Farm Shop Design Series: Lighting Options

February 12, 2018

Our farm shop design blog series, written by Dan Nyberg, the Sales Training Manager at Morton Buildings, focuses on a variety of farm shop design ideas to help you in planning your next agricultural building. 

A common interior concern is lighting. You can never have enough lights in a farm shop. Windows are a good source of light. When possible, thermal pane windows installed on the south side will give a net thermal gain during the winter months. Natural light is preferred over the workbench by most.   However, be sure to understand that windows on any wall other than the south are a loss of heat, so limit windows to only those needed for light or observation. Also, remember that windows in overhead doors are a loss of R-value and should not be used unless the you feel they are necessary for observation.

General indoor lighting options include a ½ watt fluorescent per square foot floor area, or 2 watts incandescent per square foot floor area.  Light-colored ceilings and upper walls help to reflect the light.  For indoor task lighting, use double-tube, 4-foot fluorescent fixtures mounted four feet above the work bench, and use incandescent or LED lamps over rotating tools like grinding wheels to avoid the strobe effect.   It's recommended to put eight lights along each wall, 10 feet apart, so that when you are working under the combines there is light coming in under the doors.

For general outdoor lighting, use 200-400 watt high-pressure sodium or metal halide lamps, with photocell control, spaced up to 125 feet apart.  Place 150-watt spotlight, with motion sensor activation on one or both sides of the entrance doors instead of over the door, to keep out flying insects.   Plan an area near the shop doors where you can have good lighting for quick ‘emergency’ repairs that don’t require pulling into the shop. 

Browse more completed farm shop projects!

About Dan Nyberg, Sales Training Manager, Morton Buildings

Dan Nyberg has been employed with Morton Buildings for 28 years, where he held a variety of positions such as sales consultant, regional manager, and director of sales.  He has also served as a board member of the National Frame Building Association for nine years. Dan has been involved with farming most of his life, from living on a dairy farm as a child, moving back to a mixed livestock and grain farm in high school, to managing a personal farm in Colorado focused on horse-drawn events.  He has experience with beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, horses and mules.  Dan currently farms 72 acres with a herd of 23 Devon/Hereford cattle and owns three Morton buildings.

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