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Optimizing the Lighting in Your Workshop

Lighting is something that you should always keep in mind when you are planning out the arrangement of tools in your shop. If the workspaces and machines do not have proper lighting, shadows will come across the work area, which can impact the quality of the finished product and the safety of the operator.


You should rely on overhead lighting for most of the lighting in the workshop. There are many options for overhead lighting, including fluorescent, incandescent, or even metal halide lights if the ceiling is high. The light fixtures should be evenly spread throughout the shop in order to provide consistent lighting throughout the area. Personal preference may play a role in your choice, but each lighting type has its advantages and disadvantages.


Over the shop tool and workbenches, it often is a good idea to add either recessed flood or spot lights to get a better view of your work. The better the work area is lighted, the better the chance is that you will be happy with your final projects. When you place these extra lights over the work areas, make sure to position them so that you won’t cast shadows over your work when you lean over it.


Many tools come with a built in spot light. If your tools don’t, many companies sell aftermarket lighting that can be attached to the tool. However, these should not be relied upon for anything more than supplemental lighting. By themselves, they won’t provide an ample amount of lighting.


Another simple thing that you can do to make the lighting more optimized in the shop is to paint the ceiling and walls white. This will not only reflect the light, but it will make all the lighting appear to be brighter. Light will be more fully diffused through the shop.


These minor and relatively inexpensive changes will go a long way toward making your woodworking time more enjoyable. Here at, we would be proud to put our 30+ years of experience to work for you in making your shop into something to be proud of. As always, you are the most important part of our remodeling team.


Gary Harris



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