Anyone who has a woodworking shop or even who uses a portion of their garage as a workshop will agree that lighting is of paramount importance. Most of us will be working in our shops after hours in the evening when daylight is not an option. For many, the workshop is not designed as a workshop, so there are not many windows that allow natural light in, and the installed lighting is inadequate.
The best lighting for a woodworking shop consists of good general area lighting, with areas where more detailed work is performed illuminated by task lights to provide a higher lumencount for the site. Some task areas may need directional lighting to aim the light at different angles.
Inadequate lighting in our woodworking shops is not only frustrating and challenging to be able to see our workspace and our workpiece properly, but it can also be a safety issue. The lighting setup in our workshops needs to get more attention than what we usually give it. Once you have a good lighting system in your workshop, you will wonder why it took you so long to get it sorted! You will enjoy your shop and the work you do in it ten fold!
Importance Of Good Lighting In A Woodwork Shop
A woodworking shop is where we store our tools and raw materials. Of course we also work on our projects and build our creations in this same space. Many workshops are dingy structures that have a single lightbulb dangling from the middle of the ceiling.
The bulb installed in this central light is probably also only a basic 60W incandescent lightbulb, which will be woefully inadequate for a workshop. Most home workshops also have insufficient windows, restricting the amount of natural light entering the shop, even if you are working in daylight hours.
Lack of sufficient lighting will result in a number of frustrations and problems for us when we work in these lowlight conditions.
Struggle to find tools. Low lighting will cause us to struggle to find tools that are in shadowy corners.
Difficulty in making accurate measurements. Most creative endeavors require taking measurements and marking workpieces for cutting or shaping. Low light can result in inaccurate measurements that can affect the quality and accuracy of our work.
Fine detail work is difficult. Working on intricate designs and decorative work requires good lightning for accurate work. The fine details get missed in poor lighting.
Tripping over obstacles. Things inevitably fall onto the floor in the workshop. You may not see obstacles in the shadows and trip over something, especially things like extension cords and power tool cables.
The dangers of power tool accidents. Working with power tools requires good lighting. In low light conditions, you may not see your hand or finger approaching a dangerous cutting edge or things that can get caught in spinning tools and cause injury in low light conditions.
All these lowlight problems are issues that can be addressed relatively easily with a quality lighting system that gives good light exactly where you need it!
How Much Light Do You Need?
The amount of light you need in your workshop will be a case by case determination since every space is different and everyone has different requirements.
For most people, there would be certain areas that need better lighting than others. A workbench where you do detailed work would need brighter lighting than you would need at your drill press, for example.
The general lighting in the workshop should be improved, and certain workstations where you do particular tasks may need additional, more focused lighting.
In our earlier example, we mentioned a central 60W incandescent bulb dangling from the ceiling. This bulb will produce about 800 lumens of light. When you consider that a 264 square foot space needs between 4000 and 6000 lumens to have good central lighting, the insignificance of the 800 lumens of the 60W bulb becomes apparent.
The larger the space, the more lumens are needed to light up the area. If you are not sure what lumens are, you can refer to another article of ours that explains exactly how lumens work. Essentially, lumens are a measure of the brightness of the light and should not be confused with wattage, which is a measure of the energy consumption of the bulb.
How To Improve The Lighting In Your Workshop
Fortunately, we at STKR Concepts are lighting specialists, and our area of expertise is garage and workshop lighting! We have developed some specialized lighting solutions that are purpose-built to solve lighting issues in these spaces.
The first port-of-call is to take a look at improving the general lighting in the room. This will brighten the entire room to a more acceptable level and improve the overall brightness of the workshop.
STKR Concepts has the perfect lighting solution for this adjustment to your woodworking shop's central light. Remember that central light point we spoke about with the 60W light bulb? Well, we have a solution that will fit right into the same light socket. This means no additional wiring or professional installation is required!
We have two solutions for a central lighting replacement system that will completely overhaul your lighting in your woodwork shop! Neither of our solutions requires additional wiring nor professional wiring skills!
STKR Concepts TriLight
Our product that perfectly fits this role is the TriLight, which has been specifically designed for this central room lighting role. Upgrading to the TriLight is literally as easy as screwing in a lightbulb. This unit screws directly into the existing light E26 medium screw socket.
The light has 3 adjustable heads, each with a set of ultra-bright LEDs. This means that you can individually adjust the angle of these heads to direct the light to the areas of the room that you need it most.
The TriLight also outputs an impressive 4000 lumens of light. This is 5 times the brightness of the humble 60W lightbulb!
The TriLight is a bright white 5400K light that closely mimics the brightness of midday on a sunny day. This is the best light to see details and gives the most crisp, clear lighting, which is perfect for a workshop situation!
Like the TriLight, the MPI system is a central lighting solution that is easy to install in that it simply screws into the existing central light socket, as long as the socket is an E26 or E27 medium screw socket.
The MPI system is different in that it is not one light, but a system of 5 lights that you can use to extend the central light further into the room. The MPI system delivers a staggering 7500 lumens to brighten up your central workshop lighting!
It has a central unit that screws into the light fitting and four additional satellite lights, or pods, that extend from the central light. You can position these pod lights up to 9.5ft from the central light. This allows you to extend the central light to all four corners of your woodworking shop.
The pod lights are mounted by simply screwing the units into studs in the ceiling or use the included drywall anchors, which holds them securely in place. If there is excess cable between the main light and the pod, simply turn the body of the pod to coil up any loose cable to make the cables tight and neat.
The MPI system has a motion sensor capability so that you can use it as a security light, but this feature can simply be switched off to control the light from the main light switch.
