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Mike Lindsey

Lighting The Work Area.

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I can't count how many different types of lights I've hung over, mounted to or placed around my work bench. They either burned out, blew out, got in the way or produced light that was useless for modeling. Anybody have an artificial lighting solution that won't break the bank, will last, stay out of the way and produce results so that when I go outside in the sunlight I dont find missed areas and wrong colors?

 

Mike

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I bought a 3ft twin-flourecent light fixture and hung it above the bench. It's plugged into a nearby ceiling light socket by means of an extension cord w/adapter. I've had it up for the 9yrs in this house and have yet to have to replace either light tube. You can get these fixtures at most any hardware store and they're not expensive. Hanging them can be a hassle...(I used a short length of chain I had).

 

For close-up work on the bench I can't recommend too strongly a light/lamp (with extending flex arm) with a magnifyer. Just pick one with a light bulb housing large enough to take one of the smaller screw-in flourecent bulbs. They save energy, give a lot of light, and most importantly, don't give off heat! That's important as you'll have plastic parts in close proximity to that bulb as you work under the magnifyer.

 

If you have a Harbor Freight tool supply place near you; start looking for lighting items there! You can find some unbelievable bargains on those and a lot of other nifty bench/tool items! Best of luck!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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All I use is a double 15w florescent fixture (18" long???) and a single 13w Compact Florescent fixture over my work bench. It's all I need.

 

I have 3 - 15w tube fixtures mounted in my spray booth.

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I have a 3-bulb ceiling fan, a stand-up single bulb lamp, and another clamped to the bench -- all with Ott-light equivalents -- and I have an Ott-light ... I also have a window & a half that get some decent daylight. I rarely model at night ... I also wear clip-on +4 magnifiers ...

 

I can never have too much light and what I have seems to be pretty good for colors, etc. I spent money an effort to keep my eyesight from getting worse ... It's a wonderful hobby but not at the cost of my eyes.

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I have tons of light and seem to alwyas need more. Old eyes. I do have an Ott light and like the light it puts out.

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Looks like the OTT light might be just the ticket. Now where's paper and a pencil. . . Dear Santa. . .

 

Mike

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Okay, I lied about waiting for Santa. Got myself a nice OTT-Lite last night. 18W with the optional stand or bench mount. Wow! What a difference. Now I can turn off a bunch of my other lights, have better lighting and I noticed right away that the eye strain got much better. Although it's large it has multiple bend capabilities so you can get the light right where you want it. I'm a believer! Thanks again to you guys that suggested it.

 

Mike

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I bought a 3ft twin-flourecent light fixture and hung it above the bench. It's plugged into a nearby ceiling light socket by means of an extension cord w/adapter. I've had it up for the 9yrs in this house and have yet to have to replace either light tube. You can get these fixtures at most any hardware store and they're not expensive. Hanging them can be a hassle...(I used a short length of chain I had).

 

For close-up work on the bench I can't recommend too strongly a light/lamp (with extending flex arm) with a magnifyer. Just pick one with a light bulb housing large enough to take one of the smaller screw-in flourecent bulbs. They save energy, give a lot of light, and most importantly, don't give off heat! That's important as you'll have plastic parts in close proximity to that bulb as you work under the magnifyer.

 

If you have a Harbor Freight tool supply place near you; start looking for lighting items there! You can find some unbelievable bargains on those and a lot of other nifty bench/tool items! Best of luck!

 

GIL :smiley16:

 

Before I remodeled the office, I used a standard four foot double tube shop light I bought at Wal Mart for around $20.00. It used standard length 4' florescent bulbs (the cheapest there is) and I never had to replace them in the 10 plus years it hung there. Like Gil, I just plugged it into the wall outlet. I installed it in less than 15 minutes. Great for general lighting. The lower you hang it above your work, the brighter the light (duh).

 

You can get a magnifier light for cheap too for close up work that will swivel out of the way when not needed.

 

Gil's right about Harbor Freight. GOOOOOOD deals there.

 

I had a permanent two bulb energy efficient fixture (the ones with the brown, thin bulbs) installed above my work bench during the remodel so all the fixtures now match.

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I may never know why but in a year I've gone through 5 48" $20.00 Walmart type lights. Think I got a couple at Walmart, a couple at Ace Hardware and one at Lowes. The bulbs have never burned out. They just stop working. Sometimes 2-3 days later they would work again for a couple of weeks, then quit again. VERY frustrating. Maybe my work bench is sitting on an Indian Burial Ground or something. I'm hoping the OTT light has put that behind me.

