Re: construction bench lighting


From: L. B. Cebik (
Date: Sun Aug 18 1996 - 06:47:56 EDT

I have followed the questions on fluorescent vs. incandescent magnifier
lamps and other lighting questions with some interest. Here are some
additional notes, some gleaned from the "Better Light, Better Sight
Institute, some extracted from experience.

The more diffused (shadowless) lighting on the bench, the better (assuming
we do not mean photoflood levels. A magnifier lamp is great, but
becareful of large transitions of light level from the illuminated area to
the generally lit area: they cause fatigue as the eyes adjust to
accommodate them. I sometimes use a magnifier, sometimes a magnifier
lamp, depending on the job. The work area is lit by two lamps with 200
watt (sometimes 170 watt) reader bulbs in lamps with diffusers to disperse
shaddows, one on either side of the main work area. Although that is a
lot of power company AC, I believe it is false economy to trade the power
for eye strain. The lamps illuminate both the work and the tool/test
equipment area and simply make the work area somewhat brighter than
adjacent areas as the two lighting areas add. Then either a fluorescent
or incandescent magnifier adds more light as needed, but without depending
on it for virtually all the lighting. All lamps are positioned so that I
never look directly into any of them, which saves time recovering from a
big glare spot that obscures small parts for 10 minutes at a time.
diffusers really help, spreading soft, virtually shaddowless light in high
quantities. So please look at your whole work area and ensure good
illumination of the right kind; then add the magnifier lamp. I used to
think my BLBS certified lamps got in the way on the bench until I tried
working without them.



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