RE: Shop Lights

> I use a lot of shop lights.  I have found that the cheapest ones 
> (the $10 or less variety) do wear out bulbs much too fast.  You 
> can get better ones for about $30 though, that have a better 
> reflector, are a little more "finished" looking and less flimsy.  
> These seem to be equivalent to aquarium strip lights, hold two 
> bulbs, and are _much_ less expensive.  That said, these days, I 
> replace _all_ ballasts with electronic ballasts and use T-8 SPX50 
> bulbs.  

I have been using some of the $7 dual light strips as well as the
more expensive $15 dual 4' light fixtures; however, I have not been
real happy with my results todate. Exactly what ballasts have you 
been using and what T8 bulbs?  I received a GRAINGER catalog recently
and was overwhelmed by the number of ballast choices. The only T8
Philips bulb they list that has a Color Temp of 5000K is the following:

	Bulb: F32T8/TL850 (Philips)
	Temp: 5000K
	Life: 20000 Hrs
	Lumens: 2950 (init)
	CRI: 85
	Price: $4.64

The Ultralumes I am currently using spec out as:
	Bulb: F40/50U (Philips)
	Temp: 5000K
	Life: 20000 Hrs
	Lumens: 3280 (init)
	CRI: 85
	Price: $10.02

Looks to me that changing to the T8's would cut some lumens, but not
much. Will the T8's fit the existing T12 fixtures with only a ballast 
change ? 

> Water resistance is not an issue if you use them over a glass 
> canopy.  If you don't, you'll probably need waterproof end caps no 
> matter what kind of fixture you buy.

Anyone have any experience using the various endcaps and light holders?