Deciding what and how many strip lights for my Pole Barn

Old 11-28-14, 02:04 PM
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Deciding what and how many strip lights for my Pole Barn

Hi guys-

I am sure this has been addressed before, but it seems like there is a million different kinds of fluorescent lights out there. Of course I don't pay anyone to do my work for me so I am trying to decide what and how many strip lights I need in my shop. Its 32 X 44 with 12 foot sidewalls. 6" poles that will eventually be covered when I insulate and finish the walls and the ceilings. It does have a loft (irrelevant for the lighting). It will be an all purpose shop ( I change brakes, have a small tractor I do my food plots with, cut up the deer we shoot, entertain friends and family and also park the vehicles in). So besides calling one of the sketchy electricians around my area and get bent over the barrel, is there any formula or model a person can follow to decide? I looked at 8' T8, T5 and T12HO. I just don't want to dump $400 into fixtures just to find out I don't have enough light out in the Barn

Thanks for the help
Old 11-28-14, 02:15 PM
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Welcome to the forums! T12s are on the way of the dinosaur, so plan on T8's. Instant on and will handle the cold weather better. 8' lights are somewhat cumbersome, but will cut down on the number of bulbs you will need. A little more costly each versus 4' bulbs. You can use double T8 fixtures and get adequate lighting over space. Mount them as high as possible to keep rake handles, etc. from bashing them. Light travels at 185,000 miles per second, so 4' won't matter.

As far as number of fixtures, you can run upwards to 1800 watts of lighting per 15 amp circuit, so that's a bunch. Each fixture will probably pull 64 watts with two bulbs. Lithonia Lighting All Season Shop Light 4 ft. 2-Light Grey T8 Strip Fluorescent-1242ZG RE at The Home Depot
Old 11-28-14, 02:48 PM
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I've had good luck with Lithonia Lighting.
Just 2 things that may or may not be pertinent:

1) Fixtures referenced have cords, ensure they can be hard-wired if desired.
2) Consider staggering the lights on different switches, allowing you to have more or less light depending on your task.
3) Consider mailing me some venison....
Old 11-29-14, 08:23 AM
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Other things to consider is the operating temperature in the garage and the mounting height. You may want to search "low bay fixtures" for options beside fluorescent. LED seems to be gaining in this area.

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