What temperature are the bulbs operating at? I have the el-cheapo lights,
8 of them in my garage. When it's cold, they're dimmer and flicker a
little. When the heater gets going and the (top of the) garage is warmed,
they get brighter. Not as bright as the $30 lights with reflectors but I'd
say maybe 2/3s of the light for 1/3 the cost (that's why there are 8). As
for bulbs, I use Sylvania fast-start 40 watters. In the last year, I've
replaced 2 or 3 and one more is going south on me now but I keep forgetting
to bring another tube out to the garage....
Also, I have a stack of reflectors that my father-in-law scarfed from a
commerical remodeling site when they changed the lighting. Might be worth
checking out a scrap dealer or commerical remodelers...
>> What are the appropriate tubes to use in the generic shop lights?
>> I'm talking about the fixtures that you see stacked at the end of the
>> aisle at Wal-Mart for $7.97. I have tried using the 25 watt "for
>> residential and shop lights" tubes but I find they only last a few
>> months. I also have tried the F40CW tubes with about the same results.
>> It is as though the cheap ballast they use in those lamps needs a
>> certain type of tube. I seem to remember some discussion on this some
>> time ago, but don't remember the conclusions.