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I have my shop set up temporarily in my generous future-father-in-law's garage. I have ample space for all my tools, my general workbench and my woodworking bench. However, the lighting is poor in the garage. I have enough light to do some work, but not enough to do more intricate work, like joinery or finishing. I often have a chance to take old fixtures from demos at work, but I need something temporary that doesn't involve making alterations to the FFIL's garage.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for a lamp or fixture that can be clamped or screwed to a bench? I could go to WalMart or someplace and get a beater desk lamp, but maybe some of you can recommend some heavy-duty, workshop intended task lighting. Thanks in advance.
 

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Fluorescent lamp Light bulb Plastic Composite material Transparency

Get a couple of these fixtures, clamp them whereever they are above the bench, or make a pole with a base.
Automotive parking light Automotive lighting Microphone Headlamp Natural material

Then install these 68W CFL bulbs. Each is equal to 300 Watts of light.

I lit my basement shop like this till I had time to install permanent fixtures.
They work quite well.

The big bulbs are sold at Home depot for about $17 each.
 

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Go with the big cfl lamps I had the same issue in my shop when I first set it up all I had was four 100 watt bulbs. I git to looking at installing florescent strip lighting as I was looking at the fixtures and making a grocery list I came across these bug CFL bulbs yes they cost a but but it's a lot cheaper and faster to go with those I got four of the highest wattage they had ans screwed them in and it lit the place up like a new saloon they are great and as this is cold country it doesn't take them that long to get to full brightness when it's cold in the shop.

I would go and get one to try you can always take it back if you don't like it but I think you will.
 

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I use those task lights that painters use. I move it around the shop based on what I am doing. I even set up some clamps in the rafters to put the light over the bench while I do intricate work. As a bonus, it also provides some warmth in the shop on cold days if you are within 5 feet or so. I'm a cold wimp in Texas, so I love that feature as much as the lighting itself.

Also, I work in commercial construction and scored a bunch of fluorescent tube lights from a demo. I had them in my old shop, but I am currently between houses so they are in storage. They worked awesome though. I'l put them back up once we buy a house in the next year and I get a permanent setup back. Definitely try to score some if you have the opportunity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm using one of those jobsite task lights at the moment, too. I like the warmth it gives off and have used it to dry my boots and bibs on affer some cold, muddy days. I work for a commercial electric company and often get a chance to grab some 2'4' flourescants off demo jobs. You bet I'll put some of those in my shop when I end up getting a house.

I'm running out to Lowes now and will see what they have to offer.
 

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I picked up a fixture identical to the one Crank49 posted above and a CFL that's supposed to give off 750 lumens. I brought it home and tried it out and was not impressed with the light it put out…however, it was the daytime and I didn't have it mounted to shine above the table. Once I mount it to shine above my work I'll know better. I haven't liked the CFLs we've replaced incandescant bulbs with in my parents' house; they seem to create weird shadows. My bulb may be too small.

Any way, I like the fixture itself; it was exactly what I had in mind for buying. I'll get this thing mounted tomorrow and if I like it will buy a few more!
 

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The light I referred to is 68 watts CFL. The equivalent of a 300 watt incandesent light. It puts out 3700 lumens.
These make a nice warm light with 2700K color temperature that has little glare, but they are large; about 4" diameter and 10" long. They might need one of those extensions to fit in the reflector of the clamp on light.

If you want to go more conventional, get a 150 watt to 200 watt equivalent in the daylight color (5000K) temperature. They make a strong light and cost less, but the do have more glare. I prefer the warm whit light myself.

The 750 lumen bulb you got is the equal to about a 60 watt to 75 watt incandesent. The bulbs I suggested are over 5 times as bright.
 

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Buy the 100w Cree LED bulbs in 5000k they are like $20 each but can turn on at -40 and have a 10 year warranty, they also give off I believe in the neighborhood of like 1600 lumens. I am getting rid of my 4ft lights in place of these as I'm sick of the ballasts burning out and the bulbs taking forever to heat up in the cold winter up here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The 750 lumen bulb you got is the equal to about a 60 watt to 75 watt incandesent. The bulbs I suggested are over 5 times as bright.

