Sunday, January 23, 2011

Let There Be Light

It all started when one of the fluorescent fixtures just fell out of the ceiling and was hanging by the wire. Of course one of the bulbs fell out and broke. Seems the previous owners installed the fixture on the wallboard seam, but not in a stud, and not even with molly bolts. After that catastrophe, we decided to evaluate the lights in the garage. With the cold weather, the older fluorescent fixtures were slow to come on and flickering when it was too cold.

Since I hand brush most of my glazes in the garage and sometimes I work in there, and Gary said he can't even find his tools unless it's daylight, we decided we needed more light. We got the lights with daylight bulbs. One ballast in another fixture was out so we needed to fix that too. Sad but true, we found out it's less expensive to purchase a whole new light fixture than to replace the ballast. Pays to check prices that's for sure. Why must we pay more to recycle things than buy new things?

Oh, fluorescent bulbs or CFLs, have mercury in them which is toxic when they break and when they are disposed of. Many have gone into landfills for years and leached into ground water. Perhaps Edison bulbs aren't that bad after all. The question of what type of light is best remains; it's still an inefficient world we live in. Anyway I digress.

Let there be light, and now there is in our garage. I just looked and it is like the heavens have opened up with light. I'm sorry I don't have a photo of what it looked like with the old lights. You'll just have to believe me when I say it's a huge difference. Also we have the light installed over my work table instead of behind me. Now there isn't a shadow on the work.

If you need workspace light, try some of these daylight fluorescent fixtures. As long as the temps stay above 0 F we'll be OK. I like these light fixtures with the diffusers, the dust bunnies and spiders can't get in there as easily. Dust bunnies and spiders are Ok by themselves, but when the spider webs and bunnies get together they make quite a mess. Then there's the mood enhancement properties of more light in our winter working environment. My tired old eyes are very happy now and so are Gary's. Now I can work on the sculptural work I've been thinking about lately. Comments are always welcome.


  1. good lights make a difference.
    I have thought about buying up some of the regular light bulbs before they tell us we can't use them any more.

  2. WOW! Look at all that work space you have! I have yet to work in a studio that has good lighting. The community studios I worked at were terrible and so is the light in my house. This looks like a great alternative

  3. Looks great. I can't stand to work in a dark little hole.Don't know how some folks do it.Thanks for not reminding those of us who are up to our butts in snow that you can just open the garage door for more bright warm sunshine.

  4. Hi Meredith, thanks, in California they were buying up the bulbs before they passed their law you had to switch, now apparently lawmakers are relooking at that CLFs because of the mercury problem.

    Hi Tracey, thanks, well I have only a small table on the other side not sure what all we have in that garage, but if it isn't clay related I am not sure we need it Ha. I hope you get a space soon. Next place I want a size of a garage all to myself with the kiln in a separate room from that.

    Hi Dennis, thanks, I used to like dark spots, but now my eyes don't see as well in dim light, never thought I'd see the day, but times change things. It is sunny outside, but we have another deep freeze here again, I think 29 again last night, had to cover my sago palm and the loquat. Supposed to be cold all week long again.

  5. Thank goodness you weren't standing under the light when it decided to land.I found you post today very interesting and learned lots I didn't know before. I hope you have a good day and get lots done in your refurbished work spaces. Blessings...Mary

  6. Light makes all the difference doesn't it? I have been happy to work under spot halogen's in my studio -lot's of them we got at IKEA. The down side is that they get really, really hot and have accidently burned my hand reaching up to the ceiling! The CFL's (good for energy efficiency) we have throughout the house take a while to brighten up to their full potential and do give off a weird light that my eyes don't seem to like.

  7. Hi Mary, thanks, I think Gary was pretty close by, but no mishaps other than mercury vapors which I learned of later.

    Hi Cindy, thanks, I had a spot halogen in my last kitchen, but here in Florida most of the year heat would not be welcome, but for your location they are probably good other then getting burned. I understand the Led lights are the wave of the future. These new fluorescent bulbs with daylight are supposed to be better, but as I read wikipedia's analysis the amount of light they give off diminishes over time which may account for the weird light you get.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment