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Home Garage Lighting Ideas: A Photo Guide To Fixtures, Layout and Design

A garage can be a dark and dull place without the right kind of lighting. There are a number of garage lighting ideas available, though florescent light strips would be the only suggested route to go down. Additional lights can work alongside these florescent strips such as work and decorative light fixtures. There are also ways to make a garage less sterile looking while still using these florescent strip lights. We go over all of this below, along with a lot of photos so you can get a good idea of how the lights will work in your garage.

Garage Design Tip: Avoid Using Just One Light

A garage tends to be a large space. As you can see in the two photos below, a single light in the middle of the garage doesn’t light up the large space well:

single garage lighting

One light bulb in the middle of the ceiling isn't enough lighting for a garage space

bad garage lighting

Avoid using one central ceiling light in a garage

In the examples below, the best looking garages are the ones that use a number of different garage lighting fixtures and techniques.

The Best Home Garage Lighting Solution: Florescent Light Strips

If you want the best garage lighting design, then use florescent light strips. There are a number of benefits to using them. They easily light up a large space, are energy efficient, with the right ballast will work in cold weathers, and if you have a work shop and use paints – florescent lights show true colors.

There are a variety of florescent light strips – you have the T4, T5, T8 and the T12. The numbers represent the different widths in diameter. They produce different amounts of light, so choosing between them is based on how much space is in your garage. If you have a garage that gets cold, below 50 degrees F, you’ll want to avoid T12s and instead use the T8s – and use an electronic ballast rather than an electromagnetic one.

If you have a high ceiling or want to install these lights over a work space, then you can find light fittings that come with a chain so you can hang the lights lower down from the ceiling.

garage shop lights

Florescent shop lights

LumaLinks is a company that provides garage lighting fixtures. Their lighting system allows you to tap into an existing light outlet in the ceiling. You can easily expand and tailor your garage lighting layout to your space without additional wiring.  

Lumalinks Garage Lighting

Lumalinks: simple to install, garage florescent lighting


  • Photograph Examples of Garage Fluorescent Lighting
garage lighting

Garage florescent lighting

garage

A man in a garage lit by overhead florescent lights

garage lighting

Two 8 foot high output florescent lights lighting up this garage

florescent garage lights

A garage using a series of florescent lights and window lighting

florescent garage light

garage lighting

 

 

The florescent garage lights in the picture on the left can be bought on Amazon here.

 

 

  • Painting The Walls

Even with bright florescent lights, the garage in the picture below looks dark and dull:

dark garage

A dim and dark garage

Painting the wall a light color (white) will help make the space brighter. Or you can paint the walls cream or off white for a less sterile look:

garage lighting design

Painting the walls a light color brightens and softens a garage with florescent lights

You can always add florescent light covers to diffuse the lighting, reducing the glare from the light strips.

Garage Lighting Solutions For Work Areas

If you have any work areas in your garage, you will want to have specific lights focused on those areas. Ceiling lights will either not reach the work areas or will cast shadows making it difficult to work. One option mentioned earlier was to use florescent shop lights that are low hanging.

Another option is to use florescent pendant lights, in addition to the florescent light strips as seen in the photo below:

garage design

A garage using pendant lights above a work station, as well as florescent strip lights for general lighting

Under cabinet lighting can also provide light for work stations:

under cabinet lighting

Under cabinet lighting is another way of lighting work stations

Natural Lighting

Having windows will bring in natural light during the day. These windows can be installed in the walls or there are garage doors that have small windows fitted in them. Here are some examples of garages using windows to bring in natural light:

garage windows

The tall windows bring in a lot of natural lighting into this garage during the day

garage windows

The windows in the garage door fill the space with natural lighting, while the florescent ceiling lights are used at night

Reasons not to use windows:

  • They have poor insulation, making a garage space colder or warmer
  • If your garage faces direct and intense sunlight, the UV rays could affect chemicals you store in the garage (paint, cleaners, etc.)

