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Lighting requiremnets for new shed

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member) Arch Stanton's Avatar
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    Default Lighting requiremnets for new shed

    I am nearly finished building my new shed 10.4m x 8m, walls are 2.7 and the height in the centre is about 3.7m.

    The shed will be used for some fine woodworking and general things like changing the oil in the car etc. I will line it and paint the walls a cream colour. The floor will be painted a light grey. I want the shed to be well lit and an inviting place to work in, ie I don't want it looking like a stark white operating theatre.

    I am considering mounting 2 rows of 3 double flouros (no diffuser) on the roof purlins roughly 2m in from each side wall with a 4m space between them. I expect they'll end up about 3.2m off the ground.

    Questions:

    * What sort of tubes would I use to achieve my desired result?
    * Is there much difference in the fitings I use? As in, are cheap second hand ok or is there a standard fitting that most sparkies supply for shed use?
    * Is my proposed layout the best way to skin this cat. Will it supply enough lighting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Stanton View Post
    * What sort of tubes would I use to achieve my desired result?
    Sorry don't know

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Stanton View Post
    * Is there much difference in the fitings I use? As in, are cheap second hand ok or is there a standard fitting that most sparkies supply for shed use?
    Sparkies would use the ordinary ones they get from the suppliers. One problem I have found with the newer fluro's are they have electronic ballasts and I have seen a few fail compared to the old type that seem to go on forever so if you can get some good SH ones give them a go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Stanton View Post
    * Is my proposed layout the best way to skin this cat. Will it supply enough lighting?
    Don't know but you can use a portion of the AS3000 which allows conventional socket outlets to be fitted for lighting provided it is over 2.5M from the floor. This way if you install more sockets than you need and if you find out later that it is not enough you can add more quite easily.
    Make sure you split your circuits so that if you are going into the shed to get something you don't have to turn all the lights on.

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    Wow what a decent size shed . Instead of the standard flouro's have you considered the new cree LED tubes?

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    Resigned SilentButDeadly's Avatar
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    I'd use the fluro battens purely for general lighting. My own shed has two T8 double battens (with deflectors) fitted onto either slope of the central portal in a 6x7 m space.

    Plenty of general light but machines tend to require 'task' lighting so make sure you wire the shed appropriately. An option is to install a couple of the smaller 10W LED floodlights on a separate lighting circuit to boost machine lighting if required - this is what I'll be doing when I refit and reorganise the shed later in the year.
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

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    If you installed a total of 16 x 36 Watt fluorescent tubes (eg 8 x double fittings) then that would give you an overall lighting level comparable to a typical office.

    That's basically a compromise - not "operating theatre" bright but bright enough for normal workshop use. That's what I'd do.

    Colour temperature of the tubes will also affect how it looks. Higher colour temperature gives a somewhat "brighter and bluer" light but it's generally a less "pleasant" environment to be in.

    At one extreme you have 6000K which is a very stark, bluish light but it's good for workshops etc. At the other extreme 3000K will give you something that very closely resembles light from an incandescent bulb - it's somewhat yellowish and these are the tubes often found used in clothing stores etc (Myer stores in particular seem to use them everywhere throughout the store). The all produce the same amount of light, it just looks different.

    So again I'd compromise and just use 4000K tubes. These are your regular "office type" lights - not the optimum for a workshop (5000K would be ideal) but less stark and more "inviting" to be in. These are just your normal, plain white tubes - not bluish like the higher colour temperatures and not yellowish like lower colour temps.

    That's my thoughts as to an overall approach. It will give you a good level of light for working but it won't look like a hospital etc. The light won't be "warm" like you'd find in a restaurant but it won't be stark and cold either. Overall it's a compromise - good enough for a work space (practically every office is lit this way after all) but not too unpleasant to be in.

    You'd want the electrician to install a total of 8 double fluoros using either 28 Watt or 36 Watt tubes. The former are the more modern version and use less electricity to produce a very similar light output. But the latter are a bit cheaper to buy and will do the job. Ask the sparky for a price for both options. And if you want the "middle of the road" white light then ask them to fit colour 840 tubes - any electrician will know what that means and these are very easily available. If you did want a "colder" light then go for 850 tubes - not as pleasant in my opinion but that would be the standard recommendation for a workshop.

