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SUGGESTIONS REQUESTED: Overhead Work Lighting for Cold Garage?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My tuning setup is in my garage. Not as cold as outside, but cold enough that during the winter, it can take a while for the fluorescent fixtures to warm up. And of course, the light quality isn't top notch -- LED or halogen seems like it would be a lot better.

 

I'm thinking about replacing the fluorescent fixture hanging above the workbench with something better. But I can't decide what. I don't care about aesthetics. I care about lighting quantity and quality, cost-effectiveness, and ability to work in cooler temps.

 

Suggestions?

post #2 of 18

no halogens

cheapest solution is to install some 8 foot 2 lamp T12 HO industrial fluorscents on ceiling

not expensive, 2 units are plenty for most garages and they are designed to start up fine to about -15c. Led fine but fixtures will probably cost you more than you will ever save in electricity. Its in a garage so probably not a lot of operating hours in a day.

the t5 ho fluorscents are a good light but will have the same low temp problems 

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yeah, the goal with LEDs would not be to save energy, but to have fast on and good light.

 

I should have mentioned that the current setup has 110v switched outlets on the ceiling in several places.  Do you have any specific suggestions for fixtures?  I know nothing about whether ballasts are needed and such.

post #4 of 18

My shop is also in my garage. I have overhead shop light fixtures AND a couple of goose neck

lamps that I have large heat lamp bulbs. The heat lamp bulbs add light and heat...they are

pointed at the skis. I also have an electric box heater on the bench the heats me and the skis.

Works great.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post
 

Yeah, the goal with LEDs would not be to save energy, but to have fast on and good light.

 

I should have mentioned that the current setup has 110v switched outlets on the ceiling in several places.  Do you have any specific suggestions for fixtures?  I know nothing about whether ballasts are needed and such.


the 2/96 ho fixtures come complete with ballast. Get 110v units, connect to the switched outlets, and position for best effect. Hardest part is transporting them and the 4 -8 foot long lamps home without breaking them. Any electrical supplier should be able to help you out.

An electric heater by the bench is also good idea - but you may have to watch how much of a load your adding to the circuit - always better to run a 240v line from panel specifically for heat if that's something your capable of.   

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Temps aren't generally that cold in the garage -- rarely into the 30s -- so I haven't bothered with a heater.  But I actually have a 240v jack right by the bench already. We're not sure what the prior owner had there -- dryer? arc welder? -- but it's unused until and unless we buy a Tesla Model X. ;-)

 

Something like this look about right?  http://www.amazon.com/AMERICAN-FLUOR-CORP-234SLESW-Performance/dp/B0009J6CUY

 

I know that it's only 48", but that's what it would be replacing, and the workbench is only 6'.

 

And actually, maybe I should just buy two of these and put them in the existing fixture: http://www.amazon.com/LEDwholesalers-Brightest-Fluorescent-Replacement-Approved/dp/B008YC9JZI

post #7 of 18

You may want to look at the Craftsman red halogen work lights. They are 500 or 1000 watt and put out some heat. No sense in being cold.

You can get 2 for around $60.00

 

I tune in a old VT basement and have a little space heater under my work bench that I use for the colder days in winter.

post #8 of 18

Agree with you on the 48" fixtures.  Ran them in my unheated garage in C d'A, ID with no winter problems.  Being cheap went with low budget Home Depot systems that included ballasts. Gave lots of options on bulbs (again stayed cheap), and it was as cheap to replace the units as the ballasts.  

 

If you have the height would recommend suspending the light units in stead of ceiling direct mount.  Had a 10' ceiling and it allowed for better light.

 

Also used a gas fired space heater with some ventalation. That worked really well in North Idaho.  Neighbors loved it too for thawing out frozen cars, pipes, and such (we had a never ending supply of cookies).

post #9 of 18

Yea. I got the cold start 48" fluorscents in the shed in the backyard from HD, they work great, I think they were $20. each

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post
 
Temps aren't generally that cold in the garage -- rarely into the 30s -- so I haven't bothered with a heater.  But I actually have a 240v jack right by the bench already. We're not sure what the prior owner had there -- dryer? arc welder?

 

I'm betting two-phase table saw.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'll see your table saw and raise you the world's biggest vibrator.

 

Oh, wait.  Never mind.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post
 

I'll see your table saw and raise you the world's biggest vibrator.

 

Dad, what are you doing in your garage?  

 

Don't tell, some young people read this stuff.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post
 

My tuning setup is in my garage. Not as cold as outside, but cold enough that during the winter, it can take a while for the fluorescent fixtures to warm up. And of course, the light quality isn't top notch -- LED or halogen seems like it would be a lot better.

 

I'm thinking about replacing the fluorescent fixture hanging above the workbench with something better. But I can't decide what. I don't care about aesthetics. I care about lighting quantity and quality, cost-effectiveness, and ability to work in cooler temps.

 

Suggestions?


Use some incandescent flood lights.  The more, the more heat.  Maybe some heat lamps too.  Waxing in cold sucks for you and the skis. 

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

It's the Sierra.  It rarely gets that cold.  I have a directional heater for when it does.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post
 

It's the Sierra.  It rarely gets that cold.  I have a directional heater for when it does.


Rack up the LED flood lights.  Spendy to buy, but good cheep light after that.  Plus they last for years and years.  I got one and I like it.

post #16 of 18

TheDad, if you use roto-brushes you may want to include some incandescent or halogen light for safety.  Fluorescent and LED lights have a high frequency flicker that can make spinning tools look stationary at certain speeds.  My garage workshop in the bay area is mostly fluorescents, but I have some good old fashioned bulbs, too.  It's very scary to be looking at a spinning table saw blade that appears still.

post #17 of 18
Two thoughts:

First is to use heat lamps. Like the big flood lights that photographers use. Great light, cheap and will add some warmth.

My other thought is screw adding any lighting in place of what you have and get a head lamp. I know it sounds dorky but it works great. I did it last year before I re did my tune bench. Put the LED beam right where I was looking.

Ken
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer View Post
 

My shop is also in my garage. I have overhead shop light fixtures AND a couple of goose neck

lamps that I have large heat lamp bulbs. The heat lamp bulbs add light and heat...they are

pointed at the skis. I also have an electric box heater on the bench the heats me and the skis.

Works great.

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