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Garage Lighting?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 90blzr, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    If this is the wrong forum, move it, or delete it, figured it would get more answers here since it IS the 'garage':grin:

    I need to get some lights in the garage. Basically its about 35Lx25W. Curious as to what you guys would recommend so there is sufficient lighting in there.

    Anyone have somthing similar? Should I just run two strips going from front to back...or a few rows going from side to side...or?

    I bought a few 8ft. fluorescent lights and they buzz and flicker like crazy. Guess I should have went with the more expensive model:grin: I'll be returning them obviously.

    What is brighter and draws less power....(2) 4ft lights or (1) 8ft. light.

    I dont want to spend a fortune, kind of on a budget, but I do want to be able to see wtf I am doing in there.

    I also noticed they have different ballasts...magnetic and electric....some for 60w bulbs all the way to 110w bulbs.

    Also what kind of bulbs...most I have seen are 'cool white'

    I hooked one 8ft (2-60wbulbus)set up and the one 4ft (2-40w bulbs) seemed brighter?!?! WTF!?!?

    I am gonna paint the walls also...I would think that would help make it brighter in there also...they are just regular cinder (sp?) block walls

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. 85burbanator

    85burbanator 1/2 ton status

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    we just have a few 4 foot cheapo ones and they work good. the way we did it is we put a row along the back wall like this - - - and the on the sides like this

    ! !
    ! !
    ! ! the we staggered a few in the middle . in my ghetto garage i just used some super duper 7 dollar fixtures and they do ok.
     
  3. sickquad

    sickquad 1/2 ton status

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    We have a weekly magazine here in New England call the want advertiser. You have something like that in your area? All used stuff.

    Anyways I got some used ones from a company that was remodeling there shop for 20 bucks. That is the best way, they are the large half circle lights and they work great. I think you have to go industrial to light a shop properly. Those hardware store ballast ones suck.

    -Chris
     
  4. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Freebie!!

    I got the 8' flouresent lights in my garage free from our local landfill--the schools in town got a government grant to replace all the old fixtures with new energy efficient ones,and the junked over 500 bulbs and the ballasts/holders!--so I took 6 fixtures and a pickup truck full of used bubs--but they flicker and burn out quickly in the winter--and are dim when its below 32 degrees..:mad:

    I blew thru the whole truckload of bulbs in only a few years--got pissed an put incandesant 150 watt outdoor floodlamps on the ceiling ,four of them in all--still not the greatest,but its better than trying to work under a "strobe" light flickering!--they put out some free heat too,an added bonus..they have special flouresent bulbs for use in unheated areas that donk flicker--but I didnt have the dough to buy them,and I'm not sure if they'ed fit my fixtures,since they are pretty old--(old "school" that is!):crazy: .
     
  5. originalspanksta

    originalspanksta 1/2 ton status

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    our garage is 40x 30

    we have (4) double 4 footers (2 parallel 4 footers on each fixture, like this:[])

    we have them set up like this:

    __
    __

    l l

    we have 2 doors in the garage, so that when both bays are occupied, 1 fixture runs down each side of each truck (v's = trucks):

    __
    _>

    l V l

    Hope im not confusing you too much...:p:

    The brightness is just right as far as im concerned. Tips to making it brighter with less lights: Paint the walls white, you are on the right track here with the reflectivity thoughts. our brighntess goes up 50% just by closing the big white garage doors.:D 2) keep the floors clean, when crap is all over the floor and there are piles of oildry everywhere, everything makes shadows and stuff becomes infinately harder to find. (i guess thats just common sense, really)

    good luck, hope it works out for you.
     
  6. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Wal-mart sells some low-temperature (below zero) stainless steel dual element 4' fixtures for $15. So does Meijer. I like them. They come with a pull cord switch and a 3 prong cord. We have 6 of them in a 22x22 garage. They're mounted on hooks so we just move them around to where we need them.
     
  7. r_pogo

    r_pogo Registered Member

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    Garage Lights

    I built my own metal garage about the same size. I sometimes work late and do some painting so good light is **very** important. Also, when working on the ride I like a lot of light from different angles in addition to the usual drop light. Good light makes work so much easier.

    Here is the setup:

    I installed four 4-gang outlets in the ceiling (solid emt conduit) centered in the four quarters of the area. Each outlet is controlled by its own switch plus there is a master switch that controls all four outlets. I had an extra breaker so these are own their own 20 amp breaker.

