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  • #16
    The T 5's are real nice. I was thinking about changing over in my shop after seeing them but the price scared me away.

    JL.................

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    • #17
      Roger I rewired my shops not too long ago and put a heap of lighting in. I downloaded a free application to calculate the number of fittings required based on the type of task being performed, obviously the size of the area, and also the surfaces. Unfortunately I have since deleted the app and I'm buggered if I can recall what it was called, but I'm sure if you did some searching you could turn up something. Other members may be able to help. I was quite staggered at the number of fittings required to achieve the specified illumination, and even then I am still below the recommended number. Had I just put in what I thought sounded like a good figure I can honestly say I think I would have come up with half the number this program specified. Now they're in I don't regret it for a second, both my shops are quite well lit and a pleasure to work in. Don't skimp on the lighting!

      Pete

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      • #18
        The older you get the more light you need as well. 25 years ago I was happy with the lighting in my shed and over the las 5-10 years I have been adding lights as I am finding it harder to see. I could not go back to my original lighting as it would feel like a cave.

        The Garage Journal forum has a section just for garage lighting and has a lot of good info as well as pictures of shops/lights, might be worth a look to help you to decide.
        If you are not already a member, I think you will have to join, but it is well worth it as there is a lot of great threads on garages with a heap of good ideas on all sorts of things from building to fitting out.

        Dave

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        • #19
          4 footer with safety sleeves

          I have 4' footers with plastic sleeves over the tubes . These are a good idea in a low ceiling like mine. Under 8 feet high in low spots. Sleeves are there to prevent me from slamning a piece of steel or board into the florescent light tubes and breaking the bulbs. Another trick would be to buy lights with a diffuser covering the tubes. Could be clear or the designer type of crystal covered. Believe me I've slammed them by backing my snowblowers hood into them and they survived.
          Boot

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          • #20
            Separate circuit, and a plea for track lighting

            Originally posted by Roger_H
            I need to decide on lights for the shop. ..... I know I want T-8 fixtures, the question is how many?
            1) Separate circuit so its impossible for your air compressor or whatever to plunge you into darkness while the power feed on the lathe rapidly spins toward the headstock... Or having to trip over the stuff in the walkway...

            2) I put my machines on semi-childproof power strips along with an attached desklamp... I've gone to the effort of removing the on/off switch on some desk lamps. If the light is off, the machine is childproof, even if the machine switch is easily accessible, the powerstrip is on the wall right under the ceiling. Its also nice to know at a glance at the end of the day that everything is off, if all the lights are out.

            3) I see you've already decided on T-8, too bad, I like my track lights. Put them right where you need them, right where they cause the least glare, as many as you need to eliminate all shadows from today's work... With the upcoming banishment of incandescent lights, maybe tracks will be unavailable, don't know. I never much saw the point of lighting something I don't need, or not lighting something I do need. Also, they are weirdly fun.

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            • #21
              I have a 24' x 24' garage with 9' ceiling/rafters. The walls are white (where ther aren't shelves and machines and I put up 20 4ftx2 bulb fixtures (4 rows of five fixtures). I then have a couple of additional lights around the machines and work benches that can be turned on separately from the others if needed. Honestly, I've thought about adding a few more. Most of the time, its just the right amount of light. I'm a painter/bodyman for a living, and I like light! I truly want to see what I'm doing and eliminate shadows.

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              • #22
                I have the 4' shop lights every 5' or so, but I have very low ceilings. I've found work lights on the tools and over worktables to be more cost effective than increasing the general lighting density, a 20w cfl in a reflector is very effective light source at 1/4 the wattage of another shoplite.

                Certain tools like the band saw and sensitive drill have the work light wired into their switches. And most of the shop outlets are on the main light switches, so when lights are out there's no worries about a forgotten soldering iron or such. No worries about compressor bringing down the lights, they should always be on their own circuit anyway. Some of outlet boxes are 4 way, with 2 always on and 2 switched, so chargers and such can stay on.
                Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by vincemulhollon
                  With the upcoming banishment of incandescent lights, maybe tracks will be unavailable, don't know.
                  You can get LED bulbs for track lights so they aren't going away any time soon.

                  bob

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                  • #24
                    Ballast noise

                    Before buying, look at this link: http://garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44316
                    Some ballasts put out so much RF they can interfere with radios and also some buzz so much they are annoying.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Boot
                      These are a good idea in a low ceiling like mine.
                      Absolutely +1. They explode! ...everywhere! I have low ceilings in my shop (basement), and I never thought I would be "stupid" enough to knock one. Well, you know what happens when one has that kind of thought...

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Arthur.Marks
                        Absolutely +1. They explode! ...everywhere! I have low ceilings in my shop (basement), and I never thought I would be "stupid" enough to knock one. Well, you know what happens when one has that kind of thought...
                        The most recent shoplites I've purchased have a wire grid over the tubes. Seems like a good idea, though in 14 years of 6 1/2' ceilings I think I've only broken 1. Raining shards of glass scared the crap out of though!
                        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                        • #27
                          As has been said, the older you are, the more light your eyes require to see the same thing. At my age I use war surplus aircraft spotlights for task lighting

                          Seriously, in my 25x30 work area, I (will) have about 10 8-ftx2 flourescent fixtures. these are the old style, but they were free. I also have track lights running between them for task lights - approximately one per work area, incandescent bulbs only. The yellow lights balance the blue flouresecents somewhat. And I also have halogen task lights at each machine.
                          I like a lot of light. I almost have no shadows in my shop.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Rex
                            Seriously, in my 25x30 work area, I (will) have about 10 8-ftx2 flourescent fixtures.
                            140x10=1400W! + incandescent tasklights. Hows your electric bill?
                            Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                            • #29
                              You can't have too much light in a shop in my opinion. My home shop is in an oversized two car garage. When I set it up I installed four double-bulb 8 foot fluorescent fixtures. I also painted the entire shop white and the reflected light is so good that I do not require any shop lights on my machines. Now I know you must think it odd to paint a shop white but trust me, it works. When my brother (who is also a machinist) first walked into my shop his first words were ... "It's like being inside of a refrigerator." *LOL*

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                              • #30
                                What you need as well as good light, is a tracking system for ball bearings ..springs and small parts that get dropped or fly away

                                Lght grey painted floor is a good idea ..most light shines down if you have things set up right ..not on the walls ..
                                The floor ..(assuming your not JS) will reflect quite a lot.


                                My lights are from a bank ..and have those deep chrome grids on them...i think or it seems, they put out more light without the grids .

                                If i have all my lights on, they consume about 1000 watts ..so half the time i just have the machine lights on ..

                                Oh yeah ..there was a thread here not so long back, that had a link in it to a video from mexico, i think ..showing people putting 2 litre water filled soft drinks bottles in holes in the roof ..seemed to work quite well.

                                all the best.markj

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