Lighting your sawmill
M-V lighting works best if at least 20' from the surface being viewed. Check with your electric company and they will have an office for business customers that will give you excellent advice.
Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor
I just put up 300 watt flood lights. One on the right, one on the left and one at the beginning. It is working great.
We were completing our 20’x40’ sawshed when we did a custom-sawing job for a young couple up the road. He happened to be an electrician and seeing that I was about ready to put lights in my sawshed, gave me four fixtures out of an old gymnasium he was updating with new lights. The lights use 200-watt bulbs and, with the white inside of the metal roofing, really flood the area with light. We’ve since added roof extensions on each end and added floodlights under each. Also, above each gable are flood lamps.
You will of course need to see your logs, lumber, and slabs, but I find these three areas need unobstructed light the most for accurate sawing: scale or setworks, log stops and dogs, blade.
Go to a cut-rate store and buy 15 plastic switch boxes - 18 cu inch with nails through the boxes. Also buy 15 receptacles. Now buy 250 feet of 14/2 wire. Nail the boxes every 24 inches over the length of your mill on a 2x4 with the face down. Wire a string of receptacles. Now go buy 15 socket adapters and 15 cheap 100 watt light bulbs.
I have used portable halogen lamps on occasion. The higher the better. Get them out of your sight range. One ten feet in front of the mill, one facing the mill on the log side and one on the other end of the mill. This eliminates the shadows. All of them 10 feet or more off the ground.
I do a lot of mobile sawing and mounted lights to my mill. My WM came wired for a laser light so I just plugged in some small halogen fog lamps and a license plate light for the scale. The light on the control panel cast a shadow from the blade on the log where it will cut. Works well and at home I have 3 300 watt halogen lights mounted on the drying shed that lights up the yard. Will use them in the new saw house when done.
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