Overdue shop update

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

monophoto

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
1,484
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
When we built our new home in 2002, I set up a shop in the corner of the basement. I put a four foot fluorescent 2-tube fixture over the workbench. Over time, that fixture has gotten dimmer, and recently, one of the tubes failed. The time has come for action!

So today, i took advantage of the Memorial Day 25% off coupon at Harbor Freight to replace that old fixture with a new 5000 lumen LED fixture. Wow! What a difference that makes! Much more light, and a small reduction in the amount of energy consumed to generate that light.
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

JimB

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
4,555
Location
West Henrietta, NY, USA.
About 6 months ago I replace my fluorescent 4’ shop lights with 4 of those HF LED 4’ shop lights. It made a huge difference in my shop as well. I have some small dedicated lights for some tools and I don’t need to use those most of the time. I’m turning on much fewer lights now.
 

Curly

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
3,540
Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
When having the house built I bought 22 LED fixtures through Alibaba. 6 went into the garage and 16 went into the 635 sq ft shop. Pretty close to 100 foot candles per square foot or 1000 lumens per square metre. Ya gotta love a well lit shop. :cool:
 

rherrell

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
5,858
Location
Pilot Mountain, NC
I replaced all 32 of my fluorescent lamps with LED's last year and LOVE them. I used the kind that bypass the ballast and it cut the amps down from 18 to 9, I'm saving money every time I flip the switch!
 

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
1,844
Location
Franklin, IN
Always been a fan of better lighting. Still have a few T-8 bulbs to use but when the T-13 bulbs die in this shop, they get replaced by LED.
 

raar25

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
769
Location
Glastonbury CT
For anyone who wants a good comparison of the Harbor Freight LED lights take a look at the video I did comparing fluorescent and two different LEDs. You should be able to find the video link at www.woodcraftingplace.com . I am also giving away a pen this month and everyone who subscribes to my channel is entered in the drawing.
 

Woodchipper

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
2,738
Location
Cleveland, TN
I replaced all 32 of my fluorescent lamps with LED's last year and LOVE them. I used the kind that bypass the ballast and it cut the amps down from 18 to 9, I'm saving money every time I flip the switch!
You can save even more by not flipping thw switch. Seriously, we have replaced bulbs with the curly cue bulbs. Got one tube bulb that is good and bright; will get the info.
 

GaryMGg

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
5,535
Location
McIntosh, Florida, USA.
I replaced 8’ T12 bulbs with LED tubes, bypassing the ballasts and their inherent buzz.
I got the LEDs from www.greenlightdepot.com
on sale for about $15 per 8’ tube.
The hardest part of changing the wiring to bypass the ballasts was repositioning the ladder to get under each fixture.
The LED lighting is far superior.
 

Curly

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
3,540
Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
The hardest part of changing the wiring to bypass the ballasts was repositioning the ladder to get under each fixture.
Doing that in some places can violate your Underwriters Laboratory approval of the fixture. Insurance issues, a home inspector reporting it when you try to sell the house and so on. Check if it is legal to do so in your area.
 

monophoto

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
1,484
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
I replaced 8’ T12 bulbs with LED tubes, bypassing the ballasts and their inherent buzz.
I got the LEDs from www.greenlightdepot.com
on sale for about $15 per 8’ tube.
The hardest part of changing the wiring to bypass the ballasts was repositioning the ladder to get under each fixture.
The LED lighting is far superior.
That raises a good point -

there are actually three ways to upgrade from fluorescent tubes to LED lighting:
1. There a LED replacement tubes that are directly interchangeable with fluorescent tubes. This is supposed to be the easiest and fastest approach. While I suspect that these replacement tubes are readily available from on-line suppliers, I prefer to buy things that are that large and fragile from B&M stores, and I haven't found any in our area. Also, this option doesn't result in ideal efficiency - the ballast is still in the circuit, and consumes energy.
2. There are LED replacement tubes that are designed to go into fluorescent fixtures while bypassing the existing ballasts. Since the existing ballast is discarded, this option leads to maximum energy efficiency. Again, this is supposedly simple, but it is necessary to replace the plastic lampholders. I haven't done an exhaustive search, but I haven't found the necessary lampholders in any of the stores where I have looked. And as Pete noted, there can be code/insurance issues if you modify the innards of an electrical fixture that has a safety label.
3. Finally, you can just replace the entire fixture - both the sheet metal and the electrics. This might be a bit more expensive (although if you get the fixtures on sale - - -), but it's a solution that makes sense if you only have one or two fixtures that you want to modernize.

But ultimately, Gary is right - the most difficult part (for us old guys) is getting up on the ladder.
 

GaryMGg

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
5,535
Location
McIntosh, Florida, USA.
The LED tubes I referenced in my post use the existing posts in the fixtures.
Green Light Depot has an excellent selection of styles, sizes and light color.
For example, their 8ft 40W LED Linear Tube - Fa8 Socket - Bypass tubes pop right into my existing 8’ fixtures. All I had to do was rewire each fixture to bypass the ballast—no more noisy ballast; huge win!
My shop has 6 8’ two bulb fixtures.
The LEDs are so bright, I only need one tube per fixture.
 

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,919
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I have four double tube fixtures with led tubes in the ceiling, and one double tube led fixture over my lathe. The one on the lathe has a motion sensor so it turns on when I walk up to it and turns itself off ten minutes after I leave. When I changed the ceiling fixtures to LEDs I used the kind that don't require you to bypass or remove the ballasts. My local Ace hardware had them on sale.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
891
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
When I built my shop, and cabin, I only installed led lights. Each 4' light in the shop is placed over a workbench or tool cluster and each light has its own switch. That way I only use one light at a time and if I need additional lighting I have swing arm lights with led bulbs that can be used as needed. I don't have a utility bill but I also don't drain my batteries either.
 
Top Bottom