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incandescent reflectors

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by zxcvbob, Dec 7, 2003.

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  1. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Guest

    I have about decided on the lighting for my new garage -- plain ol' bare
    bulb incandescent. In the summer, I can unscrew them and use 20-something
    W spiral fluorescents, and in the winter I'll use 150W 'A' lamps.

    I'd go with linear T8 fluorescents, but I'm not sure they'd start when the
    weather gets *really* cold.

    The garage has open rafters, so I'd like to use some kind of reflector. I
    looked for some RLM reflectors, and was shocked by how expensive they are.
    I expected them to be about $5 or 10 in the electrical section at the
    local farm suply store, but they are about $35 each. Internet search turns
    up over $100 apiece for common RLM fixtures! I guess they are not so
    common anymore. I almost bought a pair on eBay:
    <> but I quit
    bidding kind of low because I got to thinking, "what is the cutoff for
    these reflectors? Will 2 fixtures like this light a 22 x 22' room with a
    ceiling height of 8'?" They might only light a circle area right
    underneath the fixture. It would probably take at least 3 or 4 fixtures to
    do it right.

    How about if I paint a cheap 14" steel pizza pan flat white and center it
    directly behind each 4" octagonal box? Would that reflect most of the
    light that would otherwise go up in the rafters but not cut off any of the
    light to the sides? If properly done, would it still look stupid? :)

  2. TKM

    TKM Guest


    but I quit
    Standard T8 fluorescent lamps in an enclosed fixture with a 0 degree (F)
    electronic ballast will do just fine in temperature situations well below
    zero from my experience. I wondered, however, why you didn't just go with a
    metal halide "low bay" fixture or two with maybe a small incandescent for
    instant light.

    A simple white reflector behind the boxes will certainly reflect more light
    toward the floor, but a much more visually comfortable solution would be to
    paint the rafters themselves white. Think of the garage as a room. You
    want all of the surfaces and especially the lower walls and floor to be as
    bright and evenly lighted as possible without glare because your work area
    could be anywhere including the floor underneath the car. Any light going
    anywhere else will be absorbed and lost unless it can be reflected.

    Terry McGowan
  3. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Guest

    I think I'm worrying about it too much. I need to just put a couple of
    bare bulbs up so I can finish the electrical and get it inspected. I don't
    have to get everything the way I want it on the first pass, just get it to
    code. Then set up my shop area and figure out proper task lighting. Then
    I can redo the ceiling lighting with whatever makes sense.

    If I can get 48" T8 fixtures that will start at -25 degrees, that's the way
    to go. Actually, I think I have some old T12 fixtures, so all I need to
    find is the right T8 ballasts.

    Best regards,
  4. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Might work. Test it quickly & see. That's the way lighting designers
    find out what works. You should know that there are bulbs with
    reflectors built in though with various spreads. They are supposed to be
    the most efficient and precise.
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