25 - Special Table Saw Issue, страница 22

25 - Special Table Saw Issue, страница 22

There's nothing more frustrating than working in a dimly lit shop. Layout lines disappear in the shadow of a straightedge. And even if you do get an accurate layout, it's difficult to cut to a line. Not to mention that a poorly lit shop can be downright dangerous as well.

A. Natural Light.

To take advantage of natural light, orient your bench or work surface so the sun slants across it at an angle.

B. Area Lighting.

Fluorescent shop lights are an inexpensive way to illuminate large areas of the shop.

C. Task Lighting.

When doing close-up work, individual "task" lights highlight small details that are difficult to see.

Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to shed more light in your shop. This can improve the quality of your work and make the shop safer as well.

paint. One thing that can help eliminate shadows is to paint the walls, ceiling, and pegboard a light color. This way, the light bounces off these surfaces instead of being absorbed by dark (or natural) colors.

Even so, you may still need additional lighting. To cover a range of situations, it's best to incorporate three types of lighting: natural light from a door or window, general area lighting, and lighting for specific tasks.


Besides giving the shop a comfortable 'feel," natural sunlight pro

vides a true color. So it's ideal when mixing stains or testing the look of a finish.

But even sunlight has its drawbacks. If it shines directly on your work, the glare obscures details instead of highlighting them. To prevent this, just orient your work surface differently, see photo A.


While natural light is nice, it's only part of the solution. Especially if your shop is in a basement or garage. To brighten up these areas, you'll need to use either incandescent or fluorescent light fixtures.

incandescent. Ordinary incandescent light bulbs are one of the most common ways to do this. But they produce more heat than light. So you can end up with some hefty electric bills. And the harsh shadows they cast often create a "blind spot." (For alter-

Alternative Bulbs

compact. To reduce the amount of energy used, install a "compact" fluorescent bulb in an existing light fixture. Although it only uses 30 watts, this circular bulb produces the same amount of light as a 150 watt bulb.

halogen. This halogen bulb produces about 10% more light than a standard incandescent bulb. And you get a brighter (white) light.

Editor's Note: Both of these bulbs are available at most home centers.



No. 25

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