Easy and Cozy Home Garage Lighting

There is always the option to use string lights, globe lights and floor lamps to light a garage. These are for more cozy, hangout type garages:

garage hangout

A garage hangout using string lights and lamps

Decorative Lighting

And our last garage lighting idea is: neon signs. They make for great decorative garage lighting fixtures:

neon signs

Neon signs make for decorative light fixtures in a home garage

 

image credits: 8one6, j.s clark, steve caddy 2 3, chuck-reynoldsmtneer_man 2 3, riebschlager, Vagabond Shutterbug, steveleenow 2, briandewitt, jeweledelion, JonDissed, Susan Sharpless Smith

 

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The Photo Design Guide To Home Theater Lighting Ideas

Below are home theater lighting ideas for that are fit for large or small spaces. There are a number of accent lighting ideas, like fiber optics or cove lighting, which add a luxurious touch to a home theater room while other ideas are for more convenience and comfort.

Quick Interior Designer Tips:

    • Home Theater Lighting Control: Having the lights wired to dimmer switches will allow you to have full control over the lighting ambiance in the room. Have the lights on full for when you are getting things set up, have them dimmed down for casual TV watching, and have them completely switched off for movie nights.
    •  The best home theater rooms have no windows. This means there is no outside light coming in during the day, and a windowless room creates a more secluded feeling in the room. If you can’t take out the windows, have a look for black out curtains that completely shield any light from entering the room.

 

Home Theater Lighting Design Ideas

  • Recessed Lights

The ideal ceiling lights to have are recessed lights. They are clean, simple, and are hidden from sight as they are fitted within the ceiling. In the photo below we see simple recessed lighting, but the ceiling is decorated elaborately with crown molding.

home theater recessed lighting

A large home theater using recessed and wall lights

  • Wall Lights

Installing wall lights will make a space feel like a real theater. The ideal choice would be wall washers (which only shines the light upwards over the wall) or sconces (the light shines up and down).

home theater wall lights

A cozy home theater using wall lights and a table lamp

home theater wall lights

A larger home theater using wall lights

home theater wall lighting

A home theater using recessed and wall lights

home theater lighting

Recessed ceiling lighting and elegant wall lights in this home theater

home theater lights

Another example of a home theater using wall and recessed lighting - playing Up!

  • Display Home Theater Lighting Fixtures

Display lighting brings out another dimension to home theaters. Lighting can be added to DVD cabinets, book shelves or in the media center cabinets. Under cabinet light fixtures is one way of adding display lighting:

home theater display lighting

Under cabinet lighting helps light up all the electrical devices

Ikea swan neck lights are another way:

ikea lighting

Display lighting

  • Lights Behind The Seats

Having floor or table lamps behind or besides the couch will be of added convenience. They can be used for reading, or they are the first lights to be turned on when the movie is over as they are easily assessable.

grand home theater

A home theater using table lamps as well as wall and recessed lights

home theater lighting

Lighting behind the seats add a nice touch to the room

  • Cove Lighting

Cove lighting provides a room with soft diffused lighting. This is done by installing a false ceiling, where the light fixtures are installed and hidden away. The light then bounces off of the ceiling and walls providing elegant indirect lighting, and makes a space feel much larger.

home theater cove lighting

Blue cove lighting

cove lighting

Elegant cove lighting makes this home theater feel very wide

Have a look at our post for more ideas on cove lighting: L&L Design Guide: Cove Lighting Ideas

  • Fiber Optics

Fiber optics are a popular choice for accent lighting in grand home theaters. As tiny dots in the ceiling, they provide a starry night sky effect.

fiber optics

Fiber optics are used to create that starry effect in the middle of the ceiling

fiber optics ceiling lights

A futuristic decor style with the fiber optic ceiling lights and the wall sconces

Star trek home theater

A Star Trek styled home theater with cove and recessed lighting, and wall lights

fiber optic ceiling lighting

Another home theater using fiber optic ceiling lights, along with recessed lighting and elegant wall light fixtures

luxury home theater

A luxury home theater using fiber optic and recessed ceiling lights along with wall lighting

  • Floor Lighting
floor lights

Recessed floor lights installed up against a wall

Another way of adding accent lighting to a home theater is to install floor lighting. These lights will help make a space feel much larger than it is. There are a number of ways to add floor lighting.

