I'm starting to feel somewhat better following my unexpected bladder
surgery end January and then 2 infections a couple of weeks later, one
of which was not very pleasant.
I now need to decide what fluorescent fittings to order to finish the
Was looking at the Screwfix range:
LPF single 36W at £30/pack of 4
HPF single 58W at £70/pack of 4
using T8 lamps
Workshop area is 170sq ft, so working on 3 watt/sq ft of lighting =
510w total needed.
That equates to:
16 fittings of 32W or
9 fitting at 58W
£120 or £140
I did an internet search last year, but could not find anything
Any suggestions please.
Norfolk - UK not VA
3 watt/sq.ft seems a trifle high for fluorescents, that's about what
you'd have for incandescents, surely?
Co-incidentally I've just purchased in the last week, 6 x double 58 watt
fixtures - Philips electronic units, together with tubes they cost all up:
Can't offer any advice on this one I'm afraid but would just like to
say that it is good to hear that you are up and about again. Well
done. Look forward to the discussion on your lighting as I also need
to upgrade my own "dark hole".
Take care, glad to have you back with us.
Go for standard 6ft flourescents, we have a few spare out of the old factory if
you want to call and collect them.
Three or four of those would cover what you need, and if you position them so
you are not in your own light when working, that should be fine. Watch out for
strobing on machinery...
Peter A Forbes
Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK
My workshop is pretty close to that size - currently it is lit with
two 36W tubes, one 58W tube, and two 20W compact fluorescent bulbs -
in wattage and luminosity terms equivalent to between 4 and 5 of your
36W tubes, or three of your 58W tubes. It is just about adequate for
most uses, but I find that I need additional bench lights for fine
work. If I was re-doing the lighting I would double up on what I
currently have, but that would still only get me to half of what you
calculate above. I would also stick with more smaller fittings, rather
than fewer larger ones, to keep the illumination even and to position
tubes optimally for particular machines etc.
One factor that makes an enormous difference in my experience is
painting the walls and ceilings white.
Try Ebay item No 230119497854. He often has ex shop and office fluorescent
fittings at good prices, usually electronic ballast. I've dealt with him a
number of times and recommend him. I'm currently using 1.9W/ft^2 with white
painted walls and ceiling. The 5 gallons of white emulsion paint was the most
important part of the operation.
The latter especially seems expensive - try elsewhere. A local warehouse
like B+Q or Wickes might be cheaper. There is no reason for a 58W light to
cost more than twice the price of a 36W lamp.
(lamp - the bulb ot tube
luminaire - the fitting and diffuser atc
light - luminaire plus lamp)
170 sq ft is ~16 sq metres. You ideally want maybe 1,500 lux (lumens per
square meter) for a very bright workshop, that's 24,000 lumens luminaire
Standard fluorescents in luminaires give about 70 lumens per watt, so your
figure of 510 watts is a bit high, perhaps 350 watts might be better -
though you could get away with half that, especially if the walls are light
on colour, it will not appear anything like half as dark if you do.
Try buying 4 x 58W lamps first, if it's not enough then get more.
Some other points, first if you possibly can get high frequency
fluorescents, especially with rotating machinery they will be much easier on
the eyes. Note that you will get around 25% more light with a HF ballast on
a T8 lamp too.
Second, diffusers are a help too, but they must be clean.
third, colour - warm white, the standard, is not the ideal colour, white or
cool white are better and don't cost much more, and triphopshor or skywhite
tubes are better still, but do cost a little more.
Quick web search or two:
have a range of ballasts at reasonable prices if you want to make your owm
luminaires. At around £15 for a twin 58W ballast, that's not bad.
If it was me, I'd buy two twin 58W HF ballasts with four skywhite tubes eg
and make my own luminaires from scrap (or find some scrap ones). Cost about
£70, perhaps less if you're lucky finding where to buy them.
19,800 lumens plus. Bright!!!
It is also useful to have lights over specific points, eg the lathe or mill
if they don't have low voltage lighting, etc.
Cheapest free source is a high street bank that is being
refurbed ...they do it every five years...usually indicated by a
couple of skips outside in the road.
ask at the beginning of the job if you can have the old ones.
