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Thread: Creative ideas for shop lighting "on" a garage door?

  1. #16
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    Jim, add a wall mount LED flood type fixture aimed at the ceiling and use the white door surface as a reflector...........Rod

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    Jim, add a wall mount LED flood type fixture aimed at the ceiling and use the white door surface as a reflector...........Rod
    Seems like those lamps would have to be relatively low on the wall to work with the door opened...what am I missing here?
    --

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

  3. #18
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    You also lose a LOT of light with reflected light. Even gloss white house paint is not that great a reflector.

  4. #19
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    I'd use LED strips as mentioned but mount them on metal or plastic strips, not directly on the door. I use the cheap white foam-core plastic molding strips from Lowe's. Then screw the strips to the door or use double-sided tape.

    There are several advantages. You can assemble and test everything off the door in manageable sizes. If the tape starts lifitng in spots you can tack it down with hot glue and not mess up the door itself. If you damage a section it is more easily replaced.

    There is significant voltage drop over the length of a standard reel (5 meters) of LED's and you will get more even lighting if you feed the power to the middle or to both ends.

    I solder everything except screw connections. I insulate and support the soldered connections to the LED strips with hot glue.

    [ETA: The LED's get hot and I believe one reason the tape lifts is differential expansion with whatever it's mounted on. I have not had it lift from aluminum, whether because of better heat dissipation or more similar expansion rates. I usually use plastic anyway because of the cost, reduced chance of shorting, and appearance.]
    Last edited by Alan Rutherford; 06-08-2021 at 12:04 PM.

  5. #20
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    Seems to me that for a temporary shop scenario where you anticipate mostly working with the door shut, I would choose the "do nothing" branch of the decision tree. Especially given the long list of to-do's that you have.

    That said, one thing I can offer is that if the top panel of the garage door is swapped for one with windows, you may be able to align lighting such that they would shine through even with the door raised. I'm deploying this technique in my own garage tomorrow (and have seen it done many times on garages built during my pole barn sales/PM days).
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  6. #21
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    Although I don't disagree with you, Bob...the time duration for "temporary" is a wild variable and the availability for money for a mini split to condition the space wouldn't happen until the other property sells. I may very well need to work for awhile with the door open or partially open so I do need to consider impact on lighting, not just for preference, but also for safety. I'm leaning toward a single stick of UniStrut just under the door rails with some form of LED lighting attached to make up for any fixtures on the ceiling getting blocked by the door in the open or partially open position. I think I can get away with that based on my initial tool arrangement plan which keeps the "business end" of the CNC toward the better lighted area.
    --

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

  7. #22
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    I'm with Bob on this, Temporary is just until cooler weather, 2 months. If you're still there next May, then cross that bridge.

  8. #23
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    It's a balancing act...summers here are extremely hot and more importantly, extremely humid. But I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Until the other property sells, I can't make major decisions on big purchases.
    --

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

  9. #24
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    I would add 6 4' LED lights screwed directly to garage door
    Match the existing rows on the ceiling, so end up with 2 rows of three lights
    Plug into each other in a series circuit and then have a power strip with long cord for 1st one to plug into
    Mount power strip at mid point on one edge of garage door and plug it into a receptacle located on wall at top corner of door.
    Use bungee cords, tarp straps or screen door springs to support the cord and keep it away from door track. Mock the cord up first you will see it is easy to make this work.
    Advantage is you will have light no matter what position the door is in.
    Saw this idea on a agriculture site, seems to be getting more common on the big hinged doors 30'-60' wide by 16'-20' tall
    Ron

  10. #25
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    If adding fixtures, you need to watch the weight & adjust the springs accordingly. The LED tape won't add enough weight to be a concern. And using the tape means that you just have to connect low voltage to the door.

  11. #26
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  12. #27
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    Maybe this might work? Low volts, low watts. plug in at opener receptacle.
    Idea pilfered from a 9 volt window alarm
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Charlie Velasquez; 06-14-2021 at 6:28 PM.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  13. #28
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    If the unistrut is too long to span the whole door, perhaps use two 10 or 12 foot sections angled diagonally across the upper door corners?

    that said, I do have a similar situation in my shop but frankly it hasn’t been an issue, even at night, so I would lean towards the do nothing camp until you know exactly where you need the light. (And I’m a huge fan of having it bright in the shop!)


    good luck!
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  14. #29
    light mount.jpglights.jpgJim, I went round and round with this same question...mount lights to the underside of the door, make some kind of cantilever, fab a beam to span between the garage door rails with a cutout for the opener....everything seemed like overly complicated systems that I thought I'd hate. Ultimately I attached shop lights on each rail, angled in to the center of the shop. The picture doesn't do it justice. I'm starting to find I need more light to see fine details, and there's plenty of light. Feels like I'm in an operating room or something.

    I'm 'lucky' in that I'm only lighting a single bay, this might not work as well in a 2-bay setup. Maybe you'd have to have operations that depend on light out at the edge of the shop, and those that don't in the center.

  15. #30
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    I've actually decided to...do nothing...for the moment. Daytime, there's more than enough light "through the door" to make up for the covered row of lights and other partially covered row of lights and it's unlikely I'd be doing much at night with the door open anyway. If it appears that I have to be in the gar...err...temporary shop...for a longer period of time than I prefer, then I can revisit this and most likely, I'll use LED tape on a unistrut beam under the rails to fill in some light.
    --

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

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