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Thread: Lighting the Small Workshop - by Jack Lindsey

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Englishtown, NJ
    Posts
    51
    I'm very late reading this excellent article, but would like to make a few comments on my own solution to the small shop. Mine is a very small shop, it is in my bedroom. The bedroom is 12 x 15' and basically divided in half diagonally as shop and living quarters (bed, bookshelves, desk, etc.). I mainly do wood turnings, but also some other work. The equipment is a lathe, a grinding station, a band saw, a drill press, and a small belt/disc sander. There is also a 5' work bench.

    As it is a bedroom in an apartment I really can't light the whole shop with ceiling fixtures so I took an alternate route. I have two industrial fixtures (paired 4' T8 lights) suspended on pulleys from the ceiling. One is over the workbench and the other over the lathe. As an old sailorman I've set them up with a double pulley and a single one so that the lines to each end of the fixture are paired and can be pulled together - they are cleated down on the wall. That way I can raise or lower them at will (convenient also for changing bulbs - I'm 78 and on one leg). The band saw and drill press each have their own goose neck fixtures, and I've installed one over the grinding station as well as another on a rolling table that is the storage for my lathe tools. I use that one to give me a horizontal light when hollowing bowls.

    In no way is this a contradiction of the article, it is an alternate solution for those who may not be able to either afford or install full shop lighting. Oops, I forgot something. My sanding and finishing station is a folding work table (B & D Workmate) in the "living half" of the room. I put a triple spot strip fixture on the wall to light it. It is energy inefficient but I only use it when off lathe sanding or finishing.

    Thank you for the article, it was very informative for me as to the terminology - I've been going "by guess and by golly" in selecting bulbs and understanding what the new regulations will allow us to buy. I'd be interested in learning about the kinds of "spot lamps" that will be available for standard sockets as I use them for local lighting.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Chappell Hill, Texas
    Posts
    4,741
    This is an excellent article.

    After reading it, however, I was totally bummed, because my estimate for shop lighting went from an "off the hip" guess of $1000 to a pretty realistic, no surprises, plenty of light, $6500 estimate. Not sure whether to jump for joy or cry. But, I feel if I follow the principles outlined here, I'll have good lighting.

    Todd

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,924
    Todd,

    I used Jack's original article for my shop lighting and dearly love the results. I have gotten many compliments by visitors about the lighting!
    Ken

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Chappell Hill, Texas
    Posts
    4,741
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    Todd,

    I used Jack's original article for my shop lighting and dearly love the results. I have gotten many compliments by visitors about the lighting!
    Picture please!

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,924
    Todd,

    In the following thread, scroll down to post #32 where you can see 3 photos showing the layout. My shop is 32x24 with 9' 8"ceilings.

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...e-turners-here
    Ken

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    30
    This thread has been very beneficial as I plan out my basement shop. I'm looking for feedback on my calculations to see if I understand the concepts presented. All fixtures are 4ft, 4 bulb, 2800 lumens with 8.8 ft ceilings unfinished.

    The basement area I want to light is approximately 456 square ft broken into two sections of 289 square ft and 167 square ft. Mechanicals and the staircase divide the two halves. When I calculate my lighting for the 289 sq ft area, I came up with 5 fixtures. Since one part of this area is wider than the other, I'm fine with the idea that the wider section will have three 4ft fixtures and smaller area will have 2 fixtures. As the room is approximately 21.5 ft long, I came up with the first row 6 ft away from the wall with the spacing between the two rows about 12 ft. Does this seem right?

    For the 167 square foot area, I calculated three fixtures. The area is 18' X 9. Does it make sense to have three rows with one fixture each? I was thinking the first fixture 3 ft away from the wall with 6 ft spacing.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    --Joel

  7. #67
    Sorry for the delay in responding, Joel, I've been off the forum for a couple of days. If I understand your shop correctly you have two areas, one approximately 13.5 feet by 21.5 feet (289 sq ft) and the other 9 ft by 18 ft (167 sq ft).

    The 4' 4 lamp fixture will be ok for the 167 sq ft area. I suggest running them parallel to the 9' wall. Locate the first fixture 3' from the wall with a spacing of 6' between fixtures.

    You will get much better results in the 289 sq ft area if you use 2 lamp fixtures instead of 4 lamp. Install 2 rows of 5 fixtures each running parallel to the 21.5' wall. Space the rows about 7.5' apart, and 3' from the walls. Using a single row of 4 lamp fixtures will put them too far from the side walls and you will have dark spots.

    Hope this helps.

    Jack

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    30
    Hi Jack,

    I've been off line for several weeks myself, but I really appreciate your feedback and suggestions. I will try the configuration you suggested and fill in with task lighting where needed.

    Thanks,

    --Joel

  9. image.jpgI just got this from Duke Power and thought it would add to the information here with regards to T8 and LED lighting

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Terrasse-Vaudreuil, Quebec
    Posts
    23
    Great article, thank you Jack. The ceiling is open in my shop at about 92", I'll be setting up better lighting next week, moving a few fixtures so I can add a few. Thorough, thoughtful and thought provoking, thanks again.

