Shopping Guide: How to Find the Best Interior Shop Lights in 2020
Without a doubt:
Lighting plays an important part in the daily running of any business – especially retail shops that see a lot of clients per day.
It not only guarantees you security and safety but also ensures that your customers have a great shopping experience whenever they go into your shop.
Contrary to popular beliefs, choosing good shop lighting systems is never that easy.
There are so many considerations to be made; depending on the type of business as well as the target group.
It’s not impossible.
If you are looking for a fool-proof solution to your shop’s lighting system, this post is for you.
Here, we’ll talk about things like:
- What is a shop light?
- Why LEDs are your best bet?
- How to calculate your lumen needs?
- How to properly plan your shop’s lighting?
- As well as, how to install LED shop lights?
Table of Contents
And so much more…
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy your reading.
Chapter 1: What Are Shop Lights?
From the name itself, it’s quite easy to tell what these fixtures do (or are used for).
A Shop light is a lighting fixture used to light up business premises like supermarkets, boutiques, shopping stalls, exhibition rooms, hardware stores, workshops, garages, and so much more.
Shop lights are fixtures used in high-traffic businesses or spaces that require ample lighting for work to proceed flawlessly.
Therefore, if your business sees many customers come in to buy things on a daily basis or your work is delicate and requires ample lighting, you definitely need to invest in high-quality fixtures.
There are so many types of shop lights available.
However, LED light for shop areas remains the best option for anyone looking for an efficient, reliable, and durable lighting solution.
You might be wondering; why are shop lights important?
If so, this next bit is for you…
Benefits of Shop Lights
- Better Visibility
Whether it’s a workshop or a retail store, visibility is always paramount.
You want to see what you are doing, right?
Also, you want your clients to have an easy time finding what they came for, don’t you?
If so, then better visibility from a quality shop light will come in handy.
It goes without saying:
Safety is always a critical factor to consider when setting up a shop.
The last thing you want is to chop your finger off due to bad lighting; or for a client to stumble onto items in your store because of poor visibility.
Trust me, that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen; so, good, bright lighting is essential for safety.
- Aesthetic Appeal
Aside from safety and visibility, another thing that proper lighting will do is improve your shop’s aesthetics.
Take it from someone with experience running a busy shop, aesthetics matter.
Plus, how your shop looks says a lot about you. So, ensure that your lighting systems represent you and your business properly.
A well-lit shop is always welcoming and offers a sense of safety, thus, making it more attractive.
Did you know that lighting contributes to the amount of comfort your customers get when they walk into your shop?
If not, now you know…
Proper shop lighting reduces eye strain and is more convenient for you and your clients because it will be easy to move around and find things.
Shop lights will determine how secure your shop and products are from theft, vandalism, intentional damage, and so many other harmful outcomes.
With proper lighting, you’ll be able to spot these incidents early, hence, saving you the trouble of having to replace a product or suffering losses.
You get the point, right? These are just a few of the best benefits you get from using the right kind of shop lights.
Speaking of which:
Are there different types of shop lights?
Read on to find out…
Types of Shop Lights
Let’s face it:
When it comes to choosing interior shop lights, there are a lot of options; sadly, only a few of them offer the best solutions.
There are three main types of shop lights in use nowadays including:
- Traditional Shop Lights
- Fluorescent tubes.
- Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs).
- Incandescent bulbs.
- Metal-halides and so on.
In the past, these lighting technologies were widely used. And that was mainly due to their availability and affordability.
However, they are slowly getting phased out by LEDs.
Because these systems are quite inefficient and expensive to run/maintain; plus, most of them contain hazardous chemicals that can cause harm to people and the environment around them.
- Integrated LED Shop Lights
To solve the problems associated with traditional lighting systems, LEDs were invented; basically, LEDs make up for all the shortcomings of previous lighting technologies.
An Integrated LED Shop Light is a fixture that has LED chips and other electronic parts permanently mounted onto it.
That means that if the fixture fails, you’ll have to buy a new one – rather than replacing its “lamp.”
Good examples include:
The biggest perk about Integrated LED Shop Lights is that they tend to last longer and pack more lumen output capacities.
If you don’t like these kinds of fixtures, you have one more option…
- Shop LED Light Retrofits.
When upgrading from older lighting technologies to LEDs, retrofits are always the most preferred.
Well, it’s because of their cost-effectiveness and easy installation.
Basically, LED shop light retrofits replace old technology lamps without the need to replace the whole fixture.
Think of it as replacing a blown-out fluorescent tube with a new one – but the new lamp is an LED tube.
And this reduces installation and upgrade costs by a very huge margin.
With that said, let’s have a look at your mounting options…
Common Mounting Options for Shop Lighting Fixtures
Mounting is how you place your fixture in order to achieve optimal lighting while still trying to improve on style.
