Thoughts About Hobby Room Lighting

As I settle into my new workshop, I’ve been fine-tuning the lighting. I don’t want to sacrifice valuable bench top space to task lights, so I installed a pair of ceiling mounted light fixtures, each fitting three lightbulbs. While rewiring the shop I took care to position the new fixtures where they’d do the most good, casting light where needed, without creating shadows.

I used six daylight balanced 60 watt incandescent bulbs to start with. They produced nice light, but, in my small space, gave off way, way too much heat. The plan always was to install more efficient LED bulbs (I intend to convert all our household lighting to LEDs over the coming months}, so I bought several Cree 11w bulbs.

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I already have about twenty Cree bulbs throughout the house, but this last batch are a newer design. The older version was more efficient, only using 9 watts of energy, but they’re no longer available. This new design is supposed to work better with a dimmer switch, which I intend to use.

On my next visit to Home Depot, I may pick up some 18w daylight Cree LEDs, which are equivalent to 100w incandescents. My thinking is I’ll mix and match 11 and 18w bulbs until I get the perfect light level. It’ll be okay if it’s too bright, because I can dial that back with the dimmer switch. I can have higher light levels for photo and video work, and back it down when I’m just working at the bench.

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