I've converted a room upstairs so that it can be used as a workshop by my
wife. She likes to do all sorts of arts and crafts, and I was wondering what
would be the best lighting to use in the room. The room itself is quite low,
about 2m20, and quite large, about 7m by 4.5m. I was thinking of fluorescent
lighting, but there seems to be a huge range of types and lighting colours
Could anyone give me some advice on how to select lighting, or point me to
The cheapest fitting and tubes are the 5 foot size (1500). For that
area I would be guessing at perhaps 4 x 5 foot to provide a reasonable
level of lighting, perhaps with additional lighting over working areas.
Perfectly symmetrical layouts do not necessarily provide the best
lighting pattern. No doubt others will disagree with the number. They
should be laid out side to side in line with your shoulders, when
working at the workbench. Even better is laid out at 45 deg, with the
near end of the fitting on your right, if right handed. Electronic
units are little more efficient than traditional ballast types and
traditional types do tend to cause a buzzing noise.
It might also be worth spending a little more to buy fitting which
direct the light straight down, hiding the tubes from your eyes. Clip
onto the tube covers used to be available to do this.
Ensure the switches are suitably rated for inductive type loads.
You should ensure that you use high frequency electronic ballasts. These
prevent flicker, which could be annoying or injurous working for long
periods under. You should also use a tri-phosphor tube with a carefully
selected colour temperature for the work required. Some incandescent or
halogen task lighting should be provided, particularly if the work involves
working with colour, as the fluorescent light provides a discontinuous
spectrum that can distort colours under certain conditions compared with the
more continuous one of incandescent lighting.
Without knowing much about the prime issues your choice will be based
on, not really. Ceilling type, any other significant issues such as
cost, whether those arts and crafts require full spectrum lighting,
In the absense of more information, you could check out the recent
thread on fluorescent lighting where I posted some pieces on how to
make fluorescent into a decent option. That may open your horizons up
Hi, just caught this by chance. Yes it would, very much. If she's
serious about it you'll want full spectrum tubes, and avoid all the
others. Such tubes are more money, but still worth it.
Most fl tubes are a mix of a limited set of flourescent colours which
gives a discontinuous spectrum: the bad tubes (cool whites) use few,
while the better quality ones use a mix of more frequencies to give
good cover, but if you need 100% on the mark colour rendering across
the whole spectrum then you need the more specialist tubes that will
Still going to be a better option than filaments, will give better
colour rendering than CFL, which are just folded fluorescents. The
other option for serious art work is halogen, which is full spectrum,
but much more power hungry than fluorescent, and the bulbs run
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