Home Gym Lighting (Ways To Light Up Your Workout Area)

When you are designing or building a home gym setup, there are a lot of things to think about.

The list includes your space, insulation, cooling and heating, and of course, your equipment. What you may forget about, though, is the lighting. 

Lighting your gym space can be easily overlooked, but it is one of the more important aspects of your workout. 

In this article, we will look at reasons why lighting is so important, what the best gym lighting setup is, and why it matters when you are working out

We will rate and compare several types of gym lighting systems to help you pick the best options for you. Let's get started! 

In this section, we will showcase some of the more impressive, ideal, or simple home and garage gym lighting ideas. 

Here, the use of LED tubes allows for mood lighting and color changes without affecting the overall color temperature. 

The space stays lit with white recessed lighting, so you will always be able to see form and equipment. 

These can be found in many commercial gyms and seem to be commonly situated near the cardio equipment. 

While not my favorite choice for a home gym, they can provide an energetic feel to your space and help to motivate you when riding, rowing and running. 

home gym with spin bikes and bright recessed LED lights

The bright, clean overhead LED system is in use here. With fewer lights, the space is aided by large gym mirrors and lighter accents.

The overall temperature of this space is ideal for working out without compromising visibility. 

overhead led lights in home gym

Mixing recessed lighting with natural light from large windows and doors gives the space an open, airy feel.

The lighting is on the warmer side to contradict the natural light temperature, adding depth to smaller spaces. 

home gym with large window and sliding doors

Mixing natural light from overhead skylights is a great way to add better color temperature to a space.

The additional use of incandescent recessed lighting allows you to work out at any time of day, even if the sun is down or obstructed. 

home gym with skylights and sauna

Only using natural lighting can make a space warm and inviting. For a home gym, it is more difficult to use.

Still, when pulled off correctly, as you see here, visibility is ideal, and the space maintains the proper color temperature for aerobic exercises.

home gym with natural lighting

Tube LEDs allow you to use a dimmer switch to adjust the brightness and color tone of the bulbs.

This can make a space darker in some areas, especially in corners or along walls. However, recessed fluorescent lights will help in that regard, as you see here. 

home gym with tube LEDs

Basement gyms don’t need to be dark and dreary. With large mirrors, even standard fluorescent fixtures can add more than enough lighting.

The color temperature and cozy space will make anyone want to work out longer. This is one of the more impressive home gym decor ideas I've seen.

home gym with large mirrors and lights

If you have an open floor plan and large windows, a few LED bar lights may be all you need.

Just be sure to add window dressings to block out any direct sunlight during early morning and late evenings when the sun is lower, like you see here. 

gym with overhead bar lights

If you can't get away with brightness from LEDs, incandescent bulbs can be used if you have enough of them.

More may not always be better, but in this situation, it works well. 

home gym with incandescent lighting

Second floor gyms can make great use of scenery and large windows with natural lighting.

To aid in nighttime workouts, though, recessed LED lighting can set the mood and keep you active.

Learn More - Can You Put A Home Gym On Second Floor?  

second floor home gym with large windows & LED lights

In this example, you find recessed lighting in both LED and fluorescent. The fluorescent bulbs give the space its constant illumination to set the base color temp of the room.

It allows you to see the equipment and complete your workouts safely while giving you enough temperature to be energetic. 

recessed lighting in both LED and fluorescent

This recessed LED option gives you a slightly different approach to the lighting.

Overhead LED bulbs are connected to the LED tubes at the top and LED strips at the bottom of the main wall in the space. 

All are connected with a dimmer switch to produce the same lumen and color temperature output.

One dial, and you can set the entire mood and atmosphere of the space. 

The bottom up LED strip lighting helps keep the room flush with light without casting extra shadows. 

home gym with recessed led lights

In this smaller space, you get the impression it is much larger than it actually is. This is due to using mirrors and three different types of light sources.

First, you have the natural light from the large windows. 

You also have the bare-bulb overhead design that allows the space extra light or as the main light source at night or overcast days.

The recessed or hidden LED lights add low shadows and give the space the color temperature it needs to make the room inviting and invigorating. 

small home gym with a window and overhead lighting

Crisp, clean white light is one of the most popular secondary options when you use natural light as the primary source.