Recessed lights can be fitted in the floors up against the walls. They will wash the walls with light, making a space feel larger. They can also be fitted low down on the walls, under the couch, or to the vertical parts of steps.

Other home theater step lighting ideas include using rope lighting – fitted under the lip of the step. Or a simple and quick lighting solution would be to fit motion sensor, battery powered (aka wireless) lights (Conserving Energy with Wireless Motion Sensor Lights and Adapters).

For more ideas on floor lighting have a look at our post here: Floor Lighting Ideas: Taking Your Interior Design to the Next Level

  • Back Lighting Behind The TV

Adding lighting behind the TV will help in reducing eye strain, as the back light reduces the sharp contrast of the brightness of the TV to the darkness of a room.

back lighting

Back lighting behind the TV

TV back lighting

Another example of back lighting

The soft red light in the above photo was achieved by installing an Ikea LED DIODER which can be found here.

Other Home Theater Lighting Design Photos

home theater lighting picture

home theater

home theater

home theater lighting

image credits: Gramophone Maryland 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13, Tom Borowski, rogersmj,  playhockeyeh, timuiuc 2, Squiggle,  jon|k, craig1black, Viet Hoang, gsloan 2

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Guide to Closet Lighting Ideas: Fixtures, Ikea and Wireless Options

For some, closet lighting is a necessity because the closet is deep and the ceiling lights don’t fill the closet with light (or there are no lights in the closet in the first place). For others, closet lighting is an added luxurious touch, making an everyday task a little more comfortable.

There are a number of closet lighting ideas that help fill different needs. The closet lighting fixtures you choose to use will be based on how much closet space you have and how much remodeling you want to do. There are simple and quick installs using battery powered lights and there are elaborate closet lighting solutions, which are more permanent and luxurious and will require slightly more installation work. Below we go over both.

closet lighting design

2 Quick Closet Lighting Tips

  1. Use florescent or led light fixtures as these produce less heat than incandescent bulbs
  2. Avoid using just one ceiling light in a closet, as the shelves will block the light from reaching the lower parts of the closet.

dark closet

 

Luxurious and Permanent Closet Lighting

Having permanent, hard wired and fitted closet lighting is a luxurious element in a bedroom. These types of light fixtures can be wired to come on and off when you open the closet door. With battery powered closet lighting, you’ll have to replace the whole light fixture – here you’ll only have to change the light bulb.

The most common permanent closet lighting design is to have an overhead light and then have display lights. The display lights light up the individual closet areas. Under shelf lights are common display lights for a closet. These under shelf lights can be either recessed lights, fitted into the shelf, or flush mount/puck lights that are mounted onto the shelf.

under shelf lights

Recessed and flush mount/puck lights

door jamb

A door jamb automatically switches the closet lights on when the door is opened

 

These lights will then be wired to a door jamb so that they will automatically switch on and off when the door opens and closes.

This closet lighting layout will require wiring work and slight remodeling of the closet to have the lights fitted. In the end you’ll be left with permanent light fixtures, wired to the closet door.

Go Ikea

Ikea have a number of shelve and closet systems that can be easily fitted with their own lighting products.

      • The BESTÅ Shelves come with a number of lighting options:
Ikea Besta Shelves

The Ikea BESTA Shelves are made to be fitted with Ikea cabinet lights

      • The PAX wardroom system can be easily fitted with lights that automatically come on when the door is opened:
Ikea Pax Closet

The Ikea PAX Closets can be fitted with Ikea closet lighting

Ikea Pax Lighting

The lights will automatically come on when you open the doors on the Ikea PAX closet

      • Other Ikea lighting options:

ikea lighting

link

Quick and Simple Closet Lighting Ideas: Battery Powered LED Mounts

LED closet lighting that are battery powered will only take a minute or two to install and are relatively inexpensive ($10-$30). As they are wireless, they can be fitted anywhere in the closet (on the ceiling, under shelves, on the side walls, on the floor). These LED lights are energy efficient, produce low heat and will last a long time. They can be attached using an adhesive strip (provided) or screwed on. There are quite a few options to choose from:

  • Tap Pucks: Wireless Closet Lighting

Tap pucks are small puck shaped lights that you can fit straight onto the shelves. You turn them on and off by tapping on them.

