Shop Lighting opinions

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Greetings All, I have a basement which has just a couple of 48" flourescents right now. I need to add more lighting and was looking at replacing the flourescents with something else brighter. Since the machine layout will be in flux for a while, ceiling cans are out. Besides, my local code requires conduit everywhere, and I'm not going thru that for ceiling cans. I was at the borg and picked up a couple of GE 24" halogen fixtures, thnking they would be nice and bright. I was dead wrong. Dim, compared to my flourescents. Probably good for a small area at best. The one thing I did like about them is they are linkable. Any ideas out there? Bright, and linkable would be good.... TIA, Mark
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the better.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

As a fellow basement dweller, I concur.
The big problem with basement is ceiling height. With a low ceiling, you need far more fixtures per square foot, as the light doesn't get much chance to spread out.
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Incentive to spread some white paint around. It always amazes me how that helps.
Ed
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Ed Edelenbos wrote:

I'm smack in the middle of that very thing right now. I'm not even a third of the way done and it's already making a huge difference.
--
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
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Ed Edelenbos wrote:

What he said, basement or any other shop -- white walls make a HUGE difference in ambient light, and frankly ambience as well. Much more cheerful and inspiring than gray cement or bare studs
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If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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yep.. I also like mirrors, though they're a bitch to keep dusted.. I have several 18" x 30" mirrors from a garage sale and have them mounted high on walls and angles to reflect light towards the lathes and such.. Even one mirror makes quite a bit of difference..
mac
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Sort of a double edge sword though, Barry... My problem with fluorescent is that if you have high ceilings (mine are 10') the fluorescents diffuse... probably the wrong word?.. more than incandescent..
I've dropped some of my T-8 fixtures down a couple of feet and they're much more effective.. OTOH, I also have 2 or 3 goose neck lamps with incandescent "true color" bulbs, for when I want to see details when sanding and such..
mac
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I also am in a basement shop with a low drop ceiling, About 7'6".
I have 4 twin tube, 4 ' flourescents hanging between the beams.
True to their nature the light is fairly sterile and evenly dull.
I solved it by looking at where I spent the majority of my tome and I installed and installed talk lighting in can type fixtures in the ceiling.
I initially used incandescent bulbs but have gone to the high white cf bulbs. They give the room a bit more "natural" lighting and don't generate that much heat.
I have


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I agree with the fluorescents. You can put different color temperature tubes in, (instead of the stock ones that give everything that pukey green tint) which will give you much better results when staining.
However, I recommend not going with the $8-11 garage fixtures. The ballasts last about a year and can not be replaced. At minimum, buy a fixture in which the ballast can be replaced. You should be able to find $15-18 fixtures with ballast replacement under 10 dollars. The ballasts will last at least a few years, and the fixture is stronger than tin foil.
--

-MIKE-

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Man, I found those *great* $8.99 fixtures at Home Depot and put them up in my unheated shop. (Maryland so it's been a bit chilly for a while now.) The worst $60 I've spent for quite some time. Cold I could deal with... but cold and flickering lights is a bit stiff.
Ed
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But isn't the endless buzzzzing kind of relaxing...
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wrote:

If it was a constant 60hz I could probably get used to it. The un-ending buzz---buzz---buzz--- of attempting to start (on up to 3 fixtures at a time) combined with the flickering is just downright dangerous with blades flying around. (grin)
Ed (not ready for "Stumpy" as a nickname)
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On Mon, 12 Jan 2009 08:22:58 -0500, Ed Edelenbos cast forth these pearls of wisdom...:

Man - I can't believe you guys are having these problems with them. I have none of those problems. Hell - I'm tickled pink with them - far better than the much more expensive ones I had purchased prior to them.
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-Mike-
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Ed:
Take 'em back, demand a refund or try exchanging them if they are not all "Finicky" in the cold. I changed out a couple that did that - they are not all flickering in my case. Could be you got a bad lot. If you got 'em from Lowes, return them and get a set from Wal-Mart, or HD.
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On Sun, 11 Jan 2009 17:21:56 -0600, -MIKE- cast forth these pearls of wisdom...:

I have often recommended the $8 shop fixture from Home Depot. It has a 0 degree C ballast, and the ballast is easily changed if you were so inclined. I've had them hanging for a couple of years now and they've outlived the $35 fixtures I had in my garage. I have a furnace in my garage so it never gets much colder than around 40 F or so, and my Borg shop lights fire up immediately in those temps. No flicker, no buzz. I have 15 of them hanging in my garage, so it's not likely that I just got a couple of good ones.
I was never able to find any ballasts for under $10, even though people say they have. Typically considerably more than that. At $8 for the whole fixture, it's kind of hard to beat the price.
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-Mike-
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Well, you've certainly had a different experience than me. For the last 9 years, I changed out those cheap ones, like they're disposable. None lasted more than 2 years, some less than a year. The ballasts were twice as much as the fixtures. When I did open one up, I found all the ballast parts scattered in the fixture housing, all attached in a different manner, with wiring all tangled and soldered.
The ballasts for the $15 fixture is one a self contained metal housing and can be changed with one screw and a few wire nuts, without disassembling or un-mounting the fixture. Another $18 light had an integrated plug.. the ballast could be changed quicker than two tubes. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Mon, 12 Jan 2009 11:45:45 -0600, -MIKE- cast forth these pearls of wisdom...:

Are you talking about the $8 fixtures at HD Mike? That's the specific cheap fixture we're speaking about here. I've opened several of those up and have never seen what you describe. I did have a like experience with the $20 fixtures from Lowes. Pure junk. I'm pretty sure they were American Florescent. They quickly stop going into run mode and begin eating up bulbs like there is no tomorrow.
Where are you getting the $18 dollar fixtures you're using? Brand? Always on the hunt for good stuff in case I later decide that the good stuff I've stumbled across does not turn out to be all that good.
--

-Mike-
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"ballasts last about a year and can not be replaced"
his has NOT been my personal experience on two counts.
FIrst, I have cheap shop lights that have lasted over six years (and some that did not - see below).
Second, you can replace the balasts in these fixtures - but the cost of the replacement is often half again or even twice the price of a replacement fixture. Add to this the fact that replacing the ballast involves removing the hanging fixture to the bench, opening it, cutting wires, adding wire nuts to connect the new ballast, reassembling and then re-hanging the fixture it makes no sense to replace the ballast even if the cost is a bit less than a new shoplight.
PS: For those that "quit" prematurely, I have a great solution. I save the cartons they come in. Just need to save one carton of each brand. Then, if it quits, I simply return it and exchange it for a new one. If they have changed the packaging (they do from time to time to frustrate such returns), just buy a new one, slip the old one in the new box and return that one.
They (retailers) know that a significant percentage of this Chinese stuff newer saw a QC test and count on the customer to accept the premature failure and buy a new one while calculating a higher "Returns & Allowances" factor in determining their "Markup." to account for the high crap rates.
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Hoosierpopi wrote:

Otherwise known as theft.
--

-MIKE-

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