SMALL - espritmodel.com SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Dec 20, 2012, 08:04 PM
Registered User
Norm Furutani's Avatar
United States, CA, Gardena
Joined Oct 2004
1,060 Posts
Discussion
Shop Light Question

For many years (20+) the 4 ft florescents in my shop worked fine. An occasional tube change and so on. In recent years I've changed out whole fixtures and now after a just a few years I'm having problems again. Granted, these are $20 2 tube work lights, but I thought they all worked the same.

What am I missing? Flourescents are not created equal?

- Norm, in the dark
Norm Furutani is online now Find More Posts by Norm Furutani
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: Forget The Kids!
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Dec 20, 2012, 08:37 PM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2004
221 Posts
20+ years is pretty terriffic for cheapo fluorescents. Dispose of them per suitable recycling and hazardous waste regulations and get new ones.
Riserflier is offline Find More Posts by Riserflier
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2012, 08:40 PM
Registered User
Underthetire's Avatar
United States, CA, Brentwood
Joined Jun 2012
451 Posts
Newer cheap fixtures seem to eat tubes like crazy. Seems I have to replace them every 6 months
Underthetire is offline Find More Posts by Underthetire
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2012, 09:33 PM
The Prez....... again
kenh3497's Avatar
United States, IA, Rockwell
Joined Jul 2011
4,051 Posts
How would a series of the R20 flood style bulbs work???? Porcelain or plastic fixtures on a board screwed to the ceiling over the work bench.

I've been thinking about the same problem myself.

Ken
kenh3497 is online now Find More Posts by kenh3497
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 2012, 10:31 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
11,364 Posts
The ballasts are most definetly not all created equal.

I put cheap twin toobers in my old basement and thought they were fine.... until I went shopping for a hanging fixture for over my lathe. For about 1.5 times the price I got a fixture that out powered the cheapies by so much that my first reaction was to wonder where my sunglasses were.... OK, I exagerate. But paying a little more gets you a LOT more light.

Also these days I would go with the new solid state high frequency ballasts. They work best (or only?) with the new small size tubes. And they REALLY shine bright for the power that goes into them. And no 60 hertz flicker that is just right on the edge of being painfully annoying.
BMatthews is offline Find More Posts by BMatthews
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2012, 09:13 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
13,257 Posts
Often a good source for florescents is factories and offices being closed down and the old fitting, (old but good), sold off or even given away. Some tubes can be expensive to actually scrap out, what with the environmental restrictions on how tubes can be disposed with.
eflightray is offline Find More Posts by eflightray
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2012, 08:30 PM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
Atlanta, GA USA
Joined Sep 2001
1,865 Posts
Yeah, scrounging is great, but be careful about the power driving the lights in large office buildings. Years ago a friend of mine who worked at Delta Airlines told me to come on over and do some "dumpster diving" at the disposal bin where some of Delta's offices were being remodeled. I got enough nice fixtures to outfit my sizable workshop. The one problem was when I get 'em home I found the ballasts were for 440 V current. I had to buy and install all new ballasts in these fixtures.

And speaking of ballasts, I agree with Bmatthews that one fix you should try Norm is replacing the ballasts. You can get these from Home Depot, Lowes. etc.

Planeman
planeman is offline Find More Posts by planeman
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:09 PM
Registered User
Norm Furutani's Avatar
United States, CA, Gardena
Joined Oct 2004
1,060 Posts
Doing some research and finding out the 4 footers come in two types. T8 and T12. The number indicates the number of 1/8" diameter. T8 = 1".

T8 appears to be more efficient and brighter. Currently my lights are all T12. Maybe its time to upgrade. I'm also seeing commercial grade and residential grade, maybe that is the quality difference?

- Norm
Norm Furutani is online now Find More Posts by Norm Furutani
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: Forget The Kids!
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:22 PM
AMA 910957
EJWash1's Avatar
United States, WA, Hoodsport
Joined Mar 2008
5,272 Posts
Twenty-five years ago when we moved into our house, I installed three 8', two-tube fluorescent fixtures in my 3-car garage. Plenty of light. Over the years I've replaced tubes. Last spring one fixture died because of a bad ballast. A replacement ballast was more expensive than a completely new fixture, so I bought a new fixture and swapped-out the "guts" of the old one. Well, this last summer another fixture died. This time I scraped all three fixtures and went to T8 fixtures, six 4', two-tube units (32 watt) two fixtures mounted back-to-back. MUCH more bright!