With natural light, the color temperature is a bit higher, brighter, and more white. 

Duplicating this with recessed and exposed overhead lighting will remove a lot of shadows caused by natural lighting and allow the space to be used at all hours of the day or night without loss of motivation or mental drain. 

bright gym with warm tone lighting

Black lights and dark or red lighting can help users of the gym feel more comfortable.

Using black lights and dimmer lighting can give a more relaxed feel, but also one of comfort. 

Dark lights and black lights are being used in upscale gyms across the country to take the spotlight off users. 

Some newer members or those that may not be in the best shape find that the darker lighting makes them more comfortable.

Being capable of focusing on the workout instead of others that may look over at you, and this can make them feel better about their appearance in the mirrors. 

dark gym with bright multicolored led lights

The no windows approach is a psychological trick in professional gyms to help keep you focused and not worried about the time.

In a home gym, it may be your only option, especially if you build in a basement or garage. 

With many setups, you can use the existing fluorescent lighting and style it for a unique look, like you see here.

You may not require this many bulbs or housings, but with a junction box and a few wiring harnesses, you can do a lot. 

Related Article - Best Home Gym Setup (Layout & Planning Advice)

home gym with no windows and overhead lighting

Adding your fluorescent lights to a chain keeps everything on the same switch and allows you to add more lighting where you need it most.

This setup, as pictured here, combines multiple bulbs to fully illuminate the space, offers a more even color temperature, and allows you to see everything you need. 

Adding reflective materials or mirrors will also increase the lighting in the space.

Even without windows, you can have multiple angles of light and reduce shadows almost completely. 

garage gym with overhead lighting

Sometimes you can’t add lights and must use the fixtures that are present and available. In these cases, as you see here, you just need the right bulbs.

A single high-lumen LED bulb will fit in a standard fixture and can be controlled to offer the right amount of color temperature needed for the space.  

single high-lumen LED bulb for home gym

Mixing natural and ambient lighting where it is available can give you a warmer feel and allow around-the-clock workout opportunities.

In the example here, you have a direct sunlight window, and even though it is smaller, it still offers ample lighting on its own. 

However, when the sun isn’t in line with the window, the ambient lighting will need to be strong enough to replace it.

You can also control the color temperature and mood with the ambient accessory lighting. 

home gym with small window

Basement gyms and some garage gyms may not have any access to exiting lighting, wiring, or even power.

In these cases, you need to utilize natural light to your advantage. There is an obvious disadvantage here, limiting your workout times or space usage. 

With natural lights, the angles and shadows will depend on where the doors or windows are located and how much direct light the area receives.

You will also need to maintain the landscape outside the window and prevent grass, trees, and bushes from blocking light. 

basement gym with natural light

Why Is Good Lighting Important In Your Home Gym? 

Lighting will play a significant role in many of your home gym activities, but why is it so important? Well, for starters, it helps you see properly. 

With the proper lighting, you won't have a high glare off metal or reflective surfaces, and you can see where you are going and what you are doing without the worry of tripping or falling. 

Good lighting also lets you see your form in a mirror to ensure you are lifting properly, and it helps you see muscle definition and progress to keep you motivated to continue onward [1]. 

On the vanity note, the right lights can also make you look better. 

When you look better to yourself, you look better to others, and it all starts with the right lighting.

Self-confidence from images, mirror reflections, photos, and more comes from seeing yourself in the right light. That right light needs to be in your home gym, too. 


Different Types Of Home Gym Lighting Explained 

There are several different ways to get your gym lit up. Aside from the lighting style (wall mount, downlights, etc.), you have the type of lights to consider.

Here are the most popular and feasible lighting types available. 

