Help- lighting a small shop- LED flat panels?
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  1. #1
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    Default Help- lighting a small shop- LED flat panels?

    Anyone have experience with the new LED troffers and flat panels? I am building a tiny shop (190sq ft) and need some lights. The ceiling is 9', and I was thinking some sort of flush lighting would work best. I don't want to be banging a hanging fixture, and the dust on top of them is a cleaning chore.

    The local box store has the Litonia troffer and flat panels, 2'x4'- comments?

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    I've installed a few and plan on more. They can put out a LOT of light. For a small space you might find a couple of 2' x 2' panels would cover it for general shop work. Depends on the shape of your 190 square feet.

    The most common type of panel is meant to drop into a suspended ceiling grid. These can have somewhat thicker power supplies at the back. There are others already made to install flush to the ceiling and still others with a frame kit to slide the panels into what is a sort of mounted picture frame. These allow a bit more freedom in getting wires from a ceiling box to the connection point on the panel.

    There are typically choices of color temperature from as little as 2800 K to maybe 6000K. Also possible differences in color rendering index - some bright ones aren't all that accurate for judging colors. I've been happiest around 4000K for shop and office areas and 2800K for living areas, but opinions will vary.

    If you also use this small space for computer viewing or a desk, I'd add a dimmer to the setup. Many of the panels require a 0-10v line, which means a special dimmer and an extra pair of lines to the box. Might as well add that since you're building new.

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    I' ve heard a few good thing about Titan LED: Home - Titan LED We are currently trying them out for our new addition. They are made in the USA using US made LEDs. A little expensive but virtually indestructible and do guarantee advertised lumens unlike Chinese ones sold in hardware stores. Also supposed to maintain consistent light output for much longer.

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    Sams club had a box of ten four footers on sale a while back. Bought it and installed them on the ceiling of the garage and Man is it bright.

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    When planning the lighting scheme, think about head shadows. Flush overhead lights often sent light only down, so your head shadow is always in exactly the wrong place. In my office, I have four globe fixtures hanging from the ceiling (high enough that my head is safe), and this largely eliminates the shadows. In the shop, critical areas have multiple ceiling fluorescent fixtures such that there is always sufficient side light to fill the shadows. Plus task lights on the machines.


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