- crank49
That was my mistake, of course…I wasn't thinking when I bought that bulb. I'm going to use that to cover my general use work bench and get the one you suggested for the woodworking bench.

I m liking the tips here since my shop needs a serious lighting upgrade. But I d be surprised if your FIL wouldn t appreciate a lighting upgrade in his garage.

- Tim
An upgrade is in the works for the new year, as well as new devices and trim for the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Michael-I picked up a 65 watt cfl equivalent to what you suggested, put it in the fixture, and hung it above my woodworking bench. I'm very pleased with the amount of and quality of light it gives off and I think one will be all I need above the bench. It gives off 3900 lumens.

You were spot on that the previous bulb I got was equivalent to a 65 watt incandescant. I mounted that one to a piece of thin slotted angle on top of a filing cabinet I use for storage. This light is able to cover different parts of my general work bench and shine above the vise I have mounted on it. The angle iron is 2' long and gives me a surface to clamp the light to.

I'll need to make a few extension cords out of scrap SO or SJ cord so I can keep them further out of the way, but besides that, this is a good setup.
 

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Alright, so it looks like Matt's question was answered, so I hope this doesn't count as highjacking a thread. :)

Crank's suggestion of the 300W equivalent CFL's was really good so I researched them some more and found they are used in photography lighting and go all the way up to 125W (450-500W equivalent) but also that they don't last as long if they are hung upside down from the ceiling or in a closed in fixture.

So question is, does anyone have any suggestions for a very plain inexpensive light fixture that I could wire into the ceiling box in my shop that would hold two of these rather large 10" long high output CFL bulbs in a vertical position? I'm thinking basically like an upside down T with a light socket on each end of the horizontal part.
 

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Thanks ex. I'm not too familiar with track lighting, but aren't they mostly for having the light pointing down and enclosed?

What I was trying to explain is that these lights last longer if upright, with the screw base lower than the glass and since they're so large, I assume they have a fairly large diameter as well and may not fit in just any track lighting fixture like a regular bulb would.
 

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I have used those 65 watt CFLs from Home Depot for 2 years with no problem hanging base up.
I suspect the ones used for photography are a little differnt. In looking at them the base has way more slots for ventilation.

Still I have used one of mine mounted horizontal also in a standard porcellan lamp base on a 4" octagonal box in the wall above my miter saw.

They are pretty flexible, but large; about the size of a football.
 

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I have to say. I was talked into using some L.E.D. 4 inch CAN lights to put in a ceiling of one of my bedrooms upstairs. They were on sale at Lowes so bought 4 for this room at the time $16.00 down form $33. AND they came with the bulb. AND you can aim them is you wish

WOW I have never thought about using LEDS for anything but MY GAWD they are wonderful. A nice warm bright smooth light. They produce ZERO HEAT.

They do not require a junction box. and that means you don't have to screw one to a rafter

Above all each one of these lights consumes only 9 watts and will last longer than I will. The light is so bright I could of gotten away by using only two.

I went back and bought evenyone they had left and plan to replace every other light fixture I have upstairs

I mean 9 WATTS!!???? that's almost ZERO. I have ONE 100 watt indecent bulb in my kitchen that is pulling more watts than a whole second floor of these magical lights.

I have about 20 of the WAL-MART 48 inch double tube floruecent shop lights in my shop right now, but when they start giving up ghost they will be replaced with LEDs. LEDs are still on the pricy side but I bet when my florescent lights start to flicker out LEDs will be half what they are now
 

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Since we're talking about lighting I has some of the halogen work lights and the bulbs on a couple of them burn out in a couple hrs,but the package says something like 5k hrs.I keep thinking it's the brand so I keep trying different ones and get the same thing.can the "work lights be pointed down or are the bulbs overheating causing the short bulb life.
http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/2000x2000/292/29276_2000x2000.jpg
 

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yesterday I received my new issue of woodsmith mag. I have not had the chance to read it yet but it had what looks to be at a glance a good article on led lighting and I also noticed something about how to convert florescent strip lighting over to led type lighting. will stick my nose in it today and read it but u folks that get that mag take look.
 
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