LumberJocks

Workbench Lighting

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by Matt posted 12-21-2014 05:24 AM 1690 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Matt's profile

Matt

137 posts in 1342 days


12-21-2014 05:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lamp lighting workbench light

I have my shop set up temporarily in my generous future-father-in-law’s garage. I have ample space for all my tools, my general workbench and my woodworking bench. However, the lighting is poor in the garage. I have enough light to do some work, but not enough to do more intricate work, like joinery or finishing. I often have a chance to take old fixtures from demos at work, but I need something temporary that doesn’t involve making alterations to the FFIL’s garage.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for a lamp or fixture that can be clamped or screwed to a bench? I could go to WalMart or someplace and get a beater desk lamp, but maybe some of you can recommend some heavy-duty, workshop intended task lighting. Thanks in advance.


20 replies so far

View crank49's profile

crank49

3980 posts in 2431 days


#1 posted 12-21-2014 07:11 AM


Get a couple of these fixtures, clamp them whereever they are above the bench, or make a pole with a base.

Then install these 68W CFL bulbs. Each is equal to 300 Watts of light.

I lit my basement shop like this till I had time to install permanent fixtures.
They work quite well.

The big bulbs are sold at Home depot for about $17 each.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View pauljuilleret's profile

pauljuilleret

71 posts in 1112 days


#2 posted 12-21-2014 09:45 AM

Go with the big cfl lamps I had the same issue in my shop when I first set it up all I had was four 100 watt bulbs. I git to looking at installing florescent strip lighting as I was looking at the fixtures and making a grocery list I came across these bug CFL bulbs yes they cost a but but it’s a lot cheaper and faster to go with those I got four of the highest wattage they had ans screwed them in and it lit the place up like a new saloon they are great and as this is cold country it doesn’t take them that long to get to full brightness when it’s cold in the shop.

I would go and get one to try you can always take it back if you don’t like it but I think you will.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1395 days


#3 posted 12-21-2014 05:02 PM

I use those task lights that painters use. I move it around the shop based on what I am doing. I even set up some clamps in the rafters to put the light over the bench while I do intricate work. As a bonus, it also provides some warmth in the shop on cold days if you are within 5 feet or so. I’m a cold wimp in Texas, so I love that feature as much as the lighting itself.

Also, I work in commercial construction and scored a bunch of fluorescent tube lights from a demo. I had them in my old shop, but I am currently between houses so they are in storage. They worked awesome though. I’l put them back up once we buy a house in the next year and I get a permanent setup back. Definitely try to score some if you have the opportunity.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Matt's profile

Matt

137 posts in 1342 days


#4 posted 12-21-2014 05:24 PM

I’m using one of those jobsite task lights at the moment, too. I like the warmth it gives off and have used it to dry my boots and bibs on affer some cold, muddy days. I work for a commercial electric company and often get a chance to grab some 2’4’ flourescants off demo jobs. You bet I’ll put some of those in my shop when I end up getting a house.

I’m running out to Lowes now and will see what they have to offer.

View Matt's profile

Matt

137 posts in 1342 days


#5 posted 12-22-2014 04:37 AM

I picked up a fixture identical to the one Crank49 posted above and a CFL that’s supposed to give off 750 lumens. I brought it home and tried it out and was not impressed with the light it put out…however, it was the daytime and I didn’t have it mounted to shine above the table. Once I mount it to shine above my work I’ll know better. I haven’t liked the CFLs we’ve replaced incandescant bulbs with in my parents’ house; they seem to create weird shadows. My bulb may be too small.

Any way, I like the fixture itself; it was exactly what I had in mind for buying. I’ll get this thing mounted tomorrow and if I like it will buy a few more!

View crank49's profile

crank49

3980 posts in 2431 days


#6 posted 12-22-2014 05:36 AM

The light I referred to is 68 watts CFL. The equivalent of a 300 watt incandesent light. It puts out 3700 lumens.
These make a nice warm light with 2700K color temperature that has little glare, but they are large; about 4” diameter and 10” long. They might need one of those extensions to fit in the reflector of the clamp on light.

