Re: diffuse light at the lathe

John K Jordan
>>>However, I believe that Mike was merely pointing out that we shouldn't ignore the need for good 'general shop lighting' in our search for ideal task lighting. I've visited friends' shops where each tool seems to stand in its own pool of light, surrounded by darkness. (I exaggerate only slightly.) As Mike says, such an extreme contrast can be tiring and hard on the eyes.

I agree completely! Working in pools of light in a dark cave doesn't seem pleasant. I think the the general lighting was addressed above.

To Roger, the OP - shop lighting has been discussed a lot here in the past and some of that might be useful. Although the built-in forum search doesn't seem to be working, a google search with the "site:" parameter does, for example, try site:woodcentral.com shop lighting

For general lighting I installed multiple fixtures with four T5 bulbs throughout the shop. I positioned the fixtures carefully for lighting all over the shop, mounting one temporarily to measure the spread. I paid special attention to make sure I didn't put one where glare off the shiny table saw would be in my eyes.

All of my lights are wired in zones so, for example, one main switch doesn't turn on the brights in the turning wood storage area behind a separating wall. A separately switched string of lower-wattage can lights gives enough light to walk anywhere in the shop without switching on the bright fixtures, great for fetching a socket wrench or a can of paint.

My task lights are in addition to the general lighting, only switched on as needed, perhaps especially useful since I often turn smaller detailed things. As our eyes get older, the extra light makes a difference, not only to see the detail but to increase depth of field for better focus and less eye strain.


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