Q. Are there any guidelines about what kind and how many lights to put in your workshop? This guy has an 11×19 shop and wonders if one 4 ‘ light panel is enough.
Rob Johnstone: Sufficient lighting is as essential to good working as sharp tools. Natural light is best, particularly for finishing. Plenty of incandescent or flourescent light is fine. The guideline I would work with is this: seldom can you have too much light. Your shop lighting should come from many sources rather than a single source. I hate marking up a piece of wood and not being able to see the line I am drawing due to the shadow my combination square’s rule is throwing. Scott Landis’ The Workshop Book (Taunton Press), has an excellent section on lighting your shop.
Michael Dresdner: The short answer is no. For a much better, longer, and more complete answer, look in the new Setting up Shop book from Taunton Press by Sandor Nagyszalanczy. It contains a section on lighting the shop that covers amount, type, costs, color rendition, and many more issues well worth considering (though often ignored).
Ian Kirby: Can you see OK to work? Is it too dim or too bright? Yes there are guidelines, but at the end of the day you need to make sure you have enough light to work. One panel doesn’t sound like nearly enough to me.