Lighting Tips For Your Basement Workshop

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

Lighting Tips For Your Basement WorkshopWorkshop Lighting:

Proper lighting in your workshop is as important as any tool in your toolbox.    Whether its to see what your doing, illuminate mill marks on wood surface or for photographing of your work having adequate and proper lighting is important!  The challenges are that many of us have sub-terran workshops.  the article below will outline a few workshop lighting tips for your basement workshop.

Lighting Location:

Design your workshop so you have light at every machine and work space.  Make sure you have ample lighting positioned so that shadows do not occur and compromise productivity or safety.Lighting Tips For Your Basement Workshop
If I were building a shop from scratch I would incorporate plenty of windows, skylights and large sliding doors or sliding walls to maximize natural light.  Unfortunately many of us do not have that luxury.

 To accomplish this, numerous types of lighting can be employed in several ways:

General and Overhead Lighting:

Most of the light in the workshop should come from overhead lighting.   I’m a fan of fluorescent bulbs over incandescent bulbs but which ever you choose, the fixtures should be spread out to provide consistent overall lighting throughout the entire shop Lighting Tips For Your Basement Workshopwith out major shadows or dark spots.

Fluorescent lighting is the least expensive way to light a workshop.

These fixtures can be installed with screws, and is no more difficult than installing a regular light fixture. The lights are bright and use very little electricity and are easily replaced.

Spot Lighting:

In some spaces, in addition to the overall lighting, it may be advantageous to place recessed flood or spot lights directly over some of your tools and workbenches.

I have two 500 watt halogens on an adjustable, directional swivel and in two key locations of my shop to flood light over my table saw and assembly table in my shop.  I also added white reflective boards on the ceiling and can rotate these lights to bounce [diffuse] light off the white board for photographing purposes.

Tool or Task Lights:

Many tools now come with on-tool lighting.   My drill press is one of them.  You can purchase after market lighting with heavy duty magnets or just install a simple clamp light.  These task lights are a great supplement to your overhead lighting and should not be a replacement for poor shop lighting.

If you have cabinets over a workbench then under cabinet lighting is a perfect solution and location for task lighting the bench. 

 Optimizing the Lighting in your Workshop:

A real simple and cost effective way to optimize lighting in your Lighting Tips For Your Basement Workshopshop is to paint the ceiling, floor and walls white. 

The color of the walls and the ceiling in a workshop can make a huge difference.   the reflection of light off the white color makes the room brighter.

While not practical for many shop floor it does work.  I choose a different route in my shop and added a combination of general, spot and task lighting to find the right balance of light.

Stay bright!

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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