Today the focus is on specific lighting issues within the garage and how they can be met with fluorescent fixtures.
Overhead oblong, double-bulb, four-foot standard forms of T8 fixtures are the most appropriate for most garage installations, and there are several reasons for this: Most apparent is that the four foot bulbs are easiest to handle. Even in the longer 8 foot fixtures, should you choose to use them, you’ll find it easier to deal with two four foot bulbs rather than one long 8 foot bulb. Also, T8 bulbs are most adaptable to all types of weather conditions, as they have an electronic ballast, and this is important since most garages are uninsulated and get below freezing in winter.
These long rectangular fixtures will form the bulk of your ceiling lighting, as arranged by your drawing plan. There’s a great variety in these fixtures, from a very plain functional, chain-hung fixture, to a fancier installation with a cover plate. Choose according to the functionality of your shop.
The maximum number of 4 lamp, 4′, T-8 fixtures you can put on a 20 amp, 120 volt circuit is 12, and then only if you use a 20 amp switch. If you use a 15 amp circuit, the max is 9. (http://www.doityourself.com/forum/lighting-light-fixtures-ceiling-exhaust-fans/193949-garage-shop-fluorescent-lighting-requirements-watts-lum.html#ixzz2RBbeTMM4)
Other types of fluorescent light for your garage include security lighting inside and outside your garage, under cabinet lighting, and focused lighting, either hand-held or in the form of spotlights.
Once you have determined your cabinet needs in your plan, focus on lighting that will illumine the work areas directly beneath your cabinets. You will want to focus on smaller fixtures that will directly light those areas. These fixtures can be found in lengths from 18 to 36 inches and can be either plug-in or hard-wired, depending on your needs. Some have switches directly on the fixture. They are ideal for using on an as-needed basis in your shop, and they are inexpensive.
Security lights are available as dome and round-shaped fluorescent fixtures, which are very inexpensive, or as floodlights for exterior use. The dome lights supply the equivalent of 275 watts of incandescent light with a 65 watt fluorescent bulb. The same is true of the floodlights. Some are available with motion-detectors, adding an extra security feature. Whether you need these lights in the interior as well will depend on whether you intend to keep some lighting on throughout the night for security purposes, as these fixtures are less wattage than your overhead lights.
Most shops do not have the need of pointed interior floods, (track lights) but you can consider them if you will be needing pointed spots in a particular area on-going. A better alternative is a handheld shop light with a hook for hanging. These are available in fluorescent as well, are much brighter, and the fluorescent tend to last much longer. A long extension cord makes this a portable spotlight that will provide you with the pointed light source that you need for any project, including work on your car. Your purchase price will be under twenty-five dollars, and this piece of equipment will be indispensable!
Using these four types of fixtures and find the perfect fluorescent light for your garage!