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Thread: Shop lighting

  1. #1
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    Default Shop lighting

    34 x 29 x 12

    currently there are two screw in type light fixtures - completely unacceptable. . .

    mostly woodworking, some mechanicing, hopefully some wooden boat building soon.

    what type of lights and how many lumens would you install?

    for lighting when the shop door is raised should I install some of the lights horizontally on the walls?

    any and all thoughts appreciated. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    I swapped my fluorescent lights for led’s a few years ago. You can buy 4’ lights in bulk. Six should be enough for your space for starters. It’s nice to not have the cold weather flickering and hum. Box store or online from Sam’s Club or Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D94NHHQ..._t1_B0748Y9C1K

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Most suppliers have online planning guides to help you plan your lighting. Also - tech support hotlines. Just remember that most of them assume NO natural light sources. If you have lots of natural light... and work mostly in daylight hours... you can dial back the fixtures a bit.

    A few other thoughts --

    You've only talked about 'ambient' lighting. That's important - but almost equally important is 'task' lighting. For instance - I have a magnetic-base light on my bandsaw that really shows up the blade/cutline. Most helpful. I have a pair of clamp lamps with 'daylight' scale LED bulbs above the workbench where I do my hand-tool work. Makes a difference. And so on...

    If you're doing finishing work - there are two approaches. Mine is to aim for daylight-quality bulbs for a consistent and accurate rendition of your stain/finish. The other is to adjust the fixtures you use... to match - as closely as reasonably possible - the lighting the piece will live in. Also... it helps to have, or be able to quickly set up, some raking light source(s). WB magazine had an article a while back about a shop-built, hand-held version.

    4' LED shop lights are stinkin' expensive. We have dozens of 4' fixtures in our shop. To swap them would require aid from Phil Knight (slim chance... we DON'T field a feetball team). But we have recently added some rings of multiple LED screwin single-bulb fixtures - using cheap, porcelain, bases and conduit. I like it. But for a smaller space, like yours, I'd be tempted. They seem to last forever, and give off little heat (nice in summer).

    And yes, I'd probably be inclined to rig some sort of compensatory light-source(s) for when your open garage door blocks the ceiling sources. But remember, that open door will be providing a good bit of the best (natural) sort of light.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    I have 6 of these aiming at the work space from both sides to get rid of shadows. To bright for blacksmithing so I use lower power when working Iron. For machining they are great. Also all machines have articulating lamps attached.

    PaulF

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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    probably not particularly suitable but i recently got a 200w "phot-r" CFL bulb, claimed 3200 lumens, for some photography and tried it out in the only screw thread socket i had, where i was working - it's comically large and painful to look at but it was really nice to work under! it's a good daylight colour match, very bright and £10 - if i set something up properly i'll likely try them (with a diffuser i think)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    I put in two rows of 4' LEDs, four per row, and finally am not working with inadequate light. Cost was around $250 as I recall. These are the brightest led sets I could find, sold in packs of four. With the door open, the natural light is more than adequate to compensate. The garage is 16x24.

    IMG_20181101_141649.jpg
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Menards has been selling 3300 lumen 42" led's for $16.99. Now own 5 of them. Great shop lights and will be buying more to replace the existing 4' two tubers. They do have RFI and louse up the FM radio but not iheart off of the wifi on my tablet. My shop is a 16 x 20 old horse barn.
    If you don't know where you're going, you might not end up there.-Yogi Berra

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Whatever you choose Paul put in too many. As you age they will become just enough.

    I wish I had put some thermal pane skylights in my shop.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    I was thinking about nine of these on the ceiling in a 3x3 checkerboard pattern and four more mounted horizontally, two on each side wall. Wire them on three circuits so that half of the ceiling lights could be turned on/off independently and the side wall lights wired seperateky from the ceiling. Maybe angle the horizontal lights down somewhat to serve as tool specific lights over my lathe and drill press which are against one wall and my workbench which is on the opposite wall.


    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia...I-M6/300263608
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    I use these on individual machines such as the lathe and the mill. They stay put and throw good light with a led bulb.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-75-W...1102/205504032

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Oh... and - while most of us have the opposite problem - it actually IS possible to over-light your workspace.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Oh... and - while most of us have the opposite problem - it actually IS possible to over-light your workspace.
    That might be possible.
    One shop I was in had LEDs on motion sensors. On right away,off after 10 minutes of no motion.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    30x34 (heated) main shop, has 10ea. 8ft dual tube florescent fixtures, 5 on each side to light the general area. The benches on the perimeter have 4 foot double flourescents and the individual machines (lathe, mill, drill presses etc) have their own lights.
    It's lit up like a Chevron station on the freeway...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Paul, if there is a 'big-box' store near you, visit it and see how the available lighting will work for you. I work at one, in the electrical department, but will not make a recommendation, 'cause I can't visualize your lighting setup



    Rick

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Lately in my shop I put screw-in Y fittings into the light sockets, and now I have 2 bulbs where I used to have only one.

    Since the new bulbs are LEDs, the power draw and heat production are way less than a single old 100W, but the illumination is much more.

    Big change for little cost, no risk, no rewiring.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    My shop is 30 x 20 x 9.
    I found at Costco 11 4' 2-tube LED lights and they seem to do the job. They wer about $35 each.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    Paul, if there is a 'big-box' store near you, visit it and see how the available lighting will work for you. I work at one, in the electrical department, but will not make a recommendation, 'cause I can't visualize your lighting setup



    Rick
    i have a clean slate
    putting in a new subpanel and there is no existing wiring worth saving
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    I'm using the Costco (Sam's Club east of the Mississippi) in my shop and going for ~40 lumens/sq foot with task lighting over fixed tools and benches on their own switches. My ceiling varies from 8' on the sides to an open trussed area with 14' walls in the center. That area has the least light, but is where I mostly move stock and do rough work. So far, so good for my 70 year old eyeballs

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    If you're doing any finnicky finishing work, the ability to edge-light the work piece is a godsend - the thing that looked pefect when lit from above can look horrible when lit from the side.
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    If you're doing any finnicky finishing work, the ability to edge-light the work piece is a godsend - the thing that looked pefect when lit from above can look horrible when lit from the side.
    Absolutey so. I have an led flood lamp on a telescoping stand I move around during the finishing stages.
    -Dave

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    I found some track lighting tracks and fixtures at Habitat that somebody tore out in a renovation. Works great, cheap. Worth checking out in your area. Add and subract fixtures in the tracks as needed and swivels 360 degrees.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    I think Hugh's 40lumens per sq ft a good starting point. ideally, evenly distributed across the ceiling. roll up door present a problem.....if you have the over head clearance and the will to see a project "out", continue hanging under the open door, hang 'em supported by Unistrut (roll up door still operational)...loss of overhead height approx. 8-10" ( your skill at installation comes into play here). finally avoid auto on-off switches.fine dust will fill in the "eye" and are very irritating to have to clean it out when you'd much rather be doing fun stuff stick to simple on/off ones we're all used to. if you can even think about hanging lights on walls- you don't have enough junk in there!!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by the_gr8t_waldo View Post
    if you can even think about hanging lights on walls- you don't have enough junk in there!!
    Kill 2 birds with one stone...hang your horizontal lighting on the inside of the rollup doors. LEDs shouldn't mind the vibration and power can be suspended alongside the rollers. Just a thought.
    Last edited by Hugh MacD; 11-04-2018 at 01:22 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Is your ceiling painted white? That would be a good start.

    My shop is a little smaller than yours, and a little bigger than Jim Conlin's. I have slightly fewer led's than he has, but accompanying led task lighting, and I am just about well lit, I probably could use a couple more 4' double led's, so I would suggest that the amount that Mr. Conlin has would get you into the ballpark. Plan your arrangement so that it is amenable to adding more.
    Steve Martinsen

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    I have been going down the same road as my new shop is slated to start 1st of the year. I started with trying to determine the amount of light needed, and got into all sorts of sites about various methods.
    finally came to the conclusion that about 100 lumens per sq.ft should do averting but very specific task lighting. My shop will be 26’ x 34’ and have a 14’ x 14’ door, so lights will be hanging about 16’ to 18’ off the floor. There was a lot of converting from English to Metric, so the usual caveats apply.
    I found the UFO fixture at www.ledlightexpert.com
    they are about 12” in diameter and put out 14,500 lumens at a 5,000K color, and almost as important, the beam angle is 120 degrees. They use 0.83 amps, and are dimmable. They cost right now $127, so 6 fixtures should give excellent coverage, and only 6 to wire and hang.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    There are free lighting design programmes available for download that will give you a very good idea of how many and how to arrange what kind of fixtures.

