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My Workshop Renovation

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Forum topic by WiddershinsJoinery posted 03-12-2015 03:23 PM 1091 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WiddershinsJoinery

18 posts in 824 days


03-12-2015 03:23 PM

Typically, I pride myself on being able to read scientific papers or industrial documentation to find the answers I require, but I’m having a little bit of trouble. Accuracy trumps pride, so here we go.

My wife and I bought a house last year, in Newfoundland, Canada. It was regularly -40 at night for the past couple of months, and having 3’ of snow drift in our driveway in a few hours is not irregular. Yes, yes, hell froze over and it’s where I live. Haha. We are prone to windstorms ranging from 100-120mph (I am using Imperial measurements because I assume most members of this forum are either American or Canadians who are bilingual :P).

The garage that came with the house is 32’ by 20’ (11’ ceilings), with TWO wings: one is 8’x16’ and the other is 10’x16’. The smaller wing I’m converting into lumber storage, and the larger one I’m using to store firewood. I am currently doing a household renovation to get rid of our aging oil/wood water boiler, and putting that out in the garage The boiler is 80,000 BTU, if I am not mistaken, a real monster. At present, the garage is uninsulated, and really nothing more than a rain shelter with a garage door.

My plan for this spring is to rip out the remnants of fiberglass batt insulation from the walls, and after weather-proofing AROUND all the studs, I’ll stick fresh batts in there, and resheath the walls with OSB. Will line the floor with Tyvek and cover that with some heavy plywood. (there is no ceiling, at present, just trusses) I’ll put TWO layers of fiberglass batt up in the ceiling, resheath that, and later install acoustical dampening pillows (heavy canvas tarps with more batts inside of them to soak up echo).

I intend to pull out the windows and install new lighting systems, replace all the wiring, get RID of the old hand-made garage door and board/insulate that over… but frame-out a future provision for a new, proper door. Also replacing the old, rusted-out exterior person doors…

So yeah, we’re talking $4000 – $5000 worth of work, but the place is unusable at present. It’s so cold the water in gasoline freezes out there.

The question I wanted to bring to you all is this… my lighting situation. Once the furnace goes in, the oil furnace will keep the temperature going to about 10C (50F) and I’ll use the woodstove for when I actually plan to go out there, anywhere from a few hours in a weekday evening to whole weekends at a time. That said, I want the place insulated better than my house. We all know what happens to fluorescent light tubes when they get cold… they flicker, hum, and linger… if they work at all. My plan was to use LED bulbs.

I replaced the 75W incandescent bulbs with 8W (“replaces” 40W) and they legitimately seem brighter to myself and my wife. They are white light, 5000K CRI95 and outshine 4000k 100W incandescents, we feel. So… I have somewhat of a science background, but the overlapping fields of omni-directional LED lights in an enclosed environment is a little too much computation for me to handle. This is why I bring the question to you…

Most measurements say that 750 LUX is ideal brightness for a workshop, such as woodworking, which equals about 70 foot candles or 45000 lumens of total light intensity. My shop has 11’ ceilings, not 8’, but I’m not sure how the inverse square law pertains to distances and overlapping light sources when the walls’ reflection can contribute as well… gah. Given that a 100W Incandescent bulb at 4000K emits about 1700lm, I would need about 25 of those. That’s just for ambient room-lighting, I’d also have dedicated task-lighting for my turning station, honing station, drill press, mitre saw, etc. All will have devoted workspace built into the walls with dedicated lamps… I just need to make sure that I don’t buy too few and regret the lack of ambient light, or buy too many and it cost me a fortune.

Looking for thoughts/feedback. Did I confuse/lose anyone? Haha. I have a GREAT deal of content studied on my shop reno, and would LOVE The chance to discuss it with anyone who is willing to hear. I may also have a lot of data rattling around in my head pertaining to the field… I’d love to help if anyone has a question they think I might be able to answer.

