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Hey everyone. I’m looking for your opinions and knowledge. I have a workbench set up in my basement where I do 100% of my railroad work. I am discovering as my skills begin to improve that the area is not lit well for painting. I have brought a couple of projects up from the dungeon that I felt were complete only to find coloration to be off and mismatched. The area is bright enough to do work but I’m either having shadow or wavelength issues. How do you light your work areas when natural light is not an option?

Robert
 

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I find flourescent lights, while economical and good for over all light, to be uncomfortable to my eyes for close up work. I prefer the mellower light of incandescent bulbs for that use. There are some that emulate natural sunlight in color. Most portable clamp on lights are limited to about 75 - 100 watts which is also inadequate in my estimation unless they're so close as to be in the way.

I found some very nice portable lamps that are used for chick brooders and can take up to a 250 watt bulb and don't cost much more than regular lamps. I use 150 watt in mine and can get plenty of light without having it right on top of me. They have the same metallic shades as the regular clamp on lights so the light can be directed where needed. Brood lamps should be available where feed, etc., is sold as well as some hardware stores which is where I got mine.

The lamps I have don't have clamps but have loops that allow them to be hung with a chain from above or onto a homemade wooden stand. By installing two at different angles you can eliminate shadows pretty well.
 

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After all these years, I finally installed a track light over my main work area so i don't have shadows. I also use those cooler new type bulbs that take some getting used to.
where I paint ,I use regluar 100 watt bulbs with metal shelds so I don't have them shining in my eyes.
You have a good question that does not come up much.
 

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Over my work bench I have two 4 FT long florescent lights two tubes in each fixture.

But I still have a Magnifying glass on a scissors arm with a energy bulb in it because No matter what I do Some Jackass has his fat head in the light.

For painting what about one of those 300 WATT egg frying Hair singing lights from Home Depot for around 9 to 12 bucks.

Or will that effect the color you see.
 

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Fluorescent lights will screw up the colors more than any other type of artificial light. I'd recommend a mix of lamps of plain incandescent, cool white incandescent, and both blueish and reddish fluorescents, to get as broad a range of light frequencies as possible. "Sun-Guns" as used for making movies would be good, too.

But you want to keep the infrared component down or you will heat up what you are illuminating and that could be detrimental to the paint you are applying. You don't want to "bake" it until you are done painting.
 

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I have the 4ft florescent lights over my work bench, and use the bulb florescent 100 watt in a standard drafting lamp (the one that moves) for close up work. For paining I use the same, keeping in mind that the color will look different in sunlight. However, I rarely do anything that needs to be matched critically and when I do, I bring a sample of the paint I'm matching into the same light with me and then after careful consideration I paint. I'd love to have a fancy lighting arrangement, for painting, but just can't afford it right now so I make due :)
 

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I use the "Reveal" brand of full-spectrum lights. I think they're from GE. I get the 100 watt versions, and have two swing-arm lamps over my primary work area, and one each over my saws and drill press area. I've got a single florescent fixture for general lighting, and then my photo lights (also 100 watt Reveal bulbs) on my photo bench which add additional light when they're turned on. For general modeling, I don't need to turn them on, but I like to for painting just so I can see where I've missed.

Later,

K
 

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Robert,

My Dad ran a clothing store, the old fluorescent lights gave them fits on color.. They then came out with fluorescents in the 5600 degree Kelvin range.. This is the same as sun lite.. Install these & you should not have any problems with color..

BulletBob

P.S. They are expensive!!
 

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Good Afternoon,


I like high lumen t-8 fluorescents like a 31032865 HL 6500k, to cut down on the shadows use multiple runs and paint the celling white. If you want even more light the T-5 high output in the high kelvin are nice but expensive. 


Phillip 
 

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What a timely topic. I just finished completely emptying out the garage and patching the cement walls and floors. I have one coat of concrete seal on both, a second will be done today. Then I can paint the walls, lay (industrial) carpet on the floor, and build my workbench and table (and lots of storage).

My friend at the hardware store recommended "daylight" florescent bulbs in either/both tube and screw-in variety. Not sure of the kelvins, but these aren't the super expensive bulbs. I plan on getting one of the screw-in type and experimenting with the color vs. real daylight. But this topic has me thinking I really only need to focus on the color of the lighting at the desk where my paint box will be.


It's going to be so nice to have a real shop!

Greg Coit

Arcata, CA
 

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A well set up workshop is a pleasure to work in. As Marc Horovitz said in the October 2003 issue of Garden Railways, “It is deep within the inner sanctums of the workshop that the creative juices flow and the magic is done.”[/b]

When I sold my second car, my woodworking tools were moved from the basement to the empty bay in the garage. As the tool stands are all on casters, when the truck is backed out I have a 20 x 20 workshop to spread them around in. If it’s a nice day, the two doors are opened to fresh air and sunshine. When the work is done, a leaf blower is used to clean the machines and blow the sawdust out the doors.

The space in the basement left by the power tools was then converted to my train workshop using government surplus furniture.



The overhead lights are fluorescent tube fixtures. My large work table on the left has been fitted with a telescoping light and lighted magnifier. Each has a crystal clear bulb installed.

Now that there are more models of CNR equipment than I can justify buying, I dismantled my large scale spray booth. Any small jobs that need spray painting are now done outside or in the garage.
 

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Robert,

I bought two of the Ott lights to hang over my bench they are supposed to have the right color "temperature". Like some others that have posted, I also have supplemental lights to minimize shadows. Florescent bulbs come in a variety of of colors from warm to cool. They are a lot more expensive than the standard florescent bulbs but can match daylight or other lighting environments more closely if you want.

I recently bought a cheap pair of working closeup glasses for when I am modeling at the bench. When I told my optometrist what I was going to use them for she told me to make sure I had a lot of light. I believe she said that as we age we need as much as seven times more light than we do when we are young. That probably explains why kids can read in low light conditions.

Mike
 

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Yes we do need more light as we mature.

I read magazines in the car while waiting for the boss. Not a problem on a bright summer day, but impossible on a rainy day or during the winter. It is unfortunate that magazine publishers use such small and fine fonts for their articles. You don’t see those tiny fonts in the ads.

I bet the Garden Railways survey found that 90% or more of its readers are greater than half a century old. But they insist on making their magazine illegible for most of us on all but the brightest of days.

Here is a news flash for them; people don’t waste nice sunny days reading! That’s for rainy or long winter days.
 

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Paul is right
Us Mature citizens need more light
I have two floresent "trouble lights" mounted to a heavy base that I can move where needed.

We have way more suny days here in AZ than rainy days. I keep GR in the car and read it during lunch while waiting for my order.

I also have Books on CD to listen to when working in the shop and lots of Music.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well this topic has generated some interesting ideas. Thank you to everyone for all the great information.

Robert
 
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