of the most important considerations in a work area is lighting, poor
light will cause eye strain, restrict vision ( and safety ) around
power tools, and contribute to headaches both literal and figurative.
lighting is probably the most efficient and practical, a tube will last
twenty times that of an incandescent light bulb. One four foot
fluorescent tube consuming only 40 watts sheds as much light as two
incandescent 100 watt bulbs. Their long length tends to diffuse the
brightness and spread the light over a large area. Cool whites are the
best choice, warm white and colour improved tubes are available, which
light your stains and finishes more realistically, but are not usually
worth the extra expense because you will probably take you project to
where it will permanently reside to check how it looks in that light.
There are three common types of flourescent fixtures used in workshops
- Two bare tubes running side by side.
- Two bare tubes with metal reflectors on each side.
- Two tubes with a plastic lens wrapped around them.
wrap around is the best choice of the three, the lens diffuses and
spreads the light as well as protecting the tubes from dust and
- Note: There are clear plastic tubes available to protect bare lamps.
lights work best in temperatures above 50° F. and will take a long time
to warm up to provide full light in cold weather. It is advisable in
unheated shops to install a couple incandescent lights to provide
instant light as well as generating a bit of much needed heat.
|Halogen Shop Light
as day halogen is flicker free and starts at any temperature. For
lighting broader areas, the Halogen Shop Light with 150 watt halogen
bulbs and diffused lenses that decrease glare. Includes 7 foot power
cord and chains. Shop Light feature tempered glass lenses and chrome
plated safety guards and is UL listed.
Halogen Shop Light
- Halogen lighting is replacing
flourescent lighting in many shops, it is flicker free and starts up
even in cold shops. A common complaint about this type of lighting is
the short length of time the bulbs last, in my own experience I have
found that certain brands last much longer than others. Generally the
least expensive house brands seem to last longer than brand name
products such a Phillips.
the lights should be mounted in parallel rows no more than six feet
apart, so the shadows from one row are filled in by the next. This
allows you to work anywhere in the shop under good lighting and to move
machinery to any location. If this is not feasible then place a light
overhead and parallel to your work space and use task lights to fill
- If the ceiling
space is available mount the rows just over eight feet above the floor
so a full sheet of plywood can be flipped on end without hitting them.
- Your age and type
of work will also determine the amount of illumination needed, the
older we get and the finer the work we do the more light we need.
- Have banks of
lights on separate switches, this way if you are only going into the
shop at night to get a tool all the lights don't have to be turned on,
also have the lights on their own breaker so that if a tool trips a breaker the lights don't go out.
affects us in two ways it can cause headaches and affect your ability
to see properly. Direct glare comes from a light source in your field
of vision, usually an uncovered lamp. Reflected glare can bounce of
bright walls, paint walls a medium tone colour, choose a shade dark
enough to absorb some light yet bright enough to reflect some light to
reduce shadows. Windows are a source of glare so as tempting as it will
be try to avoid putting your work bench in front of one because your
eyes will be frequently adjusting and readjusting to the relatively dim
light of the shop and the brighter natural light coming in the window.
lamps will last five years or more depending on use, however they can
loose 30% of their light output in the first three years after
installation. When the ends go dark it is time to replace them. Dirt
and dust can reduce their efficiency another 25% so an old dirty lamp
can be only half as bright as a clean new one.