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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys!
I continue to get my garage ready for my incoming Evo. I wanted to add some showroom style lighting and wondering if anyone has experience with type of bulb and layout (4 lights on the corners, just 2 overhead). Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Also - any place to get some nice automotive artwork to hang on the walls?


Thanks !
 

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Ok this one is in my wheelhouse. I will try to explain this but might need to upload some examples later so it makes sense. Basically think of your car as a car shaped mirror. When you look at your car it reflects the space it’s in. If you had a chrome sphere you would see your garage walls and ceiling in it. Any picture of a car is a picture of the space it’s in. So whatever you put in your ceiling will be seen on the car. When lighting a reflective object that we want to show the lines of we use a light source bigger than the object, so for a car we would use a light source 20 feet by 15 feet. This makes it so you see the lines of the car and not the space it’s in. A quick an easy way to get that kind of light is on an overcast day where the cloud cover itself is a nice soft diffuse light source. In a car commercial world the entire ceiling would light up evenly which would give you beautiful soft light allowing you to see the car. It’s possible to do this now, there are many cool new things that can be done with LEDs as that technology emerges. There are a lot of possibilities, ranging from continuous stripes across your garage (think car commercial in a tunnel) to indirect bounced lighting, to a diffused drop ceiling like this one from the Batman movies

https://www.google.com/search?q=batman+tumbler&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#imgrc=pEYpBiP4XsnxcM:

You can use fluorescent tubes from the film and TV industry which require their own flicker free ballasts. The dominant company is kinoflo. It will be pricey but it’s a well proven technology. They will come in two colors, daylight and tungsten, which is 5500 kelvin for daylight and 3200 for tungsten. Daylight is bluish and tungsten refers to the filaments in original light bulbs which is warmer and yellowish. I would imagine most people would want daylight but it’s a preference.

There are some much more interesting alternatives in led technology as the field matures. A lot of led technology isn’t great and especially the cheaper stuff renders colors poorly. It might look ok to your eye since your brain adjusts but on camera it will have a color cast that is unpleasant and certain colors will look better than others. The simplest way to approach this is to look for led lights with a high CRI. You want a CRI with a minimum of 93. Not a lot of leds at Home Depot will meet this requirement. Again you will probably have to pull from the film and tv industry. LEDs also come in daylight or tungsten balance. Because of the new form factor of LEDs it’s possible to do very interesting things in very minimal space and they’re energy efficient and you don’t have to change them very often.

It’s not cheap but it wouldn’t be horribly expensive to design a garage lighting system that shows off your car beautifully. If there’s interest I might find some time to design some possible setups. It hasn’t been affordable until recently to do this kind of thing, but I’m expecting that shortly there will be a diversity of high end lighting options that weren’t previously possible.
 

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This is what I did. Replaced the basic garage light bulbs with simple strip LED fixtures like what we have at our office building, and then I had an 8 foot Huracan GT3 wall art created which is also back lit with LED’s. Combined it really lights up the place and forwards the end of the night the wall picture stands out nicely. Spent maybe 5 or 6k overall. The long LED lights I could not do with out. We do a lot in our garage. Just wish it was bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is great information.

Do you have more specifics regarding the exact layout of bulbs and which to use?
Everything you said makes sense and I would love to have some lighting in my garage that does justice to the vehicle.

The kino Flo website has a lot of great stuff on it - but is a little overwhelming Thanks for all of your assistance!





Ok this one is in my wheelhouse. I will try to explain this but might need to upload some examples later so it makes sense. Basically think of your car as a car shaped mirror. When you look at your car it reflects the space it’s in. If you had a chrome sphere you would see your garage walls and ceiling in it. Any picture of a car is a picture of the space it’s in. So whatever you put in your ceiling will be seen on the car. When lighting a reflective object that we want to show the lines of we use a light source bigger than the object, so for a car we would use a light source 20 feet by 15 feet. This makes it so you see the lines of the car and not the space it’s in. A quick an easy way to get that kind of light is on an overcast day where the cloud cover itself is a nice soft diffuse light source. In a car commercial world the entire ceiling would light up evenly which would give you beautiful soft light allowing you to see the car. It’s possible to do this now, there are many cool new things that can be done with LEDs as that technology emerges. There are a lot of possibilities, ranging from continuous stripes across your garage (think car commercial in a tunnel) to indirect bounced lighting, to a diffused drop ceiling like this one from the Batman movies

https://www.google.com/search?q=batman+tumbler&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#imgrc=pEYpBiP4XsnxcM:

You can use fluorescent tubes from the film and TV industry which require their own flicker free ballasts. The dominant company is kinoflo. It will be pricey but it’s a well proven technology. They will come in two colors, daylight and tungsten, which is 5500 kelvin for daylight and 3200 for tungsten. Daylight is bluish and tungsten refers to the filaments in original light bulbs which is warmer and yellowish. I would imagine most people would want daylight but it’s a preference.

