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pdovy

Shop lighting for low ceilings

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I'm in the process of redoing my shop (long story, basically had to have my entire basement torn up for waterproofing issues, so starting from scratch).  Looking to improve my lighting as I currently just have a handful of those cheap single-bulb fixtures.

My thought was to replace these with outlets and then use the pluggable / linkable LED shop light fixtures to avoid having to cut into the ceiling or do any major electrical work.  I bought some 4 ft, 5000k, 4200 lumen 2-bulb LED fixtures online and just got them into the shop last night.  My ceilings are relatively low (just over 7') and when I put one up to test it's just way too bright given that it's only a foot off eye level for me.

My next thought was to try some 2' single-lamp fixtures that would be more like 1000 lumens, and just potentially use more of them.  I'm not sure how much spreading out the intensity will help here though - anyone else dealt with a similar situation?

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Sounds like you had a French drain put in.  Been there, did that.  An unholy mess.

Nope, I haven't faced the same lighting problem.  But it will be helpful to know what type of ceiling you have?  Open joists? Drop ceiling with acoustic tile? Etc.?

One product I've recently become aware of is flat panel LED fixture that is intended to replace a 2 x 4 ceiling tile.  A friend of bought one and hung it over a lathe.  Great illumination.  It's quite flat so you could tuck it up to the joists and the light is very dispersed so it may be a bit easier on the eyes.  

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Yep had a french drain put in, what a mess that was.

The ceilings are a mix of plaster & lathe and regular drywall, so the drop ceiling tile replacement isn't an option unfortunately.

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Hmm... I use linkable led shop lights.   My usable ceiling is about 7 foot, but that's because I have duct work and the joists are up at 8'... so hanging on the chains from the joists the lights are right at 7 foot.   I wouldn't want the light hanging much below 7 foot.

The first lights I bought the led's had a white diffuser, but the last one I bought was clear.   That clear one is really blinding and I'm planning to add a diffuser to it.   I guess the term is a diffusion "lighting gel", at least based on my online research.

You could look at ceiling mount fixtures instead of ones that hang on chains... I don't know if these are linkable by cords, but they usually have ways of attaching conduit to link more than one together.

 

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I suggest using 2' x 4' LED panels. They are for t-bar ceilings, but can also be surface mounted and are only about 3/4" thick. You can get them in varying outputs from about 2000 - 6000 lumens. Some even have DIP switches on the back to select the desired lumen output. Because of the large surface area, they are easy to look at.

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I might just try diffraction with thin fabric stapled in a loose loop under the fixture. It would be like photography light boxes. I would assume they will not take the light back once energized, so I’d at least try a few things like that, which are easy to accomplish. 

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I've used a couple of the "skylight" panels that are 1'x4'. They diffuse the light much better than the other fixtures, and they're only about 3/4" thick. These are intended to be surface mounted, so they actually have trim around the edge. The negatives are that they're more expensive, and they're hard wired. If I was starting my lighting over, I'd probably just use a few more of those for the even light through the shop.

That's one on the ceiling over my work bench.

20191024_234415.thumb.jpg.6869c204f03b2331a5924128c1d11ef3.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, SawDustB said:

I've used a couple of the "skylight" panels that are 1'x4'. They diffuse the light much better than the other fixtures, and they're only about 3/4" thick. These are intended to be surface mounted, so they actually have trim around the edge. The negatives are that they're more expensive, and they're hard wired. If I was starting my lighting over, I'd probably just use a few more of those for the even light through the shop.

That's one on the ceiling over my work bench.

Those are the panels that I was referring to in my post above. They are available in  2x4, 2x2 & 1x4. Another plus with them is that there are less shadows.

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Have a link handy for them?post-14184-0-15644900-1373401899_thumb.jpg  Don't go to any trouble.   I'm sure I can find them, but if you have it handy, I'd appreciate it.  I'm tired of replacing the curved flourescent tubes in these lights, and a 2x2 would be great.

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That's strange. It's still for sale in the Costco website, although I didn't post the Canadian link since it wouldn't be any good to you. It's on the American site in 1x4, but not 2x2. There are similar lights from other manufacturers, but I had the impression these were pretty popular.

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Thanks for all the options guys, this is super helpful.  Need to think if I really want to drag an electrician out to hardware some fixtures for me - the panels do look like they'd be the best option.

I picked up a pair of these 2ft fixtures from HD over the weekend to test out (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-Plug-In-or-Direct-Wire-Power-Connection-2-ft-White-4000K-Integrated-LED-Strip-Light-with-power-cord-and-linking-cord-54263141/206028921).  They work pretty well in that they aren't blinding to look at and are DIY installable for me but I think in the long run I'll wish I just had it done properly.

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On ‎12‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 9:37 AM, pdovy said:

I'm in the process of redoing my shop (long story, basically had to have my entire basement torn up for waterproofing issues, so starting from scratch).  Looking to improve my lighting as I currently just have a handful of those cheap single-bulb fixtures.

My thought was to replace these with outlets and then use the pluggable / linkable LED shop light fixtures to avoid having to cut into the ceiling or do any major electrical work.  I bought some 4 ft, 5000k, 4200 lumen 2-bulb LED fixtures online and just got them into the shop last night.  My ceilings are relatively low (just over 7') and when I put one up to test it's just way too bright given that it's only a foot off eye level for me.

My next thought was to try some 2' single-lamp fixtures that would be more like 1000 lumens, and just potentially use more of them.  I'm not sure how much spreading out the intensity will help here though - anyone else dealt with a similar situation?

Not sure if you have made your lighting choice or not but I bought these on amazon and I love them. I have them in my garage and I have 11ft ceilings in there and it made a HUGE difference. These were very simple to install and did not require me to cut out anything.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PXFG3BX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

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