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Hi All,

I was hoping to find out what people feel are the most effective colour of lights for inside the shop.

At the moment I have to single bulb lights at each end of the shop pointing outwards, this creates alot of shadow. I am therefore thinking of swapping them for LED strips that I can fasten to the side of the roof beams, and along the walls to really flood the place in light. However I am unsure what colour to go for whether warm white, bright white or daylight ( or any of the others that seem to be available now).

Any advice on what people have found best in their own shops would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

Luke

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I went for a single weatherproof led batten light that I picked up in screwfix.

It puts out a cool white colour.

 

Plenty of light for what I need, however the shed is quite small at 9' x 9'

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I did look at getting one of those but my issue was trying to position them to maximise how much light spread, then I saw Joshua de Lisle use the sticky back LED strips in his new workshop and he ran them the full length to give  a really good flood of light.

I thought it would work well as 5m is about 7 quid and a transformer is the same, then i can run them up and down the side of the roof beams and even stick them to the bottom with out losing any head room. I may even run them under the workbench to light that area up as well .

How do you find the cool white for checking your forging colours does it effect them at all?

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Well is sort of depends on what you are doing: Hafting a blade takes different lights compared to forging it for example.  Daylight works well in my shop as I have fiberglass strip skylights as part of my steel roof (and open gables and if using the propane forge a 10'x10' roll up door open.) If I'm working after dark I have a set of halogen worklights that I like to bounce off the ceiling, of course the ceiling is about 10' up at the lowest point... Works ok for forging; but for precision light they need to be focused closer to the work area.

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The three primary types of color temperature for light bulbs are: Soft White (2700K – 3000K), Bright White/Cool White (3500K – 4100K), and Daylight (5000K – 6500K). The higher the Degrees Kelvin, the whiter the color temperature.

Daylight-balanced photographic film standard is 5500 K.  Light at 2500K is yellow when compared to 5500K. Some of the LED lights are blue in color. The eyes adjust to the color, and after a while make it be perceived as white. 

Remember taking photos inside the house and they came back all yellow? You could buy indoor film and when you used indoor film outside, everything came back blue. No photo shop, you choose the right film for the light source you were using.

The closer to daylight in temperature the easier it is to use, and the closer you see things to the true color.

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Generally you want it dim around the forge to show the incandescent colors as the part is heating up, while you need bright light for general working to be able to see details.  I work outside , and at night I hang a drop light by the anvil so I can find tools, and see what I am doing. 

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ThomasPowers That does make a lot of sense sadly my roof is no where near that high, what I may do is use the LED strips to light the shop in a general sense and then after working add LED lamps to the areas I notice need that more focused light.

Glenn I did not know that about the different kinds of film, one of the strips I looked at was 6000K so would sit them nicely in that daylight range.

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You can use room lights for overall illumination, and then a work zone light for stronger illumination and seeing greater detail in what you are working on.  A flood style light close to the work helps, as does two spot type lights one coming from either side focused on the work area.

The exact wattage and light pattern depends on the project at hand. It helps to be able to turn each light on or off as needed.

The direction of the lights helps to see imperfections in the metal. Think of a low angle directional light that will cast shadows when aimed at the work piece.

Zeroclick, a low K temp light (yellow) gives me a headache, as well as throwing all the colors off. 

The 120 volt incandescent light bulbs are yellow, but if you switch to a 130 volt light which lasts longer, it is really yellow. Fluorescent lights are into the green tint, and the CF Compact Fluorescent spiral bulbs come on as yellow and as they warm up they move more to white, and some into the blue tint. Film sees the color at 5500K and does not adjust for the different tints or color temperatures.

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I thought perhaps I could get a desk style lamp with a swivel head so I can look things over from different angles this could be over my workbench .

I will try to get some photos of the workshop tonight to show you what I had in mind, and see what you guys all think.

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For the workbench, mount 2 fixtures to the ceiling, over and on either side of the work bench. Say 150 watt spot/flood style bulbs. Adjust left only to illuminate the work area and then adjust the right only to illuminate the work area. Turn both on for a full view of what your doing.  This is in addition to a 4 foot horizontal fixture so it does not create a shadow. Fix the wall to be a flat surface so the 4 foot fixture reflects light hitting the wall back onto your work area. Tilt or adjust the 4 foot fixture so it does not shine in your eyes. 

Another place where you can put a work zone light is so it shines on the vise. 

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So my idea was to run the LED strips down either side of the beam that runs the length of the building, then run a shorter strip above the workbench area.

Then also based on the advice now add some more direct lighting to really flood that area as it is quite a dark zone.

Thanks,

Luke

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I have a couple LED strip lights and love them. Once the prices drop a little more the shop will get new lights all round. Oh yeah, I want the brightest white I can afford, my eyes are getting old I need the light and correct colors.

Frosty The Lucky.

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 I like a combination of adjustable incandescent or halogen task lights close by on each machine , vise , bench or work station and overhead high efficiency fluorescent tube fixtures  to light the general space. Having the lights switched in zones helps with the bill as well as dimmers . If I'm forging bronze I keep the lights as low as possible  so I can see the critical colors of the hot metal to avoid expensive puddles if it gets too hot.

