Awhile back I saw some threads talking about the ideal shop lighting
setups. I saved some messages that really summarized the bulb types
and hardware. Since then my system crashed and I have lost my
Now that it is time to light the shop I am looking for suggestions as
to the best types of bulbs and fixtures to use in a shop.
I'm using combination of fluorescents surrounded by ceiling cans with floods
on separate switches. Gives both spectrums of light to better simulate
outdoors. Separate switches allow hot floods to be turned off as desired.
Also dimmer switch allows control for when watching videos.
> Awhile back I saw some threads talking about the ideal shop lighting
> setups. I saved some messages that really summarized the bulb types
> and hardware. Since then my system crashed and I have lost my
> Now that it is time to light the shop I am looking for suggestions as
> to the best types of bulbs and fixtures to use in a shop.
> Any suggestions?
1) Use flourescent but stay away from the cheapie shop lights.
2) Use 1 watt per square foot and 40 watts per lamp as a design guide
to determine # of fixtures.
Could give you all kinds of engineering documentation for the above,
but suffice to say, it works.
Me, too.. problem now is not banging them with lumber...
The light is spread better but the lower tubes are more likely to get hit...
I'm looking forward to the new shop with high ceilings, for sure..
I've been going through this to pick fixtures for my wife's stained
glass workshop. I found a very useful tool here:
Get this: Photometric Toolbox32
and also the spec and IES files for the brand of fixtures you are
interested in. You will find Coopers flourescents under "Metalux",
for instance. Try other manufacturers sites for IES files for their
The Toolbox program uses the IES photometric data to show you how much
light you will get from the combination of fixtures you are
considering. You can specify fixture spacing, height, and orientation.
My web searching suggested the best light level would be about 35-45
foot candles throughout the work area.
My first guesstimate on her shop lights gave me levels around 105 foot
candles, which seemed a bit high. I consider my woodshop to be well
lit, so I ran that arrangement through the Toolbox, and found I had
light output of 40-55fc throughout the central portion, dropping to
30fc in the corners. The Toolbox does not consider wall reflectance,
only fixture output, so I suspect the white walls and ceiling are why
my corners do not seem darker. I have modified the glass shop plans,
using one less fixture, and found rotating the others should give a
more even pattern. So this Toolbox has saved me the cost of a fixture,
and the electric cost to run it.
On Thu, 03 Aug 2006 04:35:51 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
Well, I've got regular incandesant fixtures with 100w "daylight" bulbs
peppered around on the main switch, and about 20 4' flourescents (two
tubes each) and one four tube fixture right over the table saw on a
seperate circuit. Works pretty good for me.
The best thing I did with the flourescents, and the $.02 that is
probably the most helpful to myself, is that I put recepticles in the
rafters, and then used lights with corded ends. All the outlets are
controlled by a heavy duty switch, and when I move tools around, or
want to add another light, it's really easy to reposition things for
the right lighting- and I can toss a fan or two up there as well, if
Other than that, I'd echo the sentiment that it's best to avoid the
cheap fixtures. The ballasts on about half of mine went out right
away, and the money I thought I had saved turned out to have been
> Well, I've got regular incandesant fixtures with 100w "daylight" bulbs
> peppered around on the main switch, and about 20 4' flourescents (two
> tubes each) and one four tube fixture right over the table saw on a
> seperate circuit. Works pretty good for me.
Some basic design information.
Incandescent lamps produce about 20 lumens/watt.
Fluorescent lamps produce about 60 lumens/watt.
By definition, 1 lumen/sq ft = 1 footcandle.
As you can see, incandescent as well as halogen are not suited to
general purpose lighting but rather specific task lighting used on an
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