Flourescent lights in the shop

Just lookin for some better ideas before I plunk down my money.
Shop is about 1500 square feet, 14' ceilings and lighted with several
sets of 8' flourescents. Last year I replaced one unit in the shop and
one in the storeroom with high output fixtures. What a difference! They
seemed to put out twice the light and at that time I felt they were
worth every penny.
However.....
Within a month the storeroom fixture (on most of the time) began
randomly going off for 10 or so minutes at a time then coming back on.
The ballast seemed to run a little hot so I tried running it with no
cover plate etc to see if cooling would help. No help. On 15, off 10
for a week or so (and I turned it off most of that time..then dead
fixture. The shop fixture worked ok (on most of the time) but also
exhibited the same "off" sessions, except only about 1 ten minute
session every 2 weeks or so. Shop fixture appears dead today. New
bulbs glow in the filaments but nuttin else.
So, although I LOVED the extra light, the cheepie fixtures just keep
going and going whereas the "better" fixtures both died, one in short
order and one after about a year.
Anyone else have this experience? Where would you go from here if you
were me? More of the cheepie fixtures (I need LOTS more light) or risk
the more expensive high output fixtures again hoping it was just a fluke
in the production lot? I suppose I could replace the ballasts but that
would cost as much as a new fixture and probably be a pain in the neck.
Any other suggestions for light that won't break the budget? (120v by
the way...underpowered shop and no 220v available up there for the
commercial lighting fixtures often available surplus).
Koz (Who is getting too old to work in the dark)
Reply to
Koz
Loading thread data ...
The fixtures that cycle off are defective - even for the more expensive type fixtures the big-box stores still compete for who sells the lowest-grade junk they can get.
8' HO fixtures are great, esp. since they work in unheated spaces and outdoors. Keep in mind each time you turn them on cold it uses up many hours worth of operating life.
If you don't need the cold-weather feature I think you're better off with conventional 4' fixtures though. Last longer, better selection of bulbs.
Bob
Reply to
Toolbert
Koz wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com:
Make ABSOLUTELY SURE you do not mount the lights directly to the ceiling. There should be at least 1/2" of air space between the fixture and the ceiling. This is for cooling. If they were directly mounted, this could very well be the cause of the failures.
I would recommend the 4' fixtures. Bulbs are MUCH cheaper, the fixtures are cheaper. If you row them, space them 2' apart along the row, still get plenty of light...but save the cost of purchasing more fixtures. I recommend 4 bulb fixtures too.
Reply to
Anthony
I run a couple of 4-bulb T8 conversions in my shop. I can't remember how many years ago that was. Still the same bulbs, instant on. They just work & work & work. The fixtures were for suspended ceilings and I picked them up on sale from Knox, back when there was a Knox. They also sold the T8 conversion kit. Not cheap, I think back then it was about $30-ish.
Reply to
John Hofstad-Parkhill
And bulbs are a hell of a lot cheaper.
I have a sealed lighting unit that came off an oil rig. Big steel box with some sort of transparent window. Makes a hell of a work light..2 4' tubes, rugged as hell. Only problem is..the bulbs are the type that have two close contacts in each end, inside of an oval tit, unlike the two pin or single nipple type bulbs. The local hardware store wants $14.USD for Each tube.
Gnerk!!!!!!!!!!
Gunner
