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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I would start a separate thread from my garage build. That is over here.

New Garage Build

Anyhow, we are getting ready to start the electrical and have some decisions. Mainly we are looking at lighting. I was originally thinking LED lights like I installed in my shop/polebarn. Overall I am happy with the light output but my biggest concern with an LED fixture is what to do long term when one fails. If it is just one light, no big deal swap it out with a new one. However if I have 10 or 15 of them, are they still available or what issues will I have. For instance the ones in the shop are all linked together. Are the replacements compatible?

This has me thinking that I might want to go a different route.

Right now I am leaning toward going with florescent fixtures, probably a double bulb T8. Then install the LED replacement bulbs. I haven't ever used these before. What are the thoughts on this? I still need to come up with a number of fixtures but I am thinking I will do two banks as I am a little concerned about the difference between general lighting for just going out to the vehicle and wanting more light for working on something out there. Because of this I am thinking half the lights on a 4 way switch to cover all points of entry and the other half on a 3 way to cover the door going into the house and one closer to where I would envision working on things on the other end of the garage.

The other thing is exterior lighting. We have three exterior doors with the project (2 access doors and a patio door) and three garage doors (2- 9x9 and 1- 10x9). The roofline is so there is a soffit directly over all these doors with the exception of one of the access doors. We do have a large Metal Halide yard light not far that will cover all access locations (other than the patio door) so actual light isn't needed that much. It is more to satisfy the code requirement than anything.

Since there are soffits there we are leaning toward a cleaner look and go with soffit lights. I am thinking something like a 4" gimbal mount can with an LED bulb. I know I need to find one that is IC rated but something like this might work.

4 LED Gimbal Recessed Lighting New Consturction Renovation

The one thing I would like to do with the soffit light is to illuminate the posts that divide the single garage doors. That is why I am looking at the gimbal style so the light can be directed back at the divider. Thinking this will illuminate it better when backing into a garage stall where you are using your mirrors. I guess the biggest concern is if these will provide enough useful light. The contractor mentioned they are more accent light than usable light. I explained we are going to have other light in the area with the dusk to dawn yard light.

Here is a shot of the garage where you can see all the openings other than the patio door which is around the back side which will be coming out of the mud room to the patio that will be poured behind the garage.

 

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Dusk-to-Dawn, Motion sensor controlled...

IMG_0106_1.jpg


Note: Lights in garage door openers give off quite a bit of light.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dusk-to-Dawn, Motion sensor controlled...

View attachment 689586


Note: Lights in garage door openers give off quite a bit of light.
We may not have garage door opener lighting. We are going with Liftmaster 8500W jackshaft openers. These do come with a LED cloud light that you would install somewhere on the ceiling but unless they make me put them up (code) I probably won't. I will be looking at motion activation for one of the banks of lights.

With your lights are those LED or incandescent? I am thinking about spacing them on the dividers rather than in the middle like what you have. Though I suspect your position will illuminate the opening like I am looking for. Do the cans have a light sensor for the dusk/dawn or do you have a sensor somewhere else for that? Ultimately that might not matter much as I am looking at running Home Assistant/Google Home/ZWave stuff for home automation out there. So I can trigger Dusk/Dawn based on that but it will work off sunset/sunrise time which should be fine.

I can't find a picture of exactly what I am thinking but this is close.

http://weddingsarees.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/outdoor-lighting-ideas-fixtures-soffit-new-york-city-recessed-in-best-of-inspirational-kitchen-light.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
They do. Screw into a regular bulb socket.
Ok.

For main fixtures I am thinking of something like this.

Maxlite LSS2XT8USE4803 75303 2 Lamp T8 LED Tube Ready 4 ft Linear Utility Strip Light Fixture Pre-Wired

Then load them up with T8 LED bulbs.

https://greenlightdepot.com/collections/led-tube-lights/products/4ft-18w-led-linear-versa-tube-ul-dlc?variant=3706824836

EDIT:

I guess my point on these is I have no experience with them. The one concern I have is that in the shop/pole barn there is a similar light to this. The difference is that they are fixtures rather than a bulb. I say similar because the fixture has a strip of LED lights and a frosted diffuser like what the bulbs have. What I noticed coming from Florescent tube lights is that they seem to be a little more directional. They cast light straight down meaning the further off to the side you get from them you have less light and more shadows. I suspect these will be the same. To counter this I am thinking about adding more lights. The drawback is too much light which is why I would like to do the 2 banks so I can use only 1/2 lighting when I just need to see to navigate around vehicles and such but yet also be able to crank up the light if I am working out there. While I will still have the shop/pole barn, I envision working out here on winter projects a little more and may heat the pole barn less. Though if a bigger job (need more space) or messy I would be out in the pole barn. For instance in the winter I could see moving the motorcycle lift to the 3rd bay and doing more extensive rebuild projects during non riding months.
 

