I want to put some fluorescent lights in my barn. I would like to turn
them on/off individually with a pull switch and also direct ire them.
All the fixtures with the pull switch on them have a cord and plug
attached. My question is, can I take off the cord and direct wire
these fixtures? Will the fixtures that operate at 0 degrees be OK? I
heat the barn when I am in it.
Take advantage of the cord and install outlet covers on the boxes that
will feed the lights. A barn environment is pretty rough on lamps, so
it will be easier to unplug and replace after failure than to unwire
and do so. Don't know for sure, but there may be code requirements for
barn lamps that are hard wired.
Use an enclosed fixture with a ballast that starts the lamps at low
Fixtures can be hard wired or plugged in and you can individually switch
them, but you may have to add the switch yourself.
Here's an example of a suitable fixture and it is rated for 0 degrees.
Lighting fixtures must be grounded as a general electrical requirement; but
with fluorescent fixtures there's another reason -- for reliable starting,
linear fluorescent lamps must be within a half inch of grounded metal.
Should be able to pull the wire out, and connect the romex, BX, or THNN
where the power cord came off. Outdoor 0F fixtures should be fine. Probably
safer, if you direct wire them. But, the plug and socket (and hang the lamps
by chains) makes them temporary, and you can take them to your next barn. Or
replace them easy enough when they stop working. If you direct wire them,
you make more work for replacing the fixtures.
RBM mentioned 0 degree ballasts because most florescent lights have
problems when the temperature is below 40°F. A better bet would be to
spend a little more money and get some HO florescent fixtures and lamps.
The HO lights will come on in very cold temps and put out a lot
more light. I would also suggest installing the clear protective plastic
sleeves on the tubes since it's in a barn and could be struck by
something. An example from WW Grainger:
One thing to note, the T12 lamps are going away in favor of the smaller
diameter T8 lamps and I have yet to install any T8 HO fixtures so I
don't know how they perform.
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