AUTHOR EDIT: I probably should have mentioned… The building is on railway ties and telephone poles as a foundation, and I am removing the windows entirely in order to ensure better light control for when I make my future youtube videos. I have a hellish-amount of space, so I have lots of room to play. I’ll probably use cone-shaped light-reflectors to focus the light downward, ceiling may or may not be painted white, but I know the canvas acoustical pillows will be white. I may or may not paint ALL The interior walls white, but I know that my walls will gradually become covered by workstation cupboards and cabinetry. I planned to have a 36” tall bench line the walls, a 18” or 24” space, followed by cupboards above (with lighting and power outlets below) to a max height of 8’. I will then have long lumber racks built on triangular cantilevers above the cupboards, for the remaining 3’. This configuration will help diffuse/disperse a GREAT deal of the sound, anyway, and the acoustical pillows on the ceiling will hopefully nullify the remainder. They will also act as extra insulation to keep my heat down. I will be using a hotwater radiation system, where radiators will be running, hopefully in parallel, rather than in series, along ALL COLD WALLS of the main 32’ by 20’ building, minus the front, where the garage door will eventually be. I will also have a devoted liquids/fluids cupboard, sealed and insulated, with an incandescent lightbulb on it’s own thermostat. It will keep the temperature within this cupboard to something closer to 18C (65F) and will, of course, not engage at all when the room is at that temperature or above. I would prefer the environment be around 21C (72F) at all times when I’m out there, which will be the purpose of the wood furnace component of the system. I will also use solar collectors to supply auxiliary heat to both and water, but that’s another story entirely.


15 replies so far

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Sparks8286

72 posts in 957 days


#1 posted 03-12-2015 03:58 PM

If I remember correctly, 3 foot candles at table height (approx. 3’ above the floor) is ideal and considered ‘standard’ for reading. Given that most workbench surfaces are probably somewhere close to that I think 70 foot candles is PLENTY bright. From my experience, LED’s do a better job of dispersing lighting patterns without giving you that ‘checkerboard’ pattern on the floor, even though they’re directional. You can do a lot with reflectors. The other option to get light dispersal with LED’s is to add more LED’s.

Have you considered installing standard fluorescent fixtures and using the LED bulbs to fit those fixtures?

https://www.earthled.com/collections/led-t8-tube-replacements-replace-your-fluorescent-t8-t10-t12-lamps-with-led

It’s easier to install 5 or 6 fixtures than it is to install 25.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

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WiddershinsJoinery

18 posts in 824 days


#2 posted 03-12-2015 04:11 PM

That’s a curious suggestion. I’ve already got two quad units, 4’ long, two dual units 8’ long and as many as five double-units 4’ long. Some of them work, some of them do not. Some have lost their ballasts, others have poor wiring… I’d almost rather go with MORE smaller lights, for the decentralized feature, as well as knowing that they are all new and will require less frigging around to get them to work right. I’m not concerned about the work involved, I’m not even SO concerned about cost (though it’ll still take six centuries to pay off my store credit, ahah.), I want a superior product. I can probably sell or barter-away the fluorescent fixtures that I’ve got in my shop, or even install them in my home to help produce more light (with LED T8’s now, of course, thanks for that!).

All my life I’ve had to deal with hand-me-downs, triggle-ups, patch-jobs and general half-assery. This is my shop. My mancave (my wife HATES that term, so I delight in the opportunity to use it), and the hours I put into it are recreational. I’ve even thought up a trellis system where I can install flush-mount lights (the little plunger-shaped ones?) directly onto a board, wire them all up on the ground, and screw the board directly to the ceiling. All the wiring is done safely below, I Can control them all on their own light switches, do all the ganging myself quite easily and comfortably. So that isn’t the problem… This is a hobby, it’s my fun-place, and I don’t mind investing the hours in something that I enjoy. That’s my hobby, and not really considered work. That said, “Labour” is free, in my case. I just want the best possible outcome with the least possible labour-investment in maintenance. Would rather do it once, be happier with the result, and forget about it. I like the idea of the multiple lights casting fewer shadows, fewer REALLY bright spots and more decentralized. Even if it costs a little more to install.

