I have read through many posts on shop lighting but have not seemed to
find an answer to a question I have.
I am in the process of building a 30x30 shop with 10' ceilings. I
would like to know what others have done and found successful in how
many lights have they put in. I plan on using fluorescent lights, 8'
long. How far apart would you put the rows, how far from the walls?
Would you run lights around the perimeter with rows down the middle?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Yep that's what we used to do, and thats what I have. Federal Energy
regulation have made it so the old magnetic ballasts won't be
available. Think in terms of electronic ballasts. The hottest
technology is T8, T5/HO and LED. Cost wise look at T8. We are just
finishing up a 3 Bldg complex by gutting the existing 4 lamp 2x4
troffers putting in a new 2'L reflector with a High Output T8 ballast
and High Lumen T8 lamps. People are complaining its too bright and we
cut the connected KW in half and the serving utility is paying 2/3's
of the cost. Sixteen month payback. For a home shop look at the T8's
good light higher CRI and will be current technology for awhile.
On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 19:48:23 -0700, "Lew Hodgett"
One other thought if dollars are tight and you have a lot of retrofits
in your area, we usually have trailers of old lighting fixtures
sitting around and we don't bother with security. Lot of times the
local scroungers save us the trouble of parting them out for
recycling. The copper fixture wire is gone the first night.
On Fri, 17 Aug 2007 22:56:08 -0700, Mike M
I recently installed lighting in my 28'X44' shop.
I used 24-4' T8 fixtures from Home Depot .. .. it looks like Chernobyl
when they're all on. Exactly what I had hoped for. To mount them, I
first installed a grid of suspended tracks made of 2.25" wide & 8' long
strips of mdf fastened to the ceiling with .375 spacers in between. I
can move the light wherever I need them, running them either lengthwise
or crossways, and just plug them into the nearest recepticle. I
installed 36 duplex recepticles in the ceiling, hooked into two
circuits, with each group of six controlled by one switch. A little
overkill for sure, but it sure is handy at times to be able to
add/move/change the configuration without ever having to pull another
wire !! !! !!
I ran your room through my lighting software program. The reflectance
values were standard 80-50-20 which equates to white ceiling, tan -
light painted walls and concrete floor. Mounted at 10'
To achieve the following use - 4' - T8 strip fixtures
30 average foot candles you'll need 6 at 4' - 2 rows of 3
40 average foot candles you'll need 9 at 4' - 3 rows of 3
50 average foot candles you'll need 12 at 4' - 4 rows of 3
I'd go with 841 lamps. They cost a bit more but they like all
fluorescent lamps will last as follows
30,000 hours with 12 hour starts and 24,000 hours with 3 hour starts.
The 8 stands for 80+ CRI - Color rendering - The higher the color
rendering the more a color looks like it should. Sunlight and an
incandescent lamp have a CRI of 100. They encompass all the spectrum
A higher CRI lamp will in a sense contain more of the light 'spectrum'
The X41 stands for 4100 Kelvin. An incandescent lamp is about 2700K.
The higher the Kelvin the whiter and actually bluer it looks. For the
older generation. A higher Kelvin is better due to visual acuity and
the aging of eyes. Also the higher the Kelvin, studies have shown the
lower amount of light is needed. If your wondering what the heck does
30 foot candles look like. If you work in an office its engineered at
30Fc, A hallway is at 10Fc. A parking garage is 5Fc. A Gym is 30Fc.
If you'd like, Send me an Email and I'll send over the lighting
layouts for you.
You can always stay with the old grade school math program.
Assume lumen depreciation over life of lamp = 0.9
Dirt Depreciation =0.6-0.9 based on conditions
Luminaire efficiency (Includes an up light allowance)= 0.6
Maintained Lumens = (Initial Lumens)(0.9)(0.8)(0.6) = 0.432)(Initial
lumens), for medium dirt conditions.
(1 Lumen)/(1 square foot) = 1 foot candle.
The above are based on a florescent lamp source, and a maintained light
level 36" above the floor.
Time for a beer.
Bob, Lithonia Lighting (Conyers, GA - outside Atlanta) has a pretty
decent program - 'Visual' that comes in a 'basic' and a 'professional'
version. The 'basic' version is free and will easily do things like a
shop. The 'professional' version is far more versatile and really not
that expensive ($125 when I got mine, but haven't checked recently -
doubt it would be much more).
Try out the 'Basic' version -- I think you'll be satisfied.
-- john (Architect)
I suggest having plenty of lights and wire them with independent switches.
This will allow you to get as much light as you need where you need it when
you need it, but will allow you to shut off those you don't.
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
Oye! I have 15 fixtures in my garage. I can't imagine having 15 switched
ganged on the wall just to gain independent control of each light. I have
mine switched by bay, so that each bay can be turned on or off. Two of the
bays have 6 fixtures and the third has 3.
I covered a 21'x24' area with 9 four foot fluorescent fixtures. I like the
four footers because they give less hum. I installed chain pulls on all of
the lights and a single switch at the door. My wife uses about one third of
the are for ceramics and the rest is for my metal working machinery.
Basically, we enter the room, turn on the switch and whichever 'chains' were
left on light up. Simply pull the chain(s) on whatever area you are going
to work and turn off the rest. Upon leaving we just turn off the main
switch at the door. This way we save energy by not having all the lights
on, or, not having a 'group' of lights on when we only need one.
BTW, I have 14' ceilings and hung the lights so they are at approximately 8
feet above the floor.
Lots of nice suggestions here already.
First off stick with 48" flourescents. 8' are not widely available for
a good reason. Not popular and difficult to work with. Don't get cheap
fixures. They cost more. If you are ambitious feed each fixture with
two circuits/switches. 4 bulb fixtures will have two ballasts so you
can feed each ballast and the two bulbs with each circuit. Where I
used to work the lighting circuits/switches/wiring will be 40 years
old next year. No switch, wiring or fixture failures yet. The switches
were $3.00 or more that many years ago. The switches were operate many
times a day. We did bulb changes yearly.
This way you can change the lighting intensity without going the
dimmer route. 4 bulb fixtures will have two ballasts so you can feed
one allast and two bulbs seperately.
Ther is some information on the net with recomended lighting layouts.
If you are ambitious go look at some commercial buildings.
Don't skimp on wire size. #12 all the way. Get better more expensive
switches. They last longer and fail less often. Specification grade.
Stay away from the cheap ones.
Put in a spare circuit from the panel feeding the shop. Use this as an
emergency light in case any of your machinery/tools drop out your main
feed whatever it is. Also have an outlet on this circuit. This way you
can shut everything off and still have a light and receptacle to make
any changes and not be in the dark.
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