  • Motion Sensor Lights

These puck lights also come as motion sensor lights, so they will automatically come on once you reach inside the closet.

LED closet lights

Battery powered tap and motion sensor closet puck lights

Available from Amazon here: Tap Pucks & Motion Sensor Lights

led strip

Battery powered LED light strips

  • Light Strips

These black and white LED light strips by GE can be attached to the ceiling of the closet, the underside of a shelf or on the side walls of a closet. Amazon Link

light flute

An LED light flute

  • Light Flute

A different take on the light strips above. Once again battery powered – Amazon link.

  • Track lighting

closet lights With track lighting each individual light can be angled, directing the light to certain areas of your closet. Battery powered, the light to the right can be switched between 3 settings: on/off/dim. Amazon Link

Note: The LED lights mentioned above last quite a while, but when the lights do wear out the whole light will need to be replaced.

DIY Closet Lighting

You could use rope lights or string lights to create your own simple DIY closet lighting. Rope lights are LED lights encased within a plastic tube (available from Amazon). Because they are flexible they can be bent around different angles within a closet. They can be placed in the back of the shelves to provide back lighting. For a more whimsical look, try fitting LED string lights in the closet.

rope lights

Railing Lights

LED lights fitted within a closet railing is such an elegant and sleek idea. They will automatically come on when the door opens. There are a number of issues: they are not so popular, they are hard to get hold of, and are quite pricey. This could be a good DIY project: fixing an LED light strip to a closet railing.

closet railing lighting

LED closet railing lighting by Winona Lighting

Some companies to look into for closet railing lighting:

Door Light

door light

Some closets are a mix of a standalone and a walk in. They consist of a normal door and maybe 1 to 2 feet of walk in space. An ideal lighting solution for these closets is to fix a florescent light strip right above the door shining in towards the closet.

florescent door light

Walk In Closet Lighting Ideas

walk in closet lighting

Recessed lights and a hanging light are used to light this walk in closet

solar tube

A solar tube installed in a closet - by solatube.com

Lighting a walk in closet is much like lighting any other room in the house. Recessed lighting is a popular choice for modern designs. Pendant lights will work for tall ceilings and will create a grand look. You’ll also want display lighting, much like in the first section where recessed/puck lights are installed in the shelves. Or you can have lights fitted in the back of the shelf spaces.

  • Go Green

A solar tube can provide light in a walk in closet during the day. A tube is installed in the ceiling that draws the sun’s light in.

 

 

image credits: closet factory, pkieper, ffunyman, Rubbermaid Products, Jeremy.Brown, summitdesignremodeling

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Design Style Guide: Designer Italian Lighting

Italians are known for their high regard for quality in terms of manufacturing products that not only perform its function well but also speaks volumes about the Italians’ rich background in design and the arts. This can be seen in many products that come from Italy, from their suits to designer Italian lighting brands such as Foscarini or Axolight. People attribute this sense of style to the renaissance period which is believed to have started in Italy. This art movement inspired people to tap their creative minds and come up with creations that can truly make a change in the world. Art become highly regarded during that period.

Designer Italian Lighting

It comes as no surprise that Italians can create impressively stunning pieces of art that not only includes paintings, sculptures and the like, but also in other in other disciplines such as industrial design. Italian light fixtures in particular, are the most sought-after pieces for well designed residential and commercial spaces. From Italian wall lights, floor lamps, lanterns and chandeliers, the Italians can create pieces with grace and finesse.

