I'm looking into fluorescent fixtures for the ceiling lighting in my shop.
I have 10' ceilings and about 500SF of shop area I have a lead on some
fixtures and I'd like some opinions on whether they might be suitable. The
fixtures are 2'x4' 4-lamp troffer fixtures. I don't know yet what lamp
style they take, but I've emailed to ask. I'm no lighting expert, but I
believe the troffers are designed to be installed into a suspended ceiling.
Would I be able to use them with either an open ceiling or a drywalled
ceiling? Anything else I should find out about them? I can get 7 of these
for $150 with lenses and lamps.
I'd give you the 'straight' answer if I could remember it ... but I
can't. HOWEVER, I do recall that this was beaten to death in theis
newsgroup perhaps a year or so ago ... even had our own resident
lighting engineer chiming in.
Search the archives in Google and I think you will find WAAAY more
information than you could ever use on this topic.
This may not be a professional solution, but I like to buy those $7 shop
lights, and string up enough to give me the amount of light I want. To make
it easy I ran a set of "light" outlets on a sep. circuit along my ceiling.
I don't use my shop a lot, but those things seem to last forever, and it's a
1 minute job to replace.
I do the same, 12 foot ceilings, problem in cold weather (from 30 degrees
and down) until they warm up or I get the fire going. 10 years of daily use
and I have had to replace 3 fixtures and used about 20 or 30 tubes for about
Is your shop out in the cold? Will these start in the cold, if it is?
If the voltage is correct for your shop, and you don't have heating related
issues, then coming up with a way to hang them is pretty straight forward.
You could suspend them from chains, build a frame for them to sit in, or
screw them directly to the ceiling.
I have a shop with 14 ft ceilings. It is all drywalled and painted
white so light reflects very well. I used the 8' High Output lights
that are available at Home Depot or Lowes. They were about $50 several
years ago. There are no lenses or baffles. The light comes from the
fluorscent bulbs which are about $7 each. I have also installed these
in my childrens garages and they work very well. They also are rated
to start in cold weather situations. In the past I have used various
4 ft units but these are much better. However, one does have to watch
out for noisey ballasts. Sometimes they make noise. Depends on your
Depending on your location, if the utilities have retrofit programs
you can probably find all the troffers you want for free. When we
bring a truck load back to the shop for disposal we usually find the
truck almost empty by the next morning. Saves us the trouble of
parting them out for scrap.
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