Enlighten Me

Soliciting more feedback from you all. My garage/shed/shop is still under construction, but we’re closer to running electricity, and I’ve started to wonder about lighting.

Natural lighting of course is best, and we’ve got largish windows, but the architecture dictates that those are on the Northwest/Southeast sides of the building.

I’d like to get the lighting right from the start. The building is 26′ x 36′, and will be occupied by a vehicle, eventually 2, as well as various other items that gotta go somewhere other than our house.

Just hanging something dead center in the middle of the building will probably give me some raking light for the workbench area, but it’s unlikely to be enough light.

I’ll stop myself from spilling all my as yet unorganized thoughts on this topic. Lights about a foot or two out from each wall, or just the back wall seems a natural choice for general lighting.

Anyone have any ideas? or lessons learned? I figure asking is worth a shot – haven’t had to figure this out before.

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6 Responses to Enlighten Me

  1. You’ll want lots of light and lighting from more that one source to eliminate shadows. I found it best to have some lights directly over my workbench to avoid having a light source behind me. When the light is behind you, you’ll cast a shadow over the work area that can be annoying. I have a small space, 10 by 12 feet and I put up two florescent fixtures at about thirds of the space.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wb8nbs says:

    I agree with Andrew on lighting behind. You will always have your shadow on the work. I installed a couple of LED floods behind my bench, they are less than useful because of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wesley Beal says:

    So far, sounds like I definitely want to hang some lights directly over the workbench. Makes sense, and that’s what I liked/wanted more of in my previous shop. Still wondering about that valuable raking light, and how much or what type of light has worked well for people (or, equally valuable: hasn’t worked well). Has fluorescent worked alright for folks? Had a couple halogens before: great in the Winter, not so great in the Summer (too much heat). I’m tempted to run a long fluorescent (or two) above my bench, and maybe some others in front of it, so I can turn off the fluorescent and see what shadows are showing from the side lights.

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  4. Greg Merritt says:

    My garage is 24’x24′. I have four, four light fluorescent trays concentrated in the rear third. Still not enough light. I have three small windows and there is a marked difference in the amount of light once the sun goes down.
    Shadows are almost impossible to avoid, so you will still want a task light at the bench. If I want raking light I turn off the overheads and just use the task light. Easy to adjust to the needed angle.
    Basically take the recommended spacing from the manufacturer and cut it by half. You can never have too much and you will always want more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. billlattpa says:

    I like fluorescent wraps. In your situation probably (8) 2-lamp fixtures would be sufficient. They are not expensive and in actuality are as efficient as LED lighting. I also agree with everybody in that a separate light over the bench that can be switched individually is probably a good idea.
    Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wesley Beal says:

      Would you be able to share a link to something like you’re talking about, so I’m sure I know exactly?

      I’ve decided that “long fluorescent lights” are the way to go, but that’s about as technical as I can understand so far.

      We’ve wired the place with 3 source for electricity on each long half of the building; so electricity for 6 connections, 3 in the front half of the garage, 3 in the back half of the garage.

      My father-in-law was in charge of the design – I explained that I wanted to be able to light up my work area, and this was what he was comfortable with. Without his expertise and help, this shed wouldn’t be happening at all, so I don’t argue: if that’s what he thinks I should do, so be it!

      The lights themselves haven’t been purchased yet though, so unless he shows up with some he’s picked up today (actually, a not unlikely event), I’ve still got time to make these determinations.

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