Thanks for confirming my input as your answer. I'll repost it here
for the sake of future readers and add some footnotes addressing
your additional question about T8 vs T12:
What the guy is suggesting takes almost no skills. You just need
to purchase some socket-to-plug adapters to screw into your light
sockets, such as these:
Those don't have a hole for the ground plug of a 3-pronged plug
that will probably come with your fluorescent light fixtures,
but you may be able to find 3-pronged socket-to-plug adapters
at Home Depot (they don't list everything they carry online, so
I couldn't locate these adapters at their website, but I'd bet
they carry them).
If you can't find 3-pronged socket-to-plug adapters, you can buy
the 2-pronged shown above and use a 3 to 2 pronged plug adapter:
You can also get adapters with two outlets for every light socket:
Then you just need to buy hanging fluorescent fixtures and attach
them to beams in the ceiling. Metal screw-in hooks would work fine.
Just screw them securely into wooden beams in the ceiling:
And here's a usable fluorescent fixture:
It isn't clear from that page whether that fixture has a plug
or just wires, but I'm almost positive you can find one that
will just plug into the adapters you install. If not, you'd
have to add a plug to the wires, but I doubt it would be
Then you need two 40W fluorescent bulbs for each fixture you
As for T8 vs T12, in addition to canadianhelper-ga's comment, it's
pretty much a toss-up unless you're looking to raise plants, or want
to approximate sunlight.
Per this post by watergal on GardenWeb:
"T8 is a bit more efficient and contains less hazardous waste to
pollute the environment when it's time to throw away the bulbs.
T8 can use an electronic ballast, which doesn't make that humming
noise - annoying in a living area, doesn't matter much if you're
growing in the basement or garage or a place where noise won't
bother you. T8 fixtures and bulbs will likely cost a bit more
than T12, but not always.
To start seeds, it doesn't matter. Go cheap. Cool white will
probably be cheapest. A mix of half cool and half warm white
resembles daylight and is nicer to live with. (If you might
use the bulbs later for flowering houseplants, you'll want
A four foot shop light uses four foot bulbs, which are 40 watts.
T8 bulbs actually are 32 watts but put out approximately the
same amount of light."
For your situation, I think it will ultimately depend on whether
you can find a fluorescent fixture with an electronic ballast
that's as easy to install as the hanging ones. My guess is that
the typical hanging fixture is going to have the older style
ballast and the electronic ballasts will be available on fixtures
that require more skills to install (wiring, ceiling mounting, etc.).
If anything isn't clear, let me know...
Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.
Searches done, via Google:
lamp socket outlet convert
lampholder to grounded outlet
grounded plug base adapter
"T8 or T12"