  11. #71
    You're welcome, Judi, I appreciate your feedback. Glad it was of help.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    C.D.A., Idaho
    Posts
    2

    Hay Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Lindsey View Post
    You're welcome, Judi, I appreciate your feedback. Glad it was of help.
    Hi Jack

    My name is John and I'm a new B, I have read both your first and second articles and am very impressed with your work and help with and for others. From what I see, you love what you do. And that is a wonderful thing.
    I do have a "FEW" questions I'm hoping you can help me with though.

    Back in 08 I put up a 30x30 shop with a bonus room above and extended one wall out on the ground floor out with a 10x16 foot wing making one wall 46', what was suppose to be a sort of office area that ended up being more of a storage area for hording STUFF.

    The actual inside floor dimensions in the shop area are 29x29 do to the 2x6 walls. The inside walls are insulated and covered with a milky white fire retardant plastic wrap, but otherwise unfinished, with very little reflective value if any. The 9' inside ceiling of the shop is also unfinished do to utilities like electrical conduits, hot /cold water and natural gas for the radiant heat in the shop floor. Also the fact of all the multi layer 2x10 truss's spanning the 30' from left to right across the shop that I can't drill holes in. Also easy maintenance for repairs. The rear wall of the shop has a stair well that is 4' x15' across it, that cuts out a 4'x15' floor area that also cuts my square footage down 60sq.ft.then the 60 sq. ft. section next to that that's sorta out of the square of the room as far as a pattern of light fixtures. Sort of a inset if you will. So that's a long winded description of the area of my lighting project.

    My intention was to suspend the lights up in the cavities between the truss's and floor joist just enough to keep from loosing any light from the truss's and joists and harms way. One of my problems is that the truss's at the front and rear, run from left to right, and the center section run from front to rear which creates a problem as far as spacing. The front and rear 10'x29' sections will have lights running left to right and the 10'x29' center section would be running front to rear. Won't that create problems in design, spacing and light coverage?

    Jack, I am presently using four 4 tube 8ft. T12's I got used over 20 yrs. ago. Last august I bought 5, four tube, T5's x 4'. I put one up to check if I found them to be too bright, my 67 year old eyes like it so far, I just don't stare at it,. One thing I liked about this particular model was that you can switch the fixture to use 2 or all 4 tubes at a time. I got them at HD if anybody is interested. They are spendy though $90 plus tubes. If you go on the web you can get the tubes for almost half, for 10 or more. (HD) So I was toying with the idea of using those on the rear wall where my work benches are and switching them seperate from the rest of the shop. To save some money, then maybe get the four tube T8's x8' in the rest of the shop that is switched left and right side of the shop, that might be a problem as far as rows/columns. I haven't quite made my mind up on the 4' T5's and the 8' T8's yet as far as the rest of the shop , I do like the switching capability of the 4' T5's though.

    So Jack, if you could share some of your expertise and knowledge, I would be very grateful. John
    Attached Files Attached Files

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    C.D.A., Idaho
    Posts
    2
    didn't know how to do this but hit reply to the last entry
    sorry

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by John Cavette View Post
    didn't know how to do this but hit reply to the last entry
    sorry
    Hi John, sorry for the delay in responding. Iíve not been on the forum for a couple of days.
    Youíve raised several questions that Iíll try to answer.

    First, with regard to the orientation of fixtures due to the joist patterns: psychologically most of us favor uniformity in a lighting layout but from a performance standpoint it really wonít make any difference how the fixtures are oriented in the spaces you describe provided they are spaced according to the guidelines Iíve provided in the article. You are correct in suspending the fixtures at or below the bottoms of the joists. You could also consider mounting them to the bottoms of the joists if conditions permit.


    Your T12 fixtures are outdated but there is no reason to scrap them as long as you have T12 lamps. I suggest that when new fixtures are installed you use T8ís rather than T5ís since the high brightness of the smaller diameter lamps can produce objectionable glare.
    As far as being able to switch pairs of lamps independently in 4 lamp fixtures goes, this is a function of the ballasting of lamps, not the lamps themselves. Back in the days of magnetic ballasts each ballast typically drove two lamp so 4 lamp fixtures had two ballasts that could be switched independently. The newer electronic ballasts can be manufactured to drive two or four lamps so for reasons of economy a four lamp fixture typically uses one ballast that drives all four lamps. If you want to be able to switch two lamps independently of the other two you must use two 2 lamp ballasts.

    One last suggestion. You should use fixtures with reflectors since they will not be mounted on a highly reflective ceiling.


    Hope this answers your questions. Let me know if it doesnít.

  15. #75
    Not loving the article. Far too much detail about things of limited importance to the task at hand (e.g. I don't need to know how the bulb is constructed - the WHY of color temperature and other important factors in choosing is interesting but extraneous, better left as sidebar info or as a separate link.) The work that went into this is much appreciated, thank you. Better editing would have taken it from good to great.

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