Workshop lighting upgrade | Everything you need to know about lighting | Shop upgrade EP1

Workshop lighting upgrade | Everything you need to know about lighting | Shop upgrade EP1


hey everyone hope you’re all doing well
my name is Marie and welcome to my channel DIY Montreal today is the first
video from my shop upgrade series I recently published a video where I gave
you a little tour of my shop and talked about some of the upgrades that I wanted
to make and the first one that I decided to tackle was lighting upgrades right
now maybe you you’re looking at the lighting and thinking it’s not bad I’m
actually probably in the best lit area in my shop my current setup is for LED
5000k bulbs that are all focused right above me here which is usually where my
workbench is but the rest of the shop has a lot of shadows and dark areas so I
really want to address that and I decided to upgrade to 4 foot tube lights
now before making my decision I did a lot of research looked into a lot of
different considerations when choosing lighting and I wanted to share with you
some of those things to help you make a decision and I’ll tell you what I ended
up going with in the end all right so when choosing your lights I would say
there are three main factors to consider at least I did when I was making my
decision number one was type of lighting florescent LED number two is color
temperature and number three is the CRI which is the color rendering index so
starting with florescent versus LED LEDs are becoming a lot more affordable
prices are going down so they’re becoming a lot more accessible
that being said LED lights also have a lot of advantages over fluorescent bulbs
number one they don’t flicker they don’t buzz they have you know kinds of
consistent lighting and you won’t get that flickering especially when you’re
turning on a fluorescent bulb maybe you’ve noticed it kind of flickers
before it warms up progressively when you turn on an LED light you get that
instant brightness at a hundred percent from the start number two they consume a
lot less electricity for a hundred watt equivalent you can have a thirty-eight
watt bulb or something like that so it’s it’ll save you money in the long run and
number three if you have a really cold shop let’s say in the winter sometimes
fluorescent lights won’t turn on if it’s really cool whereas LED lights don’t
have that problem they will work even if it’s really cool too so given that and
the similar price point between the two going with LED was really
choice for me next up is color temperature and this is how cool or warm
the light will appear and it’s measured in Kelvin so you’ll see a number on the
box something like 4000 K 5,000 K and it ranges from anywhere from usually let’s
say an incandescent light will be 2700 K 2 3000 k this is something you’ll
usually have in a bedroom in your living room on the other end of the spectrum
you’ll have a much cooler light something like 5,000 K up to 6500 K and
this is what you’ll find in a laundry room at in an office maybe a hospital if
you’ve ever found or light that’s very very blue like so white that it’s almost
blue that’s probably like a 6500 K somewhere kind of in the middle or what
I found which was highly recommended for woodworkers is 5000 K and this is the
most I would say close to daylight as they call those daylight bulbs you can
find I did however also find a few outliers that recommended more of a 4000
K for woodworking it’s a little warmer a little more yellow not as blue as I
would say 5000 K and this really depends on the person though currently I have
5000 K bulbs and while the lighting is really great I find especially for video
that some of the clothes get washed out it’s a little on the blue side so this
time around I spend a lot of time deciding between 4000 5000 K it’s not a
big difference but in the end I went with the 4000 K and we’ll see how that
turns out I hope I won’t regret it but the great thing about the light fixtures
that I did choose and I’ll show you those in a minute and link them up down
below but they’re available in both the 4000 or the 5000 K so you can decide
what’s best for you alright the next important consideration
is the CRI which is the color rendering index now this is a number from zero to
a hundred and what this actually represents is how accurately the
lighting will allow you to see colors accurately the closer the number is to a
hundred the better it is so ideally you want to aim for a really high number the
highest I found was 92 to 95 on the CRI index so you kind of want to aim
that’s what I wanted to get unfortunately I wasn’t able to find
anything available to me locally in that or in my price range
at least that had that high of a CRI so the one I actually ended up getting had
an 84 CRI which is good but not ideal so like I said if you can find anything
like 92 or 95 that would be the ideal scenario and by the way if you’re
shopping on Amazon you might notice that a lot of the lights that you look at
they don’t actually list the CRI so what you can do is either go on the
manufacturers website sometimes they’ll have it listed there and if you can’t
find it probably best to stay away from those
lights alright so after figuring out that I wanted 4-foot LED fixtures with a
4000 K color temperature and the highest CRI I could find the next thing to
figure out or decide on was the actual electrical installation now a lot of
lights you’ll need to hardwire and others are plug-in types I definitely
wanted to go with the plug-in type just to make things a lot easier and I don’t
have to do any electrical work so that was an important consideration for me
but the other thing a next step up from that is you can actually get light
fixtures that are linkable that means you can plug them in and link them
together with a power cord that’s supplied and this is really amazing
because this allows you to do what’s called daisy chaining which means you
connect one fixture to another and that’s how the power gets into it
essentially so you only have to plug in one of the light fixtures and then all
the others basically feed off the previous one in a chain like that
alright so with all that in mind I did some research and the best option for
lighting that I could come up with at least for me in Canada were these hyper
icon I believe you pronounce that hyper icon shop lights like I said they are
4000 K but you can get them in the 5000 K as well and these are essentially
4-foot LED tubes thirty-eight watts for a 100 watt equivalent and they are
plug-in linkable you can daisy chain them two bulbs per fixture with a CRI of
84 although it says 82 on the box it said 84 on the website
so last but not least probably one of the more important decisions is how many
light fixtures will you need to let your shop and this is where lumens come in
the lumen output of the fixture is how bright the light will be so the more
lumens you have in your space the brighter the room will seem the
recommendations that I found start at 70 lumens per square foot for a mechanic’s
or woodworking shop and range anywhere up to a hundred lumens per square foot
and I think that’s assuming an 8-foot ceiling height
I got a 4-pack of these lights that are 4000 lumens per fixture which gives me a
total of 16,000 lumens given that I have 192 square feet that
works out to 83 lumens per square foot which is right in that range between 70
and 100 lumens so I’m gonna start with that see how that works out and worst
case I can always add a fixture to down the road I’m going to use the existing
wiring that’s already in place for my lighting installation the wiring for my
lighting hasn’t been upgraded it’s old cloth wiring which only has two wires
with no ground wire since there’s no ground I don’t want to use a regular
three prong outlet since there’s a risk someone might plug something in there
that requires a ground and that could be dangerous there are two options when you
only have two wires you can either install a GFCI outlet or install a two
prong outlet I decided to try and do as much as I could that didn’t involve
