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How Many Lumens per Square Foot a Workshop Should Have?

Do you like working in your garage workshop? It may be used not only for car repairs. Any hobby, such as cabinet-making or metalworking can find a place there. However, how many lumens per square foot workshop needs? You are to care about your eyes health. Let’s check which lighting is sufficient and beneficial.

Garage Space Issues

how many lumens per square foot workshop

How many hours do you spend in your garage every day? If you have some spare time, it can be completely devoted to your hobby. Arranging a workshop there is beneficial if you’d like to:

  1. Go somewhere private.
  2. Keep odors, noise and fire hazards out from your main residence.
  3. Store your tools and equipment.

Are you going to arrange a workplace in your garage? The quality best lighting for above workbench would be essential. However, bulky stuff may cause problems. Sometimes, making noise and mess without limitations is a great opportunity. A detached garage can offer it. However, clutter-free space doesn’t contradict inspiration.

Official Garage Space Limitations

Garage space is often neglected. Why don’t you keep it well-organized? The problem is the premises are commonly small, non-ventilated and with no windows. For example, according to the San Jose Building Code, accessory structures, such as detached garages are limited to:

  • 1 story;
  • 650 sq. ft.
  • 12 feet in height.

If you need to arrange air conditioning in your garage, you would need to get a building permit. What about the windows? If there are no neighbors’ fences within 3 feet from the building, they are still allowed.

Windows can provide the best lighting for the garage workshop. They enable natural light for work. Additionally, they allow cross-ventilation. Bringing fresh air it is important if you spend a lot of time in your garage. It would make the workshop more pleasant or just tolerable.

Other Natural Lighting Options

best lighting for the garage workshop

Do you want to increase your productivity? Some natural light is essential. Daylight systems help you to lower your electricity bills. They help reduce energy load. Additionally, natural sunlight reduces stress. It lifts the mood and lets you feel less exhausted. Only the portable super bright led work light could partly substitute it.

Thus, if windows are not available, consider the other accessible options, such as:

  • roofs with openings;
  • skylights;
  • door windows.

Additionally, clear the clutter off. Attach slat-wall accessories such as racks, holders and hooks. Hardware, such as nuts, bolts, and screws can be packed to storage bins. The rechargeable portable led work lights are easily placed on any flat surface. A metal or wooden shelf would be suitable. The beam of light has to be directed to the specific area. So the fixture is located or mounted just above the workbench.

Here you can see more information about best rechargeable portable led work lights for garage!

Common Workshop Lighting Options

Detached garages may also have problems with the electrical supply. The number of outlets may be limited. Are they light-duty? It’s a common situation. Garages, both new and old are commonly wired with a single circuit. Detached structures in older homes may have no electricity at all. If a garage was initially designed for serving as a parking space, you would need more electricity to power your tools.

What about the lighting? Overhead illumination is typical for garages. The common options include:

  • fluorescent tubes;
  • incandescent bulbs;
  • focused or closed up lights.

Some of these solutions are inexpensive but unsuitable. New home workshops are usually equipped with unsafe electrics.

What is the Best Lighting for a Workshop?

Does yours have only the minimal lighting? You would need the quality work lights for the garage. What are they? Modern LED (Light Emitting Diode) devices are ideal for some uses. They are energy-efficient, durable and eco-friendly.

Here you can see more information about best work lights for garage!
Fluorescent lamps and tubes are also suited for garages. They provide even, diffuse light, being not expensive. Additionally, they use lower wattage bulbs than incandescent counterparts to provide the same amount of light. They don’t emit so much heat. The fixtures come in various shapes and sizes. Just avoid low-end, cheap items. They may warm up slowly and produce an unpleasant, buzzing sound.

NOTE So, the best light for reading and studying is:

  1. Yellow-orange by color.
  2. Sufficiently bright.
  3. Located in the right place.

It is similar to the illumination that is necessary for various craft tasks. The lighting should not shine directly into your eyes. Its intensity depends on the workbench position, as well as on your age. Flexible fixtures and dimmable solutions are preferable.

How Much Lighting Do I Need?

Which color temperature would you prefer? Daylight LED bulbs are white. Their color is defined as 5,000- 6,500 K. It mimics natural light that is the best for our eyes and overall health. Cool lighting range is beneficial for laborious visual tasks and activities.

workbench lighting solutionsWhat happens if it’s even cooler, even bluish? According to the study, blue-enriched light (17,000K) improves:

  • alertness;
  • performance;
  • positive mood;
  • concentration.

However, it increases irritability, causing eye discomfort, strain, and headaches. Are you going to work hard in your workshop? If it’s only a hobby pastime, a sterile environment of this kind would be stressful.

Light Intensity

The warm light of about 2,700-3,000K is relaxing. You would feel cozy in your garage. However, you may forget about your pressing tasks. Therefore, the ideal color temperature in a workshop is about 3,500-4,000K.

What about the light intensity? The recommended lumens per square foot range from 70 to 100 LM. However, it depends on your projected activities and tasks. The necessary light brightness differs, according to the room application. Its special areas may need additional task lighting.

Room Application or Visual TasksIlluminance Level, LM/ sq. ft.Min. Ceiling Lighting, %
Living room10-205
Bathroom, laundry room70-8010
General bench work60-8013-15
Handwork, small parts machining80-10015-17
Precise joinery100-12017-20

So, the required lumens for garage start with 70 Lm/sq. ft. It implies the light intensity at your workbench area. Additionally, consider your hobby. Is it precise metalworking or general cabinet-working? The light output could be a bit different.

How Do You Calculate Lumens per Room?

The lighting nature, color, and intensity are clear. Meanwhile, how to select and install suitable lighting fixtures?

Knowing your garage floor space, it’s not difficult to do. Let’s assume, it’s 600 sq. ft. (for example, 20*30 ft.). Thus, you would need 600*70 = 42,000 lumens.

This garage lighting calculator is simple and intuitive. But what about the real lighting fixtures output? A common lamp features 3,400-3,600 lumens delivery. Please, check the table to calculate the necessary bulb wattage.

Light TypeCommon Luminous Efficacy (Lm/W)
Incandescent12.5-17.5
Halogen16-24
Fluorescent45-75
LED80-100

For example, the luminous efficacy of a LED lamp is 80-100 lm/W. So, you would need 12 lighting fixtures that consume about 35-40W each.

How to Position the Lighting Fixtures?

Let’s define the layout. Minimal distance in inches is to be:

  1. Between the workbench and the ceiling fixture = 65”.
  2. Betwixt the lighting fixtures = 65”-97”.
  3. Between the fixture and the wall = 24”-36”.

I think, now you know a lot about the workshop arrangement. You can select the lighting fixtures and install or place them. The bulbs color, light intensity in lumens per square foot and average wattage are easy to calculate or specify. Just select them and enjoy your comfortable garage environment!

Video Review: How to working LED Rechargeable Work Lights

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Harry Brown

Harry Brown

Hello, welcome to the blog! My name is Harry. I am concerned about my eyes health. What about you? Do you like reading? By choosing the right light intensity and color, you will avoid many awkward situations. I hope, my articles and reviews help you.

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