Kreg Owners' Community

I am curious as to what the members are using for lighting in their shops. Type of lighting, manufacturer, style, etc. I am in the process of building a new shop area in a steel building. I plan to have an area of around 20' x 35' to set up in. Give me some ideas on how best to light this area. If you have pictures of your lighting, please show them as well. Thanks

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Tom,

NOTE: Consult with the National Electrical Code and applicable codes, for lighting in buildings, that applies to your structure.

Consult with an electical contractor---have an electrician install the hard wiring.

My shop ceiling is 8ft above the concrete slab.

I use florescent lighting, with the 4ft bulbs, strategically located, and near the ceiling.

A switch to control the light(s) into entryways, and separate switch to control each light in specific areas; such as over a work bench, storage areas in the far back of the room, and the like.

The "daylight" bulbs are the brightest, and give a natural daylight glow.

As I wanted additional lighting, or replaced a fixture specifically over a work-station, I recently installed the lamps that use LED lighting.

Such as overhead lights, over a work station, and with a separagte ON-OFF switch.

This allows me to turn on the light, as needed, so as to illuminate the specific area.

Wall switches can be installed at an entry to the shop, that can control a designated light or a bank of lights.

Electrical boxes with receptacle can be installed in a ceiling, overhead lights can be plugged into the receptacle vs hardwiring each light, that you can turn ON-OFF a specific light as needed.

When installing a light fixture, keep it as high up as possible and as close to the ceiling as possible.

NOTE: some overhead light fixtures need to be spaced away from the ceiling surface, so as to provide adaquate ventilation, between the fixture and a surface.

Excess cord lenght can be folded and stored atop the fixture.

Do not allow cords to hang/sag, so as to prevent objects from getting caught on them.

DO NOT coil the cord in a tight circle and tie-wrap the coils together.  Current heat will overheat the cord.

Have fun with your planning and build.

Is it a pitched roof or Quonset? If you have a pitched roof put as many sky lights as you can. Never ever use a metal flashed sky light. Metal flashing sweats, which means in the summer you will have. Water in your building. Use a good Anderson sky light or something comparable, Also get it at least 8" above your roof line and have your contractor build crickets on the uphill sloop to get water away from them. As For your lighting go to a commercial lighting wholesaler and look at your options. Lighting starts at 40$ and can go to 400$ per light for the metal halide. Tell them you are being your own contractor and they will help you put a package together that will make you happy


Lee,

It is a pitched roof. The sidewalls will be 14' tall and then a 2:12 pitch on the roof. I'll have to see what the manufacturer would charge for skylights. I assume they will design the openings for whatever kind (brand) of skylight I would decide on purchasing. I have been researching lights and I have found that they do vary in price from your suggested $40 - $400 per light. Telling them that I am my own contractor, which I am, is a good idea. Thanks!
Lee said:

Is it a pitched roof or Quonset? If you have a pitched roof put as many sky lights as you can. Never ever use a metal flashed sky light. Metal flashing sweats, which means in the summer you will have. Water in your building. Use a good Anderson sky light or something comparable, Also get it at least 8" above your roof line and have your contractor build crickets on the uphill sloop to get water away from them. As For your lighting go to a commercial lighting wholesaler and look at your options. Lighting starts at 40$ and can go to 400$ per light for the metal halide. Tell them you are being your own contractor and they will help you put a package together that will make you happy

Ken,

Thanks for the reply. You have many good points that one often forgets when planning electrical in a shop. Fortunately, my son does some electrical work, so I am relying on him for assistance here. Thanks!

Ken Darga said:

Tom,

NOTE: Consult with the National Electrical Code and applicable codes, for lighting in buildings, that applies to your structure.

Consult with an electical contractor---have an electrician install the hard wiring.

My shop ceiling is 8ft above the concrete slab.

I use florescent lighting, with the 4ft bulbs, strategically located, and near the ceiling.

A switch to control the light(s) into entryways, and separate switch to control each light in specific areas; such as over a work bench, storage areas in the far back of the room, and the like.

The "daylight" bulbs are the brightest, and give a natural daylight glow.

As I wanted additional lighting, or replaced a fixture specifically over a work-station, I recently installed the lamps that use LED lighting.

Such as overhead lights, over a work station, and with a separagte ON-OFF switch.

This allows me to turn on the light, as needed, so as to illuminate the specific area.

Wall switches can be installed at an entry to the shop, that can control a designated light or a bank of lights.

Electrical boxes with receptacle can be installed in a ceiling, overhead lights can be plugged into the receptacle vs hardwiring each light, that you can turn ON-OFF a specific light as needed.

