type of light is omnidirectional. But there is a reflector version of this light where the tube is placed inside a reflector shell. 

A (Arbitrary): These are common omnidirectional home use lamps.

Benefits of recessed lights

Though there are other available options, recessed lights have many benefits over these. 

Benefits of recessed lights
Benefits of recessed lights

💁Lighting up a large area

The trim and bulb of recessed lights are small, and thus they can cover larger surfaces allowing farther and darker corners to be lit. This benefit of recessed lights is ideal for those with pets at home. 

💁Dimming option

Updated recessed lights are available with added dimming features that allow you to find or illuminate the room as per your choice. You can use this function if you wish to turn your garage into a spare guest room for the weekend. You can turn your full-blown bright lights into cooing comfortable night lamps with a dimming option. 


Who says contemporary lightings are only for bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces. Thanks to recessed lights, you can now amp your garage ambiance. Recessed lights have timeless designs, with minimalist and delicate Accenture that is sure to transform the look of your dull, mundane garage.

💁Best low-level ceiling option

Most garages have low leveled ceilings and are often cramped with multiple boxes and other storage options characterized by dim lighting. Hanging ceiling lights in such a compact space will make the room look more crowded. Recessed lights, on the other hand, can illuminate the room without getting in the way. 

Disadvantages of recessed lights

Disadvantages of recessed lights
Disadvantages of recessed lights

💁Time taking

To set up an ordinary bulb, you need to connect it to the wiring in the ceiling, and you are done. However, with recessed light, there might be ten bulbs to set up depending on the space. All these ten bulbs again must be interconnected, and that wiring is time-consuming. Besides, it also increases the contractor’s pricing. 


To install recessed lights, you first need to have multiple holes in the ceiling, and then you can install the lights. If unequally spaced, the lights can leave gaps in the ceiling, causing air to flow in and out of your home.

That means your ac bill during summer and heater bill during winter may increase. The only way to solve this issue is by having proper installation, which will require hiring a contractor that is also not cheap. 

However, if you look closely at the benefits of recessed lighting, it does take over the cons. So, planning to have a few installed in your garage may be a good idea, especially if you use your garage for other activities. 

💁Selecting the right bulb

Recessed lights are available in LED, incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent options. However, currently, fluorescent bulbs are the most popular option. These are basically gas-discharged electrical lights using low-pressure mercury vapor and fluorescent material. 

LED lights, on the other hand, are light-emitting droids that are semiconductors made from two electrodes powered with energy that releases visible white light. Like fluorescent bulbs, LED lights too have multiple advantages, and many contractors promote these. 

However, the final choice depends on you and your usage pattern.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to illuminate your garage?

To effectively illuminate your garage, you need to install functional lighting, ensuring proper color and spacing.

2. How many lumens for your garage light need?

A single recessed light emits 1000 lumens per square foot as a rule of thumb. As per recommendation, it’s advisable to have 130-150 lumens per square foot, i.e., one light spaced every five feet. There are multiple online and offline options available, and you can choose one that best suits your purpose.

3. What is the best color option for your garage?

The bulb’s color also makes a huge difference. If you are using the garage for storage purposes, the bulb colors won’t matter. However, if you have pets with the habit of hiding in dark corners, you must use a bright color.

Additionally, if you will be using your garage as a hobby room to work on your craft or paint, a light of around 3,5000 Kelvin is recommended.


Overall it’s good to say that recessed light is the best lighting option for your garage. The features and advantages of using recessed lights in your garage trump all the other available options on the market. So go ahead and make your pick.