Plenty of lighting makes it easy to navigate around a shed in the dark. Brighten up your shed with some of our favourite lights.
As we look to maximise space at home, the garden shed becomes a valuable extra location that’s dry and secure. The challenge is that most sheds don’t have any lighting or electricity. While fine in the day, looking for something inside the shed at night can lead to stumbling around in the darkness.
Once used just for storing tools and garden furniture, a shed or similar garden building can be used for a variety of purposes. Some sheds are even being converted into workshops, creating an extra room for hobbies, without taking up space inside the house.
However you choose to use your shed, sufficient lighting is often needed. During the long summer days, there’s plenty of natural light from early morning until late into the evening. But during the winter, daylight is limited and the shed can need an additional light source by the afternoon.
A high-quality light inside can allow the shed to be used throughout all hours of the day. Installing lights on the outside can also light the shed up at night. Exterior lights with motion sensors are a great idea to switch on as you approach the building in the dark.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to find the best shed lights for both the shed interior and exterior. Fortunately, we have compiled a list below of some of our favourites.
Best Solar Interior Shed Lights
Interior solar lights are ideal for brightening up the inside of a shed without electricity. The solar panel is placed on the shed’s exterior, with a wire running to the location of the bulb.
Encoft Solar Shed Lamps (Amazon)
Double hanging lamp for a medium shed at night
This double lamp system is perfect for lighting up a shed when it’s dark outside. A single solar panel can be attached to the roof and powers both lights. A 3M cable for each light provides plenty of length to place a lamp on each side of the shed. The lights are controlled using a remote and a choice of warm or cold white bulbs is available.
The design features IP65 waterproofing to protect against any damage to the solar panel or lamps inside the shed. Each lamp contains 16 SMD LED bulbs for lots of brightness inside the shed. Each lampshade is small, taking up minimal space, whilst looking great attached to the ceiling. This light is only suitable for use at night and will not power on when the battery is being charged from solar power during daylight.
Greesuit Solar LED Bulb with Remote (Amazon)
Low-cost bulb for a small shed
The solar-powered bulb from Greesuit is ideal for lighting up a small shed that’s only used occasionally. The simple system features a bulb with a hook that can be attached to the roof in the centre of the shed. A small solar panel is provided that’s easy to install on a shed roof and small enough not to stand out.
The bulb is made up of 20 SMD LEDs and has a button to control the lighting function. A remote control is also provided that’s useful considering the light will be positioned on the roof. The dimmable bulb can allow for an extended runtime by using a lower brightness setting. As the bulb hangs by a hook, it can be moved around when required, such as when searching inside the shed, the bulb can be moved into a better position. For a larger shed, a double bulb system is available, allowing for lights to be positioned at either side of the building.
Best Battery & Mains Powered Interior Shed Lights
Battery-powered lights provide powerful output and can be recharged quickly. If the shed already has electricity, mains powered interior lights are perfect if the shed is used as a workshop.
Lofter Motion Sensor Battery Lights (Amazon)
Bright light & rechargeable battery
When just short bursts of light are required, battery lights make a great solution. These motion-sensing lights from Lofter can be positioned on the roof or walls of a shed to automatically turn on when someone enters. The advanced motion sensor has a detection range of up to 10 ft and a wide 120-degree sensing range. When continuous light is required, the system can be set to remain turned on.
The light uses a 2400mAh rechargeable battery. when the battery is flat, it can be charged using a micro-USB cable from a power bank or brought inside the house and plugged in. When at full capacity, the light can last for up to 3 hours. The light features 66 bright LEDs to provide powerful performance inside a shed.
Best Solar Exterior Shed Lights
Solar lights on the exterior of a shed can light up the building at night. Lights with motion sensors can shine on the path when someone approaches.
Claoner Solar Motion Security Lights (Amazon)
Light up the path in front of a shed
Solar light technology has come a long way in recent years, with even small units featuring an impressive output. This light from Claoner features 128 LEDs to provide extremely bright performance, perfect for lighting up the surroundings of a shed. A PIR sensor features in the middle to detect motion when a person approaches.
Three settings allow the light to run in a choice of modes, including different brightness settings when motion is detected. The solar panel is built into the top of the unit so no additional wires are required. Installation can be completed using an adhesive pad or with the included screws.
JesLED 90 Motion Solar Light (Amazon)
Long battery life and powerful downlight
This powerful solar light makes a great option for attaching to the side of a shed roof, lighting up a doorway underneath. The light features 90 powerful LED bulbs for plenty of brightness when walking towards a shed in the dark. A large 2600mAh battery provides plenty of run time, even during poor weather conditions. This system can also charge via a USB cable for use as an emergency light.
Four modes of lighting are available, including motion sensing and dusk to dawn. Installation is simple with everything, including the screws, in the box. One light should be suitable for most sheds, and a two-pack is available for larger garden buildings.
Best Battery & Mains powered Exterior Shed Lights
Mains powered wall lights can light up a shed exterior long into the night. Many feature modern designs and the wiring can be hidden on the interior of the shed wall.
Laside Outdoor Wall Lights (Amazon)
Contemporary design for shed exterior
As well as lighting up the exterior, wall lights can bring a contemporary design to the outside of a shed. The modern design of the Laside wall light features an anthracite grey colour and lets out plenty of light. The IP44 rating is suitable for use outdoors and the tempered glass keeps the light protected. A Solid construction from aluminium provides a premium feel and the paint protects the light from rust.
