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Flourescent lighting in shop

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  • #16
    To each his own. I am no expert, but highly casual research showed the whole industry and its dog promoting T8 as the fixture of choice.

    I didn't need the two fixtures based on any kind of science, just looked at the area and thunk "well, two o' them things oughta do it". So I have 8 x 32W bulbs cranking out the photons.

    I don't know what wattage the H.O. T12s are (there are lots of different ones), but they must be higher than standard T12s, which are higher and less efficient than T8s. The electronic T8 ballast is more efficient than the magnetic ballast, as well.

    Which doesn't mean your lights are bad, nor that they aren't brighter than the T8... you can always create more lumens if you eat more Watts. I haven't seen anything seriously disputing the claims about T8 vs. T12... here was one fairly dispassionate analysis that I ran across.

    Personally I just hated the damned buzzing.

    I still think it's too bad when the gov't. feels compelled to jump in, even though the market is doing it on its own.


    • #17
      Greg, you'd be better of looking at 4' T-8 fixtures vs 8' T-12 fixtures that you currently have. Here's why 4' T-8 is better than 8' T-12.

      A few facts I dug up on T-12 and T-8 bulbs. You'll notice thatI'll use Lumens (brightness of single bulb), color temp (how bright it appears), wattage, and average life expectancy.

      T-12 8' standard high output bulbs run about 95 watts, have a lumens rating of 6500, and a temperature rating of 4200k (cool white) if you step up to the Daylight version which gives you a 6500K rating, you get 8,000 lumens, but also burn the bulb at 110 watts. The average life cycle runs 12,000 hours on 8' bulbs. T-12 bulbs are generally not rated to be used in areas where the temperature drops below 60 degrees.(why you have the buzzing)

      T-8 4' bulbs on the other hand allow for the same 4100k cool white temperature rating, put out 2500 lumens per bulb, use only 32 watts per bulb, and last an average of 20,000 hours. the Daylight version puts out 6500K temperature, 2400 lumens, lasts 20,000 hours, and is also 32 watts. 4' T-8 bulbs can be used in cold start fixtures meant to burn down to 0 degrees.

      So, while the T-12 bulbs do put out more light, they use far more energy. In fact, if you compare fixtures, you can run 3 two bulb T-8 fixtures for about the same cost as a single 8' T12 fixture. Since you'd have 3 fixtures, you'll have a greater light output. The life expectancy is greater as well, and since T-8 bulbs are cheaper, when one goes bad, you'll have less out of pocket. In addition, it's a whole lot easier to position 3 4' fixtures exactly where you need them than it is to put a single fixture exactly where you need it.


      • #18
        Mark IV, sounds like you used the same calculation that I did to determine the needed fixtures in a given area! The H.O.'s that I am using are 110 watts each bulb. My understanding of lighting is that flouresant fixtures were already energy efficient. How far must we go?

        I based my decision strictly on what I saw with my own eyes(and what I saw hanging over my head in Lowe's and H.D.). The T-8's just didn't look bright enough.

        Mike, on paper your arguement is quite compelling but, it just didn't look that way in "real life" when I compared the fixtures. I actually bought the T8's and mounted one of them. I returned them and replaced them with the T12'2.

        You guys are probably right. I've just got a really hard head(and a strange buzzing in my ears).

        Thanks for the input.
        keep makn\' sawdust!...just don\'t breath any.


        • #19
          In Australia the Gov't banned the older type Fluros years ago (They were leaking PCB from the Ballast), And yes they did replace all the old Fluros at all the schools. At work we opted for 5000 Kelvin Flourescent lighting and it is fantastic.
          The output from these is double the normal. I don't know where you would buy these in th US but they are woth it.

          [ 01-29-2004, 09:35 PM: Message edited by: Aussie Builder ]


          • #20
            5,000k lights here are generally designated as "daylight" bulbs. Hospitals, doctor offices and dentist offices are the ones that normally use them. in an office environment, the bright light actually makes your eyes hurt after some time. In a shop, I believe they are the best thing since sliced bread though.


            • #21
              Ralph, Don't know where you are at, but at the local Lumber yard here I picked up 4 sets of flourescent fixtures that use the 4 foot bulbs. Yeah I know they are shorter, but they also are low temp bulb. I have used them down to about 40 degrees. It is currently 17 degrees outside and I'm not working in the shop for a few days. They worked fine as they use a different balst system and were only $7.99 a fixture.
              I came...<br /><br />I saw...<br /><br />I changed the plans.


              • #22
                I have a 20'x20' shop and I just replaced all of the 8' fixtures with new 4' T12's. The new fixtures have fast start electronic ballasts that work very well in cold weather and barely flicker upon start-up. The 4' are easier to store and if one goes out you do'nt lose a whole 8' section, and the bulbs are only 9.99 at COSTCO for a pack of 10 40 watt T12's.


                • #23
                  Re: Flourescent lighting in shop

                  OK, after reading all the posts and doing a search ive come back to this thread.
                  In my shop now...just a one car garage...Im using 3 -2x4' T12's.
                  when I put them in I was thinking that was all I needed, so far it is.
                  BUT I ran them cross wise, still thats fine, BUT when ever I lean over
                  my table saw or router cabinet or work table/bench or assembly table.
                  I still get a shadow,,,which I was trying to avoid,,arg !

                  somewhere I saw...awhile back...a diagram about the best layout for shop lighting, cant find anything related to it now.
                  basically it said to run the lights down the sides about 2' out from the walls...if I remember correctly ? !

                  so - if what Im gleaning from these posts here is ! , the T8's are the better of the two in so far as energy consumption, right !

                  Im planning on moving in the near future, I'll have a bigger shop.
                  over twice the size...wohoo !!

                  Ive already figured on two separate switches for each row of lights.
                  just two rows ... its only 18' wide but 25' long.

                  so... I need more fixtures ! at minimum 3 more , possibly 5 ?
                  to make it easy and economical Im sticking with the 4' fixtures.
                  but Im thinking it may be a good idea to convert to the T8's.
                  (but Im not replacing my current T12's-just adding to them with T8's)
                  they come with pigtails so you can plug them into an outlet.
                  makes it easy to isolate them if need be.
                  I may break that up into 3 switches as the far end may just be used
                  for finishing ? haven't decided yet !

                  heres my question ,,, am I right in the layout design !
                  ie; running the lights down the sides of the room , out far enough from
                  the walls to allow for things to be leaned against the walls??? sheet goods etc.
                  but I dont want to cast shadows on my work when I lean over
                  my saw(s).

                  so , does anybody have any better sugestions !

                  thanks for your time.


                  • #24
                    Re: Flourescent lighting in shop

                    My 24x24 shop has 10 double-lamp 48" fixtures. Some are general area lighting and some are tool specific in that they are placed to offer best lighting when using that tool. For instance for the TS which is in the middle of the shop (more or less) I have two fixtures, one fluorescent with (2) 40w lamps and the other fixture with two 150w halogen lamps. They are both orientated so they run left to right directly over the saw. I get no shadows with either. Normally I use the fluorescent but if I need more light I fire up the halogen.
                    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



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