3 Garage Lighting Wiring Tips

car in garage with several other in the background
  • 1-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-300

In order to correctly install your garage lighting, you will need to know how to wire it up to the electrical boxes which run near to the garage. Some people can feel very intimidated by the idea of installing wiring in the garage, as it is usually the place where the circuit breakers and mains power supply switches are installed. It seems risky to try and put in more wiring into such an electrically charged place, but if you wish to install some improved garage lighting into your home, then you should not be too afraid to try fitting some lights into your garage.

1. Placing the Lights

Before you do any wiring, you will need to have a coherent plan in effect. This will help you to work out where each of your lighting fixtures, and the switches which control them, should be placed in the room. One effective way of working out how to position your lights is to place them on the walls or ceiling using tape, just for a brief period. This will allow you to check the stretch of the cable attaching the light to the switch. After all, you don't want to have made the effort of installing the light fixtures only to end up having to position the switch above your head due to a short cable.

Many older garages used to have a light switch which was fitted above the doors, and this could be difficult to find and reach when the garage was in darkness. Consider factors like this before you start wiring. You don't want to find you've put your light switch in a place you can't reach when the car is parked inside.

2. Checking the Power

infra-red beam

You should also check the position of your power supply. You may be fortunate, and have a garage where you can position your lights without coming close to the mains supply. In most garages, however, you are likely to need to cross this area at some point. Use an Infra-Red scanning device to get the locations of all of the electricity and water supplies that are connected to switches in your garage, and mark them clearly in pencil on the wall. This will help you to avoid them while drilling holes for the wiring.

3. Choosing Plug-ins or Hardwired

Lights come in two variations, that of plug-ins or hardwired lights. Plug-in lights can be installed by drilling a few holes for the lighting, and then trailing the cable around the outside using wire support brackets. These will be drilled into the plaster, and won't go in far enough to damage any wires behind. The advantage to these is you will not have to perform a lot of wiring. On the downside, you will have a lot of exposed cable which can attract insects and other vermin into the garage.

Hardwiring is a lot more difficult, and you would need a lot of expertise in order to wire your lights correctly, but the cables will be out of sight, giving a cleaner look to your garage.