    Then just have some additional task lights over any fixed machinery etc. LED's are one option but ye olde halogen or even incandescent spot lights will suffice if they aren't being used that often (LED's being cheaper to run but more expensive to buy).

    The above is, of course, fairly basic assuming you just want "workshop type" lighting in a workshop with a bit of a compromise on colour temperature and lighting levels to make it less operating theatre like. A professional lighting designer could come up with better options - but the above is relatively cheap and easy and would do the job.

    And I'd get lights with diffusers. It keeps the tubes cleaner in that environment and also provides at least some protection against accidental breakage etc. Plus the resultant lighting will be slightly more pleasant for not much difference in cost.

    As for me, workshop is half the size of your shed and I have 4 x old 40W double fluoros with diffusers and standard white tubes (and yes, they're still the ancient 40W tubes in there - modern tubes in that length are 36W and have been for many years). It's more than good enough lighting in practice for the sorts of things I do in there. Placement of the lights over work benches removes the need for specific task lighting in my case. Changing the lights to modern 28W ones, or even just replacing the antique tubes in the existing lights with 36W, would save energy but I just don't use them enough to be worried about it really. Perhaps 200 hours a year use at most and they're working fine so I'll leave them alone.

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    Hi
    Smurf has given some very good advice
    Just one little poin,t especially with the machine lights remember the Strobe effect of Flouros

    PeterQ

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    Apprentice (new member) Arch Stanton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtrack123 View Post
    Hi
    Smurf has given some very good advice
    Just one little poin,t especially with the machine lights remember the Strobe effect of Flouros

    PeterQ
    Smurf has been very helpful, it was exactly the advice I was seeking, very imformative and very detailed which is what I need because my knowledge on this subject is pretty light on, thankyou. I need to digest it all and then I'll run it by the sparkie.

    With the strobe effect I read that if you are running double fittings that it wouldn't come in to play. I hope that is correct.

    I will definetly be splitting the circuits on the lights so I don't have to have the whole lot going at once. I thought about LEDs but I want to stick with devil I know at this stage. I was planning on adding in additional task lighting later so it might be a good idea to follow Bros advice and put a few GPOs up over the 2.5m mark to future proof things.

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    G'day Arch Stanton

    Sounds like a great shed/workshop.
    Depending on how many hours you plan to be working in there, the newer T5 with electronic drivers will be more energy efficient than old fittings with iron core ballasts.

    I have also gone for IP56 (weatherproof) enclosures for my workshop fluros as the bare tubes are just asking to be knocked off the ceiling by a long length of timber or metal. Or is that just me?
    Tools are good, more tools are better!

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    Sorry to hijack the thread .
    Considering the sage advice given so far, would I be right in my assumption that four x 4 foot double fluoro's wold be sufficient for a 4 x 4 m shed? (There were a lot of 4's in that sentence )
    Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belair_Boy View Post
    Depending on how many hours you plan to be working in there, the newer T5 with electronic drivers will be more energy efficient than old fittings with iron core ballasts.

    I have also gone for IP56 (weatherproof) enclosures for my workshop fluros as the bare tubes are just asking to be knocked off the ceiling by a long length of timber or metal. Or is that just me?
    +1

    The T5's are the 28W tubes I was referring to. More efficient and the "modern" version but that said you can still get T8's (36W) and they'll do the job - they're not as energy efficient however.

    Tubes are still measured in eighths of an inch, that's just how it has always been done. T5 = 5/8 inch diameter, T8 = 8/8 inch (that is, one inch), the old T12 = 12/8 (so 1.5 inches).

    T12 is very much obsolete in Australia but there's still a few around (including in my garage / workshop) - the T8's use the same fitting and are a direct replacement for T12's with a 10% lower energy consumption. But, of course, 10% is only 4 Watts so it's not a huge saving unless they're on a lot or you have lots of them.