As far as shop lighting is concerned, there are four different mounting options you can try including:
- Suspended Mounts
They are achieved by mounting the fixture in a suspended state (i.e. using suspension cables to hold the light a foot away from the ceiling, hanging in the air).
Suspended Mounts are often very stylish but only ideal for rooms with high ceilings.
These mounts are often common in supermarkets and warehouses.
- Ceiling Mounts
A ceiling mount is a more traditional form of mounting.
This is when the fixture is directly mounted to a room’s ceiling leaving little – or no room at all – between the lamp and the ceiling.
These types of mounts are ideal for rooms with low ceilings and allow for angled lighting and more flexibility in terms of light direction.
- Track Mounts
Despite being rare, track mounts do exists.
Here, the fixture is mounted to a track pinned to the ceiling, hence, allowing it to be moved from one point to another when the need arises.
That way, you get to enjoy more lighting flexibility and control while still being able to spend less on lighting.
- Wall Mounts
For a more out-of-the-norm statement, you can mount your light fixtures vertically on your walls.
Although this might not be advisable for areas that experience a lot of human traffic (especially kids and teens) because it increases the risk of fixtures getting damaged.
The most ideal area for a wall mount would be in an art exhibition, fashion house, or for exterior lighting.
Another important question to ask is…
Chapter 2: Are LED Shop Lights Worth It?
Short answer: Yes!
Well, it’s quite simple…
LED lights in shop premises can be advantageous in many ways; not only for you (the shop owner) but also for your customers and visitors.
That’s because LEDs offer so many benefits.
Here are a few…
Benefits of Using LED Shop Lights
Unlike other old technologies, LED fixtures have an unrivaled reputation of being very durable.
On average, an LED fixture can last for up to 50,000 hours; more than three times what you get with fluorescents and 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
The notion that LED fixtures are expensive is slowly dying off.
Well, for starters, LED production has increased in the past decade. Therefore, there’s enough supply, nowadays, to meet the rising demand for these awesome light fixtures. Hence, more affordable pricing.
Secondly, in terms of long term costs, LEDs are the cheapest light fixtures you can use today. They use very little power, are very efficient, and low-maintenance. So, it’s more cost-effective to use LEDs than it is to use any other type of lighting technology.
- Better Lighting
With LED fixtures you also get to enjoy better, high-quality lighting.
That’s because these lights use less energy to produce more light; meaning no energy is lost in the form of heat
Due to their energy-efficiency, LEDs offer more lumens than other fixtures.
Not to mention the fact that they have a higher Color Rendering Index (CRI) and are very color-flexible.
These are just a few of the many perks of using LED lights – the list is endless…
But it doesn’t take much to see why LEDs are the most preferred lighting technology today.
Assuming that you’ve decided to buy an LED for shop lighting, what are the things you need to look out for?
Find out next…
How to Choose the Best Shop LED Fixtures
Before buying LED shop lights, you need to consider the following:
- Intended Use– The purpose of the lighting will greatly determine which fixture you buy. For example, usage will dictate the color temperature, brightness, as well as the number of fixtures needed to fully and properly illuminate a space.
- Your Budget – If cost isn’t an issue, then you can afford to completely revamp your lighting system. However, if you don’t wish to spend much, you can choose to retrofit your current lighting fixtures with LED lights. Simple, right?
- Lumen Output – Ask yourself, how much light do I need? You need to do a light fixture planning so as to know how many fixtures you need and how many lumens each should produce.
- Color Temperatures –This is simply the amount of “blue” or “yellow” shade being emitted by a fixture. Basically, lower-temperature fixtures tend to have a more “yellow” or warm appearance. On the other hand, higher-temperature LEDs have more “blue” and tend to look cooler with better color rendering.
- Color Rendering Index (CRI)– CRI is a light source’s ability to correctly render colors like natural light (the sun). When dealing with color-dependent systems or tasks, it’s wise to have a fixture with a higher CRI to ensure that you, your employees, or anyone else can clearly and correctly see the colors and any changes that occur in real-time.
With that said:
Here is another critical point to discuss regarding LED shop lights.
Chapter 3: How to Do Shop Light LED Lumen Calculations
Nowadays, this step is inevitable.
You need to have a lighting plan to get optimal results.
Without planning, you might end up spending more or less than you should when switching to LED lights.
Now, I know what you’re thinking:
What are you supposed to plan for? Or how are you supposed to do it.
If so, here are a few important questions you should ask yourself:
1. How Many Lumens Do You Need To Light A Shop?
When dealing with lighting, it often boils down to one thing – Lumen Requirements.
Lumen Requirement is the amount of brightness needed to properly illuminate your space; i.e. the brightness or light intensity of a light is measured in Lumens.
Knowing your lumen requirements is a critical part of any lighting installation.
That’s because you want to install lights that offer enough illumination for the type of work being done or the activities taking place.
Excess or insufficient lighting can cause eye strain among other issues.
