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Old 07-19-2012, 09:59 AM
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Question About Shop Lights

Hey guys Iíve recently moved and I am setting up the new garage. In my old garage the previous owner had 10, 8í florescent shop lights wired to one switch. I never gave it a thought since they always worked great in the cold and hot. He probably had other receptacles on it also. I donít know.

Now that Iím setting up my shop I was going to do the same thing.

My question is can I install 9, 8' florescent lights (double bulbs) on a single 15amp breaker? I know these lights take very little power but I just wanted to be sure.

Thanks
Dave

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Old 07-19-2012, 12:17 PM
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This is what I purchased:


2-Light White Ceiling Commercial Strip Fluorescent Light-C 2 96 120 GEB at The Home Depot

It's part # 450970 at Home Depot
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:33 PM
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work area lighting

I wired up (actually My son did, Elect contractor.) with 3 light circuits 6 switches , for different work area's, he installed newer commercial fixtures rated for cold weather for my birthday a couple years ago. His cost was over 120 each . I ve got to stretch that social security check. and a 42 circuit breaker panel with lots of outlets, dedicated high usage plugs. In our old shop the lights would dim when someone was welding and the compressor kicked on. lincoln sp 200, airco 200 amp tig, lincoln sq wave 255, they draw lots of power. Home depot doesn't list the Amp draw of those lights, or starting load draw, but a review said he got radio noise. My High Freq on the tig welders could cause redio interference for a neighbor but the closest neighbor to the shop is 1/4 mile away.

Last edited by timothale; 07-19-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:50 PM
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the 4 foot T8 two bulb fixtures are the most efficient and effective way to light a shop that has less than 14 foot ceilings
what i typically recommend is to install duplex outlets in the ceiling and use the 2 bulb, t8, 4 foot fixtures with a 6 foot cord
use zones to switch the outlets for area specific lighting
home depot has a nice shop light with a protective wire guard over the bulbs for a decent price
the homedepot.com site is down right now or i would give you a link and a price



for the math: volts x amps = watts 120v x 15a = 1800w don't go over 70% load, so: 1800w x .70 = 1260w available.
using your qty 9, 2 bulb, 8 ft requirement converted to 4 ft bulbs = 36 bulbs. each 4 ft, T8 bulb is 32 watts
32w x 36 bulbs = 1152w, so yes a single 15 amp circuit will provide enough power for your lights.

however: if one of the ballasts goes bad, shorts out and trips the breaker; you will lose all your lights.

if your ceilings are higher than 14 feet, use the 4 bulb, 4 foot T8 fixtures or just add more fixtures
you will find better prices on the 4 foot fixtures than the 8 foot fixtures
most 8 foot fixtures require direct wiring vs a cord
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:34 PM
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Unless you already have the 8' fixtures, my recommendation would be to use either the 34 or 48 watt, double 4 foot tube fixtures. I had about a dozen 8' take downs from when my company demolished some buildings but finally ran out of my several boxes of 'used' tubes so they went to the dump. The replacement new 8' tube prices just seem to be escalating plus not all suppliers have them. Quite often HD or Lowe's will have the 4 footers, usually Phillips brand, in packs of 10 for a buck or so per tube.

That suggestion of using duplex ceiling boxes works well plus will allow some choice in movement. Also, multiple switches can be a big help - my shop is not set up that way(could probably do brain surgery there), but my garage is and it does cut back on power usage.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:15 PM
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I already have them a guy I know was going to use them in his shop but ended up moving and doesn't need them anymore so he gave them to me. All brand new.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveh View Post
Hey guys Iíve recently moved and I am setting up the new garage. In my old garage the previous owner had 10, 8í florescent shop lights wired to one switch. I never gave it a thought since they always worked great in the cold and hot. He probably had other receptacles on it also. I donít know.

Now that Iím setting up my shop I was going to do the same thing.

My question is can I install 9, 8' florescent lights (double bulbs) on a single 15amp breaker? I know these lights take very little power but I just wanted to be sure.

Thanks
Dave
rule of thumb: t12 take about .75 amp per bulb, the ballast may or may not pull that much, more than likely will pull a bit less, so .75 has a fudge factor.
18 x .75 = 13.5 amps.
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