One fine example is the Murano Chandelier, which rose to prominence as the Italians made use of hand-blown glass for the dangling, sparkling pieces of the chandelier. Even to this day, the underlying principles in crafting objects with Murano glass is still in effect, if not improved with more complex designs and varieties.

murano chandelier

Many brands have emerged in the past few decades, continuing the long-standing tradition of designer Italian lighting. Foscarini and Axolight are just two of the many companies that continue the design sensibilities of the Italians in the early 1900s. These popular Italian lighting designer brands not only continue what the makers from the past have perfected so well, but have also come to realize the importance of emerging technology and integration of these two to form unique lighting techniques.

Modern Italian Lighting

Foscarini Lighting Fixtures

Foscarini Italian Desk Light

Foscarini Italian pendant lights

 

Axolight

The Axolight SubZero Collection

Axolight Italian Ceiling Lights

There is a wide range of Italian designer lighting brands that can be bought online at shops such as ylighting.com or lampsplus.com.

chandelier photo: jenza

Related Articles: 

Italian Designer Lighting Profile: The Beluga Collection

Sleek Brazilian Design: A Modern Designer Desk Lamp

3 Designer Lighting Profiles: Shadow Projectors

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The 3 Different Types of Garden Pond Lighting Ideas

Adding lighting to a pond creates another dimension to a garden’s ambiance at night. Even though lighting doesn’t provide any real benefits to the fishes, they allow you to see what they are up to when the sun goes down. There are a number of areas where lights can be placed to decorate and light up a pond. Here we will go over the three general areas, specific garden pond lighting ideas and also the different types of lights.

pond lighting ideas

Lighting Types – Halogen and LED

The pond lighting ideas outlined below can come in two different bulb types, Halogen and LED. The most common pond lights are low voltage 12 volt halogen lamps. These are inexpensive lights that only come as white bulbs (colored lenses are included with some pond lighting kits). Halogen light bulbs do give off a lot of heat, and consume a lot of energy, making them have a short life span. LED pond lighting is an alternative, which is becoming more and more popular. These are eco friendly lights that have a much longer life span than halogen bulbs. Because they use much less energy, they give off less heat which is ideal for lighting small ponds. Unlike halogens, the LED light bulbs themselves can come in a range of colors. There are also LED pond lights that are preprogrammed to fade to different colors.

The 3 Types of Pond Lighting Ideas

When it comes to deciding which lighting ideas are best for your pond, you will want to decide if you want to create soft and subtle lighting or turn your pond into a garden feature by adding more light fixtures. Do you want to see the whole pond at night or just light certain areas and see glimpses of fish as they swim by – creating a more mysterious and enchanting pond at night.

There are three types of pond lighting ideas:

  1. Underwater lighting
  2. Above water lighting
  3. Perimeter lighting

Underwater Pond Lighting

Underwater recessed pond lights

Underwater lights are the most common lights in creating a well lit pond at night. These are low voltage electrical lights. Usually 35 to 75 watts, the deeper the pond the higher the wattage needed.

The most popular types are kits that contain 1 or 3 lamps that you stake to the bottom of the pond. Another option is to have recessed lights fitted into the bedrock underwater (much like swimming pool lighting).

There are also lights that are fitted into a rock shaped encasing, that blends in with the rest of the pond. These are low voltage lights that are submerged underwater.

Most underwater lights are used for general lighting – they wash a general area of the pond with light. However, there are spotlights that can be used underwater. These are used to provide more focused and localized lighting, highlighting a certain spot underwater, whether that is a rock bed, an underwater statue, etc.

Left: General underwater pond light Right: Underwater spotlight

Lighting Tip: More natural hues of colors (off white, orange, green, yellow) are used for submersible pond lighting, while purples and blues are generally used for decorative above water lighting.

Above Pond Lighting

Another way of adding lighting to a pond is to add lights that sit above the water. Floating pond lights are an elegant lighting fixture to add. These can come as low voltage or solar powered versions. Floating solar lights are a lot easier and cheaper to install, and will automatically come on as it gets dark. These lights generally have the bulb above the water and will wash the surface of the pond with light. There are floating lights that have the bulb on the bottom so the light points down into the pond. This acts as moon lighting, lighting the pond and the fishes from above. Using floating lights along with underwater lights will create soft and subtle lighting for a pond.

