I'm sure many people have the same workshop problems I have. One of the most significant problems is space. However, as I cram more and more into my work area, it seems to get darker and darker. When I built a pull down shelf (will be features in another instructable) to hold my plastic sheets for vacuum forming, the light is partially obstructed by the shelf. Realizing I needed more light for delicate electronic work, I decided to try some direct LED lighting as opposed to yet another lamp or light switch which crowds the already cramped area. So, here is a short instructable on my lighting attempt.
Step 1: Very Confined (and Messy) Work Area
My shed has several workstations which are only inches apart from each other. My roller chair sits in the center and moves me from station to station. My first station (which I call my command station) is a collection of tools, probes, bench power supplies, displays and components (will hopefully have a construction instructable on that project) I have a light/magnifying glass arm, however, it only lights up a small area at at time. So I decided I needed to illuminate the command station (station one). The pull down shelf which stores my plastic (styrene) sheets is attached to the roof and hangs above the station. So, I decided to use part of it's structure to hold the extra LEDs.
Step 2: LEDs
I measured the back brace of the shelf above station one at 36" so I cut that length from a roll of LEDs.
Step 3: Switch and Housing
I had one of the $1 project boxes off ebay. Cut a hole with a dremel for the switch and a hole on each side for the wires. Wired the switch into the box.
Step 4: Attach the LEDs and Switch
I attached the LED line across the back brace of the shelf and screwed the switch box onto the center support.
Step 5: Ignore the Handing Wire
I ran a 22X2 solid wire through a piece of wire duct for computer wires. It snakes back behind the shelf and down into station one where I tied it to one of two ATX power supplies I have there. I attached it to the +12V (yellow) and common ground (black). That particular ATX is always on in order to provide power to various aspects of the shed including a mag lock entry system. So I do not need to turn the supply on before turning on the light.
Step 6: And Done
The light seems to be just perfect. When working in other parts of the shed the lights are not too harsh to look at. And while working at station one it gives me more light than I had. For matters requiring extreme close up work (like tiny soldering) the maglight arm is needed. But for everything else, I feel like I can see again.