Shop/Garage lighting

Discussion in 'Workshop and Home Improvement' started by toyotaspeed90, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. toyotaspeed90

    toyotaspeed90

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    Was poking around reading threads - and there was one regarding their shop being built. It seems that 1/2 of the first several pages were people talking about lighting, and thought it'd be interesting to post up people's lighting/suggestions and what has worked for them.


    My last house had a small 2 car garage (just over 400 sq/ft) and short ceilings (standard garage door with the rafters less than a couple feet above the garage door). I rewired that to have one side primarily for working on vehicles, with 4' fluorescent tubes (one side had 2 four footers, the other had 4, I believe). Although I learned long ago that the plug in style housing have bad/cheap ballasts, the inexpensive hard wired type aren't much better. I always hated the lighting in that garage.

    When I moved to this house I was given a new dilemma. As purchased the 2 car garage had 2 light fixtures for standard light bulbs, of which only 1 worked. A bigger dilemma for me was that my 16' extension ladder didn't reach the rafters. The garage is in the upper 500's for sq/ft (but does have a staircase in it).

    (As a side note, I also have about 400 sq/ft of mostly finished space under the house for storage, that's a about 5'10" of "ceiling" height in there.... we don't need to talk about why a PO might have done something like that under the house... although my "shop" is still small for a "shop" it cleared up a whole lot of storage solution issues I had at the last house)

    I went looking at hardware stores for at least 2 or 3 months trying to decide on a cost effective means of lighting that space with really high ceilings - and the cost of 4' and 8' tube housings (and tubes) seemed to have climbed a lot. I was looking in the realm of $200-400 depending on the route I went.

    Until I remembered some bulbs I had for photography lying around.

    I ended up adding 6 more standard 4" round light outlets, and standard bulb holders. Wired with 14/2 Romex cable. The total cost for this was around $35.

    I then ordered these bulbs (2 sets of 4, I have a total of 8)
    Amazon.com : Cowboystudio Full Spectrum Light Bulb- Four 45W Photography Photo CFL 5500K - Daylight balanced pure white light, (Pack Of 4) : Compact Fluorescent Bulbs : Camera & Photo

    (They've gone up in price a little since purchased). Full lighting for the garage, and rewiring, ended up being less than $100 total.

    Each bulb draws 45W so not nearly as efficient as LED's. Output is up there, though at 2,650 lumens each.

    That puts the draw at 360W and the output at over 21,000 Lumens. Unfortunately I do have 1 that burned out upon initial use, so I'm actually at 315/18,550 lumens.

    I have very little light that comes in when the garage door is closed. This solution has been far better than what I had at the last house/garage.

    [​IMG]
    Edited to add photo, can't tell you how many projects are visible there...


    What are others doing? Happy? Would you change it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  2. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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    Lighting is on my list....have two 4' LED strips in my 1600 sqft shop right now...haven't yet come up with the right ideas yet.
     
  3. Weber Sarge

    Weber Sarge

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    This is one subject that has no easy solution unless you to industrial-level lighting and it's associated price tag . Buddy of mine's 60x80 has been a real pain with lighting , it's not bad but to make it right he'd have to double what he has and he's replaced fixtures constantly .

    I've recently went with the T8's and had decent luck , waiting for the new Cree oval led units to come down in price and either retrofit or just use their fixtures . LED is getting there fast and with competition , price should follow downward pretty quickly in the next few years .

    Sarge
     
  4. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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  5. Weber Sarge

    Weber Sarge

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  6. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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  7. Weber Sarge

    Weber Sarge

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    I'd shy away from higher color temps , with age I've found those blue tinted lights to be very hard on bad eyes - might try to stay around or below 4000k color .
    Price isn't bad on those , wish the USA builders could compete in price range but their quality is high and we know how China deals with that .
    Sarge
     
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  8. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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    They've got a 3500k version too, same price...5000k isn't bad tho, but anything higher is obnoxious.
     
  9. toyotaspeed90

    toyotaspeed90

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    Because I like to do things out of the norm..... which I've already done.... and to throw out devils advocate thoughts...

    Looks like those are 36W and 2700 lumens each.

    Over the higher output CFL units, they gain about 50 lumens and 9W less, but at a cost of about $20 more each.

    The bulbs I listed are about $6.75 each. A standard light bulb housing (which can usually take upwards of 100W a piece - and are simple to change a bulb out) is around $2 each, plus whatever the cost of Romex would be (cheap for lighting).

