Blog Post

Today I’m going to be adding some real light to my shop. I’ve been working with just a couple florescent tubes and it’s not cutting it.

My shop is getting to be pretty functional but I’ve been lacking enough light. I’m currently working with just the two florescent tubes, and while it seems bright, my cameras are doing some heavy lifting to create the illusion.

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With modern cameras, low light shots can be improved by raising the ISO. The drawback is that eventually the footage becomes grainy.

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I found some LED shop lights at a great price that can be daisy chained together.

This project is not the final installation, just an experiment to see where I want the lights to be, and how many I actually need.

I found the joists above and drilled out a pilot hole.

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To hang the lights, I needed some hooks, and for that I went to the bins.

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I dug through for a few of the same length hooks that were strong enough to hold the lights.

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I screwed the hook in place, through the drywall and into the solid wood above.

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I did the same thing 4 feet away.

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The lights came with these 6-inch hanger cables. I looped them over the hooks and attached the light.

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Cable management consisted of tacking the wires to the drywall so they wouldn’t hang in my way. Again, this isn’t permanent, just a test.

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I plugged the light in and it came right on.

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Now that the first one was up, I basically repeated the process for the second light.

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This is where I realized I daisy chained them in the wrong direction.

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I pulled them both off and flipped them around. That left the spare plug over on this side where the other two lights would go.

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Since most of what I do revolves around the workbench and the table saw area, I decided to put the other two lights right above the saw and outfeed table. The process is the same: Find the joist, pre-drill, screw in the hook, and hang the lights.

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I actually put this light a little too far away, so I moved it back so I could tack the cable to the ceiling.

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As I was working on this last light, I realized it might be in the way of the garage door. I raised the door and saw that everything was fine. I still had a couple inches of clearance. I finished hanging the light and it was time for a test.

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I couldn’t believe what a huge difference these four lights made. Amazing.

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I adjusted my camera settings to keep the ISO manual in order to show how much of a difference there is. This first shot is with the lights off, and now on!

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I raised the ISO to accommodate the new lighting condition, and then turned them off! RIGHT?! On my camera, the pre-light shot was filmed at 2000 ISO, and with the lights on, 320.

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