When installing a light fixture, keep it as high up as possible and as close to the ceiling as possible.

NOTE: some overhead light fixtures need to be spaced away from the ceiling surface, so as to provide adaquate ventilation, between the fixture and a surface.

Excess cord lenght can be folded and stored atop the fixture.

Do not allow cords to hang/sag, so as to prevent objects from getting caught on them.

DO NOT coil the cord in a tight circle and tie-wrap the coils together.  Current heat will overheat the cord.

Have fun with your planning and build.

Tom,

Thank you for your thank you.

PS:

I'd install an external waterproof ON-OFF switch, at the outside entry to your shop, and connected to a light that illuminates the immediate entry on the interior.

I'd also include a "RED" indicator light on the switch box.  This will alert you that the lights are on inside.

This feature is very usefull to me, as there are times when someone has exited the room and left the lights on, when no one was inside.

Like an old saying, "lights ON---nobody home".

Another item is an external light, at the entry into your shop, as well as other applicable entry doors.

And can be controlled by a "dusk-to-dawn" controller, or

a motion controller.

This feature comes in very handy during the dark hours.

I have a storage building that features motion controlled lighting.

It functions automatically when the door is opened and closed.

It automatically shuts off the lights when exiting and closing the doors.

Another feature I find very useful.

I have a switch on the inside entryway, that controls power to the primary work bench with overhead lighting and electrical receptacles in the front area and back-splash of the workbench.

As well as other separate switches to dedicated work stations.

This way I can control power to a dedicated work-station.

 

Each switch controlled work station features a "RED" indicator light that reflects that power is ON to that station.  I can readily see that that work station is "HOT".  

This feature acts as a "kill-switch", to prevent unintentional activation of power equipment at specific work stations and power tools.

 

These features are primarily for the protection of others, so as to keep my family and others safer. 

Some, especially youngers, are equisitive enough that they'll turn on a switch, just to see "what's this for"?

Such work stations include, power saws, planers, drill press, grinders, router table, air compressor, any and all tools that can potentially cause injury to persons or property.

My portable power tools can plug into a power controlled receptacle as well as have it's own integral power on-off switch.

If I see someone operating a tool or machine, that poses a risk of injury or danger, I can shut-off the power at the applicable control switch, and remove the potential hazard. 

In paint spray area(s), solding and welding area(s), an exhaust fan can to installed and connected such that

the exhaust fan is activated when the work station is energized.  This automatically exhausts any harmful fumes, that may be present, to the outside of the building.

There are times when I've done lots of solderiing and welding that give off noxious gas, as well as melting of lead---the fumes can be dangerous to inhale.

Make a list of all that you'd like to feature in your shop.

Then make a list of the applicable materials you'll need for each feature.

You don't need to do them all at one.

Prioritize them.  

Some can be done at a later date; however, you'll want to install all the conduit ahead of time.

Applicable wiring to other stations can be pulled at a later date.

Have fun making your build plans.

tom hagan said:

Ken,

Thanks for the reply. You have many good points that one often forgets when planning electrical in a shop. Fortunately, my son does some electrical work, so I am relying on him for assistance here. Thanks!

Tom,

Planning for the future.

Plan to have an adequate electric service line to your building.

A 100amp service.

A min 60amp service.  

A 50 amp circuit for a welder, such as a 120/240V model.

Hobart makes a nice welder with great features, in their 120/240V model, for homeowner and small shop use.

Welder applications:

Maintenance

Construction

Auto Body

Farm/Ranch

Boat/marine

Home

This model features power supply plug(s) for 120/240V service---use one plug for 120V  and another for 240V.  The 120V plug, plugs directly into the 240V removable plug, when 240V is available.

The 240V model will have a higher output power for welding thicker materials, such as in farm equipment, and the like.

The 120V option is nice, so that if you're at a job site, you can plug into into a standard 120V outlet.

When at 120V, you'll be limited to welding thinner materials.

A 30amp circuit for a large size air compressor.  

Ex, a 80 gal dual stage 240V model, floor mount, hard wired, will suffice nicely for continuous duty air tools, such as in air spraying, air grinders, and the like, that consume lots of air.

I HATE dim light. Go with LED fixtures. Metal halide and other arc bulbs (mercury vapor, sodium) take too long to warm up when first turned on. I replaced my 4 foot fluorescent tubes with 4 foot LED tubes from Costco. When it comes to finishing you will want lights that can be moved in and around the project so plan on a few plug-in lights.


Ken,

These are some more great things to consider. I know my son has already planned to make sure he includes adequate electric service. He is going to pull internet as well. 

Welding is nothing that I ever considered. I have not touched any welding equipment since I was in high school. I'll have to ask my son if he has any interest in that. I think this old dog is too old to start to learn a new trick. I'll have my hands full getting back into the woodworking side of this hobby.

Thanks for the excellent considerations!

Tom 
Ken Darga said:

Tom,

Planning for the future.

Plan to have an adequate electric service line to your building.

A 100amp service.

A min 60amp service.  

A 50 amp circuit for a welder, such as a 120/240V model.

Hobart makes a nice welder with great features, in their 120/240V model, for homeowner and small shop use.

Welder applications:

Maintenance

Construction

Auto Body

Farm/Ranch

Boat/marine

Home

This model features power supply plug(s) for 120/240V service---use one plug for 120V  and another for 240V.  The 120V plug, plugs directly into the 240V removable plug, when 240V is available.

The 240V model will have a higher output power for welding thicker materials, such as in farm equipment, and the like.

The 120V option is nice, so that if you're at a job site, you can plug into into a standard 120V outlet.

When at 120V, you'll be limited to welding thinner materials.

A 30amp circuit for a large size air compressor.  

Ex, a 80 gal dual stage 240V model, floor mount, hard wired, will suffice nicely for continuous duty air tools, such as in air spraying, air grinders, and the like, that consume lots of air.


R.E.,

My son has some 4' Feit lights that he installed in his basement work area. He thinks these would work well for the building. He said he got them from Costco. Probably the same ones you are talking about. I said we might need around eight but he thinks we need around twelve. No if I can get him to pay for them??


R. E. Woods said:

I HATE dim light. Go with LED fixtures. Metal halide and other arc bulbs (mercury vapor, sodium) take too long to warm up when first turned on. I replaced my 4 foot fluorescent tubes with 4 foot LED tubes from Costco. When it comes to finishing you will want lights that can be moved in and around the project so plan on a few plug-in lights.

Tom,

Re Welding

Since high school?  It probably feels like just a few years ago.

I used to do lots of welding, learned from my Dad, when I was in high school---he welded lots of heavy stuff. However, haven't don't it in years, since getting into working wood.

One day awhile back, my son was talking about welding, he has really gotten interested, and it has rekindled my interest.

Now I'm back in it, gun-ho.


With a suitable welder, you can do lots---including making objects from junk---yep, junk that others throw away.  

My granddaughter, 15 years old, took a welding class---man is she hooked.

She has come up with some creative welded art.  Her art teacher is very impressed.

Now all she wants ot do is weld stuff.

I told her its addictive.

Sure beats texting on the phone.

BTW---you're never to old to weld.

Theirs always something that can be repaired/built by welding.

I know guys in their 80's, that still do some weld.  One guy didn't start to learn to weld, until after he retired.

 If you want it permanent---"weld-it".

(FYI--- JB weld is for those who can't weld).

Next time I drive near Peoria I'll stop by your place and expect to see a welder in your new shop.


tom hagan said:


Ken,

These are some more great things to consider. I know my son has already planned to make sure he includes adequate electric service. He is going to pull internet as well. 

Welding is nothing that I ever considered. I have not touched any welding equipment since I was in high school. I'll have to ask my son if he has any interest in that. I think this old dog is too old to start to learn a new trick. I'll have my hands full getting back into the woodworking side of this hobby.

Thanks for the excellent considerations!

Tom 

I went with the Feit products, as well.  The shop lights that were in place had the lamps replaced with Feit's replacement tubes and I did add a couple of Feit's fixtures.  I especially like the instant on of the LED's as opposed to the 30 minute warm-up time in colder weather (my unheated shop made the fluorescent tubes real slow to start when the temperatures dropped).

tom hagan said:


R.E.,

My son has some 4' Feit lights that he installed in his basement work area. He thinks these would work well for the building. He said he got them from Costco. Probably the same ones you are talking about. I said we might need around eight but he thinks we need around twelve. No if I can get him to pay for them??


R. E. Woods said:

I HATE dim light. Go with LED fixtures. Metal halide and other arc bulbs (mercury vapor, sodium) take too long to warm up when first turned on. I replaced my 4 foot fluorescent tubes with 4 foot LED tubes from Costco. When it comes to finishing you will want lights that can be moved in and around the project so plan on a few plug-in lights.

I know that my son loves the 4' Feit lights he put up in his basement work area. You forget that you are in a basement when you have them on.

Your comments about a portable light are something I hadn't really thought about. Does anyone have any suggestions or comments about portable lights?

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