electricity like installing the new outlet box and hanging the lights and
hold off as long as I could before switching off the breaker so I could
have some light to work with in order to figure out where I would position each
of the light fixtures I started out by making a sketch of my shops ceiling
including all the potential obstacles as you can see here these little light
brown lines are actually wood studs in the ceiling the rest of my ceiling is a
concrete ceiling I also have a steel i-beam a heater my garage door and there
are also some concrete columns throughout the shop so once I have that
layout I did a bit of research looking for something as close to a formula as I
could find and I did come across one and this is an article that’s from wood
magazine and I’ll link that up below if you’re interested but essentially there
is a formula and it goes something like this
you’ll need to figure out three measurements which are ABC and to do
this you need the dimensions of your shop length width and also the ceiling
height and you’ll need the height of your main work surfaces so in my case
table saw and workbench are about 34 inches off the ground and my ceiling
height is 99 inches so therefore you do a equals 99 minus 34 which gives you 65
inches or 5 foot 5 inches so that’s the distance between your fixtures and your
work surfaces then you can figure out B and this will be the distance between
each of the light fixtures and it should be ideally the same as a 4 up to 1.5
times a so given that a was 5 foot 5 inches B should be no more than 8 feet
so anywhere from five and a half to 8 feet obviously closer together together
is better but you can go a little bigger if you need to the last measurement is C
which is the distance between a fixture and the wall and this should be no more
than one-third to one-half of B I decided to go with B being 6 feet which
is close together as far as the formula goes which is good in my opinion so with
the B of 6 feet C should be 2 to 3 feet so no more than 3 feet from any wall and
these formulas just for your information assumes that your footing all the light
fixtures end-to-end so anytime you have a row if you have one row tooth rows or
whatever the light fixture should be end-to-end
I’m actually not going to do that because then she seems a little insane
in terms of number of lights I would need so I’m gonna try and space them out
a little more but just so you know that’s what the formula assumes here all
right so that being said this was what I thought of for layout of the shop lights
you can see the four lights here the 4 foot tube lights
represented by the yellow squares and how I came up with that basically like I
said B would be six feet apart and then given the dimension of my shops that
mean that means it would be nor than three feet from the wall which is
perfect and then in terms of spacing I decided to give a little more space on
the left there because I have these wood racks over here and I don’t really care
to light those up that’s not really important so I decided to sacrifice that
and a little bit to favor the other end and how I decided here on this one foot
nine is I actually decided that closest I can put it with my garage door open
and hang it off the ceiling it would be about one foot nine from this other wall
so that’s how I figured that out I just wanted to put it as close as I could to
the right side there and that left me with two foot nine inches between those
fixtures so it’s almost evenly spaced out if you did that’s what I would
recommend try and space them out no more than two to three feet
although the formula does recommend that you stick them end to end so that’s what
I’m going to try see if this works out nicely and if it doesn’t then I can
always move stuff around and adjust as I go installing the lights is actually pretty
simple you can either flush mount them or hang
them off some wires and both those options they provide the hardware that
you need in the kit I chose to flush mount most of them just because I didn’t
want them hanging off the ceiling and getting in the way and potentially
knocking them with you know a piece of lumber or something that I’m moving
around so I just a flush mount most of my fixtures it’s just a couple of screws
and the hardest part was actually getting in those two tiny screws on the
other side of my shop braf concrete ceilings I had to use my hammer drill to
make some holes and what I did is I attached a block of wood to the ceiling
and then I was able to hang it off of those blocks of wood and I chose to hang
these ones a little lower because I didn’t want to get any shadows from my
garage door railing there I thought I might get shadows in my workbench area
there against the wall and I wanted to avoid that so by hanging it here I was
able to get it close to the rails and the garage door and no shadows all right
so I have the fixture to the right of the garage door installed and now I’m
going to go do the one on the left side here but after giving you all that
theory about the ideal positioning of the light fixtures and how I would hang
it from here as close to position as I could I’m actually not going to do that
I’m going to do something completely different and the reason for that is
that I have a new addition to the shop yes I’ve upgraded my table saw and it’s
big I went all in here and I got the mother of all table saws at least as far
as I’m concerned I got myself a SawStop professional 1.75 HP 36 inch table
with the T-glide fence and the ICS mobile base and I’m super excited I
haven’t even used it yet but it’s all set up and I can’t wait to try it out
and yes it probably costs you know what it was an investment and I’ve been
playing this for a long time and it probably costs more than I spent on all
my tools combined but you know what I think given the technology that it has
to detect skin and stop the blade in case of an accident I think that’s
worth the investment at least it is to me so that being said new table saw in
this position is probably where it’s going to sit in the shop so instead of
having a light up here on the side that might create a shadow I think I want to
have it positioned above the saw and kind of parallel to this edge here so
that I don’t get any shadows so I’ll probably have position it right up here
somewhere kind of in front to the front side of
the table and yeah so I’m going to try that so after temporarily plugging in the
light fixtures and checking out the lighting and seeing that I liked
everything and it was set up well I turned off the breaker and then I cut
the wire this is was the original wire that was feeding into my lights so I
reused the same wire to feed into my new outlet box and then I simply wired the
socket using the white wire to go to the silver screw and the black wire to the
brass screw and then tucked everything in closed up the box and simply plugged
in the fixtures so this is the lighting at night I wanted to do this at night to
take the Sun out of the equation and this is what the original lighting I had
in the garage which was the four LED bulbs above the workbench all right and
this is the new configuration the four LED tube lights 16,000 lumens and all
spaced out I’m not sure if I made the right
decision going with a 4,000 K maybe I sort of went with the 5,000 K it’s a
little yellowish but when I look at the work surfaces it seems like I’m getting
some good lighting and spread evenly across which is a lot better than what I
had before all right this is from the other end of the shop and this is the
new lighting configuration and this was the old lighting configuration and this is with all of the lights on
the both the new and the old and now it’s super bright so maybe I can just
keep both of them what do you think it’s pretty bright in here maybe I need some
sunglasses so that’s it for this shop upgrade video I hope you liked it hope
you learn something useful that you’ll be able to apply when you upgrade the
lighting in your workshop until next time see you soon thanks for watching
what a dirty cat where have you been