I’m sure members of this group can empathize… anything worth doing is worth over-doing. No… wait… nevermind. It’s something like that ;)

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WiddershinsJoinery

18 posts in 824 days


#3 posted 03-12-2015 04:12 PM

That’s a curious suggestion. I’ve already got two quad units, 4’ long, two dual units 8’ long and as many as five double-units 4’ long. Some of them work, some of them do not. Some have lost their ballasts, others have poor wiring… I’d almost rather go with MORE smaller lights, for the decentralized feature, as well as knowing that they are all new and will require less frigging around to get them to work right. I’m not concerned about the work involved, I’m not even SO concerned about cost (though it’ll still take six centuries to pay off my store credit, ahah.), I want a superior product. I can probably sell or barter-away the fluorescent fixtures that I’ve got in my shop, or even install them in my home to help produce more light (with LED T8’s now, of course, thanks for that!).

All my life I’ve had to deal with hand-me-downs, triggle-ups, patch-jobs and general half-assery. This is my shop. My mancave (my wife HATES that term, so I delight in the opportunity to use it), and the hours I put into it are recreational. I’ve even thought up a trellis system where I can install flush-mount lights (the little plunger-shaped ones?) directly onto a board, wire them all up on the ground, and screw the board directly to the ceiling. All the wiring is done safely below, I Can control them all on their own light switches, do all the ganging myself quite easily and comfortably. So that isn’t the problem… This is a hobby, it’s my fun-place, and I don’t mind investing the hours in something that I enjoy. That’s my hobby, and not really considered work. That said, “Labour” is free, in my case. I just want the best possible outcome with the least possible labour-investment in maintenance. Would rather do it once, be happier with the result, and forget about it. I like the idea of the multiple lights casting fewer shadows, fewer REALLY bright spots and more decentralized. Even if it costs a little more to install.

I’m sure members of this group can empathize… anything worth doing is worth over-doing. No… wait… nevermind. It’s something like that ;)

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Sparks8286

72 posts in 957 days


#4 posted 03-12-2015 06:05 PM

I wouldn’t be concerned about whether the existing ballasts work or not because you’d have to remove them in order to use the LED conversion bulbs anyway. You just wire straight to the tombstones (bulb bases). The LED bulbs have their own ballast built into them no matter what kind of LED it is. It’s a circuit board with a diode so the power to the board needs to be regulated (hence, it’s own ballast). This is convenient because you don’t have external (bulbs) and internal (ballasts) fixture parts to replace to make the bulbs burn. The bad part is that if one part fails you have to replace the whole thing. And don’t kid yourself, you WILL replace LED’s. A lot of companies are still improving the technology. If you go with the multiple (25) bulbs I recommend Sylvania 16 watt PAR38 bulbs. It’s equivalent to a standard 100W incandescent flood bulb. I use them and I know they work. I can’t speak for any other brands. And being 11 ft. above the floor you won’t have any problem with light dispersion. A 250W equivalent LED would be nice if you happen to be interested in parking something in your shop that was manufactured by Boeing, but nobody makes an LED for that yet. Use the keyless (plunger style) bases for them. they’re a dime a dozen, but get the ceramic ones because the plastic ones are crap. You’ll break half of them just screwing in the bulbs. You’ll just have to be careful because obviously that leaves the bulb exposed to possible damage. And don’t let the people you buy your bulbs from try to sell you on an outdoor rated LED bulb. They cost more, but yours won’t be exposed to the weather so it’s not needed.

I called the supplier I normally work with and he’s sending me information on the highest wattage LED Sylvania makes. I’ll post that info when I get it.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

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WiddershinsJoinery

18 posts in 824 days


#5 posted 03-13-2015 07:12 PM

Thanks so much for that, the built-in ballast technology into the LED tubes would definitely be an advantage. That being said… I’d need to buy and have shipped a BUNCH of LED tubes it might actually cost as much as buying my bulbs locally. They’re rated for 40,000 hours or whatever rediculous… which, for the amount of time I’ll be spending in that shop, will last me a year or more. 2000 hours is “full-time” work per year, 40 hours per week for 50 weeks. I won’t be spending that in my shop, for sure. I need to take more careful examination of the price differences, but I like the idea of having more evenly distributed light sources. I could use the existing fixtures with LED Tubes for my home. Nothing need be wasted, but I need to be fussy about my shop :P Thanks again! I never turn down data or educated opinions!