  • Natural Lights  
    Natural lighting comes from the sun and is a more pure white light. It casts natural tones and can illuminate any size space, providing there is enough opportunity to do so. Open garage doors, skylights, and windows are the usual inlets for natural lighting. The downside to natural light is it isn't always available. To use this light source, you need to work out during the daytime. It also fades at dusk and dawn and cannot be controlled very well. Open garage doors, skylights, and windows are the usual inlets for natural lighting. The downside to natural light is it isn't always available. To use this light source, you need to work out during the daytime. It also fades at dusk and dawn and cannot be controlled very well.   
  • LED Lights  
    LED lighting is the modern popular lighting source, and you can find an LED type to suit your needs. From color, lumens and shade control, the perfect lighting for your space is an LED strip away. LEDs also come in many forms, including standard bulbs and tubes so you don’t need to change out your fixtures. With so many options, you can even mix and match to work with natural lighting for a more even tone across your gym. 
  • Fluorescent Lights  
    Fluorescent lighting is commonly found pre-installed in garages, so you may not have to do a lot of swapping. Fluorescent lights are also inexpensive and can be used in pairs, quads, or as a single bulb. They are also available in multiple sizes, including desk lamps. The cost-effective lights aren't the greatest option these days, but they can still produce a well-balanced spectrum. However, the hum of the bulbs can be distracting, and their contents hazardous should the bulbs break. 
  • Traditional Lights  
    Traditional lighting is still one of the cheapest options and works in every fixture in your home. They produce a single light color, and it isn't the most flattering. However, the low cost and easy installation make them popular still today. The biggest issue here is that these bulbs produce a lot of heat, waste energy, and don't last as long as other light types. They are also slowly being phased out for LED options, making traditional bulbs harder to find. 
  • Smart Lighting  
    Smart lights are a mix of LED and smart home controls. The same uses, sizes, and options for smart lights are found with the LED category, with one major exception. Here you can control how the lights are turned on and off using smart devices. Mobile apps, voice controls, and even timers can be utilized to control the power, brightness, and even effects such as RGB coloring, strobe, lumen output, and more. Remotes and apps are generally used for these controls allowing you to customize every inch of the lighting area. 

6 Best Affordable Garage Gym Lighting Products 

What about the lighting in your own home gym, though?

Depending on your situation, mirrors usage, window size, and other factors, certain light options may be better or worse for you.

So let's take a look at some lighting styles to help you get the best for your space. 

1. Barrina LED T5 Integrated Single Fixture 

On Sale Today
(6 Pack) Barrina LED T5 Integrated Single...
16,937 Reviews
(6 Pack) Barrina LED T5 Integrated Single...
  • Super Bright: More than 2200 lumens output,...
  • Linkable: Extendable design, could connect up...
  • Easy Installation: Plug-and-play. Just use...
  • Wide Application: Perfect for garage, storage...

This pack of T5 LED light fixtures may be all you need for your home gym.

These can be hardwired into a junction box to replace an existing light fixture or plugged into an outlet. There are connectors on both ends of all housings as well. 

You can choose to connect the fixtures directly as one long light or use the provided 20-inch cable connectors to create designs or patterns.

Everything you need for a wall or ceiling mount is included, and the 6-pack of LED lights and fixtures will be plenty for most home gym spaces. 


2. Onforu 2 Pack 48W Black Light Bar 

On Sale Today
Onforu 2 Pack 96W Black Light Bar, LED...
46 Reviews
Onforu 2 Pack 96W Black Light Bar, LED...
  • 【Powerful 96W Blacklight】With 96 units...
  • 【Outstanding Fluorescent...
  • 【Easy to Install】This black light bar...
  • 【IP66 Waterproof & Various...

If you are going for the darker, black or red light aesthetic in your home gym, these mounted LED black lights may be for you.

This twin pack comes with two 48 watt floodlight style LED bars. You can mount them together or separately in one of three configurations. 

These are not hardwired solutions, though, and will need to be plugged in. This makes ceiling mounting a bit difficult but doable with the right extensions and mounting.

You will also find that these 48 watt LEDs can produce a color temperature of up to 6000K, which can be invigorating. 


3. Lithonia Lighting Fluorescent Ceiling Fixture 

Lithonia Lighting C 240 120 MBE 2INKO Strip...
1,207 Reviews
Lithonia Lighting C 240 120 MBE 2INKO Strip...
  • Fluorescent ceiling fixture provides bright,...
  • Ideal for a garage, warehouse, or a retail or...
  • Metal housing with high-gloss, baked-enamel...
  • Works with 2 40-watt T12 fluorescent bulbs...

