Shop Lighting Recommendations


Hello All, 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.
Thanks
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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.
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-Mike-
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Mark Brubaker wrote:

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.
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willr
http://woodwork.pmccl.com
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" 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.
Walt Conner
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Yes, you need a ballast designed for the energy efficient lamps.
WConner wrote:

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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.
Dave Paine.

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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.
RonB
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Are these cold-start fixtures the best solution for very cold conditions? Or would incandescents be the only practical solution?

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Monroe

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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.
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-Mike-
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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 incandescents.
Brian Elfert
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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.
BruceT
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