I would go with 4 fixtures in 2 rows of 2, evenly spaced in order to avoid
shadows. I have found that you can never have too much light. I don't have
access to my lighting program right now, but I am guessing that this will
give you about 50-60 foot candle lighting level with a fairly even
I think I'd go for minimum three fixtures. about 5' apart, with the
bulbs running the 'short' dimension of the room.
Four fixtures (two rows of two), running the long direction, each row
about 3' in from the wall, would give better coverage, and a better job
of eliminating shadows.
A _lot_ depends on the shop layout, and how much 'localized' lighting
you have. You're talking about a garage-stall size space. A single
2-tube FOUR foot fixture will light that space, 'well enough to see to
walk around in'. However, for shop work, you have to consider what kinds
of shadows, and _where_, that you'll be willing to put up with.
I'd lean towards 4 _single_tube_ 8' fixtures.
Insufficient data to discuss intelligently. primary question is going
to be 'how cold' the shop gets while _not_ in use, and how long you
apply heat (and to what ambient) before trying to light the place and/or
go to work.
Regardless, you'll probably want _some_ incandescent lighting, in case
you need to get in when the place is 'cold'. :)
If you're dealing with an attached garage, and it stays above freezing
inside, except in _extreme_ conditions, and you're warming the place
to a 'shirtsleeve' environment (65-70F) in advance, regular flourscent
lighting _will_ probably work acceptably. OTOH, if it's a separate
building, with temps routinely dropping to sub-zero F, the 'cold weather'
lights will make a difference.
On 8 Aug 2003 03:16:57 -0700, email@example.com (Bri) wrote:
Have your priced 4' fixtures? I am starting to install equipment in my new
basement shop -- also just (re)finished the concrete floor -- which is
about the same size as yours and 4 2-bulb 4' fixtures looks about right --
which my math tells me is the same as you are proposing. I went with 4'
fixtures because they are easier to handle and a little more flexible to
distribute on the ceiling. They may also have been a bit cheaper/foot of
fixture. My shop had been a dump/storage area and a workshop with just my
RAS and I had had 2 2-bulb 4' fixtures. I love a lot of light and may add
some later, but probably some task light lamps (the kind with flex arms and
You don't mention it but I assume your ceilings are about 8'. That makes a
difference. I don't recall the formula, but light drops off by some
multiple (sq?) of the distance. For example, you might need 50% more light
of the height of the ceilings are 25% higher, such as 10' versus 8'.
BTW, as another reply post mentioned, an incandescent bult or two could be
a good idea. Among other things, if you just need to run in and grab
something from the shop, IIRC it is cheaper to flick an incandescent on and
off. And, incandescent bulbs generate heat -- which is why they are more
costly to run, at least in part. But, if you need the heat ...
My shop is 16x20, with walls and ceiling painted the brightest white I can
find. It's thoroughly illuminated with five, 4' two-bulb fixtures and one set
of track lights (three 50-watt spotlights) over the lathe.
IMO, you will get a better distribution of light by using 4' fixtures instead
of 8'. Probably four 4' fixtures, plus task lighting as needed, will suffice.
Two 4' fixtures probably cost less than one 8' fixture. Consider cost and
availability of bulbs, too: I can get 4' bulbs at Wal-Mart (I'm in the US;
YMMV), but I don't remember seeing 8' bulbs except at hardware stores and home
centers. And two 4' bulbs at Wal-Mart may well be cheaper than one 8' bulb at
I can't speak to the need for, or behavior of, cold-start bulbs (my shop is in
my basement, so I don't need them). But you should *not* leave your shop
completely unheated when it's not in use: water vapor will condense on
everything, and you'll have *major* rust problems. Make sure that your shop is
*always* heated above the dew point.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Save the baby humans - stop partial-birth abortion NOW
I have an ex-garage for a shop. About 20x20. I have 10 4' flourescent shop
lights. I do not have them carefully lined up in rows. I have them
semi-randomly hanging around the shop. Actually, a couple of in specific
locations, but I found that putting them up to make sure that nothing was in
shadow was the best. Too often I found that I would be blocking the light
from a row of them, so having them distributed all over means there is
always light coming from somewhere. Also, I have some incandescent task
lights around, plus by my scroll saw/ginding area I have some halogen hockey
puck lights on the bottom of the shelf over the tools. They generate some
Try this link it is very helpful, my shop is about the same size and I opted
to put up 16 - 2 bulb 4' fixtures and went with the T8's. Amazing just how
bright and natural the light is.
More input and FWIW ... my shop is 18' X 18' and I have 8, 2 bulb, four foot
fluorescent fixtures from Lowes, in two rows of four each.
Since my ceiling joists are exposed, I hung the fixtures from 2 X 4's laid
across the joists so they can easily be moved when I change tools around
and/or reorganize the shop. The fixtures are the kind the come with plugs.
They plug into four, fourplex outlets, evenly distributed between the
joists, wired on a switched, 20 amp circuit that is strictly for lights.
For anyone who has exposed joists in a garage/shop, this is a very
convenient, cost effective way to have flexible lighting, which you can
easily add to.
On 8 Aug 2003 03:16:57 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Bri) scribbled
I have five in my 14X28 shop - lots of light except for one corner
which had scrap bins. Also, two incandescents, used when I just need
to pop in. Oh, I almost forgot: also one two bulb regular 4' fixture.
The five fixtures are controlled by one master switch and four of them
also have a switch near them (on the 7' ceiling). So I can turn them
That's about what I paid in the Yukon. You can either pay that amount
up front, or pay for extra heating while you wait for the lights to
Yes. Anything below 0 Celsius and you'll wait a long time before
regular fluorescents kick in. You have to raise the temp to about +10
degrees before you get light. At -30, even the cold start take a
while. I speak from experience. I tried the cheap fluorescent route
and gave up pretty quickly. The one I have now stays turned off in
winter - all it does is buzz.
As far as Doug Miller's point about rust if you don't heat the shop,
he is technically correct about the shop needing to be above the dew
point. However, given that the shop will get some residual heat from
the house, and thus will usually be a few degrees higher than outside,
your machinery will almost always be above the dew point and you will
get little condensation and rust, at least in Canadian winters.
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