I am transforming my two car garage into a workshop. I have the plans
completed and the electrician coming next week to install a new panel, run
20A and 30A lines, and to install lighting.
I prefer to not have flourescent lighting because of the flickering and
noise so my electrician recommended highhats. This seems like a good idea
to me but I am looking for those with experience to provide feedback.
Do a google search for this same topic about a month or two ago. This was
heavily discussed and you'll find a lot of information on illumination per
square foot, etc. For the record - I just converted from incandescent to
florescent. I don't experience any flicker that I can notice and the light
color and wash is far superior to what I had with the incandescent. I
wouldn't go back.
I just put in some 4' T12 electronic style fluorescents. They seem to
be fine to me. This came about from the discussion of the previous
month(?). No flicker. I did use the T12 34W cool white bulbs left by
the previous owner. I will probably get some 40W bulbs that are more
like natural light for the next round of replacements. I also keep one
incandescent bulb in each room, and the three rooms all have an outside
window. This allows me to assess finish and wood colours in a wide
range of lighting styles and intensities.
" I did use the T12 34W cool white bulbs left by the previous owner. I will
probably get some 40W bulbs "
Our son just completed a rather large shop with about 26 2 bulb 40w T12
fluorescent light fixtures. He bought the bulbs at different times and
different places. Nine of the fixtures hummed badly, then they started going
out. I told him to check what the bulbs were and what the fixture said. He
had mistakenly picked up a box of 32w "energy saver" bulbs, they were
humming and ruined 7 fixtures before he figured out the problem.
I have some fluorescents which hum and some which do not. The ballast in the
fixture makes the difference. Cheaper units have lower frequency ballasts.
More expensive have higher frequency (typically electronic) ballasts which
will result in no perceptable flicker.
I find fluorescents give the best light over a broad area. For spot/task
lighting I used to use halogen, but have recently switched to Xenon.
I have three of the 8' 2-tube flourescents in my shop and they are fine (115
watt tubes). If your shop gets cold you MUST buy the cold-start fixtures and
tubes. Mine do come on dim and with slight flicker when the shop is cold
(about 40 degrees or below), but they come up to full brightness in minutes.
If you install the regular units in a cold shop they will flicker and bulb
life will be very short. I am in my 6th year and have finally had to
replace a couple of tubes. In a previous shop, with standard units, I was
replacing tubes every winter.
I'm in Syracuse, NY Monroe, and it gets really cold here. I have a furnace
in my garage that I don't turn on unless I'm out there working. It will
kick in and keep the garage just under 50 when it cranked back. My lights
are 0 degree start, not the -20 ones. I couldn't see the increased price
for the the -20's when my garage seldom gets that cold. They're quite, they
come on fast and I like the light. I have had the garage colder than 50
when the furnace has been shut right off and the lights fired right up with
temps in the high teens, with no hesitation.
The newer flourescent fixtures with the T8 bulbs and electronic ballasts
have basically eliminated all the hum and flicker. T8 fixtures can be
found for a decent price at Home Depot or Lowes.
I believe highhats burn a lot more electricity than T8 flourescents.
If lighting color is a concern, get some better bulbs that are closer to
Lighting color is a funtion of the "color temperature" of the bulbs.
Without going into a lot of detail, natural sunlight on a bright day has a
color temperature of about 6400 degrees Kelvin. Incandescent bulbs have a
color temperature of around 3400 degrees Kelvin. Most bulbs have the color
temperature printed somewhere on the package (you often have to look
carefully, it might say 3400K, for example). Natural sunlight is quite
"white", while incandescent light in more "orange". The quality of the
bulbs has nothing to do with the "color" of the light they emit. You simply
need to pick what you want. As an example, the fluorescent lamps around the
meat case at your local supermarket are VERY CAREFULLY chosen to give the
meat that bright red appearance we associate with freshness.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.