workbench lighting

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Forum topic by scubarob56 posted 12-03-2015 09:41 PM 1350 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1820 days

12-03-2015 09:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench lighting low cost buy diy

i have pretty good lighting in my garage woodshop. however, when i go to my main workbench i’ve noticed that i shadow the workbench top. any suggestions and how i can buy, make a suitable light for over my workbench? moving the bench is not an option as i have very, very limited space! any help would be greatly appreciated.
also, as a home woodworker, like many, my budget for this is very limited!

14 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3703 posts in 4099 days

#1 posted 12-03-2015 09:52 PM

An LED shop light would work great hung right above your bench. I think home depot and lowes carry them.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View scubarob56's profile


2 posts in 1820 days

#2 posted 12-03-2015 09:55 PM

should i just hang from chains and plug in or one with on/off switch or some kind kind of wood frame attached to and above the bench?

View kcfandjc's profile


7 posts in 2542 days

#3 posted 12-03-2015 09:57 PM

I agree with bobasaurus. If you are near a Sam’s Club, they have a great deal on a 4’ LED shop light for about $35. I just put 8 of them up in my garage/shop and have been happy so far.

View kcfandjc's profile


7 posts in 2542 days

#4 posted 12-03-2015 10:01 PM

The one that Sam’s has just hangs from chains, plugs into an outlet, and has a pull chain for on/off. I plugged mine into some switched outlets on the ceiling, so I’m not actually using the pull chains.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3876 days

#5 posted 12-04-2015 12:39 AM

I have a desk lamp on my work bench, one that swivels and is hinged in two places. I drilled a hole in the back of the workbench, ran a 1/4-20 machine screw up from the bottom and tightened a nut on it. Slip the lamp over it and it turns 180 degrees and moves almost down to the surface of the WB. I also made a bracket on the wall over my lathe- lamp does double duty.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6604 posts in 3323 days

#6 posted 12-04-2015 03:49 AM

LED lighting will spoil you. I have a LED rechargeable stinger at work and one home I use all the time. No other non-LED flashlight is as good. You can buy strip lights and cut them to fit any application. Basic wiring skills are all that is needed. Below is a pic of the ceiling in the laundry room. I used three 9ft long strands of lights and thought if they were enough to see to turn on the washing machine and such I was good. They were much brighter than I had thought which was a pleasant surprise.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Andre's profile


3827 posts in 2720 days

#7 posted 12-04-2015 05:53 AM

I had a cheap Ikea light om my bench for years but just received a 5” magnifying light from L.V. and really wonder why I waited so long? Eyes aren’t what they used to be!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View DMC1903's profile


285 posts in 3242 days

#8 posted 12-04-2015 06:04 AM

I too needed to replace a few shopnlights, I elected to purchase
LED light, I’m amazed how btight they are and the small amt if power required to run them. and alll the lights are being converted to LED lights.

View HarveyM's profile


125 posts in 2937 days

#9 posted 12-04-2015 10:34 AM

I’m with Andre on this. I picked up one of the LV magnifying lamps for work and liked it so much I got another for my workshop. The 22 watt fluorescent bulb makes it bright enough to be a decent area light.

-- Just a Duffer

View PeteStaehling's profile


137 posts in 2034 days

#10 posted 12-04-2015 12:58 PM

What kind of lighting do you have now? Depending on what you have possibly just moving one of the existing fixtures might be an option.

Do you have ceiling outlets to plug into and are they switched? If they are switched you don’t need to go with a pull chain fixture.

I used 5 Feit 4’ two tube shop lights in my 18×18 shop. I placed them to light the areas that I do various operations and didn’t worry too much about evenly lighting the space. I do have a darker area around my band saw that could use another fixture, but I have a little goose neck LED light on it so I have not bothered. The Feit fixtures hang from little cables that they came with and it is easy to move them when/if I change the layout of the shop. I bought mine at Costco.

View ste6168's profile


259 posts in 2086 days

#11 posted 12-04-2015 01:45 PM

Going a bit against the norm here, but I went a different route for my bench lighting. Like you, my garage was pretty well lit, but I wanted/needed it a bit brighter at my bench. I also wanted an LED light that could be used with my generator during power outages (I live on the coast of NC) and also be used outdoors, if I needed. I bought a Snap-on LED spot light from Amazon (though, I have heard they sell at Costco also), and built a simple slide frame it, which I mounted to the ceiling. I plug it into a switched outlet on the ceiling for in the garage, and when I need to outside/elsewhere, I unplug, slide it out, and take it along. Killed two birds with one stone.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16979 posts in 3533 days

#12 posted 12-04-2015 01:46 PM

I’ll echo a number of the points above. A 4’ fluorescent fixture hanging above my workbench has eliminated shadows since it got moved a bit. And I added a switched outlet (like Pete said) to it.

And I have a gooseneck fixture on the bench that moves where I need it, when more light is needed.

Good luck, let us know what you decide.

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

View ThomasChippendale's profile


244 posts in 1847 days

#13 posted 12-04-2015 02:24 PM

I also installed a 4ft, 4 X 23W fluorescent fixture and it works fine. However one important point needs to be considered with any type of lighting and especially with LED, that is the type of white. It is highly recomended in studios and workshops to use daylight type color, that is around 5200K. Try not to go above this level as the light becomes blue/gray and can at some point affect your vision.

-- PJ

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2921 days

#14 posted 12-04-2015 09:14 PM

WallyWorld even sell the 4 foot LED shoplights.

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

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