9 times out of 10 times the answer will be yes ...
and you will end up getting ........lovely lights with fancy
reflectors ....and at least two emergency lights. (full size ones with
charger built in)
I've got over 1000 watts of lighting in my workshop ..and it's still
not light enough ......
the walls are white the roofs white ....
but the floor is dark green .....and I blame it on this ...........
so make sure the floor is painted light grey or something.
All the best...mark
Electronic ballasts are a very good idea, because an induction motor
will appear to stand still when it is operating at minimum slippage in
relation to the rotating field that drives it. Think of a Timing light
for a Cars ignition system, setting up the ignition timing and making
the timing marks on the pully stand still. The Fluorescent lamp will be
operating at 50Hz if it is not an electronic type.
I thought that John S. had finally put this urban myth to rest! I have 3
with variable drives, 2 Sherlines and a Myford S7 with a Newton Teslar drive and
assure everyone that it is totally impossible to create even a hint of strobing
hard you try, this is in a shop which is totally lit with flourescent lights
machine lights being turned off for the tests). The idea that you are going to
come on a
machine that apparently stationary and loose a finger is total bull-shit, you
even experience an annoying strobing effect.
Have to disagree with you on part of what you have said - it isn't
impossible at all to produce a visible strobing effect - easier with
fluorescent than with tungsten lamps, but possible with both. I
demonstrated it for my own satisfaction just now on my lathe - the
strobe effect isn't strong, by any means, but it is strong enough to
use it to calibrate a tacho, for example. At 1000 RPM the hex nut on
the spindle nose of my Taig lathe demonstrates the effect nicely. You
have to get the speed to within less than a percent of the right RPM
to see any effect at all, and on the average grey steel/iron machinery
components the effect is harder to see, which may be why some people
say that it doesn't happen. I have alternating black and white
segments (6 of each) painted on the face of the lathe pulley for the
benefit of the optical sensor of my tacho, and these show the effect
much more strongly than the hex nut on the spindle.
However, I would agree that you wouldn't mistake the strobe effect for
a spindle/motor/chuck/whatever that was *actually* stationary unless
you were mentally, visually, or maybe chemically, impaired, and the
noise of the machine is also a bit of a giveaway. So yes, the idea
that it is a safety issue is just a tad overstated.
Your experience in number of fittings is just what I need to decide
The Screwfix units are 1200mm in length.
Already done this, but shelves stacked with the usual must keep junk
has defeated the purpose :-)
Norfolk - UK not VA
Have put him on my watch list.
That was one of the first things I did once finished with insulating.
But shelves using the Screwfix adjustable system, covered with useful
junk, hide the white completely.
Ah well, at least the idea was good.
The ceiling is, however, white, which makes a difference.
Norfolk - UK not VA
My thoughts exactly re the price difference.
Good to have have the definitions.
Just the help I was looking for!
Was hoping someone would come up with some calculations.
Brain not quite working at full capacity.
Amazing what a couple of weeks in hospital does to one.
Trouble is my workshop is a converted garage with a height of 2100mm
so cannot fit units that are too deep.
Did see on the internet someone made his own deflectors out or thick
card with aluminium foil glued on.
Was wondering where to get hold of these beasts.
Thanks for the site details.
Something to consider, but my unexpected stay in hospital has made me
less worried about how much things cost now, compared with how soon I
can achieve my goals in life.
The machines all have their own adjustable lights ala angle
poise/magnet base units.
Norfolk - UK not VA
Thanks for the kind works and welcome.
It's taking me a heck of a lot longer to get back into the 'swing' of
things than I ever imagined.
Lost total interest when diagnosed with prostate cancer, and then the
But, things must be getting back to normal, as I'm now aching to get
back into the workshop.
Just a tad too cold yet for me.
Norfolk - UK not VA
Having the ceiling white painted will still make a large difference
One thing I have noticed with the "brilliant white" emulsion paints is
that when you first paint the walls the reflectivity is very high, but
it tails of after a couple of years. I think they must include
fluorescent compounds that degenarate over time. So unfortunately, its
something that you have to repeat every few years.