If you want to go more conventional, get a 150 watt to 200 watt equivalent in the daylight color (5000K) temperature. They make a strong light and cost less, but the do have more glare. I prefer the warm whit light myself.

The 750 lumen bulb you got is the equal to about a 60 watt to 75 watt incandesent. The bulbs I suggested are over 5 times as bright.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View Tim's profile

Tim

3110 posts in 1421 days


#7 posted 12-22-2014 07:34 AM

I’m liking the tips here since my shop needs a serious lighting upgrade. But I’d be surprised if your FIL wouldn’t appreciate a lighting upgrade in his garage.

View UpstateNYdude's profile

UpstateNYdude

694 posts in 1443 days


#8 posted 12-22-2014 12:42 PM

Buy the 100w Cree LED bulbs in 5000k they are like $20 each but can turn on at -40 and have a 10 year warranty, they also give off I believe in the neighborhood of like 1600 lumens. I am getting rid of my 4ft lights in place of these as I’m sick of the ballasts burning out and the bulbs taking forever to heat up in the cold winter up here.

-- Nick, "Choking to death on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover." - JG

View Matt's profile

Matt

137 posts in 1342 days


#9 posted 12-22-2014 09:45 PM


The 750 lumen bulb you got is the equal to about a 60 watt to 75 watt incandesent. The bulbs I suggested are over 5 times as bright.

- crank49

That was my mistake, of course…I wasn’t thinking when I bought that bulb. I’m going to use that to cover my general use work bench and get the one you suggested for the woodworking bench.


I m liking the tips here since my shop needs a serious lighting upgrade. But I d be surprised if your FIL wouldn t appreciate a lighting upgrade in his garage.

- Tim

An upgrade is in the works for the new year, as well as new devices and trim for the house.

View Matt's profile

Matt

137 posts in 1342 days


#10 posted 12-23-2014 01:47 AM

Michael—I picked up a 65 watt cfl equivalent to what you suggested, put it in the fixture, and hung it above my woodworking bench. I’m very pleased with the amount of and quality of light it gives off and I think one will be all I need above the bench. It gives off 3900 lumens.

You were spot on that the previous bulb I got was equivalent to a 65 watt incandescant. I mounted that one to a piece of thin slotted angle on top of a filing cabinet I use for storage. This light is able to cover different parts of my general work bench and shine above the vise I have mounted on it. The angle iron is 2’ long and gives me a surface to clamp the light to.

I’ll need to make a few extension cords out of scrap SO or SJ cord so I can keep them further out of the way, but besides that, this is a good setup.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3980 posts in 2431 days


#11 posted 12-23-2014 10:15 PM

Glad it worked out.
Merry Christmas.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View Matt's profile

Matt

137 posts in 1342 days


#12 posted 12-24-2014 09:39 PM

Merry Christmas!

View Tim's profile

Tim

3110 posts in 1421 days


#13 posted 12-27-2014 07:08 PM

Alright, so it looks like Matt’s question was answered, so I hope this doesn’t count as highjacking a thread. :)

Crank’s suggestion of the 300W equivalent CFL’s was really good so I researched them some more and found they are used in photography lighting and go all the way up to 125W (450-500W equivalent) but also that they don’t last as long if they are hung upside down from the ceiling or in a closed in fixture.

So question is, does anyone have any suggestions for a very plain inexpensive light fixture that I could wire into the ceiling box in my shop that would hold two of these rather large 10” long high output CFL bulbs in a vertical position? I’m thinking basically like an upside down T with a light socket on each end of the horizontal part.

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

2327 posts in 1887 days


#14 posted 12-28-2014 07:34 AM

Goodwill or Value Village or CL to get a track light. Then put the CFL’s in them. Plug the track light into an extension cord and – “Let there be Light”

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Tim's profile

Tim

3110 posts in 1421 days


#15 posted 12-29-2014 07:12 PM

Thanks ex. I’m not too familiar with track lighting, but aren’t they mostly for having the light pointing down and enclosed?

What I was trying to explain is that these lights last longer if upright, with the screw base lower than the glass and since they’re so large, I assume they have a fairly large diameter as well and may not fit in just any track lighting fixture like a regular bulb would.

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com