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  • Lighting needs

    I'm planning out my basement work shop (14'x25' ) and am trying to figure out how much lighting I need. I remember reading an article in a magazine a few years ago that showed a picture showing the height from your work bench to the ceiling and the spacing between the light fixtures and how far from the wall they should be. I was thinking of using a drop ceiling so I was leaning towards the 4 tube 2x4 fixtures but they are pricey. Any suppestions?
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  • #2

    Re: Lighting needs

    Re: Lighting needs

    Can't say how many you need for your space, but in my 24 x 26 garage I have 5 - 2 bulb fluorescents and a single 100W regular bulb.

    Switched so that the incandescent is on its own and a single fluorescent is also by itself. Using 3 switches allows for the level of light I need for specific tasks.
    Please remember that free advise from the Internet is worth what you paid for it ...

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    • #3

      Re: Lighting needs

      Re: Lighting needs

      The older you get the more light you will require.

      I used a bunch of those cheap (about $20) two 4' tube fixtures. The last ones I bought were quite noisy so I won't be doing that again.

      A friend built a fairly large shop and installed an array of compact flourescent bulbs screwed into regular light bulb fixtures and he is happy with it.

      I would have the lights interspersed on at least 2 circuits so you can have general lighting but with the ability to brighten it up when you feel it is necessary.

      I also have a floodlight over my TS, one over my bandsaw and a couple over the main area of my workbench for task lighting when needed. To be honest, only the one over the bandsaw gets much use.

      Sorry I can't tell you how many of each fixture you would need but if you are going with a minimum numbers ensure that you can expand the system when you wish without ripping out drywall etc.
      billh

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      • #4

        Re: Lighting needs

        Re: Lighting needs

        Originally posted by Henry from Winnipeg View Post
        I'm planning out my basement work shop (14'x25' ) and am trying to figure out how much lighting I need. I remember reading an article in a magazine a few years ago that showed a picture showing the height from your work bench to the ceiling and the spacing between the light fixtures and how far from the wall they should be. I was thinking of using a drop ceiling so I was leaning towards the 4 tube 2x4 fixtures but they are pricey. Any suppestions?
        For my 22 x 25 (550 sq. ft.) basement workshop with 8 ft high ceilings (open joists, measurement from workshop floor to bottom of first floor decking), in the late 80s I used lighting guidelines (probably from Fine Woodworking) and ended up with 17 double 48" tube fluorescent fixtures for a total of 1360 watts. I also have a small clip-on lights on my bandsaw and drill press and a magnifying fluorescent fixture stuck in one of the dogholes of my workbench.

        All the fixtures are on one circuit and in the initial installation, with fewer, more evenly distributed fixtures , I left lots of wiring length between the fixtures around the tablesaw and workbench to add more fixtures if needed and, yup, found that I needed to add more light in those areas, largely to eliminate shadows on one or another side of a workpiece or the ts blade. Eight of the fluorescent fixtures essentially provide lighting for the tablesaw/sidetable and 10 ft. workbench.

        I painted the bottom of the first floor decking and the sides of the joists with white paint (flat or semi gloss) to reflect light down and positioned the bottom of the fixtures level with the bottom of the ceiling joists.

        Based on the present configuration of my workshop in couple of areas where I don't need as much lighting I've 'turned off' a two of the fixtures simply by rotating the fluorescent tubes so the electrical connector prongs aren't making electrical contact.

        I still have reasonable vision and have only started using low power glasses for reading newspapers. But as billh our maturing eyes are going to be gathering fewer points of light in the future.

        btw, if you have access to the ceiling joists, Scott Landis' Workshop book has a super strong, cheapo shopmade wood storage rack design that uses the strength of the joist system and adjoining wall. And, if you have open ceiling joists, the spaces where you don't have lighting fixtures, you can use for storage ( it's difficult to have too much workshop space)


        good luck

        michael

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        • #5

          Re: Lighting needs

          Re: Lighting needs

          I've had it with fluorescent tubes and ballasts. As they burn out I'm replacing them with CF bulbs.

          In my 26' x 36' shop I have three rows of 4 lights, each row on it's own switch.

          I buy the 5500k/45w bulbs from Alzo Digital, one advantage is I don't have any color issues when taking pictures. And I found out very quickly that I prefer the "white" light over the "yellow".

          Cheers, Don
          Don Kondra - Furniture Designer/Maker
          Product Photography
          My Acreage Bird Photographs

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Lighting needs

            Re: Lighting needs

            If you are going with fluorescent tubes go with the T5. Lower profile smaller tube and more energy efficient. I have a 20 X 17 shop and have 4 of these 2 bulb fixtures and there is plenty of light and there is no annoying humming you get with normal fluorescent lights.
            Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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            • #7

              Re: Lighting needs

              Re: Lighting needs

              The older I get the more light I need.
              My basement shop is 11.5' x 31.5'. Walls and ceiling are painted white.
              The floor is a very light grey sheet vinyl.
              I have 8, 2tube 4ft fixtures mounted to the drywall ceiling. These are the small diameter tubes.
              Lots of light now.

