Fluorescent in cold garage


Old 11-10-06, 10:19 AM
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Fluorescent in cold garage

Can someone tell me what type ballast to use in a fixture in a cold garage? I was told I could use the same bulbs, just needing the different type ballast.
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Old 11-10-06, 10:24 AM
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I just use the cheap shop lights . They just take a little while to warm up and put out the full light from them.
Old 11-10-06, 12:28 PM
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I use a cheap light but the problem is when it is cold out it won't even light.As soon as the temp goes up outside all 4 bulbs light up.
Old 11-10-06, 03:50 PM
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You need to tell us what temps you experience.

I think we have a case of not knowing where the poster lives.
Where I am a normal fluorescent light will not even flicker if the shop is unheated.

Here we usually only use regular incandescent bulbs in an unheated workshop.
I personally have two rows of incandescent and a row of regular ballast fluorescent down the middle.
Just don't use the fluorescent when it's cold.

Actually, someone suggested today that they have outdoor rated screw in fluorescent bulbs.
Went to look at them after work and they are only rated to -18 degC (0 degF)!
Not good enough for our weather unfortunately.

Depending on how cold it gets you may need a fixture with a high output ballast and high output bulbs.
Here these are also used for outdoor signs.

I'd switch to regular bulbs if unheated.
Old 11-10-06, 04:03 PM
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Depending on how cold you may need either HO (high output) or VHO (very hight output)
Old 11-10-06, 07:00 PM
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I installed some of the electronic T-8s. Not in an un-heated but very cold location, They work fine.
Old 11-11-06, 05:49 PM
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Okay.Thanks for all the replies.I will look at the high output.
Old 11-13-06, 11:11 AM
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how about electronic ballast?

I just got a cheap ($20) shop light with electronic ballast (T-8 bulbs) that claims to be good down to 0 F. So far the temperature has only gotten down to the mid-40's but it did come on instantly (and took a minute or so to get to full brightness). If that works for you, it may be cheaper and easier to find than replacing the ballast.
Old 11-22-06, 07:11 PM
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Regular T-12 fluorescents with magnetic ballasts start having trouble at around 50 degrees F.

T-8 fluorescents with electronic ballasts will work down to about 0 degrees F.

T-12 HO fluorescents will work down to -20 degrees F., which is why they use them in freezers. Metal Halide fixtures will also work when it's that cold.
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