    There is absolutely going to be a difference in lifespan length - but we've seen LED bulb technology (and price) change quite a bit over the past couple years.... it's very possible that there will be screw in style / standard high output LED bulbs for a decent price soon...

    something like this could be 1/2 or 1/4 the price in a couple years when the CFL's start to die, and don't require any changes to the wiring/housing (and these are 3,000 lumens each at 30W):
    LC LED 150W LED Bulb, 20W 1950 Lumens (125W, 150W bulb replacement), Daylight White (6000K). Non-Dimmable (A23) - - Amazon.com
     
  10. JaketheSSnake

    JaketheSSnake SILVER Star

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    Sams Club has 4ft led fixtures for under $40. I love mine, can't beat them for the money. Theyre around 4500k, iirc. Nice clean white light.
     
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  11. splitshot

    splitshot Head cook, Bottle washer, and Peace keeper. SILVER Star

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    Bought a couple of 5000k bulbs by mistake to replace burn outs in the kitchen cans. A little much, but swapped them out in the pantry/washroom area, just like adding a skylight without the roof penetration, perfect fit.
     
  12. sggoat

    sggoat

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    I bought some GE "Brite Sticks" recently--std base screw in LED.--Amazed at the light these things put out
     
  13. N919HJ

    N919HJ SILVER Star

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  14. rkymtnflyfisher

    rkymtnflyfisher SILVER Star

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    I have 6, 4 foot, 3 tube T-8 fixtures (5000K lamps) and 2 Osram 55 watt LED low bay light fixtures (5000K) in my 2 car garage, the T-8 fixtures have inboard/outboard switching so that one tube comes on via a vacancy sensor and the 2 outer tubes are controlled via switch. With the garage door closed and all the lights on I get over 130 fc on the hood of my 40.

    Also being an electrician I get the benefit of "testing" certain light fixtures on occasion, and T-8 industrial fixtures often get thrown in the trash on a remodel project in the commercial construction world.

    http://assets.sylvania.com/assets/Documents/LED302.ada8997a-ae06-43d0-a605-81c91db9882d.pdf
     

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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  15. davegonz

    davegonz Keeping it Weird SILVER Star

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    Yeah, I have T8's in my new shop. They put out a ton of lighting and are dirt cheap. I will have to add more for task lighting once I get moved in.

    20160718_203457.jpg
     
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  16. toyotaspeed90

    toyotaspeed90

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    Last weekend, at least in Bellingham Wa, the Costco LED 4' fixtures were on sale - want to say in the $25-35 range each...
     
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  17. Coolerman

    Coolerman SILVER Star

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    My 24' x 40' shop has 12' to 14' ceilings (barn type roof). I added 5 windows and 4 large skylights to the plan. During a sunny day, I have no need for interior light. For cloudy days or night, I mounted 42 standard screw in bulb porcelain fixtures in 6 rows to the underside of the roof purlins, wired them to three breakers and three light switches so I can turn one two rows at a time, and filled them with 42, 250 watt, 6500K fluorescent bulbs. With the white plastic backed insulation on the walls and ceiling it's BRIGHT!
    The pic shows the first test of the lights, that's why all the fixtures are still hanging...

    Even with all that light, with my old weak eyesight, I still have to use task lighting when doing any close up work. You can't have too much light in a large shop... My total cost to to wire the entire shop including the breaker box w/breakers, the conduit, wire, fixture boxes/plates/switches/outlets/light fixtures and the 42 bulbs was around $1800.00 with me providing all the labor.
    Got the bulbs here: 6500K - 300 Watt Equal Compact Fluorescents | 1000Bulbs.com

    IMG_6599W.jpg
     
  18. 65swb45

    65swb45 Elder Statesman Supporting Vendor

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    @pngunme , this is how bright I want MY shop to be! I've still got a ways to go, between getting the new office prepared, getting the old office demo'd, and getting the rest of the pallet racks in. But I have a target. I will come back to this thread when it's time. Thanks to all who have posted tech here.

    The one nice thing I already have for doing the work is the rolling staircase. Practically the first thing I bought when I opened the shop and still going strong after 26 years.
     
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  19. Solace in Solitude

    Solace in Solitude SILVER Star

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    :cool:that's a lotta light, Marks (Mark squared)!!

    IIRC @jetranger lit his so as to have no shadows at all... Gotta pic Riley?

    I use a clamp-on utility light with 100W bulb, a flashlight and a permanent squint:rolleyes: of course, I no longer have a shop... Just a parking space in Dianna's garage. :(

    That's a great shop Mark from Paint Lick!!
     
  20. UZJ40

    UZJ40

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    Still a few shadows here and there, but for the most part it's pretty bright!

    [​IMG]
     
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