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Old 04-14-2010, 07:19 PM   #1
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


I'm thinking of adding more light in my garage since I currently only have 1 socket with a 150w bulb and it's not really much light.

I'm debating on if I want to run a bunch of standard light sockets and put CFL lights, or put like maybe 4-5 fluorescent light fixtures in strategic locations to avoid shadows as much as possible. I'm leaning towards the fluorescent fixtures as I think the tubes are cheaper then CFLs and produce more light (correct me if I'm wrong). I'd probably go with the ones that have 2 tubes, but maybe go with the 4 tube ones. I want tons of white light in there, as I plan to start buying more tools and use it as a woodworking shop / random experiment shop for when I get bored.

Currently I only have a single 15 amp circuit, but I do plan to eventually run a 100 amp sub panel so power usage is not really an issue, but I still want something that will give the best bang for my buck per lumen.

If I go the fluorescent route, what are the best type to get? T5 seems to be the way to go but more insight would be nice.

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Old 04-14-2010, 07:46 PM   #2
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


T8's 32w bulb are really common and probably the cheapest out there...you can buy two bulb hanging fixtures for around $20 each. Go with the flourescent...i changed out my incandescant bulbs to flourescent and the difference was amazing.

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Old 04-14-2010, 07:57 PM   #3
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


Cool, I'll read up on them more.

Also how do colors work? I understand there are different shades of white and what not, but I find the names can be inconsistent depending on the bulb type. I want a "laboratory" white, if that makes sense. When I flip the switch I really what the place to light up clearly. I tend to go overboard with lighting, you should see my crawlspace. 6 23w CFLs, and I've even considered adding double sockets to each.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:00 PM   #4
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


brightness is a must for a workshop....lets you see all the stuff you've messed up . I know they have soft white and "yellowish" ones I prefer the standard "brighter than the sun" lights though. when in doubt check the lumens rating on the bulbs.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


Check out Wikipedia on "color temperature" and lamps.

Some lamps don't start properly in cold temps.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:14 PM   #6
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


it's not the lumens, it's the color temp.

warm white lamps are generally lower than about 3400 Kelvin. The most common color temp in that range is 3300K. Cool whites are above that point. The most common is probably 4100K. When you get above about 5000K (which is also supposed to correspond to daylight), the colors tend to start getting a bluish tinge.

Lamps of 3300K are a bit pinkish. 4100K are pretty decently white. I have installed 6800k lamps before and they actually looked more of a brilliant white than bluish to me.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:41 PM   #7
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


We have 6200/6500k CFL lights in our house & they are a nice white color
I have 2x4 T-8's w/3 bulbs that are very nice too, they use 96w each
I'm thinking of going with cans & using 13w CFLs
I can spread 6 cans out & use less power
Plus I could put brighter lights in if I wanted to
Or incandescents in - using spots that will put out some heat in the winter
With a reg bulb fixture you can just use a wider selection of bulbs
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:51 PM   #8
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


but this is a garage Dave. Can't beat Fluorescent tubes IMO.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:57 PM   #9
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Yeah I'm putting the CFL's in my garage
I have 13w CFL spots in my great room & the T-8's
The CFL's win hands down with only 4 installed
Covers more area, better options
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:12 PM   #10
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I have to disagree with ya dave and can probably come up with some photometric data to support my case but a can acts effectively like a spot light. A Fluorescent tube is going to give you a more evenly disbursed lighting. It's simply physics. Light travels in a straight line so if you can't see the lamp, any light you get at that point is reflected light. Since there are very few perfect reflectors, you lose light.

I have put in literally thousand of each time of light. One of the things that bother me most about spots, especially when used in a hallway is; there is a scalloped pattern on the wall due to the pattern emitted from the cans.

here is a very good example of using fluorescent tubes over other lighting. The high bay HID's are effectively can lights

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...26tbs%3Disch:1

My favorite fluorescent fixture similar to that have a highly polished reflector behind the lamps. I know Lowes uses them in my area. I would think they use them nation wide.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:19 PM   #11
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


Not in my experience with the cans up VS the 2x4 t-8 fixture
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Not in my experience with the cans up
can't say I have ever met anybody that mounted the cans "up". Maybe that is why they work so good for you
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Check out Wikipedia on "color temperature" and lamps.

Some lamps don't start properly in cold temps.
That's good to know. Is it that they start slower, or they can actually be damaged? I can deal with waiting longer for them to get bright if that's the case.

Eventually I will insulate and heat my garage, but not sure when. Even then, I would probably turn the lights on before I heat it, though if I wire a switch to the inside of the house I could always preheat the garage before I even go to it. Come to think of it, that's a great idea, I'll probably do that.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:04 PM   #14
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CFLs vs fluroscent lights


the color temp is simply due to the mixture of phosphors used. It has nothing to do with them being cold.

If you have a really cold garage, you might want to consider HO lamps but generally, the newer electronic ballasts do a good job of driving standard fluorescents to some fairly cold temps without much problem.
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:27 AM   #15
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I'd go with cold start T8 tubes. I am doing the same thing in my garage at some point, and that's what I'll be using.

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