    And definitely have some sort of protection for the tubes. Weatherproof, diffuser or whatever - you just want something covering them for the reason you mention. It doesn't need to be bullet proof, just something to protect the tubes from long pieces of timber etc (it's a workshop after all) and at least contain the glass in the event that a tube does somehow get broken from an impact with something.

    As for the stroboscopic effect of fluoros, personally I still like halogen or incandescent over machinery simply because it's a simple and absolutely foolproof solution to the problem. You can get around it in theory with high frequency electronic ballasts (the lights still flicker but it's way too fast to be an issue with any normal workshop machinery) but a halogen or incandescent spot light provides a good, strong light where you need it and is "foolproof" in terms of not having strobe issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovey View Post
    Sorry to hijack the thread .
    Considering the sage advice given so far, would I be right in my assumption that four x 4 foot double fluoro's wold be sufficient for a 4 x 4 m shed? (There were a lot of 4's in that sentence )
    Steve.
    It comes down to floor area as well as factors like the colour of the surfaces. But 4 x 4 is 16m2 so about one fifth the size of the OP's shed.

    Based on that, you really only need 4 x 28 or 36W tubes to do the job if you want "office like" lighting levels unless the surfaces are painted black etc.

    I'd use 4 x single tube fittings to avoid shadows etc in such an area. It will cost more than two doubles but gives a better result.

    Of course, if you want higher lighting levels (more "operating theatre like") then 4 x doubles would be the way to go. Depending on what you intend doing in the space, a higher level of light can be either good or bad - better for workshop tasks but it does give a more "clinical" appearance so not good if you want to also use it as a recreational area (well, not unless you put the lights on multiple switches so that you can adjust the lighting level).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
    +1

    As for the stroboscopic effect of fluoros, personally I still like halogen or incandescent over machinery simply because it's a simple and absolutely foolproof solution to the problem.
    "Halogen" lighting IS incandescent.
    A halogen lamp, also known as a tungsten halogen, quartz-halogen or quartz iodine lamp, is an incandescent lamp that has a small amount of a halogen such as iodine or bromine added. The combination of the halogen gas and the tungsten filament produces a halogen cycle chemical reaction which redeposits evaporated tungsten back onto the filament, increasing its life and maintaining the clarity of the envelope. Because of this, a halogen lamp can be operated at a higher temperature than a standard gas-filled lamp of similar power and operating life, producing light of a higher luminous efficacy and color temperature and is SLIGHTLY more efficient than an ordinary incandescent lamp, which usually operates in a low pressure nitrogen atmosphere.

    An incandescent lamp is hot (no surprises there) and it takes a while for its filament to heat up and cool down as it it is repeatedly "hit" by the peaks and troughs of the AC cycles of the standard electrical distribution system. Hence, it tends to smooth out these variations. In Australia you may no longer purchase any incandescent "lamp" rated at higher than 42 W.

    A "standard" T8 fluorescent tube is almost directly connected to the supply (via a "ballast" or "choke" coil) and so may flicker in sympathy with the mains supply (and for other reasons in various annoying ways later in its life!)

    Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and LED Lamps each have an "electronic transformer" supply which transforms the 230 V AC (50 Hz) supply to something like a DC supply, which SHOULD not have flicker variation problems at 50 Hz - but they MAY have them at higher frequencies.
    T5 fluorescent tubes are supplied via an "electronic transformer" similar to that which supplies CFLs and LEDs.

    (If you ever think about using CFLs for anything, don't. - Run away from that idea - very fast. CFLs have "had their day" - brief though it was.
    Although LEDs are still more expensive to purchase, their advantages over many years now outweigh their cost.)

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    Hi .
    My concern with the Strobing effect of Non electronic balllasted Flouros was more to do with the safety aspect with machinery.
    That does not need noticable flicker!

