How To Light Your Shed: Natural vs Artificial Lighting Solutions

Regardless of your garden shed use, a good light is essential. Proper lighting not only enhances functionality but also creates a welcoming ambience. Whether you work in it at night or just need some extra light when storing your tools, it can make a difference.

Key takeaways:

Consider the following factors when deciding on the lighting solution for your garden room:

  • Your budget and priorities
  • Your current lighting situation
  • The location and orientation
  • Are you using it as a workshop shed?
  • How much time do you spend?

Lighting Options

BillyOh Clubman Heavy Duty Shed Log Cabin
BillyOh Clubman Heavy Duty Shed Log Cabin

When it comes to your shed lighting solution, you have two options:

  • Natural light
  • Artificial light

Natural light is the light that comes from the sun or the sky. It’s an excellent source of lighting as it is free, and it can create a bright and welcoming atmosphere. Being in natural light can also improve mood, energy levels, and productivity.

This can be achieved through the use of windows, skylights, or glass doors. Consider adding large, south-facing windows to capture ample sunlight throughout the day. Skylights on the shed’s roof can bring in overhead light, creating an open atmosphere. Glass doors not only provide a charming entry but also allow sunlight to flood the interior. This natural lighting enhances visibility and reduces the need for artificial lighting. They create a more inviting and pleasant environment within the storage shed.

Artificial light, contrast, is any light source that isn’t natural. It can come from incandescent bulbs, fluorescent lights, LED lights, and other sources. Unlike its natural counterpart, artificial light requires energy to produce and operate.

When choosing your artificial lighting, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Energy-efficiency: Determine whether the light source is practical and cost-effective. Take Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), for example. They convert electrical energy into light with minimal heat loss. This outshines traditional bulbs in longevity, consuming less energy.
  2. Brightness: This is measured in lumens, and the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light. Decide on the brightness level required based on the intended use of your shed.
  3. Usage life: How long does the light source last in use, and what’s its overall lifespan?
  4. Installation: Decide whether you can install the lights yourself or need an electrician.
  5. Colour and temperature: Warm lighting designs create a cosy ambience. Meanwhile, cooler effects offer better visibility.
  6. Wattage: Wattage is a measurement of the amount of electricity a light source uses. A low-wattage option, for instance, can help reduce your energy consumption and costs. LED bulbs in the range of 10-15 watts should be enough for smaller sheds. Medium-sized sheds may benefit from 20-30 watts. Adjust wattage based on the shed’s size and lighting needs.

Incandescent Bulbs vs LEDs

Energizer LED Filament Bulb - Warm White 4.3W (40W)
Energizer LED Filament Bulb – Warm White 4.3W (40W)

Incandescent bulbs are traditional and have been used for decades. They’re made of a filament that heats up when electricity is passed through it, producing light.

Incandescent lights are inexpensive but aren’t energy efficient. They also produce a lot of heat, which can be a safety hazard in a small, enclosed space like a garden shed.

LED bulbs are a newer type of bulb that uses light-emitting diodes to produce light. They are much more energy efficient. They also have very little heat, making them safe to use in small spaces.

Although LED lights can be more expensive upfront, they save money in the long run. Thanks to their lower energy consumption and long lifespan.

Overall, the pros and cons of each type of light bulb for garden sheds are:

Incandescent bulbs

Pros: Inexpensive, widely available.

Cons: Not very energy efficient, short lifespan, produce a lot of heat.


Pros: Energy efficient, long lifespan, produce very little heat.

Cons: More expensive upfront.

Natural Lighting

In an outdoor shed, this type of light can come from openings that allow natural light to enter the space. It can be windows, skylights, and even doors made of glass.

Compared to artificial, natural lighting has several advantages. It’s free and requires no energy consumption, which can save on electricity bills. Natural lighting can also be aesthetically pleasing, making the shed airy and light.

However, a natural light source also has its limitations. For one, it’s dependent on the weather and time of day. This means it can be inconsistent and unreliable.

