shop lighting

I'm looking into fluorescent fixtures for the ceiling lighting in my shop. I have 10' ceilings and about 500SF of shop area I have a lead on some fixtures and I'd like some opinions on whether they might be suitable. The fixtures are 2'x4' 4-lamp troffer fixtures. I don't know yet what lamp style they take, but I've emailed to ask. I'm no lighting expert, but I believe the troffers are designed to be installed into a suspended ceiling. Would I be able to use them with either an open ceiling or a drywalled ceiling? Anything else I should find out about them? I can get 7 of these for $150 with lenses and lamps.
todd
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todd wrote:

Todd, I'd give you the 'straight' answer if I could remember it ... but I can't. HOWEVER, I do recall that this was beaten to death in theis newsgroup perhaps a year or so ago ... even had our own resident lighting engineer chiming in.
Search the archives in Google and I think you will find WAAAY more information than you could ever use on this topic.
Bill
--
http://nmwoodworks.com/cube


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Many troffers are used in 277v environments. Do be sure you check the supply voltage requirements unless you want to replace the ballasts.
scott
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This may not be a professional solution, but I like to buy those $7 shop lights, and string up enough to give me the amount of light I want. To make it easy I ran a set of "light" outlets on a sep. circuit along my ceiling. I don't use my shop a lot, but those things seem to last forever, and it's a 1 minute job to replace.

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I do the same, 12 foot ceilings, problem in cold weather (from 30 degrees and down) until they warm up or I get the fire going. 10 years of daily use and I have had to replace 3 fixtures and used about 20 or 30 tubes for about 20 fixtures.

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Is your shop out in the cold? Will these start in the cold, if it is?
If the voltage is correct for your shop, and you don't have heating related issues, then coming up with a way to hang them is pretty straight forward. You could suspend them from chains, build a frame for them to sit in, or screw them directly to the ceiling.
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I have a shop with 14 ft ceilings. It is all drywalled and painted white so light reflects very well. I used the 8' High Output lights that are available at Home Depot or Lowes. They were about $50 several years ago. There are no lenses or baffles. The light comes from the fluorscent bulbs which are about $7 each. I have also installed these in my childrens garages and they work very well. They also are rated to start in cold weather situations. In the past I have used various 4 ft units but these are much better. However, one does have to watch out for noisey ballasts. Sometimes they make noise. Depends on your hearing loss.
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For $150 I'd get flourescents from HD. Hardwire them or plug them in. But some people don't like flourescents, anyways it's another option.
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you can probably find all the troffers you want for free. When we bring a truck load back to the shop for disposal we usually find the truck almost empty by the next morning. Saves us the trouble of parting them out for scrap.
Mike M
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