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Lithonia strip from Menards $79


I've installed a bunch of these fixtures both at home and at work and haven't had any problems with them. They are very low profile and mount very solid, you're not going to knock a bulb out. You can get volume pricing or catch them on sale usually about 10 bucks less.

In my 32x36 garage at home I have 8' T8 fixtures with four 4' bulbs and I installed LED bulbs. The T8 don't seem quite as bright and the cost is not much cheaper to go this route. I've had several ballast failures in the T8 and 6 fixtures hold about $150 worth of bulbs. I used drop in LED bulbs, you could go with line voltage bulbs that have their own on board electronics to do away with the ballasts, but you'd have to rewire each fixture and those bulbs are more expensive. My favorite part of the LED strips is how small and compact they are.

After recommending the LED strips to a friend for his new garage, he likes them a lot and purchased more for another shed. He only installed four in his 28x32, with white walls it's very bright.

You can also get these same fixtures in 2' and 4' fixtures, with single or double row LED's
 

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I did my farm pole barn in flourecent, twin 4' tubes, about 5 years before LEDs came down in price. I have too much invested in fixtures and bulbs to change now :flag_of_truce:I paid more per fixture than you can buy a 4' LED for now :banghead:

At the house pole barn (wired about 20+ years ago) I went with single bulb fixtures and used 65W flood light bulbs. Over the work benches I had two single 500W halogen lights. I have recently swapped the flood lights to LEDs flood light bulbs. The first ones I bought were "warm" and the light was too yellow. I switched to "daylight" for whiter light.
I took down the two 500W halogen lights and put up four 4' LED lights to replace them. Over a different bench I had a twin 150W halogen light, I replaced it with a 4' LED light.
 

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sennister:
"With your lights are those LED or incandescent?" → Incandescent (small flood)
"Do the cans have a light sensor for the dusk/dawn or do you have a sensor somewhere else for that?" ↓↓↓

Sensor.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Lithonia strip from Menards $79


I've installed a bunch of these fixtures both at home and at work and haven't had any problems with them. They are very low profile and mount very solid, you're not going to knock a bulb out. You can get volume pricing or catch them on sale usually about 10 bucks less.

In my 32x36 garage at home I have 8' T8 fixtures with four 4' bulbs and I installed LED bulbs. The T8 don't seem quite as bright and the cost is not much cheaper to go this route. I've had several ballast failures in the T8 and 6 fixtures hold about $150 worth of bulbs. I used drop in LED bulbs, you could go with line voltage bulbs that have their own on board electronics to do away with the ballasts, but you'd have to rewire each fixture and those bulbs are more expensive. My favorite part of the LED strips is how small and compact they are.

After recommending the LED strips to a friend for his new garage, he likes them a lot and purchased more for another shed. He only installed four in his 28x32, with white walls it's very bright.

You can also get these same fixtures in 2' and 4' fixtures, with single or double row LED's
That is a similar route to what I did in the pole barn/shop. I haven't had any issues either and while they should last a long time I think I future proof myself a little more by sticking with the T8 2 bulb style fixture. It of course will be more money but in the grand scheme of the build, a drop in the bucket more.

Where you are talking about converting the T8 is what I am looking for. I did see talk of line voltage on the bulbs and leaving the ballast in. It seems like it works better with some ballasts than others. For instance the old ones are not as compatible with the newer electronic ballasts. Those fixtures I linked to before are LED ready so the ballasts are fine and don't need conversion and I should be fine with the less expensive bulbs.

I was curious on how many fixtures you have in the garage. The space is pretty close in sq footage. Mine is 29x40. Of course that is outside and there are 2x6 walls. Also another factor is ceiling height. I was going to mention this before but it is going to be around 10.5-11' once the slab is poured. You mentioned 8 fixtures but you also said they were 8' with 4 x 4' bulbs so basically two of the fixtures I am looking at together. So, would that be 16 fixtures in my case with the 4' ones? I did look at 8' fixtures and they are a little cheaper but I was thinking I might be better off with 4' because of how I wanted to do the banked lighting. Though one could probably wire the 8' so alternating halves are powered by alternating switches. The other thing I was thinking is to put the two banks on separate circuits so I would still have light if working on something. Might be overkill but I have plenty of room in that 200A panel. It would be a little extra wire and another breaker.