    500 lux (lumens/sq. meter) is a good, round number, especially if you have extra task lighting over benches or machines. Make sure the walls and roof are white, it really helps a lot.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Multiple circuits with overhead fixtures for space lighting and locally switched task lighting means you don't have to light up the whole shop if you don't need it. I have overheads over my benches and articulated spot lighting over areas where I do close work, such as the metal lathe and bench were I do "small work."

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Paul,

    There was this thread on shop lighting a while back.

    I weighed in on Post #16 with a bit of a dissertation on technical aspects of lighting, including how to calculate how much you need, if want to be bothered.
    Alex

    "“He was unfamiliar with the sea and did not like it much: it was a place that made you cold and wet and sick” " Nevil Shute, Trustee From the Toolroom

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Also, may want to evaluate the color of the light and not focus on only on lumens. I've been changing out some home lighting to warmer LEDs with good results.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Also, may want to evaluate the color of the light and not focus on only on lumens. I've been changing out some home lighting to warmer LEDs with good results.
    As well as colour temperature, you want to think about the colour rendering index (CRI) of the light source. They are both important. See the aforementioned thread (p #28) above for more explanation of both.
    Alex

    "“He was unfamiliar with the sea and did not like it much: it was a place that made you cold and wet and sick” " Nevil Shute, Trustee From the Toolroom

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Paul,

    There was this thread on shop lighting a while back.

    I weighed in on Post #16 with a bit of a dissertation on technical aspects of lighting, including how to calculate how much you need, if want to be bothered.
    Thank you Alex, I remember the thread you mentioned.
    I will run through your formulae and see what shakes loose

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by paulf View Post
    I have 6 of these aiming at the work space from both sides to get rid of shadows. To bright for blacksmithing so I use lower power when working Iron. For machining they are great. Also all machines have articulating lamps attached.

    I notice your location in Washington: I have some of these lights because they are cheap at the big-box store, and I use them in the winter where they add 300 watts of light and heat each, but I would not burn 6 x 300W of these in the summer, especially if I was also paying for air conditioning to move that amount of heat outside.

    Ken

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Paul,

    There was this thread on shop lighting a while back.

    I weighed in on Post #16 with a bit of a dissertation on technical aspects of lighting, including how to calculate how much you need, if want to be bothered.
    Ok Alex, I think I have recalculated my new shop needs using your simplified formula from the other Thread.

    I will have 26’ x 34’ floor area, which is 884 sqft or 81 square meters. I used your 750 Lux per sq meter and solved the formula:

    68,343 = 81 x 750, divided by 0.8 and the result multiplied by 0.9

    Illumination needed is 68,343 lumens

    I went back and tried to find warmer LED’s, and did find the same UFO type at 4,000k, and ranged from about $96 to $140 per unit, figuring I need 6 units.

    When I searched for 3,000K and 3,500k units, the prices doubled and tripled.

    I drew out the approximate spacing of the 6 lights, and at the 120 degree beam angle come up with nice overlaps of the cone of light across the 26’ width, and just a little no coverage area along the 34’ length.

    So maybe I will need 8 units instead of 6?

    Anyway, your input is much appreciated, don’t want to make an expensive mistake and will keep refining this.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Paul,

    There was this thread on shop lighting a while back.

    I weighed in on Post #16 with a bit of a dissertation on technical aspects of lighting, including how to calculate how much you need, if want to be bothered.
    Thank you Alex.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Shop lighting

    Talk to your power company, they often have programs to subsidize energy efficient new lighting builds.

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