Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Workspace Lighting

Three of the eight foot ceiling fluorescent bulbs high up on the studio ceiling recently went out.  I noticed that several other bulbs had black ends and were showing age.  Only a couple had been replaced in the last 17 years.  I called my electrician and he came out and recommended replacing all the old bulbs and the one ballast which had failed.  It’s a lot brighter now.

The overhead lighting is indispensable but addition lighting is needed at each workstation.  I used standard hanging 4’ shop lights where I could and a couple of 500 watt halogen portable work lights with tempered glass lens and metal safety grill.
It didn’t take long for most of the halogens to fail.  Maybe they naturally have a short lifespan naturally but it seemed to me that the ends of the bulbs shorted out from airborne conductive dust particles which accumulated around the contacts or maybe just corrosive fumes from the forge.  The replacement bulbs sometimes didn’t work because the contact area had been damaged by the short.  

I have abandoned halogen lamps in favor of clamp flood lights which are less expensive, not so hot and not temperamental. I use them mostly for the bench grinder and belt sander work stations.  They are set up so the light must be turned on before the tool is turned on.

Inexpensive clamp reflector flood lamp.

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I don't often check for blog comments, so the best way to contact me is directly: at ottercreeksmith@gmail.com or djedwards@cableone.net