I was at Menards this past weekend and Lowe's. Menards seemed to have a better selection but still I can get those fixtures I linked to above for quite a bit less than Mendards. Also my father retired from a local electrical supply business and still has an account there so I can order from them at his employee rate. I was going to talk to some of they guys there to get some recommendations as well and get a quote.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I did my farm pole barn in flourecent, twin 4' tubes, about 5 years before LEDs came down in price. I have too much invested in fixtures and bulbs to change now :flag_of_truce:I paid more per fixture than you can buy a 4' LED for now :banghead:

At the house pole barn (wired about 20+ years ago) I went with single bulb fixtures and used 65W flood light bulbs. Over the work benches I had two single 500W halogen lights. I have recently swapped the flood lights to LEDs flood light bulbs. The first ones I bought were "warm" and the light was too yellow. I switched to "daylight" for whiter light.
I took down the two 500W halogen lights and put up four 4' LED lights to replace them. Over a different bench I had a twin 150W halogen light, I replaced it with a 4' LED light.
Yeah I replaced the fixtures in the shop/polebarn because they were getting really old and half the ballasts were leaking. I was constantly replacing bulbs which was a pain because they were the single post 8' bulbs. It didn't help that I keep it 36f out there in the winter and they would flicker constantly. For the LED I went with 5000K temp which is a pure white color. I like the color better but I notice more shadows as I mentioned. I added a section of 2 fixtures above my work bench to cut down on the shadow issue. In that space which is 32x32 I have 12 fixtures but it is so nice to not have that constant flickering when it is cold out there. The light output is good in the middle of the shop or below the workbench because I added those additional fixtures. If you get out further on the perimeter of the space you start to notice the shadows more because those strips of LEDs in the fixtures primarily throw the light straight down even with the diffuser.
 

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That is a similar route to what I did in the pole barn/shop. I haven't had any issues either and while they should last a long time I think I future proof myself a little more by sticking with the T8 2 bulb style fixture. It of course will be more money but in the grand scheme of the build, a drop in the bucket more.

Where you are talking about converting the T8 is what I am looking for. I did see talk of line voltage on the bulbs and leaving the ballast in. It seems like it works better with some ballasts than others. For instance the old ones are not as compatible with the newer electronic ballasts. Those fixtures I linked to before are LED ready so the ballasts are fine and don't need conversion and I should be fine with the less expensive bulbs.

I was curious on how many fixtures you have in the garage. The space is pretty close in sq footage. Mine is 29x40. Of course that is outside and there are 2x6 walls. Also another factor is ceiling height. I was going to mention this before but it is going to be around 10.5-11' once the slab is poured. You mentioned 8 fixtures but you also said they were 8' with 4 x 4' bulbs so basically two of the fixtures I am looking at together. So, would that be 16 fixtures in my case with the 4' ones? I did look at 8' fixtures and they are a little cheaper but I was thinking I might be better off with 4' because of how I wanted to do the banked lighting. Though one could probably wire the 8' so alternating halves are powered by alternating switches. The other thing I was thinking is to put the two banks on separate circuits so I would still have light if working on something. Might be overkill but I have plenty of room in that 200A panel. It would be a little extra wire and another breaker.

I was at Menards this past weekend and Lowe's. Menards seemed to have a better selection but still I can get those fixtures I linked to above for quite a bit less than Mendards. Also my father retired from a local electrical supply business and still has an account there so I can order from them at his employee rate. I was going to talk to some of they guys there to get some recommendations as well and get a quote.


I converted my T8 fixtures using the drop in LED bulbs, the type that works with the existing ballast. I got the bulbs at menards, they're Sylvania and about $50 for a box of ten. With the line voltage bulbs you would remove or bypass the ballast so each fixture needs to be rewired internally so the bulbs get 120v directly.

I have six fixtures in my 32x36 garage, they are 8' long and hold two pair of 4' T8 side by side, so that's 24 bulbs total. Similar to these but mine are the older model, not the compact version like these. I have two rows of 3 fixtures with bare, unpainted OSB walls. It's fairly bright but I either need a couple more lights near the doors or I need to paint the walls, seems kinda dark along the door side.

Even with 10' ceilings I've still knocked out a couple of my bulbs. Usually handling plywood or long boards when that happens. I do some woodworking in there so that happens a lot. As for reliability I do have several of the Lithonia LED strip lights at work that have been on 24-7 for a few years with no problems.