There are some much more interesting alternatives in led technology as the field matures. A lot of led technology isn’t great and especially the cheaper stuff renders colors poorly. It might look ok to your eye since your brain adjusts but on camera it will have a color cast that is unpleasant and certain colors will look better than others. The simplest way to approach this is to look for led lights with a high CRI. You want a CRI with a minimum of 93. Not a lot of leds at Home Depot will meet this requirement. Again you will probably have to pull from the film and tv industry. LEDs also come in daylight or tungsten balance. Because of the new form factor of LEDs it’s possible to do very interesting things in very minimal space and they’re energy efficient and you don’t have to change them very often.

It’s not cheap but it wouldn’t be horribly expensive to design a garage lighting system that shows off your car beautifully. If there’s interest I might find some time to design some possible setups. It hasn’t been affordable until recently to do this kind of thing, but I’m expecting that shortly there will be a diversity of high end lighting options that weren’t previously possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is really nice!

The one strip of lights is good enough lighting for the entire garage?

Also, would you mind sharing where you got your artwork, looks great.

Thanks!!!



This is what I did. Replaced the basic garage light bulbs with simple strip LED fixtures like what we have at our office building, and then I had an 8 foot Huracan GT3 wall art created which is also back lit with LED’s. Combined it really lights up the place and forwards the end of the night the wall picture stands out nicely. Spent maybe 5 or 6k overall. The long LED lights I could not do with out. We do a lot in our garage. Just wish it was bigger.
 

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This is really nice!

The one strip of lights is good enough lighting for the entire garage?

Also, would you mind sharing where you got your artwork, looks great.

Thanks!!!
Yea, the single row of lights I have gives off incredible light and brightens the garage fully, pictures can't do that part justice. the art was done by these guys: https://www.garagegraphics.net/ they are local to my area but do a lot of great stuff, and I know them personally and highly recommend them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"It’s not cheap but it wouldn’t be horribly expensive to design a garage lighting system that shows off your car beautifully. If there’s interest I might find some time to design some possible setups. It hasn’t been affordable until recently to do this kind of thing, but I’m expecting that shortly there will be a diversity of high end lighting options that weren’t previously possible."

Zaxwax: If this is possible I would be interested in seeing what your setup would entail!
 

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I don't know a lot about lighting, but are they a cool or warm colour and which is the better to have?
 

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Don’t judge my trashed garage, but this photo was taken at night to show how well these lights work....



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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To answer the question about lighting colors, here’s the primer.

Light from the sun is bluish. It is generally considered to be anywhere from 5000-5600 kelvin which is a measurement of color temperature. The higher the number the bluer. The lower the number the more yellow.

Light from a tungsten filament light bulb (which is what we all used before fluorescents and LEDs) is usually measured at 3200k. This is a warmer yellowish light that many of us associate with night time interior lighting. It tends to have a cozy or intimate feel. It is also the color of older headlights.

Many companies offer variations on these two and will call them things like soft white, warm white, daylight etc. the trick is to read the kelvin temperature. You might like the warmth of tungsten lighting or you might like the clarity of daylight. In a garage you might want daylight lights so when you open your garage door and it’s a mixed light scenario everything matches. Or you might prefer to have the variety of a warmer light.

If you can avoid it, fluorescent lights from your local big box store are not great options and tend to have a greenish cast. There’s some great fluorescent options from the film and tv industry but it requires a specialized ballast and is pricey.

Since everything is moving to LED here’s the thing to watch for when buying LED. CRI or color rendering index is a measure of how evenly the color is rendered. Light from the sun is what we call full spectrum. To get LED lights to be white they are manipulating something that isn’t a full spectrum light. It’s more expensive to do a high CRI light and so it’s not as common. You are looking for a CRI of 90 or higher. I prefer at least 93. If it’s not listed on the box it’s most likely not a high CRI light. You might not be able to see it in the store but over time a low CRI light will start to feel off.

So to summarize, pick your color and then look for a high CRI version of it.

Next post we will talk about the size of the light fixture and what hard and soft light do to specular reflections.
 
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