Working Lights

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Blog entry by BigD1 posted 01-18-2011 05:21 AM 1200 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello my friends. I’m at the point of installing new lights in my wood shop. I’m hearing a lot about the T8 lights out there. My shop is small, only 22’x22’ or 484 sq. ft. I have nine foot ceilings, and only two windows, 22×30. Was wondering of a good brand, that I can rely on for years. Any imput will help. Thanks.

-- Donald Baty

4 comments so far

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

251 posts in 2771 days

#1 posted 01-18-2011 06:03 AM

My shop is nearly identical in size, and two windows. My ceilings are only ~8 feet though. It was recently remodeled which included installing new lighting. I used T-8 lighting throughout, purchasing the Lithonia brand from Home Depot.

Because of the lower wattage I was concerned about going with T-8’s. But in combination with the lenses on the T-8 fixtures, the light output seems comparable to the older T-12’s. That’s what all of the brochures say too, and I agree. The bulbs install a lot easier than T-12’s, and saving a little on the electricity bill can’t hurt.

FWIW, I installed eight 4-bulb fixtures plus two 2-bulb fixtures. The light is fantastic with no shadows anywhere in the shop. I was able to experiment a bit before arriving at that configuration, and in hindsight I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s nice and bright, but not too bright.

This kind of lighting setup will set you back ~$700

This Blog entry video shows part of my shop. The video was shot at night with no video lights. You can get a sense of the quality of the light from the configuration described above.

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3315 days

#2 posted 01-19-2011 04:47 PM

My shop is 20×22 with 9’ to the bottom of the joists. I got four, 4’, 4-bulb fluorescent fixtures cheap off of craigslist and it is more than adequate (T-12 bulbs). Since I was working out of a dim basement at the time, so I also installed 10 can lights as I thought the flourescents might perform poorly when it was cold out (they are on a separate switch). With all of them on, it looks like the surface of the sun – it’s ridiculously bright.

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

251 posts in 2771 days

#3 posted 01-19-2011 05:52 PM

I don’t know why, but for some reason I wrote the wrong number of fixtures. Instead of eight 4-bulb fixtures, I meant to write six 4-bulb fixtures.

Also, remember that the amount of light that is needed will vary depending on your age. Someone in their thirties will need less light then someone in their fifties. I’m in the latter category.

View tswoodwizard's profile


104 posts in 2690 days

#4 posted 01-19-2011 06:21 PM

I don’t know to much about lighting other than the fact that my favorite is good old day light. It’s pleasing to work in and dosn’t cost any thing to run. My only caution is the effects of U.V. light ,so if you add a window, make sure it’s a good low-E system. Also keep in mind that glass is still wall space. You can still showcase something in a window.

-- Tim B. Sweely Elizabeth, Illinois, -------- My potential is limited only by my emagination.

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