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Workshop Lighting Upgrade

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Blog entry by BlankMan posted 811 days ago 3443 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had a ballast going out in one of my 8’ florescent fixtures in the basement so I decided to take the ballast out of an 8 footer in my workshop and put a new electronic ballast in it and use its old ballast in the fixture that’s having a problem. Shop upgrade!

Then I got to thinking about HO (high output) florescent lights so decided to check them out. Turns out HO blubs are twice as bright lumen wise as regular ones and more efficient. 80 lumens per watt (110 watt 8800 lumens) verses 58 lumens per watt (75 watt 4400 lumens) of the blubs I was using. That’s a good start, what about cost? Well the fixtures cost more but only a few bucks more then the ones with electronics ballasts anyway and the HO ballasts are electronic and that’s what I wanted anyway. And the HO bulbs are only a buck more for a two pack of the ones I was using so looking good. So I bought a HO fixture and took it home.

Didn’t get any bulbs because I wanted 6500K and they only had 4100K. Well after not being able to find any 6500K locally I went back and bought a 10 pack of 4100K bulbs for $56 (always keep extras on hand, my last 10 pack lasted me 15 years I think, just used the last two recently). And two more fixtures. Decided to put them in an area where some machines are that has always been suffering from poor insufficient lighting.

Got one installed and turned it on, holy cow! Bright! Nice! Dwarfed the two dual bulb 4 footers I had there. Wow! Nice! Really nice! Put the second one up in that area, I’m set. Boy is it nice.

Now I still have to replace the one I originally intended to replace to swipe the ballast from, but I’m going to get one more fixture and replace two 4 footers with it over my table saw, then I think I’m set. For a while…

And the power usage hit won’t be bad. With four dual 4 footer and one dual 8 footer I was using 790 watts to light the shop, now with four dual 8 footers I’ll be using 880 watts, but it will be twice as bright. All in all a good upgrade I think.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI



8 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14589 posts in 2274 days


#1 posted 811 days ago

Get lots of lamps, T-12s will be going out of production this year in favor of the more efficient T-8 and T-5. They all need their own ballasts.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1952 days


#2 posted 811 days ago

Oh great. That’s my luck. I didn’t know that. Well my last case of 10 lasted 15 years feeding 3 fixtures, after feeding the four I’m installing that will leave me 2 bulbs left. If I get another case I’ll have 12 bulbs feeding four fixtures, that’s three changes per fixture, I think I’ll be set for a while. These things are supposed to last 11 years at 3 hours a day, if I get half of that I’ll be happy. Guess I’m a late adopter. :-)

But thanks, I’ll definitely get another case, wasn’t going to right away. And I think I’ll get some regular T12’s for the other two 8 foot fixtures I’m not replacing.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1952 days


#3 posted 811 days ago

Well after some digging found July 14, 2012 is the drop dead date for T12’s. So I was thinking I’ll keep the two T12 HO fixtures I’ve already installed and replace the two I was going to install with T8 HO’s.

Not going to happen.

The fixtures are nearly 4 times as much, the cheapest HO one I could find was $206 verses the $56 I paid for the T12 HO fixtures. And the bulbs are $346 for a case of 24 verses $56 for a case of 10. Nearly 3 times as much per bulb.

Nope. T8 HO’s aren’t in my foreseeable future, I’ll keep the T12’s I have thank you very much. Just maybe stock up on bulbs and even an extra ballast or two.

Did the math. The T8 HO’s would save me $80 in electricity costs over the life of 8 T12 bulbs. Granted the published life of T12’s is 12,000 hours and T8’s are 18,000 hours, so longer between bulb changes theoretically. But that $80 is a pittance over the additional $688 it would cost me to go T8 now. And the T8 HO’s are only 90% as bright lumen wise as the T12’s.

Nope. Staying with the T12’s I guess. Back to installing the other two fixtures.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10567 posts in 1289 days


#4 posted 811 days ago

Hey guys, I need a little info. What is this T12, T5,T8 all about? How do I know what I’ve got? You’ve got me on panic mode as I have A LOT of flouroscent lights in my shop and now I won’t be able to get bulbs for them???

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1952 days


#5 posted 810 days ago

The size (diameter) of the bulb. T12, what we’ve all been used to for eons is 12 eighths in diameter, or 1-1/2”. T8 accordingly is 1” and T5 5/8”.

Like Bob said T8’s and T5’s use different ballasts so you can’t interchange them in fixtures and the connectors on the ends are different too.

Better start stocking up on bulbs or switching fixtures. From what I’ve read you will still be able to buy T12’s after July 14th but they can’t be manufactured any more or imported. So as supply dwindles prices will go up until they’re all gone.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14589 posts in 2274 days


#6 posted 810 days ago

GEEZ!! I didn’t know they would be that much more spendy. But, I specialize in motors and controls. Very seldom do any lighting.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1952 days


#7 posted 810 days ago

That $206 was at Menards here normally less expensive them Home Depot and Lowes and they only had one 8’ T8 HO fixture to chose from.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10567 posts in 1289 days


#8 posted 810 days ago

Thanks Curt, I need to stock up on bulbs as switching fixtures is not an option. I counted; we have over 80 fixtures in the shop, barn, and hospital!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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