" ..The world has gone crazy. Guess I'm showing my age... I think it dates from when we started looking at virtues as funny. It's embarrassing to speak of honor, integrity, bravery, patriotism, 'doing the right thing', charity, fairness. You have Seinfeld making cowardice an acceptable choice; our politicians changing positions of honor with every poll; we laugh at servicemen and patriotic fervor; we accept corruption in our police and bias in our judges; we kill our children, and wonder why they have no respect for Life. We deny children their childhood and innocence- and then we denigrate being a Man, as opposed to a 'person'. We *assume* that anyone with a weapon will use it against his fellowman- if only he has the chance. Nah; in our agitation to keep the State out of the church business, we've destroyed our value system and replaced it with *nothing*. Turns my stomach- " Chas , rec.knives
Reply to
Gunner
They sell cheap fixtures in many different styles - and there are good companies that take the cheap parts and build nice fixtures with them - but they still hve cheap components. Stick with one of the major brands like Lithonia, they describe the quality level you're getting.
Go for efficiency - get "Shop Light" or "Troffer" style fixtures with built--in reflectors, so most of the light goes down to where you need it - open strip fluorescents are wasting lumens lighting up the ceiling and upper walls, which doesn't help you at all.
You could use LowBay metal halide fixtures with a 14' ceiling,you get tons of light for the same watts - but they do take 10 minutes to strike and warm up before they're up to full brightness, so provide some fluorescents to prevent total darkness if a momentary power dip turns out the big lights. And they are available in 120V models.
If you go Metal Halide be careful to order the lamps with the internal arc-tube guards, and the fixtures with a lower lens - the inner tube can shatter at end-of-life, and if the outer lamp envelope also breaks you can get a shower of hot glass... Not good.
Add Task Lighting - get focused fixtures over certain machinery you need better light while using, controlled by seperate switches so they aren't running when the machine isn't.
Electronic ballasts are better in fluorescents, they have almost no flicker. Any fixture can be built with them, but you pay a small price preium in most fixtures and may have to wait a few extra days to get them.
High Output lamps are really only needed in unheated out-buildings in the snow belt, signs, outside lighting and walk-in coolers - most regular ffluorescents will start relaibly down to 50F.
Well, lots of regular fixtures are going to draw lots of 120V, so you might want to address that power supply issue anyways... And check the labels on those surplus fixtures carefully before you pass on them, they could be straight 240V but most are available with "Multi-Tap" ballasts that take 120/208/240/277 volts. I always order them that way, so the customer isn't stuck if they want to use them in another location.
-->--
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
When I worked in a paint store we got in some kind of special lights, I don't remember the company name (might have been Spectrum), they were standard 4' bulbs that produced 97% of regular sunlight (almost true colour, way brighter than standard flourescents). They cost more than the standard light (I think almost double) but they lasted a long time so it wasn't a bad trade off. These lights just went into a standard fixture. Ken
Reply to
Ken Vale
For what it is worth...
I have a pretty decent stock of brandy new *electronic ballasts* for 8 foot bulbs that I would be happy to sell to you for one money for all, and a whole lot less than new... they're fine, I don't use 8ft bulbs, and I got a large lot for the 4' electronic ballasts.
They work well, don't hum, (nice) and stay cool.
Regards,
_-_-bear PS. for shop and lab lighting, I've never bought a new fixture - the dumpsters seem full of completely servicable fixtures on a regular basis... ymmv. (of course I swap out the old ballasts for electronic ones now)
-- _-_- BEAR Labs - Custom Audio Equipment, Cables, Mods, Repairs -
formatting link

