Home > VansAirForceForums

-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Go Back   VAF Forums > Main > RV General Discussion/News
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-02-2012, 10:47 AM
Mike D's Avatar
Mike D Mike D is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 456

Just as a data point, our lights in our design studio are 5000 Kelvin. We can accept 5500k but all others are not within the spec. This provides the best color accuracy when trying to see colors.

We do have a specific area where we have a 4-light fixture wired up so we can switch each light seperatly. We have a 3500k, 4100k, 5000k, and a 6500k light. This is used for color matching. We also have a black light to see flaws in the parts.

As for easy on the eyes, that depends more on the ballest frequency. Too slow and your eyes will see the flicker and become more tired. If you shake your head like you are saying no, you can see the flicker in the bad lights. LED's are really bad for this.
Michael Delpier
RV6A -O-320, fixed pitch, GRT Sport, 496
RV-10 - working on finish kit
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 01:28 PM
mculver's Avatar
mculver mculver is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 269

On some of these attributes that are being described (and BTW there are a number of archived threads on the subject):

Color Rendering Index (CRI) trumps all in my personal opinion, and most people that muck about with color temperature are usually using it as a proxy for CRI. This subject requires popcorn, but loosely it's important if you are painting, convenient if not. See for gory details. At least no one has recommended "full spectrum" lamps, which would drain an entire bar in order to discuss.

In general, 4ft is used inside (offices, libraries), 8 ft is used in warehouses and factories. 8 ft fixtures can be really loud!

Electronic is best, magnetic ones are being phased out. What you want to compare is efficiency.

High Output:
Designated as "/HO " on the tubes, these are more light per lineal foot. Of course just like RVs there is a tradeoff. Usually it's noise and efficiency. Efficiency is sometimes better in HO than regular, but never as good if you go all the way up to VHO. (Hint: hang any fixture from chains in order to avoid turning the ceiling into a sounding board that amplifies the noise.)

Bulb Diameter:
The number is diameter in eights of an inch, so "T8" is 1" diameter. T8s are more efficient than T12s. As others said, T12 is being phase out.

So my bottom line "cut to the chase" recommendation is:
  • Use 4 ft T8 Cool White fixtures with electronic ballasts, hung from chains, in your garage if it's heated and less than 12 ft ceilings
  • Use 8 ft if heated and high ceilings (saves some $$)
  • Use HO if temps will be below 50F all the time, or below 20 when you first turn them on.
-- Mike Culver;
RV-9 project sold but details of the build at
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 01:29 PM
pkill's Avatar
pkill pkill is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North Central Oregon
Posts: 106

Hello Mark,

Using Cool White here, plenty of light and easy on the eyes.

Also, painting the ceiling black will make it disappear, gives you the sense that it is much higher than it actually is, good for small spaces.


Last edited by pkill : 01-02-2012 at 02:09 PM. Reason: resize photo
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2012, 10:21 AM
diamond diamond is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 710
Default spiral compact fluorescent bulbs

Do any of you folks use these in your shop as the primary overhead light source? When I run the numbers compared to conventional T8 fluorescent fixtures and bulbs, I come up with about half the cost for the same amount of light by using 42W compact fluorescents vs the 48" 4 bulb T8 fixtures. Am I missing something here? In my scenario, it's 18 of the 42 watt spirals compared to 6 of the 4 bulb T8 fixtures.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2012, 10:54 AM
Mark12A's Avatar
Mark12A Mark12A is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 89
Default CFLs

Without wanting to get into a rant here, before using CFLs check on the disposal requirements as well as the hazards associated with them. A broken CFL can ruin your day.
Jay Staub
Lt. Col., USAF, Ret.
N6565S Reserved
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2012, 11:01 AM
Sam Buchanan's Avatar
Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,370

Originally Posted by diamond View Post
Do any of you folks use these in your shop as the primary overhead light source? When I run the numbers compared to conventional T8 fluorescent fixtures and bulbs, I come up with about half the cost for the same amount of light by using 42W compact fluorescents vs the 48" 4 bulb T8 fixtures. Am I missing something here? In my scenario, it's 18 of the 42 watt spirals compared to 6 of the 4 bulb T8 fixtures.
We have a local builder who installed bare bulbs similar to what you are describing. His bulbs are on about 4' centers on a white ceiling and the light level is amazing, possibly more than I would want on a daily basis, but ideal for painting.

Here are some non-flash photos in the shop, notice the even light quality:

By the way, the Subie was abandoned after huge $$$$'s and the plane flies with a Lyc.

I definitely want a white ceiling in a shop for as much reflectivity as possible. That is more important to me than aesthetics.
Sam Buchanan
Fokker D.VII replica
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2012, 11:01 AM
JonJay's Avatar
JonJay JonJay is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Battleground
Posts: 4,348

Ok, sorry, but as a lighting professional, I guess I shouldn't be shocked about the amount of misinformation in these threads.

I have supplied hundreds of fixtures and lamps for hangars. Most of the time I use T8 unless the ceiling is over 15' and we are usually replacing Metal Halide at that point anyway and we go to T5HO.
It does not matter if you are 4' or 8'. You will have 4' lamps. T12's are going the way of the dodo. You can not manufacture the fixtures anymore and soon, you wont be able to buy the lamps. Modern T8 ballasting systems are rated for start temps well below freezing and take only a few minutes to warm up to full light output.
I always use 85 series lamps (+-85 CRI). Most stores carry the 75 series so you might have to go to an Electrical Wholesaler to get the tri-phosphor lamps. Most will take cash or cc.
The lumen rating is a function of the lamp operating on specific ballasts. There are many options with T8 but most of the time we are supplying standard 2850 lumen on a normal power factor ballast. Most fixtures are now being supplied with electronic ballasts of normal power factor but there are still cheapo low power factor ballast out there. Look at all the details including input watts to determine what you are buying.
I prefer 3500K lamps, but frankly it is a user preference issue. Colors will render differently but CRI is the biggest factor to this.
I would be happy to do a computer layout for anyone interested. I design for 40-50 f.c. maintained and use very low reflectances. If you have a white ceiling, walls, and floors, let me know and I will bump up the reflectances a bit. This level of lighting is a little low for very fine work, but excellent for overall general illumination. That is what my shop is lit too and most of the others I have done. PM me if you are interested in my help.
My hangar/shop is 2400 sqft, 9'6" ch, lit with (32) 4' 2-lamp T8 fixtures, npf, with Osram 835 lamps ( 85 CRI, 3500K). My fixtures are Lithonia DMW wraps with a Sylvania Electronic Ballasts, 10% thd.
Smart People do Stupid things all the time. I know, I've seen me do'em.

RV6 - Builder/Flying
Bucker Jungmann
Fiat G.46 -(restoration in progress, if I have enough life left in me)
RV1 - Proud Pilot.

Last edited by JonJay : 01-03-2012 at 11:29 AM.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:09 AM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.