Barn LIghting Question
When I built my barn about 9 years ago, I ran one 20 Amp circuit for the outlets, and one 15 amp circuit for lighting. I hadn't thought much about it, just assumed I'd pick up some 4 foot fluorscent fixtures and space equidistant around the inside. When I went to buy them, discovered the fixtures were $20 each, not including tubes. I happened to remember seeing "garage lights" on sale at a local hardware which were a 2 tube, 4 foot fluorscent with mounting hardware and a 6 foot cord and plug for $8.99 on sale AND they included tubes. Checking further, the $20 fixture and the cheap one both used the same tubes. Sooo, I bought the cheapies (6) and put in outlets so as to be able to plug them in. Worked well. Photo of fixture and outlets.
Now, it's nine years later and of the 6 installed fixtures (12 tubes) 3-4 tubes don't light up. swapping a non working tube in place of one that works, it suddenly works. Looking further into it, the contacts for the non working tubes have a little rust on them. I suppose I could take them down and burnish them or something, but repairing a $8.99 item seems counter productive. There may also be a ballast or something in the fixture which require some talking to, again, any parts would cost more than the fixture.
What I'm thinking about doing is replacing them with a simple white "screw in" bulb holder for an incandescent bulb, only using the new fluorscent replacement bulbs. I think you can get a 40 watt bulb which provides the light of a 150 watt incandescent. May also put those cheap wire cages around for protection. I've attched a photo of a lamp I use in the barn with a smaller bulb as an example.
BTW, this lamp is one my wife was throwing out and I decided it would be useful as a trouble light. Best trouble light I have, heavy base so it's stable and the flexible neck allows it to be positioned wherever needed.
My question is, has anyone else done this, or is there another alternative I should look at? I know that fluorscents don't like cold weather and I do go into the barn in winter. However, the 4 footunits seemed to work OK in cold weather other than the issue previously explained.
I know I can fix what I have, but looking for something that will be reliable, the little fluorscents seem to last forever-getting a little old to be climbing around the overhead fixing junk....:-)
Thoughts or opinions?
Thanks for your time,