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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to build a 40x60 with 15' covered parking on one side and 12' covered horse stalls on the other. 3 roll up doors and a walk through.

I'm struggling making the last few details:

How many lights? Google says I need 70L sq.ft comes out to ~ 60 2 bulb fixtures. Just seems like a lot. In my mind I'll have three or 4 on one circuit to flip on to navigate in the dark. Then north end one on and south on a third circuit.

How many outlets?
I'm thinking a double outlet every 10' and run them 4' high. Then I'll put an extra box on each work area.

How much insulation? Buddy does spray in says I only need 1" closed cell for non AC building. Seems thin.





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I think you are right to think about what kind of lighting and how much you need for different areas of your shop. The idea of just flooding the whole space with lots of uniform light doesn't make sense. That said, it would also be prudent to add an occasional junction box with an extra slack of wire in order to add fixtures as you change what you need.
 

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How much insulation? Buddy does spray in says I only need 1" closed cell for non AC building. Seems thin.
The only purpose for spraying closed-cell insulation is to stop air flow. 1" will do that. By eliminating air flow you've taken care of 95% of the problem and it will eliminate condensation.

They normally only recommend 2" of closed-cell for heated/conditioned residences. If you want additional insulating properties beyond that, do 1" of closed-cell and then add a couple inches of open-cell. Open-cell foam is usually cheaper than closed-cell.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In the Texas heat, would I benefit from 1" closed everywhere then an additional open cell on the roof?

Or is heat from sun getting in regardless?


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I think we need more information to help you out.

How tall will the sidewalls be? I assume this will be a metal building. If so, are you going to add translucent siding panels along the eaves to let in filtered daylight?

What will the shop be used for? Auto? Metal work? Wood work? A little bit of everything?

How much electrical power do you intend to bring to the shop?

Will the inside walls have some sort of finish on them? Metal panels? White painted plywood and/or OSB? Drywall painted white? What about the ceiling?

Will you add heat and/or AC as you get older?

I like the idea of closed cell spray foam to seal up air and water infiltration points, and then switch to something else. Insulation is your friend when it comes to comfort and saving energy. Insulate now while it's easy to do.

When I had a wetdream for a shop the same size as the one you are planning; I was going to add a single highbay light in each 20'x20' bay, and use task lighting for everything else. One can get LED highbay lights now instead of the old school stuff.
 

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You'll lose a lot of light with an open ceiling. The amount of illumination I gained when I put white tin on my garage ceiling was impressive, and I didn't increase the number of fixtures at all.

I'd designate some area for working space, and put a ceiling over it. I think your outlets idea is pretty good, but will add to go with 12ga wire and make them 20A circuits. The only 15A circuits in my shop are for lighting.
 

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When/if I build I would put in 'general lighting' on probably 2 or 3 difference switches/circuits, so you can light the inside, add more with your second switch, and the nice and bright with switch #3. Then specific additional lights in my 'work areas'.
Just my thoughts . . . :unknown:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Shop is general use.

15' walls

I'm not painting or bringing in a false ceiling.

I'm not wanting translucent panels as I don't want the heat that comes with them.

I'm thinking 60 is a ridiculous amount of fixtures. I'm thinking 20 + one extra in each work area.

I'm suprized there is not more information.


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15' walls are good as that gives you room for a car lift, and to handle long items.

I doubt the translucent panels will add much if any heat to the building. If anything, the sun beating down on the metal skin will heat up the place.

If you can use as much white on the walls and ceiling; you won't need as many lights to illuminate the space.
 

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Don't read any hostility into this post. I'm trying to help you.


Light waves are finite and diminish over distance. You can remove the distance, you can add more intensity, or you can deal with being in the dark.

You categorically refuse to add a ceiling panel, claim the proposed fixture requirements are too high, and how many lighting installations have you done?

By using a ceiling, you're creating a bounce card (something used all the time in film and television - where they need lots of light), which reduces the light lost to diffraction to areas you have no need to light and sends it to areas where you do. Painting the inside of the roof white is a better option than leaving it wood or some non-reflective color or surface, but you still have the area losing lumens due to absorption/diffraction/distance. Everything that bounces off your floor and walls is going to be bounced around in the attic space before being sent back down. Eliminating that space and adding a bright reflective surface is going to pay dividends.

