Shop Lighting Revisited

I have often heard the T8 bulb mentioned as a bright light. Yesterday I helped a friend install a new kitchen fixture that used 4, 4' T8 tubes. I was surprised at their small diameter compared to a standard sized florescent bulb. I also noticed that the ballast had a T8 label on it. The kitchen lit up quite brightly and we were impressed.
My question, can these T8 bulbs be used in a standard florescent fixture or do I need to buy new fixtures? My shop lights are needing to be thumped to come on and I am thinking about replacing them.
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I saw those new skinny bulbs the other day, and they did not have the lumen output of the regular bulbs. Are they really brighter??? And what works in a shop that runs 60 degrees F? I too need to replace my shop lights.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I had my basement shop lit with standard T12 flourescent fixtures. I suffered from flicker and poor startup in cold spells. My son (an electrician) replaced all the ballasts with T8 ballasts and new T8 tubes. Big difference in lighting (for the better) and the lights start even when the basement is really cold (Before firing up the woodstove, it currently runs about 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees F)). The outside temp is now -25C (-13F).
cheers ...
brian
Stillwater Lake Nova Scotia, Canada
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Here are a few numbers on that subject:
Measured lux Bulb New 1800 hours change --------- ------- ---------- --------- TriLux (T8) 7800 7100 - 8.97% TriLux (T8) 7600 6800 -10.53% Triton (T12) 6100 5400 -11.48% Triton (T12) 5700 5000 -12.28%
So it would appear that T8 is indeed brighter... and lasts a bit longer.
redoing your lights is not a trivial or cheap task...
http://www.servicelighting.com/2-Lamp-T6-T8-Fluorescent-Ballasts vs http://www.servicelighting.com/2-Lamp-T12-Fluorescent-Ballasts
Leon wrote:

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I noticed that cleaning the off occasionally helps greatly. :~)

Welllllllll we bought a complet 4 lamp T8 fixture and 4 T8 bulbs for $57. The bulbs were about $3.50 per pair.

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Get someone in the trade to purchase them for you at the supply house. My current cost for a T8 ballast is a little under $16 and the lamps start at $1.58.
Mike M
On Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:14:37 -0600, "Leon"

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Leon wrote:

Believe that the ballast must be changed to use the T8's. Make sure if you do to get the electronic ballasts to help get them going in really cold weather. The shop today was about 23 before applying any heat but the lights came on and were as bright as ever. The T8's do seem a lot brighter than the T12's but can't find anything to prove it. They sure do light up the workspace a lot better though.
Roger
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Leon wrote:

I bought the T8 electronic ballasts at Lowes. You need to follow the diagram on the ballast to rewire them as they are wired differently, but the bulb fits the old fixture fine. Just re-did the light in the garage and it is gratifying to see it pop right on. The minimum temp on the ballast is 0 F. (not 0 C. as many T12's are). Did my shop a couple of years ago and never regretted it.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
  Click to see the full signature.
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Thank you for the info.
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I bought 7 new shoplight fixtures with electronic ballast at Lowes for $18 each. I bought a box of 30 T8 4100K bulbs for $35.
I had one bad fixture - flickered - that I replaced.
In the same shop I have 5 other fixtures that using T12 bulbs.
Personally, I could not say that the T8s are significantly brighter than the T12s. The fixtures the T12s are in, however, are newer and supposedly can power a T12 or T8.
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I bought 7 new shoplight fixtures with electronic ballast at Lowes for $18 each. I bought a box of 30 T8 4100K bulbs for $35.
Good to know.
I had one bad fixture - flickered - that I replaced.
In the same shop I have 5 other fixtures that using T12 bulbs.
Personally, I could not say that the T8s are significantly brighter than the T12s. The fixtures the T12s are in, however, are newer and supposedly can power a T12 or T8.
I did see that they are brighter but like you probably not enough brighter to justify replacing working fixtures and bulbs. Having a fixture that is giving me problems however would be an opportune time to switch to T8. Can I assume you bought the 2 tube type fixtures? Thanks for the information.
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What I have is a fairly low cost lighting solution. Surely not the best, but all total I probably have:
12 fixtures (7 new) = 18each x 12 = 216 30 bulbs = 35 new breaker and wiring for dedicated lights = 30 ish 4 x dual gang (16 places to plug in) outlets on the ceiling (to plug in the 12 shop lights) = 30 ish
so about $300 total to light a 24x24 area.
The downside is the wiring along the ceiling (though I pulled them tight and secured them so they don't dangle) and fixtures below the 8' plane. But with my 8'-1" ceiling I was limited to start. At my last shop I just mounted the fixtures at a 45 along the ceiling/wall intesection and it worked pretty well. This time I opted for directly overhead. I did not like handling 8' upright plywood anyway, so this time I'll store it 4' on edge. Takes a bit more wall space but easier to handle.
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I installed T-8's in my shop when I built it about 4 years ago. An electrician told me that they were 30% brighter and used 30% less energy. I don't know how accurate his figures are but I can tell you that they are brighter--noticably brighter. I love the fact that the electronic ballasts kick on immediately with no flickering in cool weather (I live in Louisiana). I am extremely happy with my choice. I used a mixture of 8ft (4-4ft bulbs) and 4ft (2-4ft bulbs) fixtures. One thing that I wish I had done is put a single incondescent bulb fixture in the middle of the shop for when I just need to run in to get something. Anyway, I bought all of the fixtures from Lowe's.
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Thanks for the info.
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Check the rating of the ballast factor for the ballast as it has an effect on the output. They can range from about .72 -1.18 with .88 being the more typical range.
Mike M
On Sat, 17 Jan 2009 09:19:58 -0600, "Leon"

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I'll keep that in mind, I was pricing them out at HD and found I could buy a 2 bulb electronic ballast for $20.49 or the whole 2 bulb fixture w/electronic ballast for $21.97. I am betting the complete assembly probably comes with a ballast with a lower rating.
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On Sat, 17 Jan 2009 16:43:40 -0600, "Leon"

I can buy a bicyle for $2,000 or I can buy a frame, a fork, and all the components for $2,500 and I still have to assemble everything. Same thing for a car, sort of. Sometimes a total package is a lot cheaper than the individual parts. May or may not apply in the question of ballasts.
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In this case price wasn't the main issue so much as being sure your getting a full light output ballast and not a low output ballast.
Mike M
On Sun, 18 Jan 2009 08:45:07 -0500, Jim Behning

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Interesting google research.
On Sun, 18 Jan 2009 11:53:54 -0800, Mike M

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You need a T8 ballast and T8 tombstones.
scott
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