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Shop lighting Question
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: September 19, 2018 07:31PM

What type of lighting do you folks prefer to work under in your rod building area, primarily when your wrapping and finishing rods?

I'm in the process of renovating one part of my shop area and I am looking for tips on the type of lighting you like to work under.

Area is in my basement, so natural lighting will not be a factor.


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Re: Shop lighting Question
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: September 19, 2018 08:41PM

#1 requirement is a LOT of light.

If nothing else, just use porcelain bulb sockets and insert LED 23 watt daylight bulbs in the sockets. When you turn on the lights it will seem that you are outside with the bright lights.

Another option is to use less bright bulbs in the majority of your room, and then just use very very bright task lighting to illuminate the rod wrapping, or grip sanding area or any where else that you want extra bright lighting.

Generally speaking illumination experts recommend a less bright general lighting in the area where you work with much brighter lights for detailed work. In fact, they recommend brighter and brighter light depending on the level of detail that you are doing.

In my case, since I did the room a few years ago, I use dual bulb 40 watt florescent fixtures spaced on 4 foot centers. Then, I use a swing arm 50 watt halogen light for my wrapping work.

Out in my "dirty" shop, I use a bright goose neck light on every one of my power tools and sanding stations for the detail bright light necessary for these tasks.

This is my 50 watt halogen light that I use for guide wrapping. It fits perfectly on an upside down 3 lb coffee can to let the base of the light be at the same height as my rod, to give me the best adjust ability of the light.

I have tried some Led desk lights for this purpose, but so far; have not found an LED light that works as well as the swing arm Halogen light for this task.

A year ago, when I picked up a batch of 20 watt LED daylight light bulbs, I replaced all of the light bulbs in my garage with these very very bright Led daylight bulbs and I couldn't be happier. The color temperature of the daylight bulbs give really excellent detail light for doing detail work.

I did install a few of these very bright daylight light bulbs in fixtures in my home and kitchen. But, they were simply too bright. After only a couple of weeks in the fixtures, I removed all of these light bulbs and replaced them with 10 watt soft white light bulbs. Much better. When you are just in the house, lounging and eating, one does not need to feel that he /she is in the middle of the desert at high noon.

But, in contrast - out in the garage, to light up the dark corners of the garage, and trying to get a nut threaded onto a bolt or similar work, one really appreciates the extra brightness and the color temperature of the day light light bulbs.

So, generally speaking, a general average or low level of general lighting in your shop area, but anywhere you need to do detailed work under a magnifying glass or similar work - use very high intensity - high temperature kelvin lighting sources. i.e. 500-600 K.

Good luck

One of the reasons that I like the swing arm lights with the small halogen bulbs and reflectors, one can have the light only a few inches from the rod being built and still be able to use a magnifier and not have the light reflector get in the way of the work.

i.e. I like the light source between my head and the work. With the light positioned in that location, I never have to worry about shadows on my work.

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Re: Shop lighting Question
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: September 19, 2018 08:48PM

If you are not doing a complete interior finish in your basement work shop, these inexpensvie LED 500K work lights represent a very good value for a good long lasting light that can be hung from the ceiling at a height that works well for you - including tight to the ceiling.


In particular, if you installed them end to end over your rod wrapping area, you might not need much additional illumination, particularly if you dropped the lights down to be about 2-3 feet above the rod.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2018 08:49PM by roger wilson.

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Re: Shop lighting Question
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: September 19, 2018 09:52PM

I'm with Roger on this question! General overall good lighting in the room, with bright movable task lighting for the close work.

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Re: Shop lighting Question
Posted by: Tom Harder (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: September 19, 2018 11:56PM

My rod building room is 14' x 25'. I have 6 100 watt LED's in the ceiling. The room is finished. Then I have my workbench. I'm new here so I don't know how to attach photos (or if you can). I built the workbench from Rodmaker Magazine's design. When I bought my subscription many years ago I believe it came with 2 CD's. One included a number of projects and that's where I saw the workbench. If I'm not mistaken Tom (Kirkman), you designed it. So, thank you for such a splendid design! I love having all of my blanks stored in my bench. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I mounted a shelving unit on the back and suspended 2 four foot T5 fixtures that hold two bulbs each about 3' above the work surface. The bench is 8' long. Then I mounted a T-Track on the front of the top shelf where I hang, and slide, my Snake Clamp 4" Magnifier along with two snake necked LED high beam lights for even more intense lighting when I need it.

On the other side of that room are two 8' sections dedicated to rod finishing. Really, it's one continuous 16' section of countertops. Again,a line of 4 4' T5 lights with Daylight level lighting are mounted about 3' above the benches. I can see more than I care to see. :-)

My Woodworking shop (the room next to my rod building room) is 13' x 26' and the lighting is not as good. But, each machine has it's own lights. They are Danray lights on a snake arm with powerful magnetic bases so they can be moved. They all have daylight LED's in them. So, overall room lighting is important but it's the lighting at each workstation that really needs to be excellent.

Needless to say, I've got enough light for these tired eyes.


Edited to add; My shop is also in the basement. It's a walkout but the natural lighting is still poor.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2018 12:03AM by Tom Harder.

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Re: Shop lighting Question
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: September 20, 2018 10:32AM

Thanks for the Tips!

Roger, I tried a couple of the "Daylight LED" bulbs before posting my question, I liked the result, and sure enough your reply and tips confirmed my thoughts.

Much appreciated on the replies.

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Re: Shop lighting Question
Posted by: Ed Kramer (---.hsd1.pa.comcast.net)
Date: September 20, 2018 04:33PM

I purchased two 4' LED shop lights at Sam's and placed them end to end above my lathe. Works really well.

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Re: Shop lighting Question
Posted by: Tom Harder (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: September 20, 2018 06:16PM

Exactly Ed.

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Re: Shop lighting Question
Posted by: Roger Templon (---.jst.pa.atlanticbb.net)
Date: September 20, 2018 06:35PM

I use 2 four foot LED shop light fixtures (4000 lumens each) mounted directly over my wrapping lathe. They are about approximately 2.5 to 3 feet above the lathe bedway. I am very happy with this setup. Lots of bright light! Before I had 2 flourescent fixtures that were not quite as bright, and a pain in the backside to keep working.

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Re: Shop lighting Question
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: September 21, 2018 09:02AM

My shop consists of 3 areas:

The "dirty place", wood working/cork turning equipment; I am going to use the 4ft LED Shop style lights over each piece of equipment and the work bench.

Next I have a "clean area", small long room with several shelves with my rod turners where I apply my finish, again the 4ft LED Shop Lights.

My other area is where I wrap rods, tie flies, Man cave stuff, I put Day Light LED bulbs in the recessed ceiling cans, plus I have a couple of those "goose neck" style desk lights where the wrapping bench and fly tying stuff is. The Day Light LED bulbs really made the area brighter.

Again, thanks for the tips.


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