Cost for the tin on my 20x24' garage ceiling was $200 and took a few hours to add in some furrow strips to attach it to without reducing the ceiling height due to my roof's framing (it's hand framed, not trussed). That was money well spent! Paint wouldn't have been much cheaper and would've taken longer to apply.

FL tubes also lose some of their output over time, so you will have a falling off of your lumens as the years go by. You'll either need to increase the number of fixtures or keep rotating bulbs to maintain your desired light intensity when that happens. You'll also end up with dust on the diffusers and that too will cut down on the lights output.

Lowering the lights from the high ceiling will reduce the number of fixtures needed at the floor. Having high bay lighting and an open rafter ceiling, you might be better off with metal halide fixtures - they don't come cheap though.
 

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Do your homework some lights are expensive to run. Both open (much more so) and closed icenyene foam are flamable and are required to be covered by a noncombustible barrier, drywall will do.Main reason, the off gas during fires is very toxic to firefighters. Closed is about R 7.2 and open about R3.5. I have used a lot of foam in my work and it also is quite expensive good luck with your plans.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm asking how to calculate light needed.

I don't want a drop ceiling as I plan on that space for storage.
I don't want to paint the walls as they will be covered by shelving.




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I'm asking how to calculate light needed.

I don't want a drop ceiling as I plan on that space for storage.
I don't want to paint the walls as they will be covered by shelving.




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Ok, my barn is about 25' by 52' give or take. The barn has a total of 3 -2 bulb fixtures, plus one in the tack room. For your size, I personally would put one on each corner and one dead center. If you need more over work areas, get small 2' fixtures to put above work benches.

As far as insulation, NEVER use fiber glass insulation. The sparrows will pull it all out and make an unbelievable mess. How hot do you want the building? Could you just get some of that foil/silicone bubble stuff?
 

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I'm asking how to calculate light needed.

I don't want a drop ceiling as I plan on that space for storage.
I don't want to paint the walls as they will be covered by shelving.




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The only way to calculate correctly is to get a light meter and walk around inside the building and test various lights to see how much light actually lands on your different surfaces.

There is no "formula" for this. Everything is relevant - light mounting heights, bulb output, type of bulb, type of fixture, bulb temperature, ceiling color, wall colors, floor colors, etc...
 

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I have only a 30x40 however I put an outlet on every post 8 foot apart all the way around the barn. Im here to say there has been times I've used them all for the convenience of what I am doing. As for the lights, I have put up 17 fixtures that are 4 bulb / 4 footers... I have great light all the way around the room no dark spots or shadows anywhere. Lighting will get expensive in a hurry. I was lucky to find my fixtures on craigslist for $5 a fixture. They were taken down from local hospital for a lighting upgrade they were doing. I really lucked out, and hope you do as well Good luck.
 

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Not calculated wats yet, but this is 5 rows of 3, each fixture is 4 t8's. Center is ~16' off the ground.

Plenty of working light. I'll add more over work bench.


View attachment 66410


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That thing is waaaayyyyy to clean. Go throw some sawdust on the floor! :laugh:

It is a good looking room though! Wish I had one... *kicks dirt*
 

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Few things I haven't ever heard with a shop.

-I built it too big.
-I put too much insulation in it.
-I put too many plug-ins in it
-I put too many lights in it

Some things will add to cost but not doing it costs more in the long run with some items. Run the wires for the lights but don't put the lights in right away to save cost. Put LED in as that is a lot of watts (which-fyi I have close to 70 fixtures in my shop of almost equal size).

Some depends on the work you will do and where you do it. Over a bench it is nice to have more light. If you never have a large project in the middle of the floor but everything is on the bench-then that is where I would focus my lights at. Where ever you will do 90% of the work focus your lighting there. Storage you need enough light to be able to walk safely. You can use portable lights for the 10% of the time you need light where you didn't put it.
 
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