Installing Florescent Lights Between Joists in Basement

Help Support House Repair Talk:

1victorianfarmhouse

Established Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2010
Messages
253
Reaction score
16
In my basement I have 8' of clearance from the concrete floor to the bottom of the joists. I am using the basement as a workshop area. I would like to install 4' florescent lights between the joists to give as much clearance as possible. First, is there a rule of thumb as to how many lights should be used; ie.between every other joist? Second, any guidelines to using conduit (it looks neater and the inspector will be happy).

Thanks,

Vince
 

Snoonyb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
3,834
Reaction score
736
If you intend to use EMT, that seems to be a lot of extra work with all the bends for every other joist bay.

Unless of course, you are in Chicago.

I would daisy chain using fixture whips.

They are available in different lengths from most HRDW. suppliers.

As for the fixture use 1 or 2 bulb T8 or T5 and preferably LED.

As for mounting the fixtures for max light output, measure the assembled fixture an set blocking between the joists so the 1/2 of the bulb is below the bottom of the joist.

Here are a couple of links to assist you;
http://www.southwire.com/products/SteelFlexFixtureWhips.htm


http://www.neca-neis.org/code-question-of-the-day/code-question/cqd-for-4-15-2009
 
Last edited:

afjes_2016

Established Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
394
Reaction score
178
Not quite sure what you are asking here but there is not rule as to how many fixtures only to be sure the circuit can handle the number you are planning on using. Spacing is up to you.

Just a note: yes, to have the head clearance you would want to place them up in between the joists but be aware that placing them too far up in between them will cut off the light.

Don't know why you would want to use conduit but then again I don't know anything about your basement. You can use MC which is neat (if done correctly) and will protect the conductors from any damage and it is much easier to install instead of conduit in my book.
 

Sparky617

Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Messages
1,183
Reaction score
414
Location
Cary NC
If you want to leave your joists exposed a nice solution to clean it up is to spray paint everything either black or white. White will make it brighter, black makes everything disappear. Rent an airless sprayer to do the painting.

As Snoonyb points out install the lights down so half of the bulb is below the joists, otherwise you are really limiting how far the light will spread which will drive up the number of fixtures you'd need. They also now make LED shop lights that are even more efficient than fluorescent lights.
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
5,527
Reaction score
1,962
Location
Erie, PA
No more fluorescent lights for me. I switched my shop over to LED’s and love the light. All I have is the cheap ceramic light bulb bases mounted up between the joist and then using the LED flood light bulbs no shadows anyplace as light is coming from all sides.
 

Gary

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
671
Reaction score
471
I agree with Bud, LED is the way to go, and it's priced pretty decent these days. I've found a single bulb LED will replace the light of a conventional 2 bulb fluorescent also. We put them in the Son-In Law's basement about a year ago. We ran 2 rows of conduit across/under the joists and installed outlets every few feet. Then we mounted the fixtures parallel with the joints so the bottom of the fixture was even or slightly below the joists. , 2 at each outlet, so 4 fixtures per row and just plugged them in. They were shop light style with the pigtail already wired. That way the bulk of the wiring was in conduit and the lights were out of the way.
 

CallMeVilla

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
1,657
Reaction score
597
If you insist on protecting the conductors, use MC. It is flexible, meets code, much faster than conduit, can be installed neatly. The conductor clamps are comparably priced to EMT clamps. MAKE SURE you use anti-short inserts ("red heads") in the connectors to protect the conductors from the sharp edges of the cut MC. Buy lots of single hole clamps to fix the MC to your joists. Take your time, be systematic.
 

Latest posts

Top