Workshop Lights

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I temporarily set up some 4 foot 2 lamp flourescent lights in a workshop that I'm building in my backyard. This evening temp was about 60 and one light did not want to come one. Yesterday the temp was a bit warmer and I did not have any trouble. I've heard that these lights do not work very well when the temperature drops below 50 degress F.
I live in South Louisiana and the temps in the winter are known to get in the 20's and 30's on occasion. I don't want to worry about lights not coming on when I would like to be in the shop tinkering during the slow winter months.
What other type lights besides incandescent is recommended. I do not want to pay an arm and a let either.
Please advise... Thanks,
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You just need ballasts for lower temps
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m Ransley wrote:

Also, check out the fixtures and lamps intended for use in cold storage food areas.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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Cha, what you need do is rub somm graton grease on dem contax. Light dem up evree time.
Where you at in Southern Louisiana? I lived in Lafayette for seven years, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Been at every boat landing and heliport from Venice, Louisiana to Freeport, Texas.
Miss dat food!
Steve
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I live in Patterson but work out of Morgan City.
Now what's that about that grease again ???

I
in
want
up
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Been through Patterson many times on the way south to Morgan City, Houma, Grand Isle, etc.
I was telling you to use some grease from those delicious "craklins" that are made in So. Louisiana. Don't know if it will work or not, but it gives you an excuse to go get two pounds of craklins to eat in the shop. Don't forget the Miller ponies either.
Steve
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Ray wrote:

Most such lamps need a good ground, with out that starting is questionable.
The cheap ones are not designed for cold weather and will not last long, be less efficient and will likely hum and or flicker.
Get lights rated for cold weather. They will generally have electronic rather than magnetic ballast. The most efficient ones are usually T-8 lamps.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Ray wrote:

I have VHO's in my garage and they work fine when its cold. They cost more, but they work.
Bob
-
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coming
You will probably need to go to a real electric supply for a zero degree ballast of any manufacture. A long time ago Magnetic made 40 degree ballasts but I have not had the need for them for a long time.
All low temp ballasts have a little heater in them to keep them warm. This heater will in time cost some money. http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/productdetail.jsp?xi=xi&ItemId11711190&ccitem something similar to what you may have
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/productdetail.jsp?xi=xi&ItemId11593177&ccitemwhat you can consider
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Not any more. You can get them at HD or Lowes and very cheap. Of course they are not commercial rated, but for most garages, perfectly adequate.
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------------------snipped-----------------------

All you have to do is check the amp/watt draw of standard ballast and of one that is rated for zero degrees. Since they light the same lamp the difference is the heater.
Heater may be an over simplification.
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If that is true, why do low temp fixtures have different ballasts and use the same bulbs?
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Pawlowski wrote:

Because the bulbs need extra voltage to start at lower temperatures. The concentration of mercury vapor in fluorescent bulbs has significant effect on their operation at room temperature and even at freezing temperatures, and varies all too significantly with temperature.
As for how significant is mercury in the workings of fluorescent bulbs? At ideal temperature, the mercury vapor is at most a few tenths of 1% and sometimes less than 1/10% of the gas/vapor mixture - yet is responsible for nearly all ultraviolet produced by the diffuse arc that causes the fluorescent phosphor coating to glow. Even when the mercury vapor content is as low as .01% of the gas/vapor mix, it is a significant active ingredient.
Some more details in:
http://www.misty.com/~don/dschtech.html
Yet, the essential mixture of an inert "majority gas" plus the minority but active ingredient of mercury vapor has a significant sensitivity to temperature. And the mercury vapor does affect significantly the electrical characteristics of fluorescent bulbs, especially including starting through the "Penning effect". As a result, reliable starting at temperatures significantly lower than usual requires more voltage. This is the job of the ballast, especially when the ballast has more than 2 leads.
A lot more info with a bit relevant is in:
http://www.misty.com/~don/f-lamp.html
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Thank you.
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At work the bulb makers came in and gave a talk on them. Due to the government regulations to reduce or change the materials in the bulbs (thinking mercury but not sure) the tubes become harder to light off cold. That makes them require a differant ballast if they are used in a cold area instead of in a heated building. If you had some 20 or 30 year new / old stock bulbs they would fire where it is colder than the newer bulbs will with a standard ballast.
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Mowery wrote:

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But the ballast has no ability to warm up externally the bulb.
The difference is that the ballast provides higher voltage that the bulbs require in non-optimum temperatures. If such a "beefier" ballast has higher core losses due to being bigger or due to lower effort to minimize core losses (or lower effort to maximize power factor or to do whatever other optimizations) this does not indicate that low temperature ballasts require heat. The bulbs are well enough known to have significant variations in performance with varying temperature, including ability to start. Low temperature ballasts compensate for this by supplying higher voltage.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Newer lights are good down to about 0 degrees. I bought a couple of cheap ones and they work fine in my unheated garage. As the temperature comes up, they do get a little brighter. You can get them as cheap at $15 a fixture.
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Ray wrote:

workshop
one
and I

very
I routinely use the cheapo ballasts from Home Depot without any problem here in Michigan. They do start out a bit dim, and flicker a bunch, but after 5 or 10 minutes they warm up to full brightness. This is in an unheated garage where it might be 10 or 20 degrees (F).
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