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Workshop Lighting: What to use?

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CaptainBudget

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Hi all, apologies if this is in the wrong place.

I use our garage as my workshop (well, half a garage). At present it is lit by a double tube T5 light and it is rubbish. This is mounted in the centre of the ceiling; my workbench is placed against one wall so it isn't even directly underneath the light unit (it is not practical to put the bench elsewhere, everything else is on castors so bikes, timber, assorted s**te can be accessed when I'm not working there.

This setup is not working, I might as well be using a glowworm in a jar. I would very much like to keep my vision, so I want to upgrade it. I fully intend to put a swing arm lamp on/around my bench, but the main ceiling lights need upgrading. The ceiling is composed of timber joists cladded in shiplap boards and I can gain access above (it's a partially boarded eave). I need to improve the magnitude and distribution of light as I really struggle to see my knife lines and markings (most of my work is done purely with hand tools).

Honestly I have no idea where to start. I'm expecting to need two units purely so the light is evenly distributed and makes sure my bench is actually adequately lit up, but I have no idea what kind of units I should be looking at. The workshop is 3.1m x 3.1m, the ceiling is 2.2m off the floor

(budget is 2 bob and a blood orange; I'm going to struggle to justify spending more than £40 odd on a unit, especially as I'm likely to need 2no)

What would you suggest I look at please?
 

AndyT

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+1 for LED panels. They are designed to rest in a suspended ceiling grid but also have loops on so they can hang from chains. I just fitted two, secured to some wood screwed to the ceiling, which was cheaper than the flush mounting kit you can buy and more practical on our wonky ceiling. Smooth, strong, economical and a bright, even light.

One point to bear in mind is that the light is all downwards, so you don't get anything reflected off the ceiling like you might with a flush mounted fluorescent batten.
 

Orraloon

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+ another for LEDs. I am gradually changing over all the lights in the house. Most other lighting will soon be a thing of the past.
Regards
John
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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I used to use Triphosphor Tubes and switched over to LED four or five years ago. The difference in the quality of light is not really noticable but the two main points for me is I get no buzzing at all from the LED's and they are cheaper to run.
 

Sideways

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In a single car garage, i've got 4 good 46watt led striplights up
Good colour (4000K) and high efficiency.
It's really bright in there now.
I like it, and as you get older you need more light to see details so it's future proofing my workshop.

Place the lights to suit your layout. Ideally above but slightly behind you where your hands work at the bench and machine so that measuring and marking is never placed in shadow.
 

CaptainBudget

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Thank you all,

I've just had a scavenge on Toolstation and I've already found a 38W daylight panel with 3800 lumens for £28.00. If I put one just above the front of the bench and one nearer the opposite wall that should be more than ample.

Obviously I will scour the interweb and see if I can do any better, but at least I know what I'm looking for now!

Just the swing arm lamp to hunt for now...
 

Neil S

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Hi
I work in my garage as well.
One of the biggest upgrades in lighting I found was to buy a tin of white emulsion paint.
If your walls are exposed block or brick then they will suck out a huge amount of available light. If you can paint the ceiling as well then that will also add dramatically.

Once it's up it has no further running costs either.

Hope that helps.

-Neil
 

Inspector

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One thousand lumens per square metre is recommended / considered about right, for detailed work in a workshop. You can decide if you just want that much light over one area or the whole shop and act accordingly.

Pete
 

thetyreman

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+1 get the 600x600mm LED panels, best upgrade I've done so far, I need a second one.
 

CaptainBudget

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Neil S":7rtk3wyb said:
Hi
I work in my garage as well.
One of the biggest upgrades in lighting I found was to buy a tin of white emulsion paint.
If your walls are exposed block or brick then they will suck out a huge amount of available light. If you can paint the ceiling as well then that will also add dramatically.

Once it's up it has no further running costs either.

Hope that helps.

-Neil
Thanks. One of the previous owners did that already, and you're right it does help...but there is obviously only so far it goes.

Will update when I've found something suitable
 

AndyT

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The cheap and simple all in one LED battens are also very good and can be an even easier replacement for fluorescents, with a similar light distribution pattern.
 

Sean Hellman

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600x 600mm leds are great, now I am also using warehouse led lights and street light leds made from a hundred, or more, separate leds, and bright white and very bright. All sold on ebay.
 

