Introduction: Workshop Track Lighting

About: Retired Tool Maker ( 1980 ) Retired Mechanical Engineer ( 2009 ) Full time Tinkerer

I wanted more lighting in my shop, but didn't want to buy more lights or pay the electric bill. So I figured I usually worked in one spot and could move the light to the work site.

Step 1: Hang the Cable

You need a very strong cable for this and a way to really tighten it. I used 1/4" steel cable and 3/6" steel wire. I think the cable makes a neater noise as you slide the lights around and is easier to work with. Hang this up as high as you can to keep your headroom free. Use healthy eye screws, 1/4" or better and drill holes to avoid splitting the wood. One end can be just a loop, but the other end needs a turnbuckle to make it tight enough. Sorry about the contrast of this picture, I spray painted the ceiling, and just about everything else, so it is mostly white. I nice touch is to ground this cable for electrical safety, only take an other minute to do so.

Step 2: Festoon the Power Line

To route the power line to the light I used links from swag lamp chains and wire ties. The links are easy to open with pliers and close again on the cable. Make sure the power line is long enough to reach the far side. Then form loops in the power line so it doesn't hang too low when pushed together. If you have a chance, switch to LED tubes and save some power there too!

Step 3: Hang the Lamps

The 4' shop lamps usually come with some chain and "S" hooks, or you can bend some loops out of wire. I like the "S" hooks since you can lift the fixture off the wire for service. The last step is to add a pull cord to slide the lamp back and forth. If you hung the lights really high you will need a pull cord, I used some nylon ribbon to avoid any chance of shocks.

I hope you find this helpful and an easy way to hang shop lights.

Best wishes, Carl.