Electrical & 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.


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.