    Note: THis applies to all lights which are esssentially an arc lighs, many mains operated LEDs, Mercury vapour,

    Flicker is more a problem with eyes & brain reaction!![something I am very allergic to]

    PeterQ

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    [QUOTE=Smurf;937617
    As for the stroboscopic effect of fluoros, personally I still like halogen or incandescent over machinery simply because it's a simple and absolutely foolproof solution to the problem. You can get around it in theory with high frequency electronic ballasts (the lights still flicker but it's way too fast to be an issue with any normal workshop machinery) but a halogen or incandescent spot light provides a good, strong light where you need it and is "foolproof" in terms of not having strobe issues.[/QUOTE]


    Hi Smurf
    Spot on ,again



    Sometime a mix of incandescent or halogens lighst near the machines can act as a fill in

    A loong time ago some lighting" experts}sold the idea of fitting a large heavy machine shop with high bay MV lamps instead of the 1000W incandescents that were in use
    The strobe effect was quite bad , but fairly easily solved by refitting some incandescents above the machines.

    PeterQ

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    Apprentice (new member) Arch Stanton's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the input. I will probably follow all of Smurf's advice. Here is the current plan:

    2 rows of 4, double flouros with diffusers, 28 watt (T5), 840 tubes (I imagine the 4 in 840 refers to the 4000K Smurf recommended)

    I'll spread it all over 3 switches. I'll have 2 rows of 2 on the first switch which will be where I expect I'll spend most of my time and then 2 on each of the other switches.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but it doesn't sound like I need to be concerned about brands and models.

    I want task lighting for different areas and machines but at this stage I am not fully decided on where everything will go so this will have to be done down the track and I'll get by with something or other plugged into a GPO to get me going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rod1949 View Post
    Wow what a decent size shed .
    I should be happy but you know what they say, "you can never have a big enough shed". Just when you think you doing well someone comes along and trumps you. A mate at work has just put up a 22m x 26m x 8m shed. Now that is big.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
    It comes down to floor area as well as factors like the colour of the surfaces. But 4 x 4 is 16m2 so about one fifth the size of the OP's shed.

    Based on that, you really only need 4 x 28 or 36W tubes to do the job if you want "office like" lighting levels unless the surfaces are painted black etc.

    I'd use 4 x single tube fittings to avoid shadows etc in such an area. It will cost more than two doubles but gives a better result.

    Of course, if you want higher lighting levels (more "operating theatre like") then 4 x doubles would be the way to go. Depending on what you intend doing in the space, a higher level of light can be either good or bad - better for workshop tasks but it does give a more "clinical" appearance so not good if you want to also use it as a recreational area (well, not unless you put the lights on multiple switches so that you can adjust the lighting level).
    Thanks Smurf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    "Halogen" lighting IS incandescent.
    Technically that is true, but in the electrical trade a definite distinction is normally made between the two on account of the different lamp types, efficiency and that there is at least some difference in technology and application.

    It's much the same as the way people use the term "diesel engine" or "petrol engine" to differentiate what are both "internal combustion engines" operating on essentially the same principle with some difference in the details.

    I do agree that strictly speaking, both are "incandescent" - it's just a common use terminology thing to differentiate the two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
    Technically that is true, but in the electrical trade a definite distinction is normally made between the two on account of the different lamp types, efficiency and that there is at least some difference in technology and application.

    It's much the same as the way people use the term "diesel engine" or "petrol engine" to differentiate what are both "internal combustion engines" operating on essentially the same principle with some difference in the details.

    I do agree that strictly speaking, both are "incandescent" - it's just a common use terminology thing to differentiate the two.

    HI
    Ditto

    PeterQ

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    i recently build a 6x 10.5 shed, in it i installed 4x double 36w fluros.

    This lights it up well, but not really to a bright standard. Im currently building my storage system as well as a 2.4 x 0.9 workbench which will be covered in vynal woodgrain look tiles. (i want it to be hard but soft) for working on surfboards etc. above this bench i will install an additional light.

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    I have a 10 x 6 shed and I found that if the walls and ceilings are lined and painted in light colours. The she'd is a lot brighter. Also for a shed that size, it does not have to be really bright everywhere, but good lighting above benches and other workspaces is a must. If you intend to have benches along the wall. It's good to have some fluros directly them.

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