We at STKR Concepts are very proud of our innovations in solving these central lighting problems, and our MPI system shows that our products are market leaders in offering practical solutions.
Certain areas of your woodworking shop will require more focused lighting for detail orientated tasks that you perform in those locations.
The number of lumens that are suitable for focused lighting depends on the size of the area, the project, and the location, so your needs can range from between 100 lumens to as much as 5000 lumens.
The needs around each task-orientated work area will need to be evaluated individually to establish the best lighting requirement for the tasks that you perform most frequently at that workspace.
For example, over your workbench where you take and make measurements, you need a focused bright light to fully illuminate the workspace and your workpiece for you to do this detailed work with ease.
You may need additional, focused lighting at a power tool station such as your lathe, band-saw, belt-sander, and so on. Anywhere where you need additional, focused light to better see what you are doing on your projects, a better solution is needed.
We have the perfect solution for this type of focused lighting, and it can be adapted to almost any focused lighting requirement that you may have in your woodworking shop.
STKR Concepts TriLight Shoplight
We have taken our TriLight a step further than to only produce a central lighting solution. Our TriLight Shoplight product is the baby brother of the TriLight central light.
It features the same adjustable LED lamp heads, which gives you the flexibility to direct the light to the exact location of your workpiece that you need.
TheTriLight Shoplight can be suspended from above by the hook built into the housing to provide overhead lighting over the workspace, or it can be placed on its side, resting on the heads to provide lighting from the side.
The Shoplight has its own power cord, so you can simply plug it into a wall plug socket or an extension cord. This gives you the flexibility to place this light wherever you need additional illumination. And speaking of illumination, you can focus the 3000 lumens of the Shoplight directly on your workpiece so that you can work as if you are in direct sunlight!
There are many applications in the workshop where you need to focus a light in a hard to reach location or at a difficult angle. You may need to move such a light from location to location as you need it, or for the light to move around with you and provide light on the job but keep your hands free.
A prime example of this would be sharpening one of your wood chisels on the grinder. You need lighting at the grinding wheel where the edge is being sharpened, and you need both hands to guide the chisel.
Often for these lighting requirements, you need a light source that is portable, flexible, maneuverable, and above all, bright enough to illuminate the task at hand.
Here at STKR Concepts, we have developed a range of mobile and task lighting solutions that are versatile, convenient, and deliver a bright light to work by, exactly where you need it.
The Mobile Task Light
Our mobile task light is one of the most versatile mobile, powerful task lights around! We designed this light for flexibility and mobility without compromising the lighting ability. This tiny powerhouse can be considered a mini, portable floodlight with the bright 1200 lumens that this unit delivers.
Our Mobile Task light features a single aluminum head design similar to those seen on the TriLight and the Shoplight. The aluminum acts as a heatsink, making sure the unit is always cool to the touch.
From a flexibility point of view, the Task Light can be stood on a workbench, the floor of your shop, or it can be hooked onto a peg-board or any other convenient location to provide light where you need it.
One of the awesome features that we designed into this unit is that it is mountable on a standard photography tripod, which adds to the many lighting heights and angles that can be achieved with this light.
From a mobility aspect, this light is rechargeable, which means you can take it anywhere, even use it outside if you have the need! The 4000mAh gives a great run time, and the light can be used while plugged into the charger.
Sometimes in the workshop, you need some focused, directed light that illuminates exactly where you are looking.
At STKR Concepts, we have thought about this workshop situation as well and wanted to offer a product that is purpose-built for this kind of workshop lighting need.
To provide a solution to this need, we produced our Flexit Headlamp duo. The flagship model is theFlexit Headlamp Pro 6.5. This headlamp produces 650 lumens of bright white light, directed to exactly where your eyes are looking!
The 240-degree lighting provided by this unit lights up your peripheral visual areas, eliminating the tunnel vision that normally comes with a traditional headlamp. This headlamp is rechargeable, and all the lights can be controlled individually, which gives you flexibility according to your lighting needs.
It also features a rear red safety light, and you can use the peripheral front lights in red, night vision mode.
The slim profile and lightweight manufacture of this headlight make it comfortable to wear and useful in many situations outside of the workshop too!
The Flexit Headlamp 2.5 is the little brother version that uses a 3 x AAA battery power source to power the 250 lumens of this headlamp.
Methods Other Than Lighting
There are some measures you can use to improve your general lighting in your woodwork shop that will make your shop brighter and further enhance visibility, even if you improve your lighting system.
If you can add a window or two to maximize the amount of natural light that enters the shop, it will help to improve the overall general lighting in the room and reduce the need to use as many lights during daylight hours.
Paint the inside walls of your workshop a light color. White works well to reflect the light from your lighting system and makes it more effective.
Dark colors absorb the light and reduce the effectiveness of your lighting. The cost of painting the walls of your workshop a light color may be justified because it could reduce the number of lights you would need to improve the general light in the shop.
The right lighting is probably one of the most important considerations for your woodworking shop, garage, or workshop besides your tools.
Having the right lighting can help to reduce mistakes that arise because of measurement mistakes or the inability to see cut lines, or where tools are removing material from your workpiece.
The right lighting will not only make your shop a more comfortable place to work, but it will make it a safer place to work. Visibility is of paramount importance when working with fast-spinning power tools!
At STKR Concepts, we dedicate the development of our lighting systems to improve your workspace lighting. We have concentrated our efforts to produce not only a brighter workshop lighting system but also one that is durable and practical, offering features that are simply not available in other systems.
We have been proudly inventing & designed our custom workshop lighting designs in the USA since 2005. So if you are looking for lights that are engineered for demanding work environments or simply your garage shop, we have an innovative solution for you!
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