Fluorescent Bench Lights ?


Every few years I've bought a few cheap fluorescent bench lights (usually 40watt bulbs). It now seems that the recent ones are dying. How much do you have to spend to get a lamp that isn't garbage?
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It's probably the whole fixture that's garbage. Two lamp 32 watt T-8 strip from an electrical supply should run around $40
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wrote:

Agreed. I quit buying the loss-leader cheapies years ago.

That's refreshing to learn. I would've thought it would be much more.
--
:)
JR

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Don Klipstein wrote:

With the price of heating oil north of $4.50/gallon it is less expensive for me to heat with light bulbs than oil. The "Buy efficient Lighting Myth" is just that.
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. Right on: Finally somebody who agree with me! In this neck of the woods, where most months of the year require some heating, the idea of 'more efficient' lighting makes no sense either. Except outside where the waste heat from a conventional incandescent porch bulb, on all night, is wasted to all outdoors! Unfortunately CFLs don't always like cold weather and sometimes colour of the light is horrible! Also as an example we have a row of six 40 watt el-cheapo (25 cents each including sales tax) bulbs above the vanity in our windowless bathroom. They last a long time, last time i changed one was I think, October last year. They operate whenever anybody is in there and provide enough 'wasted' heat to warm the bathroom, so that the 500 watt baseboard electric heater never comes on! Using six (much clumsier looking) CFLs in that bathroom would not only be mch more expensive (prob. at least $2 to $3 each?) but the electric heater would have to come on more frequently; using the same amount of electrcity.
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Don Klipstein wrote:

Electronic ballasts also vary widely in quality.
I had a pair of dual 32-40W lamps that were $7 with electronic ballasts. Each lamp become brighter than normal after a few months and then its ballast would die. After exchanging them several times, I replaced the ballasts with some $12 magnetic ones from a hardware store and haven't had problems since, not even much hum (class A acoustical rating).
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do_not_spam snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

Ballast that is good for both 32W and 40W 4-footers without a wiring difference? I strongly doubt (to put it mildly) such a ballast provides close to rated wattage for both while operating them in a good manner.
And $7 for a 4-foot fixture makes me suspect it will be a stool specimen no matter how they make the ballast.
Go for "The Good Stuff" from an electrical or electrical/lighting supply shop.

- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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RBM wrote:

I've noticed that all the shop fixtures that I've bought at HD over the past few years have failed. They all had ballasts "made in China."
The fixtures I bought 20 to 30 years ago are still fine.
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It has nothing to do with where the ballasts were made, but rather how they were made
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Transformer ballast instead of electronic.
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Assuming by 'bench light' you mean shop light, FWIW I got rid of my 4 footers a few months ago and got some 8' 2 lamp cold weather types from Home Despot. IRC, they were around $60 without lamps. Major brand, USA. The light output is way better than all the 4 footers I had strung together and with 1100 watts in 26' x 12' it's possible to find something that falls on the floor now. Subjectively, I don't see any major spike in the electric bill. With a white painted ceiling reflectors were superfluous. The longer service life will pay off in a few years I expect.
Joe
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