the many issues with having a shed for a workshop #1: reliable lighting for my shed

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Blog entry by emart posted 10-11-2011 10:29 PM 5457 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of the many issues with having a shed for a workshop series no next part

normally if you want to add lights to a shop you just add them in off the circuit breaker, but that would be the sensible thing to do. unfortunately i cant do that the breaker is too small on my house and i cant afford to have a new one put in. for my machines i use an extension cord from the house but my circuits can only handle so much load before they go so i cant have much more light than a single bulb shop light and if the circuit blows i have no lights and a running machine.

enter my solution. insane? very, but it works so im using it.

on my shed is a 55 watt solar panel kit shown here:

from that the power goes to my charge controller and to 2 12 volt deer feeder batteries

to light the shop i have 2 3 watt 270 lumen LED lights from a company called Goal0 which can put out 16 hours of light on a single charge

and to make sure i dont kill my batteries i put a volt meter on the system which i placed right above my radial saw so i can check it periodically

and last but not least i added some auxiliary car outlets next to my work bench so i can power small accessories or additional lights or whatever else i may need and possibly use my inverter if i ever need to

i hope you enjoyed seeing the insane lengths i go to have my own shop

next i plan on adding in some more lights so i can hang them up for outside work (they actually work better than my shop light for this)

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

4 comments so far

View jumbojack's profile


1678 posts in 2675 days

#1 posted 10-11-2011 11:10 PM

You found this cheaper than running a new circuit to the shed?/?

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2678 days

#2 posted 10-11-2011 11:14 PM

i’d need either an entire new circuit breaker on my house or run a line with a breaker to my shed. neither of which seemed affordable at the time. if i added in a new breaker to my house i’d need a lot of other work done because my house was wired by morons. the whole thing only cost me $300 including the lights and batteries

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View Joe Watson's profile

Joe Watson

316 posts in 3597 days

#3 posted 10-12-2011 04:32 PM

in south america they have been using coke bottles filled with water that get glued into the roof. brings the light in from the outside. just fill with water cap full of bleach then glue into the roof. solatubes they have here are nice too they get installed in the roof and bring light down. wont supply light at night but during the day it will be bright.

-- Got Wood?

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2678 days

#4 posted 10-13-2011 02:59 AM

@ joe i never would have thought of that. goes to show what can be done on a non-existent budget and how much ingenuity people posses. thankfully my shed has plenty of light during the day. well as long as the doors dont get blown shut from the wind anyways

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

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