Garage Lighting
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    Garage Lighting

    I am building a 30x40 garage with 10' ceilings. I have been researching lights this morning and am more confused than when I started. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.

    1. I want 4' tube lights. Probably LED?
    2. I want these to be hardwired and flush mounted to the ceiling.
    3. I am thinking individual spaced fixtures instead of a continuous string of lights across the entire ceiling (but I can be convinced otherwise)
    4. The lights do not need to be covered like in the photo
    5. Either 2 or 4 tubes per fixture. I want to be able to wire multiple switches to the fixtures (first switch turns on left bulbs, the next switch turns on a bulb, etc).
    6. I am not going to have heat right away, so the bulbs need to work when it is cold outside.


    If anyone can recommend me some products to look at or other suggestions, that would be greatly appreciated

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    I would never install tube fluorescent fixtures at this point. Do they even make them anymore?

    LED - they won’t be affected by the cold.
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    The fixtures depicted in your opening photo are a surface mount fixture, not a flush mount. Flush mount fixtures will provide a couple more inches of ceiling height, but they're a lot more work to install. You'll also be limited on where you can mount them. they'll have to fit between rafters/joists, unless you plan a building a false drop ceiling.

    When I built my shop 20+ years ago, I utilized 8' surface mount fixtures with high output fluorescent tubes and cold weather ballasts. This is very similar, and often the same, to what is utilized within outdoor signs. I utilized twin tube fixtures and the tubes consumed approximately 90 watts each. The fixtures, less tubes, are probably around $50 -$60 each today.

    If I had to do it over again today, I would even consider anything but LEDs. As Stan indicated, operating temperature is not an issue with LED. The heat generated by LEDs is much less than that of a fluorescent tube and especially a ballast, which will keep your shop cooler in the summer.

    I converted all the 4' fluorescents in my home, about 200 tubes if you can believe that, a year ago. It reduced the power consumption by 75% compared to the pre-existing fluorescent tubes.

    Running the fixtures continuous will provide better light coverage and simplify installation. I would be more inclined to do this with two tube fixtures in lieu of spacing them apart and utilizing 4 tube fixtures. You can wire them so alternate fixtures are switched separately if you want to achieve a low output, reduced cost operation. However, in a workshop application, you'll find you'll have them all powered on most of the time. So, in reality, I'm not sure you'll ever recover the expense of doing so---especially considering the low operating cost of LED.

    Lithonia builds quality fixtures and they have an online catalog. Many of the big box home improvement stores carry their fast moving fixtures. It is my brand of choice for this type of fixture.
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    Does the area include garage door openers like the one pictured?
    Does anyone know how much that many LEDs will interfere with radio signals from the remotes?
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    Here is what I have used on projects for several customers. The Rab lighting product is new to me. I have had great luck with there other led products, and there warranty is great.
    The thing I see about the rab that I am liking is the color options.


    http://www.cooperindustries.com/cont...-SLSTP-SEL.pdf

    https://www.rablighting.com/cockpit/..._datasheet.pdf
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    The LED fixtures are the way to go. Read a little on the different light colors. I thought I liked the 5K. I just tested a couple of 6.5K, wow what a difference, really like those.
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    Also, I'd suggest mounting your rows so they are parallel to the length of the vehicle and are spaced out 18" or more from the side of the vehicle. In this manner, the light "washes" down the side of the vehicle as well as into the interior and the underside. It really makes a big difference if you're working within a vehicles interior or an engine compartment.

    In your opening photo, the light rows are perpendicular to the vehicle length. You don't get much light within the interior and when you have the hood open, much of the light is blocked, by the hood, from the engine compartment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martincom View Post
    Also, I'd suggest mounting your rows so they are parallel to the length of the vehicle and are spaced out 18" or more from the side of the vehicle. In this manner, the light "washes" down the side of the vehicle as well as into the interior and the underside. It really makes a big difference if you're working within a vehicles interior or an engine compartment.

    In your opening photo, the light rows are perpendicular to the vehicle length. You don't get much light within the interior and when you have the hood open, much of the light is blocked, by the hood, from the engine compartment.

    Sir....you are spot on for both your posts couldnt have said it better....

    would like to hear more about your 4' twin tube conversion ....did you use the existing fixtures? ..if you did a retrofit did you go with the ballast or direct wire type LEDs in your existing fixtures?? and any followups on performance or problems....I have a shop with a lot of t8 2 bulb fixtures im thinking about retrofitting soon...thx
    Last edited by ttazzman; 04-14-2019 at 04:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttazzman View Post
    Sir....you are spot on for both your posts couldnt have said it better....

    would like to hear more about your 4' twin tube conversion ....did you use the existing fixtures? ..if you did a retrofit did you go with the ballast or direct wire type LEDs in your existing fixtures?? and any followups on performance or problems....I have a shop with a lot of t8 2 bulb fixtures im thinking about retrofitting soon...thx
    I just converted the fluorescent fixtures in my shop to double ended direct wire LED tubes. Hyperikon T8 T10 T12 LED Light Tube 4FT, 18W (40W-50W Equiv.), Dual-End Powered, Ballast Bypass, F48T8 Fluorescent Replacement, 2240 Lumens, 5000K, Frosted, Garage, Warehouse, Shop Light (12 Pack) - - Amazon.com The process is very straight forward, cut out the ballast, follow the wiring directions and put it all back together. The light is much brighter and I'm not just talking it's a different color, the LED tubes give off more light. I've got another dozen tubes to do in the house but I'll wait until it's hot outside so this can be an indoor project where it's cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttazzman View Post
    Sir....you are spot on for both your posts couldnt have said it better....

    would like to hear more about your 4' twin tube conversion ....did you use the existing fixtures? ..if you did a retrofit did you go with the ballast or direct wire type LEDs in your existing fixtures?? and any followups on performance or problems....I have a shop with a lot of t8 2 bulb fixtures im thinking about retrofitting soon...thx
    Yes, I utilized the existing fixtures. I went with direct wire tubes from lightup.com:

    Item Sku Qty Subtotal
    25 Pack - T8 4ft. LED Tube - 18 Watt - Direct Wire - Single Ended Power - Replaces F32T8 & FO32 - 2070 Lumens
    Color Options
    5000K Cool White LEDTB4F1000047065-5000K 3 $359.97
    Subtotal $359.97
    Shipping & Handling $0.00
    Grand Total $359.97

    I replaced the fixture wiring with #18AWG solid TFN/TEWN wire. I found a seller on ebay that had 500' rolls cheap. You could re-use the ballast wires---if they're long enough. I didn't want to chance them being short, so I just planned to replace. The TFN/TEWN is a code compliant fixture wire for this application. Be sure to get solid conductors. The lamp sockets (aka: tombstones) will not accept stranded conductors (unless you tin them with solder---which is way too much fooling around).

    I also replaced the "shunt fed" lamp sockets. Typically, one end of each tube will have a shunted lamp holder with a ballast. Shunt fed mean the socket has both lamps pins shorted together---which will not work LED direct wire lamps that are powered from both ends. I bought a couple of bags of lamp holders from Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    They've been in service for over a year now with no issues.
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