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Thread: Shop lighting layout

  1. #1
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    Shop lighting layout

    Below is a pic of my current lighting plan for a new 1000 sq foot shop. Lights are in green, overhead DC in purple. Ceilings are 10'. Lights are ~3' from the side walls and ~7 feet between lights. Each bank is 20' long, i.e. five 4' T8 fixtures, giving 30 fixtures for the room.

    Is there any need for the current additional row of lights going right to left at the top of the pic? That row, along the windows, is where many of my machines will be: drill press, SCMS, Bandsaw(s),.... Bottom of pic is probably wood storage.

    Big thing to left of room on green looking carpet is CU300 combo, right half of shop is assembly area.

    lighting.jpg
    Mark McFarlane

  2. #2
    You should have enough light without the row running right to left. You could run your lights right to left as the fixtures throw light to the sides more than fore and aft, this would add a little more light on your machines.

  3. #3
    How many lamps per fixture, Mark? If you are using 2 lamp fixtures with 2800 to 3000 lumen lamps you should have somewhere in the range of 80 to 90 footcandles maintained. I normally recommend 100 FC for a shop but your layout fits the space nicely so what you propose looks reasonable. Also note that the initial footcandle level will be higher when the lamps are new and the fixtures are clean. My article on shop lighting explains all this. If the lighting level seems to decrease over a period of a couple of years you can clean the lamps and fixtures to recover some of the lost light.

    I don't see a need for the extra row of fixtures.
    Last edited by Jack Lindsey; 06-26-2016 at 4:19 AM. Reason: correct typo

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Lindsey View Post
    How many lamps per fixture, Mark? If you are using 2 lamp fixtures with 2800 to 3000 lumen lamps you should have somewhere in the range of 80 to 90 footcandles maintained. I normally recommend 100 FC for a shop but your layout fits the space nicely so what you propose looks reasonable. Also note that the initial footcandle level will be higher when the lamps are new and the fixtures are clean. My article on shop lighting explains all this. If the lighting level seems to decrease over a period of a couple of years you can clean the lamps and fixtures to recover some of the lost light.

    I don't see a need for the extra row of fixtures.
    Thanks Adam and Jack, I'll lose the extra row. I estimated I'd be at about 80% of Jack's recommendation, with its headroom for dirty and degraded bulbs.

    FWIW, I'll probably be cleaning more than every 2 years, I am a tad OCD, and I have a wall of windows for natural light.
    Mark McFarlane

  5. #5
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    As I get older, I need more light to see fine marks. Even with ~80 fc and natural light, I would recommend having task lights for the DP, BS, and maybe also for the MS if they don't have them already.
    Last edited by Brian Tymchak; 06-26-2016 at 3:54 PM.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  6. #6
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    That seems like a pretty good plan. The one thing I'll mention is that sometimes over the bench and in the finishing area, you can benefit from additional fixtures, not so much for "more" light, but to insure that regardless of where "you" are standing or the project is blocking from one direction, there's light strongly hitting your workpiece. I was a bit more generous in my bench and finishing area for that reason along. Slight overkill for total light, but little or no shadows.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    As I get older, I need more light to see fine marks. Even with ~80 fc and natural light, I would recommend having task lights for the DP, BS, and maybe also for the MS if they don't have them already.
    Thanks Brian. I have 110V by each machine location that can be used for that purpose.
    Mark McFarlane

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That seems like a pretty good plan. The one thing I'll mention is that sometimes over the bench and in the finishing area, you can benefit from additional fixtures, not so much for "more" light, but to insure that regardless of where "you" are standing or the project is blocking from one direction, there's light strongly hitting your workpiece. I was a bit more generous in my bench and finishing area for that reason along. Slight overkill for total light, but little or no shadows.
    Thanks Jim. I suspect I'll need to build a few projects in the room to figure out the best place for any extra 'no shadows' lights. I do have one bank slightly in front of the main bench and one directly over the assembly table. Then around the assembly area its 7' to the next bank of lights on each side, so I can see where some shadowing will happen, but how bad it is, and what the impact will be, is hard to contemplate.

    My insulation will be SPF in the rafters so I can pretty easily add another fixture or two around the assembly area.
    Mark McFarlane

  9. #9
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    Here's a revised design with the left-right lights removed and the remaining lights nudged 2 feet towards the 'top wall'. I don't think I needed all that light right at the garage door.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Mark McFarlane

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark mcfarlane View Post
    Thanks Jim. I suspect I'll need to build a few projects in the room to figure out the best place for any extra 'no shadows' lights.
    Yes, that's a good plan. I never knew I had "the problem" until I recently switched over most of my shop lighting to LED. The fluorescent tubes had been there since the early 2000s and like anything, I guess I was complacent. Once I started putting up the brighter lighting, I really did begin to notice opportunities to enhance coverage over the bench and in the area where I spray. So go with your plan and once you're up and working, just pay attention to things while you work those initial projects. Adding supplemental fixtures isn't difficult. You might even put a few outlets on the lighting circuit to make things really easy!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Yes, that's a good plan. I never knew I had "the problem" until I recently switched over most of my shop lighting to LED. The fluorescent tubes had been there since the early 2000s and like anything, I guess I was complacent. Once I started putting up the brighter lighting, I really did begin to notice opportunities to enhance coverage over the bench and in the area where I spray. So go with your plan and once you're up and working, just pay attention to things while you work those initial projects. Adding supplemental fixtures isn't difficult. You might even put a few outlets on the lighting circuit to make things really easy!
    I wonder if some of the problem you noticed when switching to LEDs was their directional nature. Your old fluorescents probably shot a lot of diffuse light off the ceiling, but the LED's I have seen are 'downward only' lights.
    Mark McFarlane

  12. #12
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    Trust me, there's no diffusion off my ceiling...since there is no "ceiling". It's just open I-joists and all the fixtures have reflectors. Some of the difference could be the change in light source, but I really didn't have a good coverage pattern with the older tubes at all. It's part of the long term learning process...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    I just switched to all LED and I love the new light. You're starting from scratch consider LED and never change a bulb again. My lights have no buzz and come on almost instantly.

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