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Woodworking Noob
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Discussion Starter #1
I am adding shop lights to my workspace so I can work in my shop in the evenings. Currently the lighting is pretty bad. I picked up 6 shop lights at Home Depot (the cheap $15 lights) and hung them from the ceiling. Now comes the question...is it okay to plug 3 shop lights into a power strip and plug the power strip into an outlet? I'd only be plugging 3 lights into each power strip and each power strip into an outlet. (I have 2 outlets on the ceiling). I know it would be best to hardwire these lights but frankly I don't have the experience in electrical or the desire to do it wrong and burn my house down. I also realize it's best to have lights on a dedicated circuit, but I'm a hobbyist so this doesn't need to be the world's best set-up, just needs to fit my budget. So, is this setup okay or is this a really bad idea?

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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You will be OK. But if you want to be at piece, check the amps draw on each fixture (times 6). It will be a lot less than 15 amps (which is what the outlets might be?). So, while it may not be the best idea it will work. Be aware, as you age you need more light (DAHIKT). So depending on you age, the 6 fixtures may not be enough, I know they wouldn't be for me :laughing:.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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Making the assumption two T-12 x 48" bulbs per fixture.
Each bulb is 40 watts.
Each fixture is 80 watts.
Six fixtures are 480 watts.
Assuming inefficiencies, 600 watts total. (Yeah a bit absurd but it makes the math easy.)

600 Watts at 120 volts is 5 Amperes.

You could get another 10 fixtures and not exceed 15 amperes.
 
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John
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What rich said, except if you recently got them, they are probably T-8, 32 watt bulbs which means you could run as many as 28 fixtures on a 15 amp lighting circuit before you start pushing it. FYI, the T-8 bulbs are 1" in diameter and the T-12's are 1.5" in diameter. Not sure if Home Depot even sells any T-12 fixtures anymore. If so, they are likely close outs. The US Department of Energy banned most variations of T-12's. Here is more info
http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/ar...line_times/news/doc4e833dad98c4f930320000.txt
 

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Woodworking Noob
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Discussion Starter #5
Fred Hargis said:
You will be OK. But if you want to be at piece, check the amps draw on each fixture (times 6). It will be a lot less than 15 amps (which is what the outlets might be?). So, while it may not be the best idea it will work. Be aware, as you age you need more light (DAHIKT). So depending on you age, the 6 fixtures may not be enough, I know they wouldn't be for me :laughing:.
I hear ya on that one! What I didn't tell you is that the 6 fixtures are hanging about 18" apart! It's a really small area and yes, I need a the light I can get at my age! Thanks for your reply. :)
 

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Woodworking Noob
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Discussion Starter #6
rrich said:
Making the assumption two T-12 x 48" bulbs per fixture.
Each bulb is 40 watts.
Each fixture is 80 watts.
Six fixtures are 480 watts.
Assuming inefficiencies, 600 watts total. (Yeah a bit absurd but it makes the math easy.)

600 Watts at 120 volts is 5 Amperes.

You could get another 10 fixtures and not exceed 15 amperes.
Excellent, thank you. So there is no concern on overloading the powers strips? I know you say the circuit will be fine, I just want to make sure the power strip won't overheat or something. Should there be a rating in the cord of the power strip I should pay attention to or do they figure you are sending a good load through a power strip?
 

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John
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Excellent, thank you. So there is no concern on overloading the powers strips? I know you say the circuit will be fine, I just want to make sure the power strip won't overheat or something. Should there be a rating in the cord of the power strip I should pay attention to or do they figure you are sending a good load through a power strip?
There should be a label of some type on the power strip, sometimes it's molded right into the plastic housing, that tells the power rating. Most I've seen carry a 15 amp rating. Some may have a rating in watts, just divide by 120 to get the amps. :smile:
 

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Woodworking Noob
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Discussion Starter #8
jschaben said:
There should be a label of some type on the power strip, sometimes it's molded right into the plastic housing, that tells the power rating. Most I've seen carry a 15 amp rating. Some may have a rating in watts, just divide by 120 to get the amps. :smile:
Excellent, thanks for your help!
 

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Rookie
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You're fine!

Fluorescent lighting is probably the most efficient thing in your shop as far as electricity goes. The math that some of these folks have done is right on, though generally unnecessary due to FL efficiency.

If you have more than one breaker powering your shop (hope you do), then I would use outlets that belong to one breaker for lighting and use outlets belonging to the second breaker for tools. If you're on one 15A breaker, you WILL trip the breaker when you run a large tool or two (tablesaw and shopvac) if lighting is taking up 5A. In my temporary shop, I've got only 1 20A breaker servicing it. I have a tough time running my planer and shopvac at the same time without tripping the breaker. Can't wait to move into the new house where I'll have a subpanel and 220v service!

Hope this helps.
 
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