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Old 11-10-2014, 10:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help me install better garage / shop lighting

I've come to the conclusion that my garage is inadequately lighted. I really want more light when working out there. As it is, I can barely take pictures without the trouble light, and even then the pictures are dark. Yeah, its workable, but a little extra lighting would probably do me a world of good I think.

So, I'm looking for suggestions. Mainly, I'm looking to have better lighting for working on cars. I'm wondering what you guys have that works good, and probably just as importantly where to place the lights? I'm guessing 4' florescents are the easiest and least expensive to put up. But where? On the sides and between the cars?

Below is my general garage layout. Its a 2.5 car garage. The orange shows my current lighting. I have 4 E27 (standard screw base bulbs) that have 100W equivalent CFLs in them. I then have a 2 bulb 4' florescent over my workbench off to the left. I have no idea what the specs are on it. The blue shows what I think might work good. I really only work on cars in the left stall, so one 4' florescent fixture on either side of where the engine bay is would probably be good? I don't think having the light in front of the car would do much good as my shadow would block a lot of the light.

Ideas and suggestions would be great.


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Old 11-10-2014, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is temperature, noise or wattage a concern? I know in cold weather CF lamps are dim and have some flicker. I know leds are good all weather and you can get the color you want, but no heat. HID color comes with the wattage, very bright, all weather, some noise from ballast and transformer.

Ive had all 3 for yard light, HID wins hands down for usable light vs wattage rating.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Despite what I've read, I've never had any bad issues with florescents in cold weather. Yeah, they might take a minute to get to full brightness, but its a garage and I don't really mind it. I've never had issues with them flickering. I don't want noisy lights, but I haven't had issues with florescents making noise either. Color I'm not too picky about either. The CFLs are yellow where my tube light is more blue.

LEDs would be cool, but not worth the cost. I'm not out there that much.

I don't think I've ever seen HIDs for normal home use.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Walls and ceiling already white? Seems like the lights usually aren't quite right, so make the most of whatever you have / end up with. Best lit shop I've worked in didn't have the most lights, but everything including the floor was white.

If just adding 2 4' fluorescents I'd put them on the front wall as high as I could, with a 6' or so gap between the 2, centered around the main bay.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nothing in the garage is white. Its just an unfinished stick framed garage.

I'm not limiting myself to adding just two tube lights. I'm really open to anything (without spending a fortune). I do think I have three two-tube light fixtures kicking around, but I have no idea how old they are. I'm pretty sure they have the old magnetic ballasts in them. From what I've heard from others, its probably better to just buy the newer T8 bulbs/fixtures?
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a lamp that the neighbors used to use to grow pot, it is VERY, VERY bright. They literally light up ~50-75 yards in front of them. I'll take a pic of it when I get home. Hook 3 of those up in a cone angle and man, you will next version have to worry about light! They are also excellent bug frying devices.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My garage is 35X21. I have 8 8 foot flourescent lights. Personally I would consider a battery powered LED stick light. My buddy uses one in his body shop and it will light up any where without any heat output. You could use rechargeable batteries. All the light in my garage does me no good in engine compartment recesses and under the dash of my car.

The stick battery powered LED can go with you anywhere, no additional electricity needed.

I need to get one.

regards
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
My garage is 35X21. I have 8 8 foot flourescent lights. Personally I would consider a battery powered LED stick light. My buddy uses one in his body shop and it will light up any where without any heat output. You could use rechargeable batteries. All the light in my garage does me no good in engine compartment recesses and under the dash of my car.

The stick battery powered LED can go with you anywhere, no additional electricity needed.

I need to get one.

regards
mech
My dad has one of these, and after going through 5 sets of AAA batteries he hid it from me .
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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BAYCO NSR2492 Rechargeable LED Work Light - Rakuten.com

Not a recommendation, just the first one I found on a google search, and it's rechargeable.

regards
mech
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My underhood light setup
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