The light output is both upwards and downwards, covering the ground around a shed, and the surrounding area. This light uses GU10 bulbs that need to be purchased separately.
Considerations when choosing shed lighting
There are lots to consider when looking for the best shed lighting. Everything from the power source to the type of bulb can affect the performance. Be sure to find a light with the most suitable features for how you will be using the shed.
How the shed lights will be powered can have a big impact on performance. If the shed does not contain an electrical supply, the options will be either battery or solar-powered.
Battery-powered shed lights are useful for the interior when the shed won’t be used often. LED bulbs can achieve high levels of brightness with typical household or rechargeable batteries. These lights form a compact unit, without the need for additional wiring and can be positioned anywhere. If the shed is also positioned in a covered area, there is no reliance on getting enough sunlight to work.
Solar-powered lights make a great choice for both the interior and exterior of a shed. Exterior lights usually come as a single unit, without the need for additional wires and can be attached to the walls of the shed. Interior shed lights will require wiring to a solar panel that can be installed on the exterior.
As solar lights charge throughout the day, the batteries inside do not need to be replaced. During the winter months, the lights will likely only last for a few hours due to the lack of sunlight. In the winter, solar lights are often best suited to short bursts such as security lighting.
If the shed has electricity installed, the choice of lighting is much greater. Batten lights are commonly used and installed in the centre of a shed roof. When installing mains powered lighting, the work should be completed by a qualified electrician.
Motion sensor, daylight or switch
Shed lights can be activated in several different ways, depending on the lights purpose and power supply.
Lights used for security can be activated by a motion sensor installed on the device. Passive infrared (PIR) sensors can detect heat energy in the environment. When heat is detected, the light can turn on for a set period. As the sensor only picks up heat, false activations e.g. from leaves blowing past are reduced. Due to the light only coming on for a short period, solar and battery-powered lights work well as security lights throughout the year.
Most solar lights activate when daylight is reduced, commonly known as dusk to dawn lighting. At dusk, the solar lights will turn on and remain lit until the battery runs out or there’s sufficient light to charge the unit during the morning. In the summer months, solar lights can run for many hours, but in the winter the time is much shorter.
Lights inside a shed are typically controlled using a switch. On battery powered lights the switch will be installed on the unit itself. For mains powered lighting, a separate switch can be positioned on the wall, allowing for easy access.
Even though the design of many shed lights can be similar, the brightness can vary a lot. The lighting brightness is measured in lumens, with a higher lumen translating into a brighter light output.
Nearly all shed lights these days feature LED bulbs. When an LED bulb is used instead of an older halogen or similar bulb, energy consumption is significantly reduced. So even a light only powered from solar or batteries can still produce a large number of lumens.
For lighting inside a small shed, not much brightness will be needed and a light with 200 lumens or greater will be suitable. A larger shed or exterior lighting will require an increased amount of brightness for clear visibility. Lights over 1000 lumens make a great choice. Plenty of solar lights can also come with high lumen ratings, thanks to combining lots of led bulbs into the lighting unit.
How to improve light inside a shed
As well as installing a lighting system inside the shed, there are lots of ways to make the most of the sunlight outside. A dull shed interior can often be the result of poor location or small windows that don’t let in enough natural light.
Paint the interior
Most sheds are usually a dark brown colour inside due to the unpainted timber. When sunlight comes through, dark colours absorb the light rather than reflect it, making the appearance of the interior darker.
Painting the shed interior white can create the appearance of a much brighter room, even with the same amount of light coming in. With a white wall, most of the light is reflected back around the room, maximising the use of the available light.
Lots of choices of shed paint are available and the interior can be transformed within a few hours. As well as appearing brighter, the paint also protects the timber walls and can improve the longevity of the building.
Change the location
Where the shed is positioned can have a big impact on the amount of light available. Ideally, a garden building should be positioned with at least a metre gap on every side. As well as allowing light, it also makes the building easy to access for maintenance.
If the shed is surrounded by lots of overhanging trees, it’s difficult for natural light to get inside. Even during the summer, trees can block the light from getting inside. The direction the shed is facing can be just as important. We recommend positioning the windows so they are facing the sun during the day.
Add more windows
Unlike summerhouses, sheds often have small windows that do not let in much natural light. Depending on your DIY skills, it may be possible to install an additional window yourself. An extra window can maximise the amount of sunlight that gets inside, making the interior much brighter.
Most sheds use acrylic windows and custom sized panels can be ordered online. A gap for the window will need to be cut into the timber and then the acrylic can be sealed into place. A drawback is the extra window could make it easier for an intruder to gain access to the shed. Using a smaller window and installing a shed alarm can provide additional protection.
Overall, lots of choices are available when it comes to finding the best shed lights for both interior and exterior. For most sheds, solar lights will make the best solution as they charge automatically throughout the day. If your shed already has electricity, batten lights are great and deliver a lot of brightness.
The most suitable shed light will depend on how the building is going to be used. As well as purchasing a lighting system, additional steps can be taken to improve the amount of sunlight inside during the day. Painting the interior is a quick way to brighten up inside.