Discussions on this forum are membership-run. I (Mary May) will monitor conversations and will try and contribute as needed. However, I can't guarantee that I will always have time to keep up with the discussions. Please feel free to contribute, as the only way this forum will be successful is if members get involved! I will also be the "judge and juror" with inappropriate, rude, or offensive behavior, so play nice!
Forum breadcrumbs - You are here:ForumForum: Techniques, Tips, and TricksLighting
The discussions on this forum can be read by anyone, but if you would like to join in and participate, please login or register as a Free Member.


Page 1 of 2Next

I'm not sure if this should go under techniques or tools. My shop is in the basement with overhead florescent lights with a little natural light. I use an adjustable desk lamp and a couple of other lights off to each side. I always have difficulty seeing well when I carve. The project I'm working on involves carving letters and the lighting is driving me crazy. It would be interesting to know what others are doing.

My shop is in my 18x22 garage. I had 4 100 watt lights controlled by 2 switches. Shadows plagued me everywhere in spite of 2 additional fluorescents in critical areas. I bit the bullet and installed 4 40 watt led 4 foot shop lights balanced to daylight at 5500K. That took care of the front half of the garage over my tablesaw and workbench. No shadows anywhere. I ordered 4 more and did the back half of the garage last week. So now i have 320 power consumption replacing 400 watts plus a 4 ft 2 bulb fixture and a four bulb 4 foot fixture all contolled by 1 switch. Best thing I ever did. They were about 39 dollars on amazon. They each have a pull chain and can be daisy chained together. If you like I can send you the link when I get home.

Have you done any carving with the new lights? I have problems getting a balance between enough shadow to see details as I carve  and too much shadow. Send the link and I'll take a look.

Robert - Would you mind posting the link here?  I am also interested in changing the lighting in my shop, and it would be good to see what others have done / used.    I had been looking at some from 1000Bulbs.com but they are no longer available.  Really didn't want something 4 feet long, as I have a small basement shop and would rather have several different positions than all from one direction.   Thinking about shadows with all the light on one side.

Sure thing. Worked late last night and never made it to garage. I will post the link and pic or two of my bench surface with my donut on process.

I have some pretty aggressive lighting because I video, but it's important to have overhead lighting along with some side lighting for shadows. I often find when I teach workshops the general overhead fluorescent lighting is never enough. At least 1 additional side light is needed to show contrast, and preferably 2 side lights positioned to the right and left of the carving. I see students often lifting the carving up to discover shadow (where side lighting is not available), where that shadow should be easily visible while carving. Try using 1 or 2 or even 3 desk lamps on your workbench in addition to general, overhead lighting. There used to be an issue that the heat coming off light bulbs was so much, that my work place felt like a sauna. Not so much any more.

Rick Raley, Tom Weir and Thomas Danielson have reacted to this post.
Rick RaleyTom WeirThomas Danielson



I have 4 equally spaced across 18 feet roughly 40 inches off each wall and about the same between the lights.

The donut shot I was directly over it. The rack of wood is at the wall. That's butternut too. I have another full shelf on the bottom. I saved it from a dumpster when the millwork company behind me moved. That was a good source for mahogany and sapele wood. I wont have to buy any for a while. lol The light looks a little cold in the photos but in person it is bright. Keep in mind the garage floor is lower and the effective ceiling height is o little over 8 feet.

Uploaded files:
  • 20171020_1724432.jpg
  • 20171020_1725272.jpg
Russell Wagner has reacted to this post.
Russell Wagner

This might give you a better idea of the light temperature. Took this with a DSLR with white balance ar 5000K. No adjustments in software other than cropping. This was taken with the board on the floor.

Uploaded files:
  • donut.jpg
Russell Wagner has reacted to this post.
Russell Wagner

Thank you, very nice.  I am still looking into what I want to do as I really don't have room for the 48" (4') lights.  I really want 4 lights over my bench, sort of one from each corner for the shadows to be chased away.  With a 6 foot long bench, this gets pretty tight.  Also, I use the floor trusses for storage of tools, etc. while I am working.  Lights will get in the way of that so I want to limit the size of them that way as well.

This kinda gives you a better view of my shop. I keep my welder, weld bench, and big ass table (top plate is 6ft square x 1" thick) off in one corner.

I simply try to keep an open spot at all times to get any of our DD's in for on the spot work. This past weekend for instance, I had to move the trailer to the back left spot, and get my car in for headlight bulb replacement. I live in Iowa, so doing that kind of shit outside this time of year is MISERABLE.
Uploaded files:
  • SANY0100.jpg
Tim Goode and Russell Wagner have reacted to this post.
Tim GoodeRussell Wagner
Page 1 of 2Next