Shop lighting selection
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  1. #1
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    Shop lighting selection

    So I've been put in charge of a managing a shop in a huge 100,000sqft facility that is pretty old and somewhat run down. We have electricians here now sorting out the lighting, and the last people to work on them made a mess of things, with 24 1000W incandecent lights all running to individual circuit breakers. They didn't even stay standard with the wire colors so the electricians are having to ohm out every wire to see what is hot and what is neutral. They are working on simplifying the wiring and it would work out best if we go with LED retrofit lights. Got a best price of $85 a light from a place near here for these https://www.elliottelectric.com/P/Item/SAT/S9752/. The owner here didn't want to fork out that much initially, but after I worked out the pricing on the electric bill using 24 1000W bulbs vs 24 60W LEDs, he's more on board. Except now he's worried about the light output. These are rated at 7800 lumens vs what looks to be upwards of 25,000 for the 1000W bulbs. I'm wondering if 7800 lumens are good enough for lights about 30ft in the air for shop work. If anyone has any relevant experience with this, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  2. #2
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    I think you're a little low on anticipating a 60 watt LED iluminator to directly replace a 1000 watt incandescent.
    I've been playing with some china illuminators (120 volt) for a while now, and they are quite effective, almost too effective in terms of light temperature and intensity directly in front of the illuminator.

    Light throw distance with LED units is superior to incandescent and effective lighting is at least twice the throw of fluorescent.

    Since you threw old building into the equation, I'll also mention regardless of light source dirty walls and floors along with a dirty ceiling will also eat lumens while offering no lighting benefit.

    Also before hopping up & down too much about the incandescents being on individual breakers, factor in the man who did that just might have considered load impact to Demand Metering. Slamming 24kw to Demand Metering can and will increase Demand billing. There is also the consideration that incandescent lamps draw 10 times running current for a fraction of a second on start, and deliver one hell of a switching arc to the switch on shutdown

    As far as "electricians" crying about color coding, that crew would be packed up and headed out the door if it was my job. They sound like Romex Ropers with code books in their pockets playing commercial electrician. If any one of them said "Ohm it out" I'd never let that contractor on another job of mine. An Ohm is a unit of measurement, not a procedure. If you're sensing I have a very low opinion of your "electricians" I do.

    Fixture design and selection is an open question. LED is still new tech, and fixture manufacturers are still figuring it out. One thing I'd steer clear of is any fixture employing a reflector to deliver light to the work floor. LEDs can and do project quite well without need of reflectors.

    Have the manufacturer's rep bring out a demo unit and show you what his product will deliver on the job floor.
    Then and only then decide on how many units you require.
    Stay clear of warm white!

  3. #3
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    Sorry I disagree with some of the statements above, There are electrical codes that are to be followed when wiring circuits. If you don't follow a color code when wiring you may "KILL" the next person that will work on that circuit.
    Now for the turm "Ohm it out" This needs to be done when color codes are not followed. When you have a wire end and want to find out the other end you Ohm it out (no power applied). An Ohm is a measurement of resistance but also can be a way to determine if a circuit is shorted or open without really knowing what value to look for. If you know the value of a component and checking it shows it has changed that may be the reason the circuit is not working correctly.
    I totally agree with a demo with the LED lighting, on site comparison will answer many question.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    Sorry I disagree with some of the statements above, There are electrical codes that are to be followed when wiring circuits. If you don't follow a color code when wiring you may "KILL" the next person that will work on that circuit. A standard copout among Romex Ropers.

    Now for the turm "Ohm it out" This needs to be done when color codes are not followed. OP clearly stated it is an Old Building with wiring in place. The Code that was in place and approved by the jurisdiction where the building is located at time of construction remains applicable Code until new work is installed. Even when new work is put into place original Code remains compliant to all original wiring. OP fails to state if the original wiring is any of the Type R wiring which was commonly available in black, white, blue and red, most of which colors were a paint wash as the wire was insulated and have largely disappeared at this point in time. Regardless of type of insulation originally installed the junction points thereof would have been code compliant with color tape identification at the joint. Romex Ropers normally wouldn't know that though, and given their propensity to cry about prior workmanship, as demonstrated by the OP's relation of the conversation and his understanding thereof, in the hope of self enrichment by expanding jobs unnecessarily, Romex Roper representations have no value.