Floating solar pond lights

Lights attached to the base of a fountain

Another above pond lighting idea is fountain lighting. If you have, or are planning on installing a fountain that aerates the water, spurting water up into the air, lights can be installed at the base. The lights are pointed up onto the shooting water, illuminating and even changing the color of the water (with the use of lenses or colored LED lights). This creates a colorful water display.

Perimeter Lighting

Lighting the perimeter of the pond adds to the visual display of the pond and also to the safety. Outlining the perimeter of the pond helps in navigating around it at night. There are a number of perimeter lighting ideas.

Simple perimeter lighting ideas would include solar lights. These can come in rock shapes to blend in with the landscape, or solar stake lights that are planted into the soil around the pond. Recessed lights can be installed into the ground and rock bed above the water (either as solar powered or low voltage).

Spotlights shining from above are ideal for larger ponds. These can be attached to a wall or the rock bed, and can shine down onto a particular area or feature in or around the pond. A small waterfall, where the water simply cascades down over a small rock bed and ventilates the pond, can be lit up with simple above ground or even underwater spotlights – turning the waterfall into a feature of the pond.

Stake lights outlining a pond

Pond mister

One Step Further

How about adding a simple pond mister? These are simple devices that create a mystical mist above the water. They are completely safe to life in the pond. These are used only for decorative purposes, and with the use of lighting they create a beautiful water display. Here you can use LED lights that can change the color of the mist.

Where to Buy

Total Pond has a small selection of pond lights, which are available online from Home Depot

Good quality pond lights range in price from $20 for simple floating lights and single submersible lighting kits to over $200 for complete lighting systems for garden ponds.

When it comes to pond lighting ideas, simple and subtle lighting goes a long way in creating a beautiful water feature. Invest in high quality fixtures as these will be able to stand the conditions of pond life.

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Design Guide: Ideas for Outdoor Pendant Lighting Fixtures

There are a range of outdoor lighting ideas. Normal recessed or flush mount lights installed into a tall outdoor ceiling won’t be able to provide enough light. Outdoor pendant lighting fixtures will need to be used, as these will help in bringing the light down closer to the ground. Below are a number of ideas on the different types of outdoor pendant lights.

outdoor pendant light

Caution: When it comes to outdoor lighting, light fixtures such as recessed and flush mount are held close to the ceiling. Therefore they are generally protected from weather conditions. Pendant lighting will need extra consideration when it comes to where they will be placed – will there be gusty winds blowing them about, and can rain reach the low hanging lights.

Hanging lanterns are the main choice for outdoor pendant light fixtures. Most people will opt to go the electrical route, but there are lanterns which have a little door for a candle to be placed inside. The great thing here is that the bulb or candle is encased within the lantern, protecting it from the weather. They come in a range of styles to suite anyone’s design taste: from modern outdoor pendant lighting in chrome or polished steel, to Japanese, Moroccan or traditional Victorian lanterns.

YLighting has a number of high end outdoor pendant lights, ranging from $170 to $1,625

 site: YLighting

Lamps Plus has a wide range of outdoor pendant lights starting at $35

site: Lamps Plus

There are also outdoor paper lanterns, which add a decorative element to an outdoor space. They come as electric powered, battery or even solar powered. A number of them can be hung side by side or one can be hung as a pendant light. They can be used for lighting patios and decks, paths or more decorative purposes such as hanging in trees. There are supersized lanterns for large outdoor pendant lighting that is used for wedding tent lighting or large gardens.

paper outdoor lanterns

Going All DIY: Outdoor pendant lighting can also be created DIY style. Hooks can be fixed to any cross beams in the garden, and from these hooks can hang jars containing candles. The jars can be taken down to light and extinguish the candles.

An outdoor chandelier

Lastly there are simple outdoor chandeliers, in electrical or candle form, which also act as an outdoor décor piece. There is also the alternative of having an all in one hanging ceiling fan and light.

 

Have a look at our pergola lighting ideas post. Because of the exposed cross beams of a pergola, hanging pendant lights is relatively easy.

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