How to Install Work Lights in the Garage

Written by joey pellham
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How to Install Work Lights in the Garage
Portable work lights for your garage. (worklights image by Glenn Jenkinson from

Installing work lights in the garage can help you finish all your projects no matter what time of day or night. A common solution to the lack of available lighting in a garage is too add portable lighting that can be installed fast and moved if necessary.

The only thing you will need is an available outlet to plug your new portable garage lights into.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Ladder
  • Stud finder
  • Cordless drill
  • 1/4 inch drill bit
  • Open ceiling hook
  • Portable work light(s)
  • Portable GFCI device

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  1. 1

    Put on all protective gear. Chose a location where you will hang your portable work light from the garage ceiling. Your light's location should be within a few feet of a ceiling outlet so the device can be plugged in.

  2. 2

    Set up a ladder so you can access the ceiling.

  3. 3

    Use a stud finder to find a ceiling joist in order to mount the open ceiling hook.

  4. 4

    Drill a 1/4 inch hole in the ceiling with the cordless drill and drill bit.

  5. 5

    Install the open ceiling hook into the ceiling joist. Twist it tight with a pair of pliers until it's snug with the ceiling.

  6. 6

    Hang the portable trouble light or work light from the ceiling hook. These units consist of a plastic case that houses about 30 feet of extension cord. This cord leads down to an enclosed light with a protective grill. When you need light, you pull down on the extension cord. When you are done, it coils back into the housing, so it's out of the way.

  7. 7

    Plug in the unit and you are ready to go.

Tips and warnings

  • You may also install a small portable GFCI device that will protect your lights and circuit if there is an electrical problem. This device plugs into the outlet and then the portable work light plugs into it.
  • An alternative install method is to install a portable work light to the wall. It may or may not be a retractable model, like described above. It would mount to the wall using the same open hook that was also described above.

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