    From each outlet I ran four 48 inch 2 lamp fluoresent "residential shop light" fixtures -- a total of 16 fixtures. Each is carefully positioned to equalize the light over the entire area. All are screwed into wallboard anchors (ceiling is insulated and drywalled.) In my case the 48 inch dimensions went along the long dimension of the garage. The AC cords are nailed up with plastic wire anchors and plugged into the four gang outlets.

    These are cheapo Home Depot electronic ballast types (Lights of Amreica brand) - about $10.00 each at the time. These take two 25 watt lamps. Each four fixtures therefore burn about 250 watts or so and the four sets together probably a bit over 1000 watts when the place is fully lit.. Not too expensive considering how much light is produced.. Plan on one KWH and at my local rates this is about 8 cents/hour to **really** see what you are doing. Standard ballasts and 8 - foot fixtures will cost more to install and run but might produce a little more light.

    Although this sounds like major overkill (it actually is) there is method behind the madness. Most important is that by spreading out this many fixtures over the area the light is much more even and almost eliminates most shadows. You can circle around the work and not have the work disappear into a shadow. Second, with this much light your brain thinks it still daytime and I've found it keeps me better focused on the work especially past midnight.

    My workbench is at one end in a corner and most often I only have four fixtures burning, or about 250 watts burning when doing the small tasks. This is much better than a single 250 watt light bullb -- MUCH BETTER!!. When working on the ride in the middle of the garage with all four banks of lights on makes the work **SO** much easier.

    Here is the down side. Most cheap fixtures are "instant start" and zap the lamp real hard on startup. Thus frequent on-off cycles reduces the lamp life span over other types . But since the total usage is not likely to be that great this is not a big factor. The good news is that Walmart carries the 25 watt lamps in a two pack and they are cheap. Out of the 16 fixtures I have had two go bad in the last 15 years or so. Have probably replaced 4 lamps that have gone out or started to flicker. Not a big deal considering the whole setup was pretty cheap to begin with.

    With fixtures, lamps, and wiring I probalby have less than $250 in the whole setup and over the last 15 years it has been worth every penny several times over. Would not change a thing.
     
  8. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all of the replies! Wow some of you are only using 25w bulbs? Would it not be better to use fewer 60w fixtures?

    As far as the paper and getting used, I've looked and they usually want $25 each and I would have to drive an hour to get them. I can go to home depot and get the 'good ones' for just a little more.

    Looks like most everyone uses the 4footers.

    Anyone else?

    I will be painting the walls...I think that is a problem right now...the walls are bare cinder block. NO reflection whatsoever. Just a bright white I guess.
    The brighter white the better??

    Ceiling is open too. exposed roof/rafters...nothing I can do about that though.

    Also the shields that some lights come with...that 'direct' the light down.. Do they hurt or help when lighting a large area?

    Also in another post, someone had mentioned the use of 8footers, but with FOUR 4ft bulbs. like this: = =

    Also, seems that the way to go is the electronic ballasts over the standard magnetic ballasts. No flickering, no buzzing and they are cheaper to run.

    Anyone else?
     
  9. stus84

    stus84 1/2 ton status

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    Lighting Issue

    Old 4' T12 2 Lamp (34W & Magnetic Ballast) = 69 Watts
    Old 8' T12 2 Lamp (75W & Magnetic Ballast) = 158 Watts

    New Standard 4' T8 2 Lamp (32W & Electronic Ballast) = 58 Watts
    New Standard 8' T8 2 Lamp (75W & Electronic Ballast) = 108 Watts

    You can tell the T12's from the T8's by looking at the lamp the T8 is much thinner than the T12. The T8 also produces a much brighter longer lasting light and the color rendition is much higher. My opinion for the garage lighting would be 8' T8 2 lamp industrial fixtures in rows. This is a brighter more energy efficient option. If you are looking for more lighting than this provides say you have a very high ceiling you could go with a high output T8 but remember the higher the wattage the higher the kW the higher the $/month.
     
  10. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Any idea what the specs are on the 8ft T8 4 lamp units I mentioned? Basically four 4ft T8 lamps.
    What are you thoughts on those?

    So the T12 is old and the newere modern stuff is T8? I saw the skinny bulbs but didnt realize what they were called.

