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Lighting for a Cabinet Making / Furniture Making Shop11/16
In creating a high-end Cabinet Making / Furniture Making shop, what types of modern lighting should be used to evaluate the high-end products that are being made on the work table.
Also, how high off the floor should the lights be?
I have been upgrading all my fluorescent lights to the new T-5 types when I can. I have found them to be the best in the amount of light they put out and the color spectrum they provide. Use a few different types of bulbs and you will get a really nice balance. As far as really close detail, like on the sanding table, I use a 2' square LED light I got from Home Depot for around 200. I have it mounted on an easel type arrangement so that the raking light is made without a lot of extra lifting of parts. I always have tons of light fixtures, the more the better! Dark work areas in our line of work are not good at all.
Built a 2400 square foot shop in 2013. I used a 4' fixture with T-5 bulbs. These fixtures are sealed for dust purposes. Our ceilings are 15' they hang down 3'. I believe the cost was $115 per fixture plus install but well worth it.
Install as many windows as you can afford. They are free light. Paint the walls and ceiling white. You'll need fewer interior lights.
Windows are nice and garage doors are nice, but what you don't think about sometimes when your designing your building is how much wall space you'll need. After you put your miter saws, tools, work benches and anything else that will line the walls you could leave yourself with little to no room to put parts while they're waiting for assembly.
Do 'high-end' shops with 'high-end' products require different lights than normal shops?
If you think about the height, you want them close to those 'high end' products, but not too close. Just right is perfect.
Seriously, do the research.
The best way is to talk in terms of foot candles. That’s the brightness of lights at the work level. We just went through this in our new 6000 sq ft space. The light I require is 80-100 ft candles. Ceiling height and reflectivness will all help and effect this reading. In our shop we lit approx 5000 sq ft with 4’ x 6” Led high bay fixtures. Our ceilings are 12’ high. If you go to an actual electrical distributor they will be able to do a floor plan which will determine the ft candles based on lighting output, ceiling height etc.
Hope this helps
About three years ago I switched from fluorescent to LED. I think it cost about $800 to change out 26 8’ lights. I bought them from amazon, almost no buzzing and lifetime replacement on the bulbs which I haven’t had any to fail yet. Much much brighter, best money I’ve spent.
I switched all of my fixtures from fluorescent to LED. My local power company paid for about 3/4 of the costs. So it cost me $300 for an electrician to replace over 20 fixtures.
25,000' shop, went from T12's to T5s and have been replacing the lamps with LED's @ 5000K. The color temperature of the lamps will change as they get dirty. Our lights are @15', 2 tube, end to end in rows 10' apart. Ware house area has fewer. Walls and ceiling are white. Not only color but gloss level has a big affect. Floors are concrete. It is important to clean the fixtures as a coating of dust greatly reduces the useable light (actually on all surfaces.) Fluorescent lamps go down in light out put with time, so at some point even though they are still "on" they are consuming more power than the value of the light you are getting out. I don't know if LEDs do or not. Design for even lighting, no shadows! First row of lights closer to the walls will reflect and scatter off the walls to give less shadow.
Not sure that "high end" has anything to do with proper lighting?? I suppose that if you are making for a specific clientele you should use the same lighting they have. Candles for the formal dining area?