Remember that your lumen requirements will depend on the purpose of the light as well as the size of the space being lit.
Before we calculate lumen requirements for your shop, we have to answer this next question first…
2. How Many Lumens Do You Need Per Square Foot In A Shop?
According to lighting and interior décor experts:
The recommended lumen requirements for shops is between 30 to 35 lumens per square foot; that means that every square foot of your shop should receive ~35 lumens of light for it to be well lit.
To determine how many lumens you’ll need, the first thing you need to do is to calculate the area of the space you want to light up.
If your shop measures 20 by 30 feet, your total area will be (20 x 30) 600 sq.ft.
Once you have your area, you can proceed to calculate your lumen requirements by multiplying your area (in sq.ft) by the recommended lumen amount (~35 lumens/sq.ft).
Therefore, your final lumen requirements will be –> (600 sq.ft) X 35 lumens/sq.ft = 21,000 lumens
It’s simple math…
This post on Lumen Calculations has a more in-depth look at how to go about this procedure.
You are not done yet!
Here’s the next step.
3. How Many LED Lights Do I Need In My Shop?
From our example above, we’ve calculated that our sample shop requires 21,000 lumens to be properly lit, right?
The next thing to do is to determine how many fixtures will be needed.
Well, it’s quite simple.
First of all, decide on which fixture you are going to use; remember, shop LED lighting is the best and most convenient option you have.
Then once you’ve got the right fixture, use its luminous efficacy to calculate how many of them you’ll need.
Luminous Efficacy is the number of lumens a light fixture gives out per watt of energy used.
To understand how to calculate the number of fixtures needed, let’s look at a hypothetical scenario.
Let’s say you want to use Light X – a 20W, 100lm/W LED shop light fixtures in your space.
Each fixture will give out 2000 lumens of light (gotten from multiplying 20W by 100lm/W).
Therefore, to get 21,000 lumens of light, you’ll need around 11 of these LED shop fixtures (gotten from dividing the room’s lumen requirements by the number of lumens yielded by one of the fixtures to be used i.e. 21000/2000 = 10.5, approximated to 11 – the nearest whole number).
This works great for someone who’s starting from scratch.
However, you might be wondering:
What about those looking to retrofit their traditional fixtures?
If that’s your case, this next part is for you…
4. How to Upgrade Your Fluorescent Shop Lights to LED
To begin with:
You should note that, nowadays, there are LED tube lights available.
That means that you can easily replace your fluorescent shop lights without having to completely undo your lighting systems.
It’s as easy as changing a light bulb – or in this case the fluorescent tube – and putting on a new LED tube version of it.
Assuming you are switching from fluorescents to LEDs, here’s how to determine how many fixtures you’ll need to replace your fluorescents.
- Determine How Many Lumens Your Fluorescents Give Out
This can be done by getting individual lumen outputs from each fixture in use.
If you have 10 light fixtures, each rated 70W with a luminous efficacy of 70lm/W, each fixture yields 4900 lumens.
Multiply that by 10 (number of fixtures) and you’ll get the total lumen requirements for your space i.e. 49,000 lumens.
- Determine How Many LED Fixtures You’ll Need To Meet Your Calculated Lumen Requirements
We’ve already covered this bit in Question 3, above.
- Choose your preferred LED replacement.
- Calculate its lumen output.
- Divide your lumen requirements by the total lumen output of each LED fixture to determine how many of them you’ll need.
Before I wrap this up, here are some installation tips you might find useful.
Chapter 4: How to Install Shop Lights
Installing shop lights isn’t that hard.
You need to plan the whole process to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that the final outcome is as per your preferences.
Here’s what you need to do to properly install shop lights.
- Determine what kinds of lights you are looking for.This means knowing what you want in terms of CRI, color temperature, wattage, luminous efficacy, IP rating, and so on.
- Calculate your space’s lumen requirements. This will help you determine how many fixtures you’ll need to buy.
- Plan where you are going to place each fixture. Planning is essential because it will help you optimize your lighting system for the best performance and efficiency.
- Prepare your space for the installation. Before you get to the actual installation, you have to make sure that your space is ready. This means setting up power outlets and lines that will be able to handle the electrical load from the new fixtures.
- Do the installation. Once all the above has been sorted out, you can proceed to install the new fixtures in your shop. Note, if you don’t have experience or sufficient skills for this, consider hiring an electrician to do it for you to avoid unnecessary accidents and faulty installations.
That’s just about it – everything you need to know about LED shop lights.
It goes without saying:
Installing LEDs into your shop, workplace, business, or commercial space is probably one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
Well, you’ll get to enjoy improved light quality, better energy efficiency, reliability, durability, and most importantly, cost-effective lighting.
And the best part is:
All that you’ve learned on this post will help guide you when you do decide to buy, plan, and install a new lighting system.
Do you have any questions or contributions to this topic?
If so, feel free to post them in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you think.