It may not also provide enough light for tasks that require high levels of illumination. This is especially true during overcast or dark days. For these reasons, you may choose to use a combination of natural and artificial lighting. This ensures that the space is well-lit and functional no matter what!

Solar Shed Lighting

BillyOh Solar Powered Lantern String Lights
BillyOh Solar Powered Lantern String Lights

A solar lighting system is an artificial lighting option powered by solar energy. Solar panels on the roof of the shed collect energy from the sun during the day. The collected energy is stored in a battery for later use. When the sun goes down, the battery powers the lights, providing illumination.

Solar garden lights are renewable and cost-effective to power your shed. It also requires minimal maintenance and has a long lifespan. Even better, it’s environmentally friendly and can reduce your carbon footprint.

However, like natural lighting, solar shed lighting also has its limitations. It’s dependent on the weather and time of day. This means solar panels may not collect enough energy on overcast or dark days.

Why Should You Light Your Shed?

Hanging Edison Bulb Outdoor Light
Hanging Edison Bulb Outdoor Light

Lighting your shed has several benefits, regardless of your intended use, including:

1. Increased functionality

Illuminating your shed significantly enhances its functionality, catering to a myriad of activities. The well-lit space allows for extended use, regardless of the time of day or night. Whether engaging in woodworking, crafting, reading, or simply seeking a cosy retreat. This adaptability lets you pursue your interests around the clock, maximising your shed.

2. Improved safety and security

Good light in your shed storage not only makes it brighter but also helps keep you safe. When the space is well-lit, it lowers the chances of accidents like tripping or falling. This creates a safer environment for work and leisure.

3. Protection for your belongings

Installing proper lighting in your shed provides added protection for your stored items. Improved visibility makes it easier to spot any damage, wear and tear. This allows for timely intervention and maintenance.

Effective lighting also aids in the early detection of pests that may pose a threat to your stored items. By illuminating dark corners and crevices, you can identify and address potential infestations. This, in turn, prevents damage to your valuables.

4. Better atmosphere

Beyond functionality, interior lighting contributes to creating a more inviting atmosphere. Consider lighting options that emit a warm glow, such as soft yellow or warm white bulbs. This ambience can transform the space into a cosy and pleasant environment. It’s perfect for making the shed more enjoyable for various activities.

Tip: You can select lighting fixtures and styles that match your preferences. This customisation can turn the room into a personalised retreat, such as a pub shed.

Adding lights to your shed is a smart choice because it makes the space more useful and enjoyable. It helps you see and take care of your stuff, keeps pests away, and creates a cosy atmosphere. It’s a good investment for making it better for both work and relaxation.


Choosing between natural and artificial lighting for your shed involves considering the following:

  • functionality
  • energy efficiency
  • aesthetic preferences

Natural lighting brings the outdoors in. It reduces the need for electricity during daylight hours. In contrast, artificial lighting offers reliable illumination for evenings. LED options are best suited for this approach. Incorporating both can create a versatile and well-lit shed.

Ultimately, your choice should align with the garden room’s purpose. Feel free to refer to this guide for lighting your log cabin or outdoor office. Next on your reading list: How to Install Log Cabin Lighting

Go out into the world and find the lighting design that fits your shed and needs. You can always pick up a high-quality BillyOh shed via the button below:

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Lighting options for a shed include natural options like openings in the walls or roof, windows, and doors, and sun tubes. There are also artificial options including solar-powdered, battery-powered, mains-run lightbulbs, and on-demand lighting.

If you're thinking about running mains power, consider that you'll need to add the cost of the wiring itself and any armouring as well as labour and switches at the other end.

To figure out how many lights you need in your shed, come up with a lighting design. Figure out your shed size, the light type you're after, what you use your shed for, and your personal preference.


For example, you might like LED strip lighting but want to use your shed as a workshop and not want the shadows or flickering they come with.