If simple, affordable lighting is what is on your list, or you need to accompany natural lighting, cheaper may be better.

The standard 2-bulb fluorescent light fixture from Lithonia Lighting will come in handy. 

This single fixture uses two 48-inch bulbs and can work with either 32 or 40-watt bulbs.

The pure white light is great for nighttime use and for removing dead space or shadows from sunlight coming in windows and doors. 

Hardwiring a light fixture is simple enough, and if you have an existing fixture or junction box, you can be up and running in less than half an hour. 


4. hykolity 12 Pack 6 Inch LED Recessed Lighting W/ Junction Box 

hykolity 12 Pack 6 Inch LED Recessed Lighting...
4,027 Reviews
hykolity 12 Pack 6 Inch LED Recessed Lighting...
  • ✅Space-Saving Solution - The recessed...
  • ✅No Housing or J-box Needed - Easy to...
  • ✅High Quality - Our led recessed lights are...
  • ✅Smooth Dimming - The led recessed ceiling...

If you want a sleek and professional look, recessed lighting is the way to go.

With adjustable LEDs lighting and up to 1100 lumens, you will have all the light you need with hykolity 6-inch LED lights. 

This 12-pack comes with the lights, housings and junction boxes, so all you have to do is make the room and wire the lights in.

Of course, this process is much easier done when finishing the room instead of after it is all done. However, even that isn't much of a problem. 

Once installed, the lights produce a combined 1100 lumens and can reach up to 7200-kelvin color temperature.

Because the spacing and angles are up to you, you can eliminate shadows and put lighting where you need it most. 


5. Lepro LED Strip Light White 

On Sale Today
Lepro LED Strip Light White, 16.4ft Dimmable...
  • Dimmable Lepro 16.4ft LED lights strip: With...
  • Strong 3M Sticky Tape: We use professional...
  • Durable and Environmentally friendly: Low...
  • Easy to Install: With double sided tape on...

One of the most affordable and often overlooked lighting types is LED strip lighting.

Mostly seen on decorated walls or behind televisions, these adhesive-backed strip lights make a great accent below LED ceiling lights, along baseboards, or even in corners where you need more light. 

You can also place them around mirrors, behind or near equipment, and in hard to see areas for that extra boost.

The best part is that they are extremely affordable, and the Lepro LED strips come in 16.4 and 32.8 foot rolls. 

Installation is simple and quick, and if you don't like the lighting after a while or want to upgrade, removal is just as simple.

The 12-volt adapter plugs into any standard outlet, and they even come with a dimmer switch to give you the perfect amount of light at any time. 


6. STATSUN 18W LED Dimmable Flush Mount Ceiling Light

Another elegant and affordable solution is a flush mount LED light, such as the one from STATUN.

This light fixture is hardwired into the junction box and provides up to 6000K color temperature.

The install is fairly simple, though the instructions aren’t exactly always clear. 

Once installed, though, you can use the remote to set the color range, brightness and even control the on/off timer.

The remote is a little challenging to get used to and needs to be directly pointed at the bulb area to work right. However, once you have the hang of it, it won’t be an issue. 

The light is a flush mount housing with an 18 watt LED bulb the provides over 30,000 hours of performance. 

It also has a memory function (as long as you use the remote) and will remember all settings for the next time you turn it on. 


How To Install Lights In Your Home Gym 

Installing lights can be a simple process or require a complete make-over of the space. It all depends on your current situation and future needs.

Overhead lighting is the most important but may require additional fixtures, wiring, or special outlets. 

Wall-mounted lighting can also be useful but may need brackets, wiring, or outlet location to be reliable.

Let's take a closer look at how these lights are installed. 

Installing Overhead Lights 

The first step when installing new overhead lighting is understanding what you already have.

For example, if you have a fluorescent light and want to replace it with LED strip lighting or incandescent recessed lighting, the fluorescent fixture needs to come down. 

If you are swapping the bulb type, it may be a simple matter of changing out a light bulb. However, in most cases, you will need a power drill, screwdriver, wire nuts, and about an hour or two of time. 