    When you have a wire end and want to find out the other end you Ohm it out (no power applied). An Ohm is a measurement of resistance but also can be a way to determine if a circuit is shorted or open without really knowing what value to look for. If you know the value of a component and checking it shows it has changed that may be the reason the circuit is not working correctly.
    Ohm is a NOUN, not a Verb, Nouns do NOT describe actions as referenced by the OP.
    I totally agree with a demo with the LED lighting, on site comparison will answer many question.
    ........

  5. #5
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    I see their spec sheet states "Incandescent Equivalent = 500 watts". I'd take that at face value and plan on 48 plus take the opportunity for better distribution.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    there has to be more than 24 lights in 100,000 square feet right? you must have to run headlights on the forklifts in there. I have 9 400 watt metal halides in 2000 square feet that Im replacing with leds https://www.superiorlighting.com/led...d-large-shops/ Im using the 180 watt ones doing a couple a month, they are supposed to be 24000 lumens each and they are just a little brighter I defiantly will not be putting less lights. Im thinking about using the 320 watt ones over the machine equipment.
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  7. #7
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    Agree with sandy about 48 led's and if they can be lowered without forklifts, etc hitting them then do so. I put 4500 lumen led's in my garage replacing CFL's. Boy, what a difference!!
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  8. #8
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    from what you say, the existing setup is 1 light every 20 metres or more, right?!

    I'd definitely be going with 48 off 60W LEDs.

  9. #9
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    Agree with sandy about 48 led's and if they can be lowered without forklifts, etc hitting them then do so. I put 4500 lumen led's in my garage replacing CFL's. Boy, what a difference!!
    Mike
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  10. #10
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    Use these http://www.satco.com/s29679.html and lower them where you can.

  11. #11
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    I am no expert but in my hobby shop, lowering the lights made a huuuuuuuge difference. Best we could do. We don't have forklifts of any kind, so as long as the lights are place not to be hit by the tallest vehicle (my van actually) + a tad more, is enough. On top of the machinery, you can lower them even more.

  12. #12
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    In my shop whenever one of my 400W metal halide bulbs / fixtures dies, I’ve been retrofitting it with 120 watt LED corn bulbs. They put out around 16K lumens each, and the light is great.

    My fixtures are low bay though (15’ installed height).

    In my instance, I buy the corn bulbs with the mogul base and remove the ballasts from the metal halide fixtures. They were originally wired at 240VAC single phase, but I included a neutral wire when I pulled the wiring so retrofitting to 120VAC is relatively easy.
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  13. #13
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    Mar 2015
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    What sort of tasks are going to be done in the building? You are describing enough lights for a 5,000 sq ft building. If its a warehouse with lights on the forklifts it might be ok. Its sure not enough to read a tape measure.

    Smart phones have downloadable apps that allow the phone to be used as a light meter. Find a building with sufficient lighting for the desired tasks and measure it. Me, if I'm going to do any decent work, I need at least 70 foot candles. 90+ for precision work.

    Go to about any lighting seller and use their on-line tools to design your lighting set-up. I bought my LED high bay lights and florescent lights from e-conolight. They have on-line design guides for all their lights.

    Thats a large building. Don't think you have to light the whole thing. Make a smaller area with sufficient lighting for the people and tasks. Leave the rest dark.

