How to get the best home gym lighting

June 10, 2020

Whether you have a corner of a room or a workout space in the garage, optimizing your home gym lighting can make all the difference in creating an exercise environment that motivates you to keep going.

man doing a push-up in his home

Basics of home gym lighting

There’s a reason we feel cheery on a sunny day: the sun’s rays can help improve our mood. Take advantage of the natural lighting in your space by setting up your equipment near a window. If your home gym isn’t in an already bright spot — such as the garage or basement — bring the sun inside with the right light.

Use LED bulbs

LED bulbs are always a more efficient option, lasting far longer than other types of bulbs. LED bulbs can also be smart, which gives you greater control over your lights.

Use the right amount of light

The higher the lumen, the brighter the bulb. One fixture probably won’t be able to light up the entire space sufficiently, so make sure you get the right number of fixtures or bulbs with sufficient light output. If you want your home gym to double as a relaxation space, such as a yoga studio, get dimmable lights so that you can lower them as needed.

Use cooler light

Color temperature (warm-to-cool white light) is represented by Kelvin. The sun, for example, is about 5000 K. For the best home gym lighting, use a bulb with a Kelvin range of 2200 K to 6500 K. This way, you can get both a cooler blue white, which can help you feel more energized, and warmer shades of light for your cool-down time. 

Use the right light placement

Even light placement is key to a well-lit workout space. If you only have a single overhead light, get a bulb with a high light output (in other words, a higher lumen) to really light up your space. If you have more than one overhead light, use a bulb with a lower output in each fixture to avoid over-lighting.

woman and child doing yoga in a home gym

Best home gym lighting fixtures

Once you’ve selected the type of light — the best option is a dimmable, warm to cool LED — you can pick the fixtures. The number and type of fixtures you get depend on the size and shape of the space, of course, but there are three ways to approach lighting for your home gym:

Overhead lights

Overhead lighting in the gym lets you flood the space with light. You'll want to pick fixtures that are flush with the ceiling since hanging lights aren’t suitable for a space in which you’ll be jumping, throwing, or running.

The two best options are recessed spotlights or track lighting. With recessed spotlights, you can space the lights across the entirety of the room, even if the room is an odd shape, and evenly illuminate the room. 

Alternatively, track lighting allows you to angle the lights to different workout zones. Point one light at each machine or piece of equipment, such as the treadmill or weight bench. For the best effect, use a combination of recessed lighting (in front of a mirror) and track lighting (pointed at equipment). 

Floor lamps

Floor lamps are especially useful in a home gym if you only have one space for an overhead light, allowing you to bring light to darker corners of the room. Since you will need direct light, choose a fixture with an adjustable head that offers more flexible light direction or a shade that does not diffuse or alter the light too much.

Table lamps

If you’ve filled in your home gym with overhead lights and floor lamps but still seem to have some darker corners, use table lamps to light up those hard-to-reach spaces. Again, lamps that offer adjustable heads can help you direct light to the appropriate spot.

For those that haven’t been able to spend as much time in their home gym as they’ve wanted, make some small adjustments to the lighting — it might have been just the thing the space had been missing. With the right lighting, a home gym can become one of your favorite rooms in the house.

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and color ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness