Need advice on upgrading lighting in my garage

We recently bought a house, and it still has the original garage lighting: a single 60W bulb mounted on the wall next to the door.
I want to work in the garage, so I need to add some lighting. We live in San Diego, and our winters don't usually get below 50 degrees, so I figured I'd go with fluorescent lights.
The problem is that the walls and ceiling are all finished (sheetrock and paint). Any thought of running the wires outside the walls sounds (at least) ugly, but the idea of tearing out the sheet rock just to run wires around the ceiling doesn't sound that appealing either (there are rooms above the garage, so there's no attic or crawlspace to use).
I'm trying to figure out what my options are (after just buying a house in San Diego, SWMBO would balk at the expense of just hiring a pro to take care of it). Anyone out there done anything like this?
Any advice would be appreciated.
-Scott
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On 1/13/2005 1:58 AM US(ET), Scott Smith took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

I installed 5 FLs on the ceiling of my garage. I got them for a commercial building demolition site, so they didn't cost anything (except for bulbs). They are 4" surface mount no-frills, no lens cover lamps. I wired them off the existing incandescent box, so the garage switch lights them all. I stapled the elect cable to the ceiling joists through the sheetrock. I had intended to use the surface track covers for the cables, but I never got around to it. They've been up there around 10 years now.
--
Bill

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Scott Smith wrote:

There is a product out there called wiremould. It is a small cross section two piece raceway designed for surface mount. You can mount it on interior walls, I wouldn't put it on my living room ceiling, but in a garage it should look fine. Dave
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Because I find myself working more in my garage, I recently upgraded lighting. I bought four 4' fluorescent "shop lights" at Walmart and hung them under the ceiling. The difference it made is unbelievable. Now I have a brightly lit, friendly garage.
i
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4 - 4" fixtures? Geez, I have 26 - 4"fixtures in my garage!! Greg
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 18:34:35 -0600, "Greg O"

Sure looks like 4' to me.
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Sorry, 4' not 4", anyway the amounts stay the same! Greg
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Scott Smith wrote:

Good call. I strongly suggest you get the good ones. I have the 8ft ones rated for cold weather. I suggest you get the cold weather ones even if you don't get cold weather. They are better made overall. You will be far less likely to get hum or slow starts and they are more efficient.
They also now make some new style lamps in four or eight foot sizes (the eight foot ones use 4 lamps) using special green (high efficiency) lamps and are worth the price as well.
Those cheap 4 foot handyman specials are just that cheap.

I suggest you call in the professional here. It is not all that difficult, but it involves a number of tricks that depend what the installer finds as they work it out. An experienced professional has learned to handle the many kinds of problems that are out there.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 06:58:36 GMT, "Scott Smith"

Walmart has some new stainless steel workshop lights that have electronic ballasts and will take energy efficient T-8 lights. The price is right.
Find you some flat cable that can be stapled to the ceiling and then paint it.
PJ .
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Scott Smith wrote:

This sounds like an ideal application for "wiremold" (3/8" EMT manufactured with a painted trim applied to it, and special connectors). It is made for surface-mounting in offices and finished living spaces, and you can buy it at any building supply store or electrical supplier.
Or, since it is a garage, you might consider surface mounting 1/2" EMT conduit. I like the look of EMT in a garage.
Bob
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