Shop lights

I am so fed up with the fluorescent light fixtures in my shop. I am looking for replacements. Need 48" 4 tube fixtures of good quality. The ones I hav e the bulb holders are so far apart that they do not reliable make good con tact with the tube pins. Some times the tubes fall out on their own. Any su ggestions? Using T12 with a diffuser right now on a 8' ceiling. Anyone know of a good brand/model number? TIA

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Man i hear ya. I have the old style large dimater flouresent tubes from 30 years ago in my shop.

I replaced four of them with today's small diameter flouresent tubes. MAN WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT. When time permits I'm replacing all of the old ones.

I just got two tube four foot lights from Home Depot on sale for about $12. Sorry don't remember the T#


Reply to
Karl Townsend

T8 are the ones you want. Don't get the T5 unless you have a very high ceiling at least 20 feet.


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I see small diameter tubes with metallic green colored ends. Does that have anything to do with it?

I recently went to Lowes and Home Depot looking for single pin four footers and a sales guy said that new fixtures would pay for themselves is less than a year. True?

Reply to
Tom Gardner

The two eight foot (two four footers, end to end) and two four foot fixtures in my shop all take T12 tubes and have porcelained reflectors - basicaly industrial fixtures with spring (axial) loaded sockets. these fixtures are probably at least fifty years old and I keep babying them along in the hope they will outlast me. I also use task lights as required.

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Aldi in australia are at the moment selling replacement tubes that are LED for about $25. (need blank starters)

Reply to
F Murtz

I did this 5 years ago & got lots of good (I assume) advice here. Here is that thread:

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Hope that works, if not go here:

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and search for "Fluorescent shop light retrofit questions" as "Subject"

Now, what I did do was: replace ballasts with electronic ones & lamps (T8's) in my existing fixtures. It was 5 years ago, so my memory of it's a bit weak, but IIRC, it was cheaper that way (using eBay for brand name ballasts and buying a case of lamps).

Bottom line: I didn't notice any difference! Pisser! But, I thought, "At least they're more efficient and I'll save a lot money". Then I read the fine print, which said that better efficiency only comes when the lights are on for extended periods. Mine are not - at most a few hours at time, sometimes minutes. Double pisser.

HTH, Bob

Reply to
Bob Engelhardt

ng for replacements. Need 48" 4 tube fixtures of good quality. The ones I h ave the bulb holders are so far apart that they do not reliable make good c ontact with the tube pins. Some times the tubes fall out on their own. Any suggestions? Using T12 with a diffuser right now on a 8' ceiling. Anyone kn ow of a good brand/model number? TIA

We added some of the new-style skinny tube fixtures to a work area in the b

-in-l's tool shed, quad 4' tubes in 8' fixtures. Man, what a difference. A lot more light than the 8' single pin jobbies hanging from the ceiling. Managed to score several fixtures at Lowe's last year when they had them on sale, also had some spare tubes. You do have to watch the temp ratings, s ome won't work well in cold temps. Tubes ARE more expensive, haven't had e nough experience with them yet to tell how long they will vs. the old, big jobs.

You CAN get new tube holders from lighting suppliers, should you want to ke ep the existing fixtures because they'd be a bigger pain to replace. Not ro cket science to replace those. Loose tube holders are a fire hazard, if not hing else. Probably had poor connections that overheated, causing them to lose their s pring temper, causing worse contact, etc. Death spiral here, eventually ei ther the ballast goes or you get a fire.


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The number quoted in all lightbulb descriptions is in eighths of an inch - T-5 = 5/8" OD, T8 = 1" OD, T-12 = 1-1/2" OD. The letter is the lamp envelope shape abbreviated - Globe, Tubular, etc. Some of the names are rather obscure.

Odd letters can indicate BU (Base Up) BD (Base Down) H (Horizontal +/-

15-degrees) mostly in Merc and Metal, and they have indexing sockets so they stop in the right position with the arc tube arc pointed up - and the new ones are normally U (Universal - any position)

All the Green Ends shows is Reduced Mercury content - instead of the old days when they used a big fat drop to make sure there was plenty, now they meter in a teeny tiny carefully metered drop. They tend to take longer to get warmed up in very cold environments.

The Single Pin lamps are Slimline Instant Start lamps, and they're going away - they don't do well with the reduced mercury. You can still get replacement electronic ballasts for them - but they're also making T-8 Slimline lamps that are drop-in replacements.

And yes, you're far better changing over to the 4' T-8 fixtures (or the 8' Tandem fixtures with 4 4' lamps 2X2 end to end) with high-efficiency electronic ballasts. Might not be a year to get payback in all cases, but certainly by year two or three.

For starters, the new electronic ballasts are running Switching Mode to get rid of the 120-Hz flicker from old magnetic lights - no more strobe effect "stopping" the spindle, and headaches from the flicker.

And if you do get some 20-KHz flicker, change lamps to get ones where the phosphors have more persistence - they keep glowing in between the pulses.

Note that there are conversion adapter plates to turn old T-12 fixtures to T-8. Very handy for parking garages, where they hung the old fixtures with concrete nails shot into the ceiling.

Mainly because they shot those nails into a FRESH concrete slab that was only a few months old - 30 or 40 years later, any powder actuated tool you fire at that concrete is just going to bounce right off and come right back at you. DAMHIKT...

For things like parking garages and non-critical area lighting, LED Fixtures are finally getting reasonably priced and the electronics are catching up to the reliability of the LEDs themselves.

Just change the whole fixture every 50K hours - 12 to 13 years dusk to dawn. Might have to go through and clean the lenses every few years, and that's it. No lamp changes.


Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman (munged human readable)

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