Three Things that Affect Workspace Illumination

Lighting up your workbench, craft area, or anywhere you work on special projects isn’t as simply as just hanging a bulb from the ceiling.

garage workspace
The right lights mounted in the best areas can light up an entire room better than trying to use one chandelier to shine on everything.Faithsail

Garages, basements, shops, and sheds are all made more useful and hospitable with proper lighting. The best way to upgrade a dim work or storage space is to retrofit with overhead shop lights. But there are still many decisions to make, such as the number of fixtures needed, fixture length, bulb type, and color rendering. If you need to see true colors in the space, such as for painting or staining, look for a bulb with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI). On a scale of 0 to 100, the higher the CRI, the more faithfully colors are rendered. Bulbs with a CRI of 85 or higher will produce true color. Here are a few other variables to consider.

Fixture Length

fixture light
A bigger light doesn’t always mean brighter, especially if two smaller lights in a space get rid of more shadows.Barrina

Overhead lights normally come in two lengths—8-foot and 4-foot. If you only have a specific section of a space to illuminate, such as over a long workbench or chop-saw station, one 8-foot light might be the best option. But in general, for rooms of average size, a series of linked 4-foot lights is more versatile and easier to work with.

LED vs. Florescent

LED Utility Shop Light
LED bulbs are more expensive to buy, but they’re less expensive to own and operate over time.BBOUNDER

LED technology has taken over the lighting industry in the last decade. LED bulbs are more expensive than florescent lights, but they are also brighter, longer lasting, more energy efficient, and come on instantly without all the flickering.

Hanging vs. Wraparound

4FT LED Wraparound
Flush mounted lights are amazingly bright and won’t get in the way if you have low ceilings.FAITHSAIL

If you have a high ceiling, make sure the fixture is meant to be suspended. For low ceilings, a “wraparound” style light can be flush mounted to give you the most overhead space possible.