Electrical & Lighting

Lighting

I went with LED fixtures for my shop space and I’m very happy with the decision. It’s bright as heck without using a lot of electricity and out-of-pocket money.

Here is the product I bought from Amazon, but for the record I got lights with these specs:

  • T5 size
  • 4′ long
  • 5000k color
  • 20W power consumption
  • 2200 lumens

For my 900 square feet I am using 24 of them, arranged in four rows of six. It’s bright, perhaps even being on the verge of too bright. I have them split up into two separate switches, alternating rows being paired. Even at night I find that I typically only use one half if doing basic tasks. If I’m woodturning I’ll turn them all on in order to see better.

They’re quite easy to install, I just screwed the included screws right into my ceiling drywall – the lights are so lightweight that it hasn’t been a problem.

If you look closely at the first picture you can see that the light outlet is up by the ceiling, it’s part of the main conduit race.

Electrical

The shop runs off a 100A subpanel. About 6 months before I had the shop built I had my house service upgraded to 200A and the main panel redone.

The electrical is fairly simple, I think. It’s all surface mounted EMT and 4″ square boxes. Around the perimeter of the room is a 3/4″ conduit with “drops” coming down for switches and outlets. About every 10′ along this main conduit is a 4″ square box – I placed one even if there wasn’t a drop planned right away, this future-proofs the room for easy expansion.

I have 240V circuits where I need them: HVAC, dust collection, tools. There are only three 120V circuits: lights, outlets A, and outlets B. The two “outlets” circuits run in parallel, and wherever I have an outlet I simply put the two circuits side-by-side in a 4″ box. This redundancy will let me divide loads and also protect a long-running thing such as a 3D printer.