              Tim

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              • #8

                Re: Lighting needs

                Re: Lighting needs

                Originally posted by Henry from Winnipeg View Post
                I'm planning out my basement work shop (14'x25' ) and am trying to figure out how much lighting I need. I remember reading an article in a magazine a few years ago that showed a picture showing the height from your work bench to the ceiling and the spacing between the light fixtures and how far from the wall they should be. I was thinking of using a drop ceiling so I was leaning towards the 4 tube 2x4 fixtures but they are pricey. Any suppestions?
                Henry, the article you are referring to may have been from Fine Woodworking. In the article the author recommends 100 fc (foot candles) at the work surface. As we get older, more light is needed and better. I used his recommendations in my 20 X 24 shop with a vaulted ceiling. I have 4 rows of 5, 2-bulb 4 ft fluorescent lights. (20 fixtures on two circuits). The whole shop is painted flat white. Normally I only use the two outside rows as it seems there is more than enough light. If I turn on all 20 I am sure there is "at least" 100 fc at the work surface.

                If you would like a copy of that article, send me a PM.

                Fred Alexander

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Lighting needs

                  Re: Lighting needs

                  Originally posted by Don Kondra View Post
                  I've had it with fluorescent tubes and ballasts. As they burn out I'm replacing them with CF bulbs.

                  In my 26' x 36' shop I have three rows of 4 lights, each row on it's own switch.

                  I buy the 5500k/45w bulbs from Alzo Digital, one advantage is I don't have any color issues when taking pictures. And I found out very quickly that I prefer the "white" light over the "yellow".

                  Cheers, Don
                  Are these the ones Don ?
                  ALZO 1146-55 45 WATT - COLOR TEMP 5500K 2800 Lumens - Equivalent to 170 watts of Tungsten/incandescent light
                  Used in our ALZO 600 "Cool Lites" and ALZO 100 Light kits
                  These bulbs are larger than the ALZO 27 watt bulbs and will not


                  fit in the ALZO 300 light fixture. 1146-55 Dimensions ALZO 1146-55 45 WATT Photo CFL Color Temperature = 5500K
                  $9.75 ea



                  I assume you need a special socket for them, or do they fit a standard socket?
                  Kevin

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                  • #10

                    Re: Lighting needs

                    Re: Lighting needs

                    Those are the ones Kevin, they screw into a normal/standard socket...

                    Cheers, Don
                    Don Kondra - Furniture Designer/Maker
                    Product Photography
                    My Acreage Bird Photographs

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Lighting needs

                      Re: Lighting needs

                      Originally posted by Henry from Winnipeg View Post
                      I'm planning out my basement work shop (14'x25' ) and am trying to figure out how much lighting I need. I remember reading an article in a magazine a few years ago that showed a picture showing the height from your work bench to the ceiling and the spacing between the light fixtures and how far from the wall they should be. I was thinking of using a drop ceiling so I was leaning towards the 4 tube 2x4 fixtures but they are pricey. Any suppestions?
                      Was an article in Wood magazine from about 7 years ago - this it?

                      Comment

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                      • #12

                        Re: Lighting needs

                        Re: Lighting needs

                        Originally posted by Henry from Winnipeg View Post
                        I'm planning out my basement work shop (14'x25' ) and am trying to figure out how much lighting I need. I remember reading an article in a magazine a few years ago that showed a picture showing the height from your work bench to the ceiling and the spacing between the light fixtures and how far from the wall they should be. I was thinking of using a drop ceiling so I was leaning towards the 4 tube 2x4 fixtures but they are pricey. Any suppestions?
                        Henry,

                        What you can do is contact a big distributer like Wesco, Nedco, Westburne and ask to speak to their lighting specialist. I used Wesco in Edmonton. They should be willing to calculate what you need based on the room dimensions, table height etc. To much light can be as bad as to little.

                        Once you have independent, objective input you can make your decision.

                        Don

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                        • #13

                          Re: Lighting needs

                          Re: Lighting needs

                          Originally posted by Don Burch;

                          Once you have independent, objective input you can make your decision.

                          Don
                          Aint that true ,hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

                          As other have said

                          the lighting I installed 6 years ago ,man was it brite
                          , is not good enough now with age and eye changes/glasses

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                          • #14

                            Re: Lighting needs

                            Re: Lighting needs

                            I like the idea of having the lights on 2 seperate circuits and will be looking for quiet fixtures. I also thought that I had to finish the ceiling, but I guess I don't have to finish it. I definitly want to err on the side of more light and I can always remove a bulb or two if it's too much light.

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: Lighting needs

                              Re: Lighting needs

                              Originally posted by Henry from Winnipeg View Post
                              I like the idea of having the lights on 2 seperate circuits and will be looking for quiet fixtures. I also thought that I had to finish the ceiling, but I guess I don't have to finish it. I definitly want to err on the side of more light and I can always remove a bulb or two if it's too much light.
                              Henry, don't remove lamps from fluorescent fixtures, it causes ballast failures, as does not replacing failed lamps promptly.

                              In my my home shop I added toggle switches to a few fixtures that aren't need on a routine basis, that allows me to turn them on as required.

                              Regards, Rod.
                              Work is the curse of the riding class.

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