EJWash
EJWash1 is offline Find More Posts by EJWash1
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:31 PM
I don't want to "Switch Now"
pmackenzie's Avatar
Toronto (Don Mills), Canada
Joined Dec 2002
16,711 Posts
Welcome to the "made in China for lowest cost" world we live in, where nothing is made to last anymore

I bet the old fixtures and ballasts weighed twice what the new ones did, and probably cost a lot more in inflation adjusted dollars. But over the life of the product they were probably a better buy.
pmackenzie is offline Find More Posts by pmackenzie
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 22, 2012, 01:50 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
11,364 Posts
Yep, the old ballasts weigh more because they are actually wound transformer like setups. The new lighter ones are some form of solid state chopper style. FAR more efficient. The old ballasts ran rather warm. The new ones run cool to the touch.

My new shop reno is using used fixtures that came from the Olympic Village temporary accomadations left from the 2010 Winter Olympics held here in Vancouver BC. They all use the solid state ballasts and use two of the T8 tubes for a total of 64 watts per fixture. They are amazingly bright due to either the T8 tubes, the solid state ballasts or a combination of the two. Either way they really do the job.

I think you'll find that the commercial ones are mostly set up to work well with T-bar style drop ceilings. And likely the ballasts will be the sort which run from 110v to 440v without any need to swap or special wire the ballasts. That's what these surplus fixtures I've got have printed on the labels.
BMatthews is offline Find More Posts by BMatthews
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 2012, 01:25 AM
Registered User
Leroy Gardner's Avatar
Coeur d' alene, Id.
Joined Jan 2010
680 Posts
Most comercial fixtures are instant on in cold enviroments and you pay alot more for them and the tubes cost more but 20.000 hrs is a long time and many tubes will last that long. Ballist life is 60.000 hrs typically. I have found that the 4 X 48" with 32 watts in day lite bulbs make the best shop ( work ) light and they are briter than the T-10 bulbs at 40 Watts. None of the less expensive lights are instant on and work best in a heated area. I have both kinds in my shop and the day light bulbs are over the work benches, very nice lights and shop is heated.

I worked for Lowe's a few years so know a thing or two about lighting. Leroy
Leroy Gardner is offline Find More Posts by Leroy Gardner
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 2012, 07:09 AM
I don't want to "Switch Now"
pmackenzie's Avatar
Toronto (Don Mills), Canada
Joined Dec 2002
16,711 Posts
+1 for daylights.
Usually more expensive, but worth it.
pmackenzie is offline Find More Posts by pmackenzie
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2012, 08:32 AM
Registered User
USA, FL, Pensacola
Joined Jul 2009
357 Posts
Interesting read, especially for somebody that is an electrical idiot. I'm glad ya'll were able to shine some light on the subject.

Rick
shootnstarz is offline Find More Posts by shootnstarz
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 08:38 PM
Dismembered Member...
arx_n_sparx's Avatar
Niagara Falls/Toronto area
Joined Dec 2003
4,536 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmackenzie View Post
+1 for daylights.
Usually more expensive, but worth it.
Make that 2.

I got one of these a few yrs ago, and I still remember the first time I turned it on.

The first thing that came out of my mouth was "Holy is this thing ever bright!"

The next was "Where the did all of those cobwebs suddenly come from?"

Guess I need to hire a maid.......


Brad
arx_n_sparx is offline Find More Posts by arx_n_sparx
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Eflite Lights Question tsymonds Electric Plane Talk 1 Oct 23, 2012 02:11 AM
Discussion Question About Blinking Red Light in Spectrum Receiver rkenosha Multirotor Electronics 3 Sep 18, 2012 12:30 PM
Discussion Aquacraft Bristol Bay Light Question... Gimpdiggity Scale Boats 5 Aug 20, 2012 03:58 PM