37 thoughts on “Workshop lighting upgrade | Everything you need to know about lighting | Shop upgrade EP1

  1. Great video, Marie and timely too. I've been thinking about doing the same. I noticed Amazon doesn't ship these to Canada. Can I ask where did you end up getting the 4 pack from?

  2. Fantastic information, Marie!!

    We are in the process of building a new workshop on our property. The dimensions are similar to your shop – we are building a 12’ x 20’ building, so your homework on the lighting just saved me a lot of time! Thank you for that help!!

    WOW! Nice saw! I hope you do a video on it some day soon. A tour of all of the features, plus making some rip and cross cuts. That saw looks like a fantastic tool for you – and I think you definitely put the lights over it in the best configuration. Do let us know how that works out for you, please.

    Looking forward to your next video!

    From another female woodworker 🙂

  3. Hi Marie, Love your videos, I've been thinking of upgrading the lights in my shop too, so thanks for all the great tips. I've looked on amazon BUT here in Germany there's non listed, ill have to look somewhere else. SAW STOP what… so so jealous. have fun with it.

  4. Very informative video Marie! I am taking notes as lights are on my list this year! I actually clapped my hands when you revealed your saw! Congrats! Keep it up!

  5. Thanks for the very clear and useful info and the difference is a big plus for your workshop.  The new saw looks amazing and with it's safety features you've made a great  choice.  This series on your workshop upgrade should bring you a lot more subscribers (WE'RE ALWAYS LOOKING TO IMPROVE THINGS) and without wanting to sound 'cheesy' your video content deserves it.

  6. I think you made excellent choices on the lights. Nice explanation for the decisions you made. Envious of the new Saw Stop. Another excellent choice .

