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Old 11-11-2014, 01:21 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I recently replaced my screw type sockets with fluorescent ballasts. I went with 4ft, single bulb, T5, 28 watt (standard output) ballasts because they were the most efficient and relatively cheap. You may want to go with the T8 size since that is more common, although efficiency is slightly lower.

First, paint your garage white as others have suggested. This is a must.

Next, determine where your studs are, and which direction they run.

Then mount a 4ft fluorescent light to the studs as close to the existing bulbs as possible, and use the same wiring to power the fixtures.

You have 4 existing lights, so you will mount 4 new florescent fixtures. I think single bulb fixtures will output enough light if you paint the garage white, but if you want even more light, go with 8ft double-length fixtures.

Summary of bulb efficiency

Also get a reel light with receptacle and mount it to the ceiling near the center of the garage so you can easily drag light and power wherever it's needed.

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Old 11-11-2014, 01:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I posted the same topic over on EcoRenovator: Help me install better garage / shop lighting - EcoRenovator

I had a good suggestion / explination to use my old 4' fixtures with new LED bulbs from ebay (aka China). Apparently you just rip out the old ballasts and wire the LEDs in directly. The bulbs cost about $12/each shipped which is basically the price of new T8 fixtures. They put off more light and are more efficient. A couple of the guys over there are already using these and say they really like them.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:30 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Paint it white. Empty out the garage, put a gallon or two of paint in a five gallon pail, add solvent as necessary, and spray using an engine wash gun. Do the underside of the roof, the trusses, and the walls. Mask windows and doors and have at it.

My shop is 24 X 26, is painted white, and has nine of the four foot two tube shop light fixtures. I replaced the old T12 bulb fixtures with new T8 bulb fixtures about two years ago. The light level is better, and the power dropped from 92 watts to 55 watts per fixture.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:33 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Is this what you are trying to say, just put them on the wall in front of hte car, but very high up on it?
high up on the front wall, but then also spread them out a bit. i think it reduces your shadow when looking under the hood, and still puts light down the sides, and bounce it off the floor to do what little it can to help underneath.





i think this placement wouldnt do much more for you than upgrading to 200 watt equivalent cfls, which would be on my list if not satisfied with what the 4' lamps do up front.

as far as using what you have, vs buying t8's, i dont know what you have is rated for in terms of output and efficiency. as a counterpoint to brighter more effiecent lighting, you need 2x the lumens to appear 50% brighter, i think spreading out more weak lights can do just as well as having better units. so i guess, i'd look at the bulb ratings and take a stab at it, but i dont think you can really hurt yourself much either way you go.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:39 PM   #25 (permalink)
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What you say makes a lot of sense 2000mc.
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:16 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Daox, I know you don't really want to do the expensive LED route, but I have some experience with those...

My friend just recently built his garage. It's 2 cars wide and 3 or 4 cars deep. It's gigantic. He put up 8 led lights (basically one for each car spot) and they are extremely bright. He also only has the framing up, no white drywall or anything of the sort. He got them for about $70 at Lowes. If you go black friday, who knows, they might be on sale. Personally, I would rather get a Lowes product than a cheap eBay, Chinese knockoff. I know you don't want to spend a fortune, but 2 of these I'm guessing would be just fine for you. And I know you're going to do an ROI calculation like you do for everything!

Another thing to remember with the LED replacement mod is you have to find out how wide of an angle of light they produce. If it's too small an angle, they'll be worthless for lighting the whole garage.

I'll try to get a pic up so you can see what they look like installed.
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:54 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Well, looks like you are sold on fluorescent bulbs. I was going to suggest replacing them or with another color or K temperature. Those bulbs over time get dimmer as they wear.

Color being key and a gadget guy I have a 15 ft strip of led lighting in my room with remote. 10M 3528 SMD 600Leds RGB 2X 5M LED Light Strip 44 Key IR Remote Controller | eBay
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:21 PM   #28 (permalink)
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A well lit work area will be lighted from at least 2, and preferably 3, light fixtures. Then you can see clearly even if you are blocking the light from one fixture.
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:41 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I'm not against spending on LEDs. Like I posted, its actually first on my list to look at right now after seeing that I can put the LED bulbs in my existing older fixtures. This is actually cheaper than getting new more efficient fixtures and T5 or T8 bulbs.

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