The lights in my link are an 8' twin row LED at about 8800 lumen per fixture. That is about twice as much light per fixture as the lights you linked to. Yours still come out a bit cheaper but you'd have to add two fixtures and 4 bulbs to get to get near the same amount of lumen.

In my shop the low profile mount alone is worth the additional cost. These lights are very thin and tight to the ceiling and much more solid when mounted, that's important to me. My T8 strips with bulbs installed are roughly 3 times larger per fixture. I'm giving the converted T8 a chance because I already had the fixtures installed. The T8 bulbs never lasted very well, if I was doing this over from scratch it would be LED strips all the way. If the LED bulbs don't last then these fixtures will come down.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I converted my T8 fixtures using the drop in LED bulbs, the type that works with the existing ballast. I got the bulbs at menards, they're Sylvania and about $50 for a box of ten. With the line voltage bulbs you would remove or bypass the ballast so each fixture needs to be rewired internally so the bulbs get 120v directly.
Yeah, I understand the line voltage vs ballast. I think that is probably more of an option for someone using older fixtures that may not be fully compatible with LED bulbs. Like I mentioned there is something about the newer electronic ballasts accepting them better than the old style like the leaking ballasts that were in my old fixtures in the pole barn. One thing that would push me to line voltage is if they were dimmable. That would help solve the number of fixtures issue.
I have six fixtures in my 32x36 garage, they are 8' long and hold two pair of 4' T8 side by side, so that's 24 bulbs total. Similar to these but mine are the older model, not the compact version like these. I have two rows of 3 fixtures with bare, unpainted OSB walls. It's fairly bright but I either need a couple more lights near the doors or I need to paint the walls, seems kinda dark along the door side.
That darkness around the perimeter is what I was describing. The LEDs in my fixture are kind of like what I saw in the bulbs I linked to before. They are on a strip of Printed Circuit Board. The fixture is just a injection molded part that appears to have the look of a reflector that does nothing because the LEDs are all surface mounted on the PCB. Because of the surface mount LED they are aimed straight down. There is the frosted deflector but that can only do so much. The light still is pretty directional and it will light things directly below better than off to the sides very well. Also where I screwed up a bit was the lights were all designed to either hang or a church key slot where you had to try and run a screw into the ceiling and the put it up and slide it to lock it in place. That might not be hard with one 4' fixture but when you have 4 that are linked together that was a huge PITA. So 3D printer to the rescue. I took one apart, located the driver board and realized I could drill through the plastic fixture. I printed a few bushings to protect the wires running through the fixture from the screw threads and I was able to screw right through them into the ceiling. It was much more secure that way.
Even with 10' ceilings I've still knocked out a couple of my bulbs. Usually handling plywood or long boards when that happens. I do some woodworking in there so that happens a lot. As for reliability I do have several of the Lithonia LED strip lights at work that have been on 24-7 for a few years with no problems.
While I will have a bit higher ceilings than you, I won't do much work like that in the garage. I still have my pole barn and that has 12' ceilings. I haven't had any reliability issues yet it is more of a concern long term. 5 years from now if they start failing with the linked ones I have in the pole barn that will be a problem. I bought them from Amazon and are some Chinese version of the LED fixtures but it will be impossible to replace with the same thing. That is why I am looking at something that might have a bit better longevity for the garage on the house where more people will be coming and going.

The lights in my link are an 8' twin row LED at about 8800 lumen per fixture. That is about twice as much light per fixture as the lights you linked to. Yours still come out a bit cheaper but you'd have to add two fixtures and 4 bulbs to get to get near the same amount of lumen.
I agree it would be cheaper with 8'. I am thinking about spacing the fixtures a bit. Right now possibly doing 3 fixtures front to back then alternating with the banks. So one row will be 2 with bank A and the middle one on bank B. The next row will be the two outside on bank B and the middle one on A. So on and so forth across the room. I am debating on how many. The pole barn is 12 fixtures and I might go with 18 in the garage. We will be painting the walls in there once everything is sheet rocked.

In my shop the low profile mount alone is worth the additional cost. These lights are very thin and tight to the ceiling and much more solid when mounted, that's important to me. My T8 strips with bulbs installed are roughly 3 times larger per fixture. I'm giving the converted T8 a chance because I already had the fixtures installed. The T8 bulbs never lasted very well, if I was doing this over from scratch it would be LED strips all the way. If the LED bulbs don't last then these fixtures will come down.
Yeah I had issues with my bulbs in the shop. Partly old leaking ballasts and partly the cold temps.
 

