Please Need Help with Garage Lighting

momfromthenorthJuly 27, 2012

We have a 24 x 24 garage with 10' ceilings and dark wood paneling (built long ago). There is one 4' double fluorescent strip in there currently and we are wanting to add more lighting because it's like walking/driving into a cave. My DH has a small workbench out there and occasionally we have some projects going on so yes, we desperately need more light out there. (No windows either - just a few small ones in the garage doors.)

One electrician suggested we look at "high output" fixtures.

I don't understand what the advantage would be with HO fixtures. Can someone possibly enlighten me?

This garage is usually closed up, unless we are working out there. It doesn't get wet inside. I know we need the "cold start" fixtures, as it can get down in the mid-20's at night here in the winter. (We are an hour south of Memphis, TN)

Also if we go with fluorescents, how many 48" strips? And what is the difference between T5 and T8?

Thank you!

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High output means exactly that - you're getting more light per foot of lamp. So in theory you need fewer fixtures although HO lamps and fixtures cost more than regular lamps and fixtures. HO does better in lower temperatures, which may be an advantage if the space is not heated.

How much light you need depends very much on how you are going to use the space. Any kind of detail orientated task requires a lot more light than just walking around. You could, for example, put additional fixtures for general purpose lighting and then add task specific lighting over a work bench.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:37AM
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You might also want to have more than one circuit. For example, if your garage doors are open, any lights over that part of the garage will be obscured by the doors. So you might want to have a switch for those so you can turn them off when the doors are open, but use them when the doors are shut.

Something on the order of 10-20 4-ft tubes would probably be the range for general lighting, just as an estimate.

The T number is the diameter of the fluor. tube in eighths of an inch. So T5 is 5/8" dia., T8 is 1" - very common in new fixtures now - and T12 is 1-1/4", the older fatter tubes.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 6:33PM
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Adding to tox's note - many fixtures allow you to use either T5 or T8 tubes.

I have a 22 x 22 garage and for "general lighting" I have (4) high output fixtures and it provides more than adequate general light.

I also have (2) additional fixtures directly at the workbench - when I am working there, these are on and provide the direct light I need.

I concur with Tox as well - you'll want to have them switched separately. My (4) overheard are switched in pairs. My (2) at the workbench are pull chain.

So overall, I have about 8 tubes for general light and I'm happy with it. A few dimmer spots in the corners but I'm not hanging out or working in the corners plus the additional 4 tubes at the workbench is where I do the work.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:34AM
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