 

Mike

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I had a problem with future yellowing. I heard that flourescent light s could be the cause. The model sat under a flourescent light all the time. Ever heard that? :smiley24:

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I may never know why but in a year I've gone through 5 48" $20.00 Walmart type lights. Think I got a couple at Walmart, a couple at Ace Hardware and one at Lowes. The bulbs have never burned out. They just stop working. Sometimes 2-3 days later they would work again for a couple of weeks, then quit again. VERY frustrating. Maybe my work bench is sitting on an Indian Burial Ground or something. I'm hoping the OTT light has put that behind me.

 

Mike

 

Forgive me for wandering from the subject a bit. First, let me say up front this isn't intended to be a political statement of any kind. So nobody get your panties in a bunch. It's merely an observation by a qualified professional in the business.

 

I have a relative that is a licensed electrician and he added a number of new, energy efficient florescent fixtures in my office when I remodeled not three years ago. I have already had to replace the ballast in two of them while the two fixtures in my print room are the good ol' 4' ones (I put them where the public couldn't see them rather than spend money on new ones) I have had for over twenty years. To this day they have always worked reliably and I have yet to even replace the bulbs. I'm talkin running 8 to 14 hours a day.

 

After replacing the ballasts, I mentioned how long I have had the fixtures in my print room to him. He told me ever since the fixtures and bulbs have been manufactured over seas (most are now) the quality control and reliability has gone into the toilet (poor quality parts) to keep the price down. He spends a LOT more time replacing and repairing fixtures now compared to just ten years ago.

 

FWIW.

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Guest Chrgr440RT

One thing y'all need to remember is that flourescent lights don't give you an accurate portrayal of colors. The bright lights washes them out and they will look completely different than under incandescent bulbs. Flourescents definitely provide the ebst working light for assembly and other construction related tasks. The best way to do it is to have a regular blub lamp on the desk to work under with painting and mixing colors. That way when your model is displayed it will be more accurate and you won't get a nasty surprise when your NATO camoflagued tank looks like the Ronald McDonald mobile.

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One thing y'all need to remember is that flourescent lights don't give you an accurate portrayal of colors. The bright lights washes them out and they will look completely different than under incandescent bulbs. Flourescents definitely provide the ebst working light for assembly and other construction related tasks. The best way to do it is to have a regular blub lamp on the desk to work under with painting and mixing colors. That way when your model is displayed it will be more accurate and you won't get a nasty surprise when your NATO camoflagued tank looks like the Ronald McDonald mobile.

 

Also, paint under the same light you're going to display under. Once you have a standard you have to stay with it. For example, you can find flourescents that duplicate the Kelvin temperature of incandescents be they daylight, softwhite or whatever. Don't ever try and improve on the foot candle levels you'll find outside in bright daylight -- it's easier to lighten you paints to conform! For further study I'd suggest browsing in: http://www.gelighting.com/na/business_ligh...rn_about_light/

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My shop has flourescent lighting and I have two office type swing arm lights on my bench. They run about $10 apiece and seem to do the job. Had a flourescent swing arm with magnifier and really didn't like it. Lost my depth preception. It finally broke off where the clamp fits into the light. Now, I use an opti-visor for magnification.

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I use a 60W equivalent screw in florescent in the 6500K temperature range. It produces a very white light. They also make tubes in this temperature and I know from work that the old, yellow lighting turned our beige hanging file cabinets a puky green. :smiley11:

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I have a regular florescent light attached to the shelves centered over the workbench with a swingarm incandescent on either side of the bench. The florescent fills the blue range and the incandescents fill the red and yellows. The colors look good to me plus I get no shadowing and I don't have to move the lights around when I'm working.

 

Steve

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Well I am late to the party as usual, but on my bench, I have one of the OTT lights and love it. I have a few "normal" bulbs in a lamp next to the bench, but rely on the OTT light for most of the work I do. It sits on the bench, and I just flip it open when I am working - even if I don't have the other light on.

When I get around to building a dedicated work space/bench in the house, I will probably have a combination of florescent bulbs, with some standard bulbs, but will stick with the OTT for my detail work.

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I agree, Tim, the Ott-lite is da bomb. I also use it for lighting in-progress shots. It puts off plenty of daylight-balanced light...enough for decent photography.

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I use an old military or office style, 36” x 60” metal desk. Large work surface and drawers built in. I have two goose neck lamps (one on each side) and a lighted magnifying light in the center.

I mount wooded bases for the lamps to the desk and I get plenty of light and no shadows. With the normal overhead room light, this works well for me.

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I have to post pics of my lighting system. It's tough to describe.

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Man Cave is lit by two 75 watt Florescent blubs and the table is lit by one 75 watt florescent in a slinky mount!

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Good choices everyone!! The Ott light is a winner!! And I woiuld a to stay away from Halogen lights.They put out way too much heat. I melted a model once, an won't be doing that again, any time soon!!

 

Doug

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