This past weekend I've torn all the sheetrock down in my shop (24 x 24) and
left the ceiling alone. I plan on replaceing the walls with 1/2" plywood
(tounge and grove). The driver for this was to upgrade all the wiring (my
home has aluminum wire, the garage is the last of it.) and replace the walls
with stronger materials (I've made holes over the years.)
I currently have 6, 4' floresent lamps scattered about.
I have an electrition adding a dedicated, 100A service panel, and will tie
all shop power needed to this service panel.
I'm looking for suggestions on lighting. What are you using in your shop?
Pros, Cons etc...
You'll get diverse opinions on this one, Nick. Folks like myself have
never been in a shop with too much light. I've got 11 4 footers in a
converted 2 car garage shop. I'd have a couple more lights but for the
fact that I'm straining my circuit breaker panel. The ballasts are
electronic and work to zero degrees and are totally silent.
I've got white walls to help with lighting levels. There's only one
small window in my shop.
My best suggestion to you is to be SURE to have the lights on different
circuits than any equipment. That way if there's a popped breaker,
you'll not be in the dark.
Nick Degidio wrote:
I'm looking for diverse, trying to think outside the box.
My situation is very similar to yours, small window, and I had white walls,
and always need more lighting. I'll most likely paint the new walls white
(or some yuppy variation).
I'm installing a 100amp service line/panel. I was going to dedicate 2 15Amp
lines for lighting. The electrician will also install an emergency light
over the panel.. I live in an area where power is poor, and susceptible to a
wide range of disruptions, including the ones I induce.
I did not originally plan to update/upgrade lighting, this just hit me
today. But because the walls are open, it's a good time to get this done.
I'm not in a hurry, and plan on doing the installation myself. I would have
added the panel myself, but this type of work required a permit, and a
certified electrician to complete as mandated by my county. I will be able
to re-wire my self.
Sounds like my current light setup is similiar to yours except i have added
several sets of small halogen track lights (salvaged from a home i
remodelled) and use them as task lighting. They are specifically aimed at
my lathe, workbench, and some machines where extra lighting is needed. They
are wonderful for duplicating more natural light. Also, when i do
finishing, it's nice to aim a bunch of extra light at the project to reveal
any defects, etc. Keep your lighting on separate circuits. This not only
keeps things lit in case of an overload, but to keep the lights from
flickering anytime a machine is turned on. (Florescents can be annoying).
Depending on your budget and climate, you may opt for the cold weather
ballasts on the florescents. They are considerably more expensive than a
regular ballast. However, I live in central Ohio and get cold weather
through the winter months, and barely notice a difference between the two.
The regular ballasts sometimes may take an extra few seconds to come on and
another few seconds to reach brightness, but after that, no difference is
apparent. It was a matter of cost for me.
Since you have things tore up anyway, it may be a good time to decide if
adding more windows would be a benefit. Free, natural lighting would be the
absolute best! --dave
Track lighting ... hmmm, never thought of that. I have a few halogen lights
that I move around now, I'd like to get away from that.
Things are torn up, I think I will check out sky lights. New windows would
be nice, but the only wall that I could this to will have cabinets hung
and workbench installed (under existing window).
Good ideas, thanks!
(snip) Halogens are HOT; summer is inevitable, Nick. :)
Just FYI- The track lighting in my shop has small 2" in diameter lights and
the bulbs are similiar in size to a flashlight bulb. Powerful light, and
some heat, but not anything like those big 500w or 1000w halogen work lights
put out. I really doubt these little ones would add much to sweltering
summer heat. BTW- I've seen similiar sets at HD for about $30 --dave
Consider full spectrum fluorescents. These give you a color closer to
natural daylight than other lamps. The cost for the lams is about twice
what a cool white lamp would go for, but worth it IMO.
Another thing I like to do with shop lighting is to install pull switches on
the fixtures. This way I can light up where ever I need to work as much as
I need but otherwise I can save the kilowatts.
