Conventional lighting always irritates me because it costs too much to buy, too much to operate and delivers too little usable light where I need it. The installation of a new overhead door with no “lights” in it forced me to install more lighting in that end of the shop. But I was adamantly against using either conventional fluorescent lamps or incandescent ones.
Instead I built the lamp that had been floating about in the back of my mind for some time. This isn’t the ultimate in lighting solutions, but a good intermediary step (in my own opinion).
I bought a cheap full length mirror and cut it up to make the reflector for my lamp fixture. White reflectors give off only half the light they receive. Mirrors, on the other hand reflect much more light. The light source is two daylight type CFLs placed back to back.
The fixture easily rivals the light given off by the two-tube, four foot fixture above my tablesaw. I also built a single lamp fixture which now is the main light source above the saw. I’m going green!
The image file attached is a photo rendering of my SketchUp model of the lamp.
-Don Butler, Waterford, PA
Edit: Mr. Butler has been kind enough to pass along the Sketch-Up plans he used to make the shop lights, which you can find here! Many thanks to Don!