  7. Lot of great info on lighting. Thanks for that. Is your new saw a 120 volt or 220 volt? I am thinking of getting one, but I would have to hire someone to put in a 220 circuit to get the one I would prefer.

  8. Great info Marie. I'd really love to switch over to led. The ballasts in my fluorescent lights are so cheap I can't even listen to radio due to all the buzz. Good luck with the new saw.

  9. You can never have enough lights. I would definitely keep both connected. Depending on how much you want to control the colour temperature in your videos you might still want to turn the old ones off when recording, but if they are close enough to each other it might not matter.

    Nice saw too!

  10. Welcome back Marie. Thanks for the great video. I’m looking to add another led shop light to my shop. I love the color of the super white lights.

  11. A very good well explained video, and you can certainly see the difference, it's lot more brighter now, in a good way that is. Congrats on the New Table Saw, looking forward to seeing it in action.
    Barry (ENG)

  12. A saw stop is on my list… way down near the bottom though. Excellent overview of lighting considerations for your shop. I went with very similar lights, but chose the 5000K temperature so that it would match the speedlight external flashes I use with my camera when shooting still imagery. That way my light temperatures are balanced and I just need the flashes for a little fill here and there.

    One question I had: is power in Canada run at 60Hz? If so, you may find some horizontal banding that moves vertically across your frame when filming if you use a DSLR. To correct, you'll need to choose a shutter speed that is a multiple of 60, and a framerate that is 1/2 your shutter speed. I have several videos that I'm unhappy with the footage on because I either forgot this rule or didn't know about it yet… oh well, live and learn.

    Great video!

  13. Great job Marie on the lighting presentation. I have used one of the SawStops since 2013. The cartridge had been discharged twice while teaching at a continuation high school. Definitely worth every penny for the safety factor alone. SawStop has a great support group and an exchange program for a new cartridge for the old one if it saved a "finger". It can tell by the stored info on the chip. I was given two new cartridges. Saved our school district $ from a potential law suit. Both students did something they should not have done, even with proper training. If the elevation wheel begins to become difficult to raise and lower the blade, maintenance on the elevation shaft is necessary. SawStop has a maintenance bulletin on that issue. Fixed the condition and will require this to be done about once a year with heavy usage. I noticed the bypass keys hanging from the on/off switch box (about 13:54 in your video). If you are cutting material that is very damp, lined with foil (such as plastic acrylic sheet with a diamond pattern), or cut through any metal (like a nail), it will set the cartridge off. This is not covered in the exchange program (operator error). You have made a wise decision with SawStop. I have no affiliation with SawStop. If any school district is planning on introducing a Makers Space, Robotics Team, Tech Shop/Lab, or CTE (Career Technical Education) pathway that uses a table saw and doesn't purchase this finger saving machine is nuts.
    I have many high school female students in our classes and they kick … and they generally out perform the male students. I am a proud father of two daughters. Marie, continue the great work. I will be instructing my grand kids to use the tools as well.

  14. I'm going to change my lighting in my garage now! Thanks. I'm also looking forward to seeing numerous projects with plans! 🙂

  15. I vastly prefer the 4000k temp for my shop. I see lots of folks arguing for 5000k, but I really don't care for my content to look like it came out of a encyclopedia. Having a more enjoyable light to work in is more important to me. Looks great!

  16. I actually gasped when I saw your new table saw! It is beautiful, amazing, fabulous!!! Congratulations 🎉. New lights look great, too, but you need about four more lights over your new saw! LOL 😎

  17. When I thought about lighting, I didn't use a formula. Honestly I didn't know a formula existed. In the end, I decided the more light the better. So I stuffed sixteen light fixtures in my 24' x 24' workshop. a bit much, but I can see everything.

  18. Thank you for doing all the research Marie. Based on your research and video I will also be buying the same 4000K lights. I'm just wondering, after using the lights now for a few months, what's your verdict on the 4000K version?

  19. Bonjour Marie. Thank you for the education. Guidelines and parameters are what I need. Nice table saw! I bought the identical saw. Safety First!.

  20. Hello from Alberta 🙂

    I have natural light, 5000k LED's, Halogen, and some florescent tubes. My lighting is a MESS!

    Basically I had all of the same problems that you had.

    Thanks for sharing!

  21. I am more motivated than ever to change the lighting in the garage/workshop…I was trimming down a pallet for a coat rack, and lost sight of my chalk line on the last 2 boards. Dammit a little bit croche but not enough to cry lol.
    I would love a sawstop to replace my mastercraft! The blade on my saw is so far forward, it makes some cuts tricky to start.
    I'm in LaSalle btw and have a full size truck if you need help getting materials.

  22. Omg thank you so much for this video. You had exactly everything I was currently looking into explained to a tee. Saves me so much time!

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