shop lighting?

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I use 5 x 8' lights on the ceiling in my 20 x 40 shop mostly in the center of the ceiling. This is background lighting. I have 6 x 4' lights mounted 4' down from the ceiling on a piece of plywood. hinged to the wall. I have a string attached to the upper side of the lights so I can lower them down to be parallel to the ceiling or raise them to be perpendicular to the ceiling and out of the way. Because the lights are closer to my work I get much better illumination. Most of the time I keep the lights at 45degrees to the wall and the ceiling which does a nice job of eliminating any shadows anywhere in the shop.
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P.S. I would rather climb up the the ceiling and replace 5 eight foot bulbs than 10 four foot bulbs. And yes, the bulbs with the rectangular contact ends are much easier to replace than the pin end bulbs.
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I agree with the others to go with 4 foot fixtures. There is a much better selection of bulbs types for them.
I prefer a bulb with a color temperature of around 3500K. Lower color temps are just trying to emulate incandescent or halogen, unless you want the "warmth" (pointless in a shop). Lamps over 4100K are too cool to me for shop use.
Get lamps with a color rendering index (CRI) of at least 80. Lower CRIs can cause colors to appear shifted and inaccurate.
Finally you need enough light to properly illuminate the work areas and the fixtures need to be positioned to avoid shadow areas.
John
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John Starr wrote:

I agree with others re 4' lights and switches. Additionally...
The lights in my shop are in drywalled, recessed areas in the ceiling between trusses. I have yet to smack one with a long board.
If your shop will have finished walls/ceilings, paint them white. With glossy paint. Floor too.
--

dadiOH
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I would suggest 4' bulbs, chaper, easier to store. You can get eight foot fixtures that hold 4 4' bulbs.
I would also suggest using duplex outlets and plugging fixtures into them for easy replacement (ballasts or fixture).
There is a t-8 type and a t-12 type, I believe. With the latter more efficient than the former - may be moot as they may no longer make the less efficient units.
White ceilings and walls hlp a lot. Additional HIGH INTENSITY lighting over specific tools/areas on individual switches has proven a good idea over time.

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Hoosierpopi wrote:

Other way around...T8 is generally more efficient, usually due to the electronic ballast.
Chris
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On Fri, 17 Aug 2007 10:07:23 -0600, Chris Friesen

Oh, you may get away with shoplifting for a time or two but you WILL ultimately get nabbed. And then think about the consequences......... ooops... shop LIGHTING...... nevermind................
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John Starr wrote:

I changed out all my 4' T12 to T8 electronic ballasts and bulbs last year. No more hum, no flicker in cold weather and instant on. They may make T12 ballasts in electronic, and probably do, but I am really happy with my T8's.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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T8 flicker rate is imperceptible at 24,000 cps, electronic ballast.
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In my 18'x25' shop, I have (4) 8-foot two-bulb F96T12C50's, in two rows lengthwise (parallel to the 25' dimension) at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the 18' dimension. Plenty of light.
For your shop, I'd add a third row and space the fixtures evenly.
Note the "C50". Chroma 50 bulbs provide color rendition pretty darn close to daylight.
If you can get T8's instead of T12's (may need to work through Graingers or a local lighting supplier) with electronic ballasts, go for it (but stick with the c50's).
scott
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4' tubes are normal for 120V circuitry; you might want to stick to those (and be sure to get electronic-ballast fixtures).
My own experience is that the diffuse light from fluorescents makes some texture and edge discrimination more difficult; wire to a few boxes on the ceiling in case you want halogen, sodium-vapor or other pointsource lights installed later.
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John,
I have 8' strips with 2 lamps each placed end to end in several rows across my shop and the light level and working conditions are great. As your shop is longer than mine you will need 5 rows of these strips spaced 5 ft apart with 3 fixtures in each row to cover the whole ceiling. That will leave you 2.5 ft between the last row and the wall in one direction and 3 ft to the wall in the other direction. With no reflectors on the strips and just a white painted sheetrock ceiling you will have very bright, even, and nearly reflection free lighting across your whole shop. If you wish, you can break the lighting circuit into 2 or 3 sections so that you can leave one end of the shop dark if you don't plan on working there. You should definitely get fixtures with electronic ballasts if your shop temperature will not be maintained above 60 degrees F or you will have problems when you turn them on and it's cold. I like daylight colored tubes in my machine areas and cool white in my finishing area. The daylight color helps me see lines better when cutting and assembling and the cool white helps me see colors as they will usually be seen when inside a home with incandescent lighting. My previous shop had 4' fixtures and I wasn't very happy with them. It seemed like I was forever replacing a lamp here and another lamp there. I have found that the 8' lamps in my new shop last significantly longer. In fact, the shop is now about 12 years old and I have only replaced 6 of the original lamps, and 2 of those were broken when they were hit by moving a long board.
Everybody has their own opinion about what is best in shop lighting. I suggest that you compare my way to a similarly illuminated store with a 10' white ceiling and 8' strip lighting somewhere in your area to see if that level of lighting is right for you. When I was planning my shop I based it's lighting design on what was in a store near me and it has worked out very well. The only dedicated use light that I have is on one of my drill presses, and it came with the drill press. I haven't had need for any other. Even the benches along the walls seem to have adequate light.
Charley

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After reading the comments I am still a little confused on why would you use 4' lights v 8' lights. If the building is 30' long three 8' lights per row and you are done. Why string so much wire for 4''s?
From the comments I have come up with somewhat of a plan. A row along each side 4' from the wall, and than another row7' in from that one. 4 rows of 28' lighting.
John

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"John Starr" wrote: .

Take the time to examine the lamp terminations of a 4 ft lamp and then an 8 ft lamp.
The weak point in the 4 ft lamp system is the lamp/socket connection.
Lew
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You can get the 4' lamps in what's called a tandem fixture which has an 8' shell. Compare the price on 4' and 8' T8 lamps. Your going to be buying electronic ballasts so you might as well move up to the current technology.
Mike M
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