GerryKnowles

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Hi, All sorry for the late involvement to the thread , but I am a fairly new member building my own outhouse, and I own a lighting company so maybe able to chuck in a few bits that might help

1) IP rating will need to be 20 or above ( no biggy most fittings are)
3) I would go for an integrated LED batten type fitting and hang it from chains or directly to the ceiling. They are incredibly light and very easy to fix, all come with an integrated driver so just fix to a mains supply
4) for general areas 100 lux is fine but for areas that you work in try to achieve 250 lux eg a workshop bench
5) CRI most LED fixtures are 80 or above this is fine for most general work , if you are spraying cars or doing any work that requires a lot of variance of colours you need CRI 95
6) Colour temperature this is really personal preference there are no hard and fast rules for workshops. A low Kelvin rating 2700/3000K creates a warm cozy ambience and higher Kelvin 4500/6000K rating creates a clean stark appearence.
7) we are General Lamps ltd in High Wycombe , if you google us will be happy to offer a discount to UKworkshop members
 

Inspector

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Gerry you brought up Lux which most are not familiar with. It would be helpful if you have a chart that cross references. When I started looking into it almost 4 years ago I found woodworking articles calling for 100 foot candles per square foot and others calling for lux or lumens. It took some further digging to figure out how they related to one another. That's why I said 1,000 lumens per square metre in my post above. Relates better to your market and what you read on the box. I bought directly from China as locally there were no inexpensive options at the time, $100Can per LED fixture verses the $30Can or so each to my door. I have 635 square feet/59 square meters and used 16 of, 4,000 lumen, 6,000K batten fixtures. So 64,000 lumens. They are on two circuits in rows of 4 daisy chained together to minimize the number of boxes to connect to. They are very bright and if I painted the OSB white I would need sunglasses. :cool: I would hate to go back to a dim shop again.

Pete
 

gregmcateer

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Hi, All sorry for the late involvement to the thread , but I am a fairly new member building my own outhouse, and I own a lighting company so maybe able to chuck in a few bits that might help

1) IP rating will need to be 20 or above ( no biggy most fittings are)
3) I would go for an integrated LED batten type fitting and hang it from chains or directly to the ceiling. They are incredibly light and very easy to fix, all come with an integrated driver so just fix to a mains supply
4) for general areas 100 lux is fine but for areas that you work in try to achieve 250 lux eg a workshop bench
5) CRI most LED fixtures are 80 or above this is fine for most general work , if you are spraying cars or doing any work that requires a lot of variance of colours you need CRI 95
6) Colour temperature this is really personal preference there are no hard and fast rules for workshops. A low Kelvin rating 2700/3000K creates a warm cozy ambience and higher Kelvin 4500/6000K rating creates a clean stark appearence.
7) we are General Lamps ltd in High Wycombe , if you google us will be happy to offer a discount to UKworkshop members
Thanks for sharing the info, Gerry
 

bourbon

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Hi, All sorry for the late involvement to the thread , but I am a fairly new member building my own outhouse, and I own a lighting company so maybe able to chuck in a few bits that might help

1) IP rating will need to be 20 or above ( no biggy most fittings are)
3) I would go for an integrated LED batten type fitting and hang it from chains or directly to the ceiling. They are incredibly light and very easy to fix, all come with an integrated driver so just fix to a mains supply
4) for general areas 100 lux is fine but for areas that you work in try to achieve 250 lux eg a workshop bench
5) CRI most LED fixtures are 80 or above this is fine for most general work , if you are spraying cars or doing any work that requires a lot of variance of colours you need CRI 95
6) Colour temperature this is really personal preference there are no hard and fast rules for workshops. A low Kelvin rating 2700/3000K creates a warm cozy ambience and higher Kelvin 4500/6000K rating creates a clean stark appearence.
7) we are General Lamps ltd in High Wycombe , if you google us will be happy to offer a discount to UKworkshop members
Thanks for the info. although you might get a slap from our new owners for advertising
 

GerryKnowles

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Gerry you brought up Lux which most are not familiar with. It would be helpful if you have a chart that cross references. When I started looking into it almost 4 years ago I found woodworking articles calling for 100 foot candles per square foot and others calling for lux or lumens. It took some further digging to figure out how they related to one another. That's why I said 1,000 lumens per square metre in my post above. Relates better to your market and what you read on the box. I bought directly from China as locally there were no inexpensive options at the time, $100Can per LED fixture verses the $30Can or so each to my door. I have 635 square feet/59 square meters and used 16 of, 4,000 lumen, 6,000K batten fixtures. So 64,000 lumens. They are on two circuits in rows of 4 daisy chained together to minimize the number of boxes to connect to. They are very bright and if I painted the OSB white I would need sunglasses. :cool: I would hate to go back to a dim shop again.

Pete
Hi Peter,

Candela = Light Intensity ( not relevant for this only relevant for spotlighting) 1 candela= the power of 1 candleilluminated
Lumens = Light output of the LIGHT SOURCE as an example a 60w bulb gives out 60 Lumens a 50w Halogen spotlight 350 lumens
Lux = the amount of light on the working plane ie how much light you get on a specific object whcih is what you interested in . So its a combination of the light given out from the source how the light fixture controls that light and how much light is on the working plane . Working plane exmaples are a workbench a kitchen table a desk etc. 250 Lumens is a good amount of light for a workbench.

Another good tip is ALWAYS have a light directly below workbench and in front of you . If the fitting is behind you your head casts a shadow on the workbench and lowers the light.

Also bear in mind wall and ceiling surfaces , a white wall andceling reflects light very well and bounces light around the building giving a good even illumination
 

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