After turning the power off at the circuit breaker, you can remove the old fixture.

Most new fixtures will install directly onto a junction box using the included hardware. 

Use the wire nuts to secure the power and neutral wires together and the ground wire to the grounding bolt or copper ground wire. 

Once that is finished, you can install the fixture to the junction box, add the shade or decorative pieces and the bulbs.

Test the light before you clean up to ensure everything works as expected. 

Installing Wall-Mounted Lights 

Wall-mounted lights are more of a secondary lighting source and are generally used as accent lighting or spotlighting for specific areas.

You will need to ensure that the light system you buy is capable of wall installation, and it should come with the right brackets. 

The first step, though, is to locate your power outlets. The wall lights will need to plug directly into an outlet, and most won't have long power cords. 

Using a level, you should mark the install location for the brackets and put them up one at a time.

Ensure that each one is level and in line with the previous one for a uniform look and mounting height. 

After the brackets are installed, you can mount the light fixtures to the brackets, and using a power drill, secure the screws in place.

After that, all that is left is to plug the lights in and ensure they work and adjust them to their proper position. 


How Does Light Color & Temperature Affect Your Workout? 

Light color, or temperature, is an expression of the warmth the light gives off.

However, this is the atmosphere and not the actual temperature. It also primarily only deals with LED lights these days. 

Measured in Kelvin (K), the color temperature can help or hinder your activities, depending on what they are.

For example, a warm, inviting, and comfortable color temperature can help you relax, unwind and remain calm. 

Obviously, this isn't what you want when you are trying to push weight around or get in an aerobic workout. 

For a home gym, your lighting needs to be clean, crisp, and clear while promoting a more energetic atmosphere.

For this, you want a whiter light instead of a red or yellow light. With LED lighting, you can select the color temperature for your needs. 

For workouts and home gyms, it should be reasonably bright and white light with a temperature between 4000K and 6800K.

The higher the Kelvin temperature, the whiter and brighter the light is. 


Common Home Gym Lighting FAQs

How many lumens do I need for my home gym? 

To calculate the lumens needs, you first need to know about foot candles. This is the amount of light (or brightness) when standing 1 foot away.

On average, a garage space will require about 100 foot candles of brightness. The formula for lumens is based on square footage.

You need 10 foot candles for every 1000 lumens, so a 100 square foot garage is about 20 foot-candles or 2000 total lumens.[2]

What are gym lighting levels? 

Commercial gyms have a clean white lighting but are a bit brighter than home use.

On average, you can expect to find commercial gyms between 300 and 500 Lux, or 3000 to 5000 lumens. 

How else can I lighten up my basement gym? 

Lamps, windows, doors, natural and artificial light sources are your options for basement built home gyms

If you have overhead lighting, opening doors and windows to the outside can let in natural light, and vice versa.

You can add more downlights, wall lights, or lamps to brighten up your space. 

How many blacklights do you need for a gymnasium? 

A blacklight will cover about 60 square feet. Based on the size of the gymnasium, you may need 2 or 4 to get full coverage.

Smaller gyms can use 2 black lights, one on each side, to cover the whole gym. However, larger gyms may need one on each wall or corner to get full coverage. 

Why do some people put downlights above a gym mirror? 

When lighting is placed right over a mirror (or overhead and slightly away), the light causes natural shadows that make you appear more fit, leaner, and in better shape.

Commercial gyms and fitting rooms use this technique in order to make you feel better about your appearance.

You are also more likely to continue using the gym or buy the clothes you try on if you feel better when looking in the mirror. 


Conclusion

Home gym lighting is an important aspect of a gym build that is often overlooked. 

The right types of lights, amount of lights, and lumens are needed for a proper workout and experience. 

Everything from the type of bulb and color temperature can make the space ideal or uninviting.

The more you invest in planning your lighting and choosing the right setup, the better you will feel while working out and the more likely you are to continue to use the space. 

Hopefully, this article has shed some light on your home gym setup and given you the tools needed to get the proper lighting for your project. 

References:

  1. https://www.philips-hue.com/en-us/explore-hue/blog/best-home-gym-lighting
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumen_(unit)


Paul J

Last Updated on October 20, 2022