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Forum topic by Ben posted 1288 days ago 1399 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ben

50 posts in 1289 days


1288 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: shop lighting

Does anyone have a recommendation for the Kelvin of shop lights. I am buying 3 fluorescent 48” fixtures to hang in the garage. I see 5000K-3000K in the 48” lights. I know the higher the K the less “natural” it looks. A standard incandescent house light is around 2700K while bright industrial “cool white” bulbs are around 5000K. Does anyone have thoughts on which to buy for the shop? I want to see, but I don’t want to be uncomfortable if surrounded by cool white lights that feel unnatural.

-- Wood is good.


8 replies so far

View TheWoodNerd's profile

TheWoodNerd

288 posts in 1796 days


#1 posted 1288 days ago

I prefer lights around 5000K. If you’re concerned about color accuracy, you also need to look at the Color Rendering Index. I used GE Ecolux Sunshine which also have a CRI of 86.

Definitely go with T-8 fixtures/bulbs.

I wrote a blog entry a couple years ago that gives more details, http://www.thewoodnerd.com/blog/?s=lighting

-- The Wood Nerd -- http://www.workshopaholic.net

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DrDirt

2368 posts in 2347 days


#2 posted 1288 days ago

Woodnerd is right but also consider where your projects will be ultimately placed.
If it will be in the home under halogen or incandescent (those 2700-2800Kelvin) sources, you should look for Halogen lamps to do your color evaluations.

As such finishing under them may give you a unplanned color…you can find yourself using a much more “Red” stain in order to have the color you want under a rather blue light, then when you deliver the project to a room that is lit with the Redder Halogen or incandescent lamps, your project will look much redder than it did in the shop.

For a primer – the white phosphor powder coating is just a mix of Red Green and Blue (R-G-B color just like your computer monitor) the Color temperature (Kelvin) is imitating the temperature of a black body (like a tungsten wire). imagine turning up the voltage and watching it change from a warm red glow to start to look white, as you continue cranking up the power (Raise the wire temperature) it will begin to look more blue.

Fluorescent Color temperature mimics the same effect – the “Soft White” lamps are 3000K which is close to Halogen/incandescent lamps and as you go to 5000K – - you are reducing the % Red and adding blue to the ‘paint’ on the wall of the bulb. Most makers have “800 series” T8 lamps which have 84-86 CRI for 3000, 3500, 4100 and 5000 K lamps. So there isn’t an inherent light quality gain by using 5000K, and actually the light output for 5000K is lower than 3500K for the same wattage bulb. I personally have 3500 K in my shop – I find it a good balance between a ‘warm natural’ environment and a brightly lit workspace. As a reference – your neighborhood Wal Mart store is lit with 5000K T8 Fluorescent in 100% of the supercenters in the US.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View Ben's profile

Ben

50 posts in 1289 days


#3 posted 1288 days ago

That was extremely helpful! Thank you DrDirt.

-- Wood is good.

View Ben's profile

Ben

50 posts in 1289 days


#4 posted 1288 days ago

As an aside, I have always hated fluorescent. I have moved to LEds for some recessed lighting inside the house, as well as all of my landscape lighting. If you search, you can get good LEDs for 10-15 dollars. Eventually I will do the shop in LEds, but that’s a project for later in the year. I will actually use landscape fixtures with U-Bolts and 5W Leds as I did with the Pergola, and it throws off more than adequate light at a tiny fraction of the wattage.

-- Wood is good.

View Ben's profile

Ben

50 posts in 1289 days


#5 posted 1288 days ago

Oh, and the LEds are 2700K, not the bright white you see in the solar crap they sell.

-- Wood is good.

View Ben's profile

Ben

50 posts in 1289 days


#6 posted 1287 days ago

I put in 3 48” fluorescent units (2 bulbs each) to replace the old unit from the 70’s. I used T8 bulbs at 3000K. So far it looks great and is giving off good light. Thanks guys!

-- Wood is good.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

525 posts in 2086 days


#7 posted 1287 days ago

I studied graphic arts in college and our viewing booths used 5000 K bulbs, that’s supposed to be the closest to natural sun light.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Ben's profile

Ben

50 posts in 1289 days


#8 posted 1287 days ago

I agree, but for staining, as DrDirt pointed out, I wanted something a little closer to indoor light to gage the color. It might appear lighter under 5000K in the garage, and yet much darker inside the house at 2700K. The bulbs are pretty cheap, I may try some 5000K at times to see how they look.

-- Wood is good.

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