I find that for most work,  the closer to daylight it is,  the better. Skylights or translucent panels  in the roof really brighten up the general gloom. Blacksmith shops tend to be dark places with a lot of dirty and dark colored tools ,floors , bench and wall surfaces that really suck up the light.

Even though I'm wearing a welding helmet , really good clear light in the area where I am arc welding is beneficial to getting a nice clean straight bead.

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On 4/13/2018 at 3:31 PM, Frosty said:

I have a couple LED strip lights and love them.

I did look at the strip lights but was a bit put off by the price, I was thinking of using the style below as they are cheap and will reduce the amount of head room I will lose as my shop is quite low.

I am hoping to help my eyes a bit as they aren't the best already I am already at glass bottle glasses level. :lol:

image.png.ecc93d3da4ac6a019cc533b7f0c26443.png

On 4/15/2018 at 4:43 PM, beaudry said:

 I like a combination of adjustable incandescent or halogen task lights close by on each machine , vise , bench or work station and overhead high efficiency fluorescent tube fixtures  to light the general space. Having the lights switched in zones helps with the bill as well as dimmers .

I do like the idea of some really focused points of light in the key areas, I was thinking of getting LED reading lights as they tend to have the really mobile necks to get accurate lighting where I need it.

Cheers,

Luke

 

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You'll need some sort of diffuser for those led strips to get the best possible results. Otherwise it's just really bright when you're staring directly at them, but not much thrown light to where you need it.

I still stand by the led tube lights as it's a lot less hassle. A few more quid, but the advantage of wiring them in like a normal light, easy to mount, dust/water proof case, diffused, etc.

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I do agree that the tubes do have a lot of advantages but at 5 times the price they are just really steep. I may have a look at how I might position it all.

I do know what you mean about the diffusers it do help with the spread of the light.

I mean interms of resiliance I don't really see to much between the them the strips are rubber coated and sealed making them resiliant to water and dust to the same degree if not more then the tubes. Also for wiring them in you can just get the transformers and wire them into the existing lighting with no problems.

 

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17 hours ago, beaudry said:

. Having the lights switched in zones helps with the bill as well as dimmers

Unless you are using a Variac for the dimmer you are not saving money.   Conventional dimmers are just resistive heat sinks, If you have a 600 watt chandelier with a dimmer to reduce the lighting output to 100 watts the dimmer is soaking up the other 500 and you are still paying for that.

I am an electrician when I aint smithing

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I think I paid about £28 for a 4ft led batten (18W, 1500lm) from screwfix

Picking a random listing on a popular auction website:
1m, with USB cable £5.99 
1m channel+diffuser, £8.99
Usb transformer (assuming you have a stack of these from old phones etc), £0.00

Led strips, are 18 - 20lm per LED... A strip of 1M is 60, so 1080 - 1200lm.

Half the price, but probably a few other hidden costs depending on what supplies you have to hand for wiring it up, controlling the strip (most seem to be RGB, so potentially you'll need a controller), junction boxes, etc.

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Ahh I didn't find diffusers but I found 5m length of waterproof LEDS with cables attached to be wired into a transformer. 

5m waterproof LED £6.99 with free delivery

driver transformer is £7.99  for 24W or £11.99 for 60W so I could power 3 lengths off one.

With this setup I can use the exisiting wiring for the two light bulbs, it will just allow me to follow the beams easier and stop them getting in the way I did consider running them along the lower edge due the low profile.

To be honest I had never really considered them until I saw them in this video.

 

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 I stand corrected on dimmers saving money. The main benefit is that the lights in the area of my shop controlled by a dimmer is right around the forges and anvil, so I can adjust the light to see the color of the hot metal to best advantage.

Even with a number of  power hammers up to 7 1/2 hp,  a 5hp air compressor and several  350amp inverter welders. the lights and other machine tools, the shop and my house still use less than half of the average power consumption in my local electrical coop utility district.

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I've often wondered about putting dimmers in the new shop build.  The plans I have will have all the lights on the shop end and leave the forge end of things with no lights.  I figure the window and open doors will have plenty of light while forging.  Since I forge outside, I once had to do some touch-up work on a pair of lantern hooks so I left my vise in the basement garage.  Wow, I couldn't believe how nice it was to actually see the metal's true color after heating!  What looks dull red/black outside is actually a nice cherry red when inside the garage / basement.  That sealed the deal for me on having a darker forge area.

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I do like the idea of having a dimmable section around the forge, I used to love working in the dim light of my old shed when you really see what you are working on.

 

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to quote Frank Turley,,, " the best compliment you can give a blacksmith when you turn on the lights is,,,"" well, that didnt make any difference!"" 

Thank You, Frank for so many things these last bunch of years!

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just an outside the box comment the "cooler"colours  of white are less likely to attract the flying bugs. but that may not be problematic in your part of the world?

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I didn't know that, but they aren't to much of a problem we get a few midgies but they tend to stay under the trees on the other side of the garden.

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