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Light fixture question
Old 09-27-2010, 02:07 PM   #1
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Light fixture question

In my motorhome I have a number of recessed florescent twin tube light fixtures. The tubes are 15 inches long and one inch wide. They are labeled F15CW-T8. Does the 15 mean 15 watts or 15 inches?

It is the only lighting in the couch area of the motorhome. The problem is that the bulbs are too bright. It would be about perfect if there was only one bulb instead of two in the fixture. But they don't work with only one bulb. And I can't figure out from reading the bulbs how many watts they are. Can you even put lower wattage bulbs in the fixture? Any other ways to tone down the light?

They are standard 120v. bulbs.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:17 PM   #2
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Martha, it is a 15 watt bulb.

They are available in different brightness levels/lumens, so you might try a lower "daylight" bulb if you have something brighter. See here for options:

T8 Fluorescent Light Bulbs

You might also spray the inside of your fixture cover with a light coating of white paint and keep doing so until you get to a point it works for your reading needs.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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Florescent lights can be tricky to change. You could line the cover with screening to cut the light. That could cut it about 50%. Or get a LED puck light for task lighting & don't use the florescent.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:26 PM   #4
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The bulbs are very easy to get in and out. I just took one out to read what it said on the bulb. Wahoo, the bulb says "cool white." Do bulbs that are marked "daylight" or "warm white" look less bright?

I like the screen idea Tesaje. Would nylon screening work ok?

I do like to use the florescent because it works with the 12volt electrical system when I am boon docking. If I have electricity available I usually use a desk lamp, which is a so so solution.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Martha;982284] Any other ways to tone down the light?/QUOTE]

Back when I used to w*rk, we had some nice fluorescent fixtures over our desks in our workstations. They were great, because they had a plastic cylindrical 'cover' over the light tubes. These covers had a grid of black lines on them (which varied from clear to a sparse spacing to dense spacing of the lines) which could be rotated on the tube to adjust the brightness of the light.

I don't know if these are available in the after-market, but I thought it was a simple and clever design, because you could 'dim the light down' for reading and then 'brighten it up' if you needed to examine some object really clearly.

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Old 09-27-2010, 02:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
Wahoo, the bulb says "cool white." Do bulbs that are marked "daylight" or "warm white" less bright?
According to that website I linked, the 18" T-8 bulbs have the following lumens:

Cool white -825
Warm white - 845
Daylight - 700

That doesn't sound logical to me (daylight should be the brightest) but who knows how they came up with those descriptions.

I think even if you get a "dimmer bulb" you'll still have to do something with the lens cover to read comfortably.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:36 PM   #7
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For your amusement, here is my current solution, a scarf duct taped to the light to make kind of a shade.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:38 PM   #8
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You are way ahead of us...
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:43 PM   #9
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It wouldn't be bad if the duct tape stuck better and looked a litter prettier.

So far, screening sound like something to try. I'd try it today if I wasn't 60 miles from a hardware store.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:50 PM   #10
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They are labeled F15CW-T8. Does the 15 mean 15 watts or 15 inches?
All I know is, I have the same label on my underwear.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
All I know is, I have the same label on my underwear.
Do they say "cool white" or "skidmark brown"?
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:15 PM   #12
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All I know is, I have the same label on my underwear.
We know, we saw your pants.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:39 PM   #13
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Cute scarf! I would think that nylon or fiberglass screening would work fine. Florescent lights don't heat up that much.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:24 AM   #14
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You can buy some that are T-4s, they have less light...

Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get the ones that are only 1/2 inch in diameter...


Edit... Did some looking... check the pins... but I went with the smaller bulbs and they seemed to fit my fixture... and I think they were T-4s
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:37 AM   #15
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All I know is, I have the same label on my underwear.
Maybe that's why your flies are overloaded, too?
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
You can buy some that are T-4s, they have less light...

Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get the ones that are only 1/2 inch in diameter...


Edit... Did some looking... check the pins... but I went with the smaller bulbs and they seemed to fit my fixture... and I think they were T-4s
Thanks, I never thought that a smaller diameter bulb would work! In the interest of frugality I think that I will try the screening first though.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:22 AM   #17
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So, just how many ER members does it take to change a lightbulb?
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:53 AM   #18
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Four. One to change the bulb, and three to hijack the thread to be about sex.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:55 AM   #19
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Four. One to change the bulb, and three to hijack the thread to be about sex.
I think that should be five - you left out the one to point out grammatical errors.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:19 AM   #20
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And another to say that the question is the wrong question and you should really be asking why the lightbulb needs changing so soon.
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