Shop Lighting

Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:32 pm

I'm in the planning stages of a 30x26 shop. The ceiling will be approx. 9' and i plan on using 2 bulb 4' florescent fixtures (of the t-8 variety if i can find em cheap enough, T-12 otherwise). I thought about 2 rows of 4, spaced equally, or 3 rows, with 4 on the outer rows and 3 in the middle staggered. Would the 2 rows be enough or would the 3 rows be better, or should i even consider 4 rows? I plan on hanging fixtures over the workbench also, for up close work.

Any and all advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Russell

Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:18 pm

I have a 30 by 30 garage and moved my lighting countless times then figured out that I would have been better off putting up a few for basic lighting and after I pretty well figured out where I was going to put equipment- saw etc. , hang the lights accordingly. Ceiling looks odd when ya look up but I have light where I need it. I used 4' double bulb and have9 so far. Put on different switches but works fine for me. Good luck Grump

Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:00 am

My theory is that it's nearly impossible to have too much light. Drop lights are fine, but with these older eyes, the more light in general the better. In colder climates, flourescents may not work in the cold, unless equipped with special ballasts. Cheaper ballasts make more noise, too, if that's a factor for you.
I'm getting some 8 foot high output lamps and fixtures, used. They should light the shed up pretty well, and I plan to have individual lighting over the benches also. Good used fixtures can be a real bargain.
Just my $.02 :)

Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:24 am

t8 with the new electronic ballast are good starters when it is colder not as good as HO but a lot cheaper to operate. I install recp in the ceiling and plug lights in so that I can move them around and figure what works for me
Ron

Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:09 am

A couple of things I plan to do with my someday shed, are to put as motion detector light over the walk in door for entering it at night, as well as another one inside it for the times I want to just run in and grab something, or just want to open the doors to get a tractor out.

Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:12 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:A couple of things I plan to do with my someday shed, are to put as motion detector light over the walk in door for entering it at night, as well as another one inside it for the times I want to just run in and grab something, or just want to open the doors to get a tractor out.

I like that idea! Mind if I borrow it for my shed? 8) :wink:

Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:30 pm

There was an excellent shop lighting article in a woodworking magazine that I just purchased. I will scan it this weekend and e-mail it to anyone interested. It discusses both the proper height and spacing of shop lights, and also talks about all of the new fluorescent lighting fixtures and bulbs.

I'll scan it and send it to everyone above by e-mail. If anyone else wants it, just reply to this thread and I will send it again later.

As others have mentioned, you can almost never have too much lighting. No-one has yet mentioned that you can only have as much lighting as you have power to supply. One thing I found in my shop is that the lights and the wall outlets should definitely NOT be on the same circuit. Remember, sizing electrical is pretty easy. Watts = Volts x Amps, or Amps = Watts / Volts. For instance, if you have a 120 Volt circuit with a 15 amp breaker, you can only power 30, 60 watt bulbs (1800 total watts). Lighting is not too bad to deal with, but if you have things with high startup amp draw, like saws, drills, heaters, etc, you will need to get them on a different circuit to prevent the brown-out effect on startup.

Have fun,
Bill

Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:46 pm

When shop wiring I put the outlets of one side on the same ckt as the lights on the other side. Lights over the bench and outlets over the bench on two more and the air compresser on another. The air compresser is 220 so that is a minumum of 6 ckts. 220V keeps the amperage at 1/2 of what it would be at 110V The outside lights are on a 3 way switch and fused in the house. I haven't considered outside outlets for the shop but everything is GFI so I could bridge off any where.

Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:05 pm

Bill,

I would like a copy of the article. Thanks. :D

Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:44 pm

Bill,

I would like a copy of the article, also.

Bill

Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:32 pm

My shop area is 42 x 24. I have 2 fixtures, each a 2 tube x 8' unit. One is centered in each half of the area. They are about 9 1/2 feet from the floor. It gives adequate general illumination. Using 4' units in your space, I would probably center one fixture in each quadrant. I doubt that adding more general area lighting would make much improvement. When you start working on a piece of equipment, you will be using a drop light most of the time anyway. More general lighting won't be helpful for bench work either because your own shadow will end up on the bench.

I also have a 2 tube x 4' unit hung over each work bench. They are the cheap ones with the built in ballast and a short power cord. I have them plugged into an outlet way up the wall that is controlled by a wall switch at the bench. Because of the short cord, they are mounted too high. If they were down around 6' from the floor they would probably provide plenty of light.

Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:37 pm

Bill, I would like a copy of the article.
thanks

Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:52 am

I sent the lighting article to those of you above that have your e-mail addresses posted, and RussellF who sent me a PM. If anyone else wants a copy, just let me know. Also, the scanned article was 15Mb, so it is a rather large MS Word document. If people are having problems with the size, let me know and on Monday I can scan it to PDF, which will be a smaller file.

The article came from the current issue of Best-Ever Home Shop Ideas magazine. There is also a great article on workshop wiring, and workshop heating. I went ahead and scanned them also. If anyone is interested just let me know.

Bill

Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:20 am

Thanks, Bill. :D

Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:35 am

Bill,
I'd like a copy of your info also as I am looking at rewiring and insulating my 36 x 42 Morton.
Thanks!
Chris