Reflectors are real effective. More light where you need it.
Another nice thing to do is paint the floor white. I also have had a work
bench where the top was 4 foot deep and I installed a small florescent
fixture under the bench. This was real handy when I dropped something.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
Well...keep in mind, those watts turn into heat, so in the winter, it's
roughly a wash.
Yes, and diffusers (hard plastic sheet n the bottom of the fixture)
help to even out the light & cut down on glare. I like to think that
they'd also make it harder for me to smash a tube by hitting the fixture
Paint also makes sweeping up easier, but the floor gets slipperier
I have a 24' x 38' shop with 24 4' two bulb floresant fixtures, plus two 300
watt halogen fixtures, and 5-6 100 watt incandescent bulbs.
The two halogen fixtures don't get much use, but the floresants and
incandescent lights are ALWAYS on!
A recent WOOD magazine had an article on shop lighting along with some
recommendations for how many and how they should be distributed. Bottom line of
that article for a 24 x 24 foot shop with 9' ceilings was 3 rows of 8' double
bulb fluorescent fixtures with two fixtures per row. That is a total of 6
fixtures with twelve 8' bulbs. Positioning was one row down the center and
parallel rows 8' on either side of the center row (4' from the walls).
I'm currently building a 48' x 32' x 10' ceiling outbuilding that will be
divided into a 24' x 32' equipment shed (tractor, implements, etc.) and a 24' x
32' woodshop. I plan on using 4 rows of double bulb 8' fixtures with 3 fixtures
per row (12 fixtures, 24 bulbs) along the 32' dimension. Positioning will be 3'
from the wall with 6' between the rows in the 24' direction.
My current workshop is 16 x 24 x 8' ceiling and has six 4 bulb, 4' fixtures for
a total of twenty four 4' (40w) bulbs approximately evenly spaced in a 3 x 2
grid.. The lighting is adequate in the existing shop and I'm hoping that
doubling the total length of fluorescent tubes will offer about the same light
intensity in the doubled floor space of the new construction.
Wichita, KS USA
8' flourescents take one hell of a long time to warm up-esp in cold
weather. Went out to the shop (50 degrees inside-- 40 outside) & it
took the 8' bulbs a good 10 minutes to stop their rollercoaster ride.
long way for the electrons to go- use 2- 4' electronic balasted units
instead-- they provide more light at less cost (for elec), especially
with reflectors. I retrofitted my 2- 4' lights in the kitchen with
electronic balasts & smaller bulbs from T12 to T8 & I had to take one
of the bulbs out because it was TOO bright. Still running on three
bulbs. Now if I can just get enough $ together to refit the shop!!
On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 13:12:45 -0700, the inscrutable "Nick Degidio"
I just replaced 2 of 4 cheaparse electronic-ballasted fixtures with a
pair of shielded (white cage over bulbs) electronically-ballasted
fixtures which hum a bit more than the old ones but are brighter. With
-any- machinery on, I won't hear it. I've sworn off cheap fluor bulbs
having gone through 30 in the past 2.5 years, some lasting just half a
dozen hours. Anyway, my 20x24' shop has 5 dual-lamp 4' fluors for the
main lighting, doubled by pure white walls, ceiling, and floor. I'll
I want to add another 4' dual fluor to the long end and that should
be quite enough for me.
For task lighting, I have several inexpensive articulated incandescent
In the indoor shop, I have a 2-bulb 4' fluor on the ceiling, an
articulated circline fluor with magnifier at the end of a 12' long
benchtop, and an articulated incandescent fixture in the middle.
People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but
most of the time they'll pick themselves up and carry on.
Two car garage; four eight foot long electronic ballast fixtures, each
with four tubes in them. Might add a third row of two to up the light
level a little. I connected the fixtures together with 1/2" EMT and
added those little plastic tubes that go around the bulbs in case they
I saw someone buy an "emergency light" (battery powered, goes on when the
power fails) at Home Despot a few days ago. Might add one of those, just
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