Reply to
BEAR
Ummm change out the "sockets" for the standard type and proceed with the $0.99 4 foot bulbs?
_-_-bear
-- _-_- BEAR Labs - Custom Audio Equipment, Cables, Mods, Repairs -
formatting link

Reply to
BEAR
The design is such..that it cannt be done without major surgery and a redesign. Cheaper to toss it and buy one of the $10 fixtures
Gunner
'If you own a gun and have a swimming pool in the yard, the swimming pool is almost 100 times more likely to kill a child than the gun is.'" Steven Levitt, UOC prof.
Reply to
Gunner
They are a standard F40T12 lamp with a special phosphor blend on the envelope, and are available at good home centers and supply houses - they are a lot more money ($4 to $6 each compared to $1 for cheapies) but seriously worth the difference. Also available in many other sizes and styles to match your fixtures (HO, 4'-6'-8' Slimline single-pin, 40W U-tube, PL compact [Ott Lite], etc.) but may need to be special ordered.
I use the GE SPEC-50 (5000K "Daylight") lamps around the house, but there are many brands available with the same choices of color temperature (in degrees Kelvin - "Warm White is 2700K and Cool White is 4100K) and Color Rendering Index (how closely does it match natural daylight). Ask to see a catalog at your favorite supplier.
-->--
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
Costco has a 65 watt flourescent floodlight/worklight for $18.99. It puts out a lot of cool light, although I can't predict for how long, some of those cheapo fixtures have disappointed me in the past.
Reply to
ATP
Buy the ballasts on ebay would be my first suggestion. Second would be to buy/acquire a lot of T8 fixtures, even lay-in ones. They should be available for next to nothing somewhere near you. Everytime I retrofit lighting, even if the "old" fixtures are only 5 years old with T8 lamps,reflectors, etc., I can't even give them away. Hi-bay fixtures are also available cheap, although the lumens/watt really isn't appreciably better than T8 lamps.
Reply to
ATP
You might want to look at the Cooper/Regent WQ300 300W wide angle outdoor halogen floods Lowe's sells for about $10 for area lighting. They can be mounted within 1.5" of a flamable surface. The output is 6,000 lumens and the coverage area is 70'x70' when mounted at a 45 deg. angle 12' up. Bulb life is 2,000 hours. There is also a 500W version that puts out 10,500 lumens (according to the box). They are cheap and may be interesting for certain situations.
For what it's worth I picked up nine four-tube 4' standard start fixtures from Western Electric surplus around 1967. The ballasts started failing about five years ago; About then I found a bunch of solid state industrial ballasts at a hamfest and replaced the standard start units as they failed. The electronics haven't held up well at all.1've used about six of the electronics so far and four of them have failed 8o(.
Reply to
keith bowers
Stay far away from those cheap-o dual bulb "shoplites".
They use the bulbs in a "relaxation oscillator" rather than in a ballast set up - in many of them - which eats bulbs for lunch. If it has a real ballast, ok...
As I mentioned, around these parts flourescent fixtures only require some dumpster diving - refurb'd stores are my favorite dumpsters, chock full of lights of all types... as is the local junk yard, I'd bet. Good quality stuff too... ymmv.
_-_-bear -- _-_- BEAR Labs - Custom Audio Equipment, Cables, Mods, Repairs -
formatting link

Reply to
BEAR
Just curious what brand electronic ballasts have failed?
I've been running a row of 4 x 4 bulb toughers over one row of lab benches for about 4 years, 12 hrs a day no failures yet...
Also are you running the ballasts with the suggested bulb types? Some of them take the "watt saver" bulbs and not the 40 watt type and some take both, and some run only the 40 watt style and don't like the other...
And maybe the ones from the hamfest were actually rejects, and that's how they ended up there... s'pose it's possible.
_-_-bear
-- _-_- BEAR Labs - Custom Audio Equipment, Cables, Mods, Repairs -
formatting link

Reply to
BEAR
I replaced 25 8' double tube fixtures in a grinding shop a couple months ago, but the ballasts were all toast, and the owner wanted new fixtures with the new high output lamps. Way bright, but run way hotter. One of my Secret Sources had some 4', 4 tube recessed fixtures for suspended ceilings and I snagged one for $15 with the bulbs. I hung it over my major work area. I went back a couple weeks ago for another one when I was a bit more flush, and they were out, but they said they had more coming in after the new year.
Gunner
'If you own a gun and have a swimming pool in the yard, the swimming pool is almost 100 times more likely to kill a child than the gun is.'" Steven Levitt, UOC prof.
Reply to
Gunner
Couldnt find the bulbs in their listing.
Gunner
'If you own a gun and have a swimming pool in the yard, the swimming pool is almost 100 times more likely to kill a child than the gun is.'" Steven Levitt, UOC prof.
Reply to
Gunner

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.