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Old 05-22-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


To work on my car I want to put lighting on the garage door. I could bolt a 2x4 to a horizontal brace and then screw a 48" fluorescent fixture (3"wide) to that. Electric motor sets the door down nice and smooth but I am wondering if, even with a smooth action, the bulbs will still want to work their way loose.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:32 AM   #2
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


Sounds like a great concept, but a bad idea in practice. Sorry.

I'd be more worried about the wiring working loose over time than the bulbs.

But that's not going to stop you, so... Use those shatter resistant covers for the tubes, and be sure it's a good quality solid fixture, not some Chinese POS.

As for the power cord, one of those retractable extension cord reels set (or modified) so that it can't "lock" seems like a good idea. I've seen something similar in commercial overhead doors that I assume is for the safety sensors. I also assume it's low voltage, so different building codes would apply, but it's an idea that could work if you decide to go through with it.

All that said, I'd find a different way if possible. Maybe some sort of suspended support structure that attaches to the ceiling on either side of the tracks--a light bar if you will--which allows the opened door to fit between ceiling and your light fixture.


Last edited by thegonagle; 05-23-2012 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:09 AM   #3
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


The car's open hood will block lighting that is more than about six feet high. Those dark horizontal supports are 2" wide.

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Old 05-23-2012, 08:11 AM   #4
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


seriously, why not a trouble light with hook onto the door or the car hood. then it could be moved as needed. the moving door would make me nervous, no matter what wire you used
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:28 AM   #5
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


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the moving door would make me nervous
Why so?
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:27 AM   #6
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


lets say you use AC for the wiring. youll have some sort of stationary junction box or switch on the wall and say 10 feet of the AC going to the light on the door. It is only a matter of time before it would become jammed, tangled or otherwise damaged. plus, it has to have enough slack for the door's motion so now it's just in the way.

its your house of course.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


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lets say you use AC for the wiring. youll have some sort of stationary junction box or switch on the wall and say 10 feet of the AC going to the light on the door. It is only a matter of time before it would become jammed, tangled or otherwise damaged. plus, it has to have enough slack for the door's motion so now it's just in the way.

its your house of course.

How to plug in the lights will get important if there are no "bulbs vibrating on a moving door" issues . For now though I'm thinking: fasten a 1x6 to the inside of that horizontal support and then fasten the dual T8 fixture to that.

The garage door switch is on the other side of the garage so it's not like the bulbs will fall on my head when the door moves, but I would rather have them not fall at all! Ideas welcome!
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:08 PM   #8
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


I, too, think an alternate solution would be better in the long run. Maybe two retractable flourescent or LED shop lights hanging from the ceiling. You can pull them down as needed. Hang them on the garage door, the hood, fender, underneath, wherever you need them to light up the area you're working on.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:44 PM   #9
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


This is just a bad idea. In your photo it doesn't look like there is any room to stand there anyway. If there is do you really want the light to your back so you are standing in front of it and blocking all the light?!?!?!

They make nice bright fluorescent trouble lights. Get two of them and hook then on alternate corners of the hood. Your back won't cast a shadow on the engine bay and the two opposing directions will will cancel out some of the harsh shadows.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:44 PM   #10
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


Clever idea. But I think you are asking for trouble.
A flourescent underhood light will solve your problem, work even better, be more flexible, and allow you to move on to the next project.

Google: "fluorescent under hood work light"

http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/p-18...ing-13003.aspx
http://www.mygaragestore.com/detail.aspx?ID=796
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:18 PM   #11
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


An articulated loading dock light on one or both sides of the door might meet the case. Could be spendy though.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:07 PM   #12
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


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An articulated loading dock light on one or both sides of the door might meet the case. Could be spendy though.
Absolutely a great idea. Any flood light or spot light will work, including flourescent...and some of those dock lights are available with a fan.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:11 PM   #13
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


Many of the t-8 tombstones have a twist in / locking device to hold the bulbs. They won't easily fall out, but a 4' piece of glass is easy to break. If I was going to do it I would use the protective sleeves and wire a plug to the fixture so it can be unplugged when not in use or when the door is to be moved. I wouldn't chance a cord flexing with each door operation. (but I like the dock light idea better)
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:19 PM   #14
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


If you want lights for when the door is up....put them in the ceiling where the windows are. The light will shine down through the windows.

No windows? The some of the above advice is better..
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:18 PM   #15
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Fluorescent light on garage door?


Adding weight to the door without changing to thicker springs (or at least adjusting the current springs) can cause problems.

What about a light on the wall, or a light on the wall that can extend out into the engine bay (as Jack Hottel suggests)?

I have a different situation, but I have lights that attach to arms that extend out from the side wall in my garage. The door opens and closes above them.



See it in action:


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