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Forum topic by jebbylawless posted 04-12-2010 04:44 AM 2687 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 3471 days

04-12-2010 04:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hand tools unplugged workshop shed lantern solar question

I’ve got a shed that doesn’t have electricity. I’m in the process of setting it up to use only powerless hand-tools. Right now I’m just using it while there’s enough daylight to see. I may need to run electric but I’d rather not. I’ve considered solar but it sounds pretty technical. I’ve also considered getting a couple of old oil or kerosene lanterns. Anybody have any experience with these? Do they throw enough light to work by? Any other ideas or suggestions?

11 replies so far

View Trikzter's profile


42 posts in 3761 days

#1 posted 04-12-2010 04:52 AM

I have the same problem and can’t add electric until it is paid for so I put up some of those round under cabinet lights and run an extension cord from the house and just plug them in, gives decent light until I can do it properly. I would think that oil and kerosene would not give enough light for detail work. I also would think it would be a fire hazard with dust and fumes, but do not know for sure.

-- Rick... A tree knows more about wood then I do.

View Paul M Cohen's profile

Paul M Cohen

86 posts in 4282 days

#2 posted 04-12-2010 09:45 AM

Look into the 20 or 26 volt lithium ion cordless tools. I have a circular saw, reciprocating saw, 1/2” drill and light and there are other accessories I could get. With two batteries, the LED light runs many hours, I don’t know how many because with all the hours I have used them the battery still says it has a full charge.

I use them when I want to work in the driveway without dragging out extension cords. I no longer use my AC circular saw or drill.

-- Paul, Beaverton OR,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3620 days

#3 posted 04-12-2010 12:54 PM

if you don´t think about the firehazard you can use them
to have some light in there but you have to work like
they did in the old days
when they was running out of the full daylight
they shifted from more detailed work to more
rugh work like planing one side of boards and
cutting boards in rugh lengh and so on thats
how they manage to have full days of work


View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4398 days

#4 posted 04-12-2010 01:02 PM

those propane powered camp tanterns thow a lot of light, some heat too

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso



53 posts in 4302 days

#5 posted 04-12-2010 04:38 PM

Install one or two skylights in the roof this will give you enough light in the daytime as for the evening get a propane camping type lantern but remember to keep the door of the shed open when you use the lantern in order to get rid of the fumes.


-- never enough time in a day so use it well

View Rileysdad's profile


110 posts in 3783 days

#6 posted 04-12-2010 04:51 PM

Jebby, you must be a youngster. When I was young, I could read by starlight on a moonless night. Now I have trouble finding my way out of the bedroom if I get up too early.

-- Measure twice, cut once, buy extra stock.

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

409 posts in 3587 days

#7 posted 04-12-2010 07:12 PM

Solar is fairly easy to install for lights. I got a small solar panel (about 18” by 6”) to recharge a deep cycle battery in a shed that is about 800’ from the house. It was called a battery maintainer, used to trickle charge RV batteries and keep them topped off.

There are many different panel sizes available. Small panels don’t generate enough current to overcharge the battery. I only need a few minutes of light, so the small panel is fine for me. Larger panels would allow more light, but need a voltage regulator to prevent overcharging the battery.

I bought some LED lights. They were really expensive, something like $30 for a 60 watt equivalent in a 12V package. It would be much cheaper to buy a larger panel and less efficient lights. RV supply houses have lots of options for 12V lights.

I like the idea of getting some good Li-ion power tools.

-- Steve

View jebbylawless's profile


6 posts in 3471 days

#8 posted 04-12-2010 08:26 PM

Thanks guys for all of the feedback! I didn’t think too much about fumes but it sounds like I should.
Great info about the old-time woodworkers that did the rough stuff by dim light and precision work during daylight! Maybe I can do the same before I slice a thumb off!

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3671 days

#9 posted 04-12-2010 08:36 PM

My neighbors are wood workers. And have no need for electricity. Amish use propane or Kerosene lights.
They are very bright. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. You should have one in your shop anyways.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18671 posts in 4180 days

#10 posted 04-12-2010 09:03 PM

have you thought of sky lights?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View jebbylawless's profile


6 posts in 3471 days

#11 posted 04-14-2010 04:48 AM

sky lights would be great but way beyond my skillset right now. I’d just ruin the roof then I’d need to hire a pro to clean up the mess.

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