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ClayandNancy

511 posts in 2483 days


#6 posted 03-13-2015 07:36 PM

I have a shop that’s 36’x14’ and I originally put 10 ceramic (basement type) lamps on the 12’ ceilings. 2 rows of 5. I put 2 100 watt incandescent bulbs at each end and the middle 6 got 100 watt fluorescent. I’m in Cleveland, Ohio so I understand the dim fluorescent lights when it’s cold.Lighting was pretty good. I changed the middle 6 with the 40 watt LED. Now I have to wear sun glasses, just joking, but it is plenty bright for woodworking and I don’t use any extra lighting at each work station. Hope you figure it out.

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WiddershinsJoinery

18 posts in 824 days


#7 posted 03-13-2015 07:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I can use that for my math and designs. I’ll publish my results and describe the outcome, so we can all learn from my inevitable mistakes :P

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Sparks8286

72 posts in 957 days


#8 posted 03-13-2015 07:38 PM

That’s true, the cost of shipping the LED’s can change things. I don’t know how well the LED tubes work since I’ve never used them, but I wanted to offer the suggestion at least. I would like to think they work great, but I don’t know. Don’t get too caught-up in the life expectancy of the LED’s. They’re all ridiculously high numbers, but I’ve seen them go bad in a month. Like I said, the technology is still young.

At this point, given my lack of experience with the LED tubes I would recommend the keyless fixtures simply because I know at least SOME of those bulbs have worked fine for me….so far. And if they don’t work for you the way you like it’s very easy to switch back to high-wattage incandescent bulbs.

Of course, you could always install a couple of 500W metal halide fixtures :D
You’d have PLENTY of light and possibly get a nice tan while you’re building things :p

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

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Nugs

64 posts in 1345 days


#9 posted 03-13-2015 07:50 PM

If you want a really good representation of your lighting you can use a lighting software. I’m an Electrical Eng by day and use “Visual” lighting software for lighting simulations. They have a free trial you could use and play around. It’s a bit of a learning curve, but there are Youtube tutorials that help immensely.

You can usually get the photometric files for the lights you want to use from the manufacturer so it’ll simulate light just like the ones you want to install. This program will allow you to set your wall reflectance (for white paint or not) as well as do 3d rendering to see shadows and calcs to get your lux or lumens at certain heights or areas.

I normally wouldn’t recommend a simulation for someone’s garage, but reading your first post you seem to like a scientific/engineering approach and would probably get a kick out of it.

Edit: if you go this route, set your light loss factor to .9, I’ve been told by a couple manufacturers that LEDs decay about 10% in brightness after the first year and stay at that level for most of their life. These are for industrial applications, so it may not be as high for your case.

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WiddershinsJoinery

18 posts in 824 days


#10 posted 03-13-2015 08:57 PM

What software were you using? I’d LOVE to build a computer model such as that.

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isotope

146 posts in 1092 days


#11 posted 03-14-2015 12:00 AM

OK, I won’t even attempt to provide you with enough technical information to answer your questions. But, I will suggest to you to examine the possibility of using LED strips instead of bulbs. You can get 50 meter long strips that run directly on 120V and can 700+ lumens/meter, which by my estimation equates to approximately 20×100W incandescent bulbs. Those run in the $120 range. I personally used a less powerful version to light my basement/shop and I absolutely love it. The light dispersion is great, essentially no shadows.
I’ve only had this up for about a month, so I can not speak to longevity.

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/82273

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WiddershinsJoinery

18 posts in 824 days


#12 posted 03-14-2015 12:03 AM

Fabulous!! Where do you get those at such awesome prices!?

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isotope

146 posts in 1092 days


#13 posted 03-14-2015 12:09 AM

The LED strips that I got were made and sold by LightingEver. They have many options and a reasonable amount of info to satisfy your computational needs ;) The 5050 versions are brighter than the 3528, but more expensive.

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WiddershinsJoinery

18 posts in 824 days


#14 posted 03-14-2015 12:15 AM

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Nugs

64 posts in 1345 days


#15 posted 03-14-2015 07:30 PM

This is the software we use for lighting simulations https://www.visual-3d.com/software/visual.aspx it’s called visual.

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