  14. #14
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    i agree with Virgil5. 'electricians' for the most part are idiots protected by a union. i have electricians work on alot of my jobs and have to be there to tell them how to do their job/ i equate electrician to the cable guy stapling wire all over your siding and drilling holes everywhere. your typical electrician is a guy that read the homedepot how to book and took a test. a friend of mine is an 01 journeyman electrician, good guy, but borderline retarded. he had to retake his entry test 14times and his journeyman test 4times. i wish i was joking. residential and commercial wiring are very simple concepts.

    its not difficult, or it shouldn't be difficult, for them to identify the wiring. in your case hiring a big electrical company you get the idiot thats cant think for themselves and make buigger problems. on any remodel or retrofit project i always go for a small electrical contractor with maybe one or two employees. the small companies have the get r done attitude and know-how to identify and trouble shoot and retrofit.


    regarding the actual lighting;
    good info has already been given. but i'll add that the best bang for the buck in led lighting is to pick the led lights you want and then match them to a DC driver. what i have done recently for my outdoor lighting is to buy cheap automotive type light bars and match them to a computer type power supply. the last light and driver i got off Amazon i paid $67 for 38000 lumens. that plus two other 10k lumen lights are literally night and day difference over the metal halide bulbs they replaced, lighting up the 50x100' pad in front of the shop.

    buuuut dont expect your typical 'electrician' to know how to do this. even though its very simple
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  15. #15
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    Mar 2013
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    You guys are making a total mess out of this.

    First, lumens is total light output. It makes no difference what the lumens a light has. If you put 100 000 lumens 30 ft away how bright is it going to be? No one knows cause it depends on many, many other things.

    What's interesting is the lux. Lux is light level or brightness if you will. How bright is the light where you are working - that's what is interesting.
    Lux is lumens per square meter (3.3x3.3ft). So to find out how many lux (brightness) you have you have to know what kind of light source, how the light source inside is mounted, what kind of reflector it has and how far away it is.
    Also, all the chinese manufacturers of light are lying through their teeth about their lumens. They are talking about the theoretical maximum amount of lumens a certain LED could emit. That is NOT what you will get in real life, far from it.
    Some commercial lighting actually shows how many lux you get with a certain light fixture.

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    How much lux you need depend on what you are doing in the area. A workshop isn't likely to need the same light level everywhere while something like a warehouse could.
    But you don't really need to test this because people have already figured that out.

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    Since most people working in a shop are practical people it's best to hang two or more light to see what it look like and how the light fixtures spread the light.
    If you want to be semi-scientific about you borrow or rent a light meter that can measure lux or foot-candle. Phone and apps are very inaccurate so avoid them.

    OSHA has recommendation on minimum light levels so you might want to check that. If an accident happens because it was to dark I guess the employer could be sued.

    The color and brightness of wall and floor have a huge impact because the light that isn't directly shining on your work surface gets reflected of something else and provides illumination indirectly.
    White reflects 95% of the light hitting it, while something really dark only reflects 5%. The difference is 5% versus 95% - that is roughly 20 to 1.
    In reality we could be taking the difference between dark gray and light gray, say 20% or 60%. That means you need 3 times brighter light in the dark gray environment to make it as bright as the light gray environment. That's the explanation of how much difference a new coat of paint makes to the overall brightness of the shop.

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    Finally, when you move the same light closer it will shine the same total amount of light but on a smaller area so it becomes brighter (more lux) but narrower beam (less coverage).
    This is called the inverse square law. If you make the distance half you will quadruple the brightness.
    So moving the light from 30ft to 15ft will make it 4 times brighter.

    If you can't hang the light lower maybe you could make a mobile rig on wheels, like a gantry, and hang the lights from them. Then if you are doing lot of work where you need to see what the hell you're doing you could wheel it over and plug it in. I guess it depends on how you work in the shop. But it's better to have more light where you need it and less light where you don't.

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    Last edited by Pete.S.; 12-12-2018 at 09:54 PM.

  16. #16
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    How much light or how many lights I need is determined by whether I can see to my satisfaction or not. That and shadows. A light source is no good if the light is blocked.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." -Theodore Roosevelt

  17. #17
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    Pete, that was an absolutely outstanding post about Lux versus lumens! Thanks much for sharing this information in a clear, easy to understand and concise manner.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Shop lighting selection

    Thanks a lot Pete, I have actually bookmarked this thread as a reference should I ever need it.

    Since my shopw is shared and money is tight, I have fixed 4 led lights (about 300W total) in a pole attached to my welding cart. I can tilt it, and move it up/down. Works great for that extra ilumination you need for detail work.

    Mikel

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