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That darkness around the perimeter is what I was describing. The LEDs in my fixture are kind of like what I saw in the bulbs I linked to before.
It's more just a spacing issue in my garage, pretty well lit around the other 3 walls. Had to position the rows of lights further away from the doors than the other walls. I have a 9x18 door so it fits up close to the ceiling. There was not enough room for T8 fixtures to be installed above it. The garage door opener motors and rails were also in the way too so that forced the row of lights to be installed back even further from the doors.

I installed jack-shaft openers last year and also bought 3 more LED strips so I can install another row of lights. There is room enough for the LEDs to fit above the door, I just haven't made the time to get them installed yet.

Having white walls would help a lot, so would clean white door panels. The foam insulation panels in my doors have gotten kinda dingy over the 20 years since it was built. Some new insulated doors are also in future plans and they'll be foam core sandwich type doors with white metal panels on the inside.
 

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Personally I'd avoid getting any kind of LED fixture where the bulb(s) can't be replaced. The fixture may be fine; but when the LED pukes, can one get the same fixture again? Is the company still in business?

When I converted our unused dining room into my office I installed two-circuit track lighting by Juno, which is a name brand that has been around for ages. I chose line voltage fixtures for the track and I also made sure the bulbs are replaceable. Since I have one circuit on a number of hours each day, I have gone through a number of LED bulbs where I think the transformer has puked. I can replace the bulb for a few bucks, while replacing an entire fixture just because of a bulb is an expensive waste. Just because LED's have a theoretical long lifespan doesn't mean they will last as long as claimed by the manufacturer, especially since almost all of these things come from China.

When our traditional Craftsman (Liftmaster) trolley style openers give up the ghost; I intend to go with the Liftmaster 8500's you mention; but I intend to get the ones aimed for light commercial customers because they don't have all that Wi-Fi cloud stuff that the retail version has.
 

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Who came up with the idea of placing an exterior light fixture near every door?
This is ludicrous!
Lights attract bugs, door opens, bugs enter. How F_ing stupid!
Place exterior lights far away from doors, yet close enough to effectively illuminate the openings.
If you utilize the yellow "bug light" bulbs, you won't have much of an issue. Our main entry lights are in recessed cans in the porch ceiling, wall sconces on each side of the garage doors, and post lanterns at the end of the driveway. A total of 21 bulbs. We're on a lake, which is bug haven.

They are controlled by a combination of a photocell and relay/schedule of the alarm system. When I first built the home, the only "bug light" bulbs available were incandescent 60 watt bulbs and compact fluorescents. The early compact fluorescents were too tall for the recessed cans. Later, smaller compact fluorescents became available and I replaced the incandescents. The incandescents would burn out in six months and at 60 watts, somewhat costly to operate. The compact fluorescents last for years and consume around 10 watts.

The only drawback with the compact fluorescents was they take a few seconds to come up to full brightness in the summer and near a minute in sub-zero temps. This wasn't an issue for us, as they were controlled by the photocell/schedule program.

They offer "bug ligths" in LEDs now. You won't have the start-up delay in brightness with an LED, they will consume even less power and last longer. Once I exhaust my supply of compact fluorescents, I'll migrate to LEDs as they burn out. The operating cost savings is not enough to simply replace them all with LEDs at the outset.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Personally I'd avoid getting any kind of LED fixture where the bulb(s) can't be replaced. The fixture may be fine; but when the LED pukes, can one get the same fixture again? Is the company still in business?

When I converted our unused dining room into my office I installed two-circuit track lighting by Juno, which is a name brand that has been around for ages. I chose line voltage fixtures for the track and I also made sure the bulbs are replaceable. Since I have one circuit on a number of hours each day, I have gone through a number of LED bulbs where I think the transformer has puked. I can replace the bulb for a few bucks, while replacing an entire fixture just because of a bulb is an expensive waste. Just because LED's have a theoretical long lifespan doesn't mean they will last as long as claimed by the manufacturer, especially since almost all of these things come from China.

When our traditional Craftsman (Liftmaster) trolley style openers give up the ghost; I intend to go with the Liftmaster 8500's you mention; but I intend to get the ones aimed for light commercial customers because they don't have all that Wi-Fi cloud stuff that the retail version has.
Look at CLFs those things constantly go out.

While I did LED fixtures in the shop the replacement issue is why I won't do them in the new garage. I don't care as much if the lights don't match out there.
 
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