Workshop #1: Hang 'Em High

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 02-19-2013 09:05 PM 3114 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workshop series Part 2: Extension bars for lighting rig »

I recently found some LED spotlights. 50w (equivalent, so they say, to 500W incandescent) Cool Daylight (6000K) at a reasonable sort of price. I’ve been wanting to make my photo lighting and work lighting both better and more permanent so I bit the bullet and purchased two. How to install them? We rent. I’m neither allowed to change the house (garage) wiring or make any permanent installations in there. I decided to make up a gantry, attached to my workbench. Each of the light supports, as you will see, looks a little like a gallows, hence the blog title. The framework is 70×20mm and 40×20mm softwood from packing materials from work. So some pictures

The overall gantry with both lights on. Cross braced at the top for stability

An individual gantry, the right hand one. The white thing to the right is a paper towel on an improvised holder.

Each light is held onto the frame using an 8mm coach bolt, washers and a wing nut. They have safety chains to the frame as well.

They can also be swivelled to light any part of the workshop

so now I can see properly to use the bandsaw on the right.

They will also light up the work area for work or project photography.

I have found that the double shadow can be all but eliminated by taping a sheet of the afore mentioned white paper towel over the front of each light. They run cool (only 50W remember) so no danger there. They can also be switched individually (white switches to the left)

All wiring done on the back of the bench. I run all my workshop, careful not to turn on too much at one time, off of one mains socket and a system of extensions. The strip (black) on the bench is continuous power (sound system, netbook and strictly only one ‘power’ tool) and there is another strip run through a no volt switch under the bench).

This is not a finished setup as I need to figure some way to lower the lights (physically) to better suit project photography. Suffice it to say they are safely above head height at present. With this level of lighting I can work well into a winter evening, providing the heating doesn’t pack in, so evening work is now all year around.

Be seeing you

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

8 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2367 days

#1 posted 02-19-2013 09:19 PM

Pretty cool! Looks like they throw massive amount of light.

You say they dont get hot… But I’m wondering how hot? Can you touch them with your hand after they been on awhile?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3396 days

#2 posted 02-19-2013 09:50 PM

Yes. The only warm part of the light is the back, which is finned to radiate heat better and you can even touch that without burning yourself.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1082 posts in 2672 days

#3 posted 02-19-2013 10:43 PM

Looks like an elegant solution to a problem many garage workshops have. Were they expensive?

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View littlecope's profile


3072 posts in 3862 days

#4 posted 02-20-2013 02:22 AM

Positively Illuminating Martyn!
You and I share similar power supply challenges my Friend…
Happily, in a one-man shop, it isn’t hard to operate only one machine at time!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16104 posts in 2978 days

#5 posted 02-20-2013 03:32 AM

Very nice!!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View stefang's profile


16700 posts in 3694 days

#6 posted 02-20-2013 09:38 AM

Looks like a good fix to get much better photos.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3396 days

#7 posted 02-22-2013 01:28 PM

Jim, £60

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Roger's profile


21001 posts in 3164 days

#8 posted 02-23-2013 10:36 PM

Looks like a mini version of a professional photographer’s shop

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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