View Poll Results: Flouresent Shop Lighting - How many watts per square foot of floor space do you have?

Voters
69. You may not vote on this poll
  • Under 1 watt / sq. ft.

    8 11.59%
  • 1 - 1.5 watts / sq. ft.

    13 18.84%
  • 1.5 - 2 watts / sq. ft.

    15 21.74%
  • 2 - 2.5 watts / sq. ft.

    10 14.49%
  • 2.5 - 3 watts / sq. ft.

    8 11.59%
  • Over 3 watts / sq. ft.

    15 21.74%
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Thread: Flouresent Shop Lighting, Watts per Square Foot

  1. #1
    Rob Will Guest

    Flouresent Shop Lighting, Watts per Square Foot

    For those that have flouresent lighting in their shop, how many watts per square foot of floor space do you have? Include bench lights if they contribute to the general shop lighting.

    Rob
    Last edited by Rob Will; 12-09-2006 at 10:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
    Posts
    490
    I have 24 4 ft flourescent fixtures with 34 watt bulbs in a 24 x 32 shop so that is 1632 watts in 768 square feet.

    FWIW, IMO, the bulbs you use make a difference. I recently changed from the regular cool white bulbs from the BORG to bulbs with a higher CRI (around 82) and a temp of around 5100K. To me, it does not seem near as bright as it was, but the color is definitely better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    273
    About 2.2 watts per sq ft and using bright daylight T-8's with white walls and ceilings. Makes for a nice bright room. A little brighter would not hurt....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Posts
    578

    Maybe I have to much . .

    Shop size = 20' X 22'.

    Have 24 twin bulb 4' T-8s with 5000 bulbs.

    White ceiling & walls . . .

    Yes, it is bright, but so nice . . . .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ Area
    Posts
    2,330
    28 by 22 foot shop, 48 four foot 40W bulbs. I love it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    near Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    846
    You can probably get a ballpark figure from this type of poll; but ceiling color, wall color, ceiling height and bulb type will affect the final result. Also existing windows will make a difference. You might want to visit one of the Internet lighting sites and see what they recommend or call your local lighting store.

  7. #7
    Rob Will Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Meijer
    You can probably get a ballpark figure from this type of poll; but ceiling color, wall color, ceiling height and bulb type will affect the final result. Also existing windows will make a difference. You might want to visit one of the Internet lighting sites and see what they recommend or call your local lighting store.
    Randy,
    I agree. There are way too many unknowns and everybody's situation and needs are different. Having said that I thought it would be interesting to compare notes and see how much energy we are putting toward lighting. In my case with 16' ceilings and 1.75 watts / sq. ft., my shop will be on the low side but probably acceptable. I have room to easily take my shop to 2.9 watts / sq. ft. and keep the lights on a nice planned spacing. (as time and money allow)

    Rob

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Spokane, Washington
    Posts
    4,021
    I have 5 2/40 watt fixtures for 400 sq ft. It works pretty well.

    Dan
    Eternity is an awfully long time, especially toward the end.

    -Woody Allen-

    Critiques on works posted are always welcome

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    19,590
    I have under 1 watt per square foot if I count the whole shop. Since I don't work in every nook and cranny a better estimate might be watts covering my "work" areas; about 1 watt per square foot with some task lights here and there. I need more actually. I still have some spots I don't like.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  10. I have no idea how many watts I have. I put in lights as I feel the need.

    There is no sicience or formula I simply light the shop to my comfort.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lacey, Washington
    Posts
    412
    Interesting question. Over the years I've changed (incresaed) the lighting to where I "like" it. I just went out and and did the figures. ended up I have 2watts /sf. I guessed it was 3 or more. I use daylight bulbs and have 9ft. ceilings. all white paint. Dick B.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    26,971
    Rob...........I asked this queston over a year ago. As was advised in your earlier thread, I ordered the article from FWW. In fact, the retired lighting engineer who wrote the article is a member here. Unfortunately I can't remember his name. In the article he takes in account, your age, the height of your ceiling, the size of your shop. He also discusses the type of lights, color index of the lights and the type of starters used. The article was a wealth of information. I used the article to design the lights for my shop. He uses lumens as the reference not watts. Interestingly enough, I calculated the watts based on his design priniciples and it figured out at right at 2 watts based on all the factors he recommended. Good luck with your projects.
    Ken

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    West of Ft. Worth, TX
    Posts
    5,814
    My shop is 20X24. I will have 28 4 footers when I'm all done. That comes out to 1.98 watt/ft. It's nice and bright right now with 22 bulbs, except for the far corners, which is where the other 3 fixtures are slated to go. I did the same as Ken and ordered the article. The author has posted here on lighting questions before, but it has been a while. I'll try to do a little research and find him again, as I can't remember his name either, and I don't know where my copy of the article is at the moment. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...Exclusively Irish! When Irish Eyes are smiling....They're usually up to something!!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas.
    No, I'm not an electrician. Any information I share is purely what I would do myself. If in doubt, hire an electrician!
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    West of Ft. Worth, TX
    Posts
    5,814
    Ok, I found the information. Ken, it was one of your posts that had it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald
    snip....the article is titled "Lighting for the Workshop" by Jack L. Lindsey in the Jan/Feb 2002 FWW. He gives some interesting information on planning your lighting by type...by age...over age 40 he recommends twice as much lighting as pre-age 40.....spacing....recommended configurations etc. Well worth the couple of bucks it cost me to download it! Good luck with your new shop! Enjoy the process ....it's fun!
    Hope that helps you find the article!. Jim
    Coolmeadow Setters...Exclusively Irish! When Irish Eyes are smiling....They're usually up to something!!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas.
    No, I'm not an electrician. Any information I share is purely what I would do myself. If in doubt, hire an electrician!
    Member of the G0691 fan club!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...Most likely I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, s3.

  15. #15
    Rob Will Guest
    Perhaps an interesting pattern is developing in our poll. So far it appears that about 2/3 of the shops have somewhere around 2 watts / sq. ft.

    Then there seems to be a group that has over 3 watts / sq. ft.

    That got me to wondering.......of the over 3 watt crowd......how many are using high output fixtures?

    Here's why I ask: In order to get 3 watts / sq. ft. with standard bulbs, it would require fixtures to be fairly close together. For example if you had continuous rows of tandem T8 fixtures spaced 5' apart, that would be about 3 watts / sq. ft.

    I hope you take the time to vote in our poll so we get a better sample.

    Rob

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