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good light for building

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Old 11-10-2005, 08:15 PM
  #1  
Gringo Flyer
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Default good light for building

I am setting up an extra room in the house for RC and have a wallmounted fixture about 5 foot high right above where my building table will be. Right now its just a standard fixture and I want to change it to something a little better suited to building. I need good light but also something that allows me to direct the light to a specific area.

What do you guys use in your shops?
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: good light for building

I tried a few lighting configurations. My build table is 2 ft deep and 10 ft long mounted against the wall. FIrst was a two bulb 4 foot flourescent fixture over work area. It made for constant shadows in the work. Brought a second fixture. I turned the first so it was perpendicular to table and on the left side, mounted the second same way on the right. Shadows are minimized and I like this the best. I also have a wall mounted fixture on the wall center of table. It is on an arm that can twist and move down, up, left and right. 98% of the time I do not use it. However it does come in handy when doing small work.

You'll need at least two fixtures, because of the shadows. Flourescentts spread out the light, I would recommend them. Mount them so the light comes from the front and back and both sides. I'd look for a wall mounted lamp on an arm. I adapted a reading light designed to clamp to a desk.

Get plenty of light. I also make regular use of a small penlight, or flashlight. Useful for looking into small holes, etc.

Good luck



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Old 11-11-2005, 09:16 AM
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Bill Teller
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Default RE: good light for building

Several light sources is a must--you need to mix some incandescent lights in with the flourescents to reduce the strobe effect-- all flourescents is rough on eyes doing close work. A track light bar about overhead + flourescents to light to area light the room .
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:19 AM
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Default RE: good light for building

I have a 6' long work bench. I have 2 4' long, 2 tube flourescents mounted at 90 degrees to the table. The flourescents are in the ceiling.

In addition to this I have 3 gooseneck type lamps with 150 watt bulbs mounted on the wall. These are the type with the metal shade/reflector. These I can angle to direct the light where I need it, without the light blinding me. I also have 2 clip on lights (again with metal shade/reflectors ) with 100 watt bulbs for those times when the others will not work properly.

You do NEED plenty of light.

A couple of things you may not be aware of:

1. Flourescent lights produce much more "glare" (especially from black/white plans ) than incandescent lights do.

2. While flourescent lights "spread" their light out, incandescent lights provide a more "natural" (closer to sun light ) light, however, they do not "spread the light out".

3. BOTH types of lighting are needed for proper illumination of the work area AND to reduce eye strain.
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:56 AM
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Default RE: good light for building

Agree about lotsa light - have yet to hear anyone complain about having too much.

I recently replaced the incandescent lamps with "100 Watt equivalent" screw base fluorescent lights in my three drafting table style worktable lamps - really like them - natural color, low temperature, no perceptible flickering and low electricity consumption....

These lamps emit color corrected light equivalent to 100 W incandescent lamps with 25W power consumption - sorta like a free lunch . The light fixtures clamp to the table top edge and allow light to be put wherever I need it.

Cheers!

Jim
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Old 11-11-2005, 11:37 AM
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Default RE: good light for building

I used to use 2 of these types but I was always messing with the arm tension


For now I just use 2 twin tube 40w flouresent over the work area.
With them spaced about 4 feet apart shadows are not much of an issue.

How about this light


http://www.pontiacs.org/pics/project...0hps_video.avi

Just kidding! Thats my SW aquarium light.. about 430w and HOT!
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:14 PM
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Default RE: good light for building

sscherin,

I used to have a lot of aquarium stuff so I knew exactly what type of light that was. However, I couldnt afford 2 hobbies so it was the fish or planes. I went with the planes!

The room already has flourescent lights (the kind that plug in like a normal light bulb in a standard fixture). So you guys think I need to add an incandescent fixture to get the right kind of light?
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:38 PM
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Default RE: good light for building

When I built my shop I used 3 sets of flourescent fixtures arrange so there wouldn't be any hard shadows. Then bought some type of bulbs that supposedly replicate sunlight (can't remember the name). They were about 4 times as expensive as regular flourescent bulbs but well worth it.
From outside the house at night, the light coming out of my basement windows looks really funny because it's that much different.
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:25 PM
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Default RE: good light for building

In my 'travels' I have found:

Flourecents suck big time. hate them. the 'strobing' and the 'hazy' light they put out.

2x 100w bulbs in the overhead fixture (with shade removed), complemented with the 'desk type' (on the arm, positionable, as stated above), and mouted on the the corner of the table) really help. I've drilled a 1/2" hole on each corner so I can move it around for the best postion. I have another 'spare' if I need two!

Paint your room white! any other colour absorbs the light, and refelcts 'that colour'

Put your building table in the middle of the room, under the light fixture. that minimizes the shadows, and allows pu-lenty of light for what you're doing.

Bonus #2 to this, is that you have a table you can work around. "Lay out the plans, and build both wing halves at once" You don't have a wall to bump into, and you don't have to 'reach over'. It's also great when you're in the final building stages of the plane, as you can have it assembled on the bench, and not worry about it falling off. (or, as I have mine now, have the 'short end' egainst a wall, so it sticks out.)
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Old 11-11-2005, 02:04 PM
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Default RE: good light for building

If you are going to use Flourscent tubes make sure they are 750 or 850 series. These are the closes to natural daylight made. These will also help in cutting down on glare and shadowing. THe use of any of the bulbs or tubes that are lsited as natural light will give you less eye strain. You need to go to a good lighting supply house to find them.

I use two fixtures made by a company out of Wisconsin that are super...
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:05 PM
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Default RE: good light for building

When I finally get around to redoing my shop, I'm going to work in multiple halogen puck lights. They're cheap, and the light is better than either standard incandescents, or flourescents, for my tastes.
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Old 11-12-2005, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: good light for building

Be careful of the heat using the Halogen pucks. If you do a lot of sanding the dust will actually burn on the bulbs.

Jim
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Old 11-13-2005, 06:01 PM
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Default RE: good light for building

I got a 7 dollar florecent light from wally world they a spring loaded incondecent light mounted to the wall for directional close in lighting.
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