    So the 8ft T8 puts out more light than an 8ft T12...even though the T12 puts out more watts?:confused:
     
  11. stus84

    stus84 1/2 ton status

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    lights

    "So the 8ft T8 puts out more light than an 8ft T12...even though the T12 puts out more watts" YES

    Regarding the 8' 4 lamp it is so close in wattage & light output that you probablty wouldnt be able to tell the difference from the 8' 2 lamp. Plus it is a little easier to buy/ship 4' lamps.
     
  12. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    So are alll of the 8ft T8's...set up for four 4ft lamps?
     
  13. r_pogo

    r_pogo Registered Member

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    White Paint Really Helps

    I used Brilliant White semigloss latex from Home Depot in a five gallon pail. I rolled it on but with exposed rafters it might be easier to spray. Makes a huge difference.

    As mentioned the modern T8's are far better than the old T12s. When I built my garage 15 years ago the T8's were not readily available. If you can get T8 fixtures with electronic ballasts for $9-12 and lamps for a buck or two a piece then its a smokin deal.
     
  14. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    I'm runnin over to home depot at lunch, I'll check the prices again on the T8's...but I am positive they were ALOT more than $12 each:grin: If you can get them that cheap...send me some:grin:

    Just saw this in the local paper:
    [size=-1]6 Large banks of Industrial Florescent Lights - 8FT Long w/working bulbs. - come & take them away! VERY Heavy! $100[/size][size=-1]Extra Text[/size][size=-1]4 are 8ft by 1ft wide - they plug in - 4 bulbs 2 are 4ft by 2.5 ft. wide - they plug in - 4 bulbs Dusty but they work great - retail value over $600.



    EDIT:
    Talked to the above ad. There are four 8 foot long fixtures. The are 4 bulbs wide, basically holds four 8 foot bulbs.
    There are also two 4 foot long and are also 4 bulbs wide, holding four 4ft. bulbs. All with plugs.

    [/size]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2005
  15. stus84

    stus84 1/2 ton status

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    8'

    no they are not all set up for 4 lamps but there is a kit you can get to make 4 lamps work.. I am guessing the fixtures in the add are old magnetic ballasts but free is free once they all burn out you could throw in the new updated fixtures.
     
  16. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    They arent free....$100 for all of them.

    So the T8 DOES come in just an 8ft. 2bulb set up? Wonder which is brighter...the 4 bulb set up or the 2 bulb? Probably easier to go with the 4ft bulb set up.

    The ones in the add sound good? Would they use one ballast or two? Thats alot of light from one fixture!

    This is one of those things that you figure will be 'no big deal'..hmmm sunday I'll just run down to Home Depot and pick up a couple lights for the garage. Then you get there and see that there are A THOUSAND options and styles, etc!! NOTHING is just simple anymore!:crazy:
     
  17. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Watts are the amount of power they consume...so T8 usesless power to run.
    Yes...T8's are brighter.

    Also...T8's last twice as long as T12's.
     
  18. Derf00

    Derf00 1/2 ton status

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    One other thing to consider, unless your garage is heated, the T12's with a standard ballast will not start or burn very dim in cold weather; however, the T8's with an electronic ballast will start in cold weather.
     
  19. r_pogo

    r_pogo Registered Member

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    More info on 25 watt lamps

    I have a couple 25 watt lamps from Walmart still in the packaging:

    General Electric "Shoplite 25" two per pack. Light output 1860 lumins, Energy used: 25 watts, Life: 12,000 hours, Color temp: 4100 K , CRI (whatever that is -- hertz?) 60."

    There is a note on the back: "Shoplites are not recommended fo be used on F40 full light output ballasts. Life will be reduced by approximately 50%."

    Seems that you have to make sure the ballast is compatible with 25 watt lamps.

    Give Walmart a call to see if these are still in stock and for current pricing. I seem to remember they were much less than Home Depot.

    Regarding 8' fixtures. I tossed two perfectly good fixtures in favor of the 4' electronic. The 8' fixtures were very noisy and spare lamps were hard to store.
    Also, some of this is simply a matter of preference: I prefer to spread the lights out over the area to get more even distribution. With 8' lamps this is a bit harder to do. In short, I would rather have lower output lamps over a larger area than higher wattage lamps concentrated in fewer places.
     
  20. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    All good info!! Ebay has bulbs fairly cheap...not sure if they would make it during shipping though.

    I here ya...makes sense now...more smaller lights to spread out the light rather than using a few long ones.

    I gotta go see how much the T8 fixtures are.

    I'll check out wall mart too!
     

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