Lit like a supermarket


Old 06-09-09, 03:29 PM
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Lit like a supermarket

Recommendations for lighting a 20x30 foot workshop space?

I was thinking of plain old fluorescent shop ceiling lights. Is there new technology I should know about?

Are there any rules of thumb for the number of ceiling fixtures per unit area? I'd like it bright so you can see in every corner without shadows, like a supermarket!

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Old 06-09-09, 03:35 PM
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Not sure what your ceiling looks like, whether it is flat standard 8' high, or vaulted without covering. Mine is a steel building with 8' eaves and a 14' peak, so lighting it was a little different.
Mostly shop lights will give good light, just make sure they are over your workspace rather than behind your body, since it will cast shadows on your work. General lighting can be hung in the middle of the room, but hang it as high as possible to keep from hitting it with project materials. You can separately switch the lighting over the workspace versus the general lighting, but you don't have to. The shop lights are inexpensive enough that you can install more for less.
Old 06-09-09, 03:45 PM
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LED lighting is starting to hit the market but the pricing ssems to be high.

If you go with fluorescent only look at T8 or T5. The T12 bulb is being phased out.

You may want to go to a lighting designer to help with the layout and footcandles needed. Simkar used to have one on their site but it is unavailable at the present time.

Like Larry said, ceiling height, along with floor and room colors, reflectivity will all affect the perceived lighting levels and will change the layout.
Old 06-09-09, 04:51 PM
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Jim's right on the T5's. I installed a customer purchased fluorescent in a closet during a basement remodel, and wow, the light that T5 puts out in relation to the older ones, and the bulb is only as thick as your thumb.
Old 06-09-09, 07:11 PM
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The ceiling is 8'7" and flat and the ceiling and interior will be light in color, floor just concrete.
Old 06-09-09, 07:13 PM
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For 20X30 workshop is the luminaires are you are useing over the workbench or general light set up ?

If general it will depending on the height and type of ceiling and wall { if have light colour or not }

Normally I will just go with T-8's some area can able use the T-5's and they do put out pretty serious amout of light.

Edit: as soon I put up my reply the OP allready answer so here the update info the min quanity is 6 - 4 foot 2 lamp T-8's but you can go 8 of them.

Old 06-10-09, 04:02 AM
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I have four 4-foot duals in my 20x20x8 foot garage and it wasn't enough until I painted the finished walls & ceiling white. They had been beige. I was amazed at how much light the white paint reflected. It got even better when I recoated the floor with a light gray concrete paint.

I still had to add one single-lamp fixture directly over the workbench and one over the project area for task lighting, only because those areas are along the walls and my body blocked the other lights.
Old 06-10-09, 05:45 AM
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I'd say my 20x20 garage looks pretty supermarket like with four short 2 bank fluorescent lights. It's drywalled and painted white, with a floor sealed in a light color. Like Mr. Johnston had said, this is one important key to good even lighting.

Do yourself a favor and get some nice fluorescents with a good ballast. I put some cheap "shop lights" in my basement (the ones with no lens cover that are hung on chains) and boy are they noisy!

Last edited by mickblock; 06-10-09 at 05:45 AM. Reason: add title
Old 06-10-09, 10:11 AM
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Yes, I second (or third?) the 4 x dual 4'ers. I have 3 x duals in a 20 x 20' space, a little bit shy at times. Second also the T8's, get the electronic ballast, and since you have a fairly short ceiling, I'd go enclosed fixtures. I use the vapor tite series, has a plastic cover to protect the bulbs; impact, liquids, whatever...Especially if you do woodworking or sometimes wield thing in the air.
Old 06-11-09, 07:14 PM
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My 20'X20' shop is lit with six T8 8' strips with reflectors (either 2-8' lamps or 4-4' lamps. Whatever I got off the jobs )
Can you say "Clean up in isle nine?"

I also suggest getting 4100K lamps

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