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LED Workshop Lights? #1295281 Fri Jan 18 2019 02:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,469
P
Paul_WNC Offline OP
Shop Shark
Hey guys,

Many of the 4 foot fluorescent bulbs in my shop are beginning to flicker leading me to think that the ballast resisters are on their way out. Instead of investing money on old lighting technology, I am thinking of changing these light fixtures out for LED lights. Has anyone installed LED light fixtures in their workshop recently? Any lessons learned? What is the light quality? My eyes aren't getting any better so a little brighter work environment would be a good thing. Look forward to hearing your experiences.

Paul

Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295285 Fri Jan 18 2019 02:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,611
Justhorsenround Online
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Installed LED’s in my garage and barn a couple of years ago. Work really well. I highly recommend them.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)


"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line" and lock up those on the wrong side of that line.

Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295287 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,452
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
They are getting better/brighter, and less expensive as time moves on.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295290 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 173
E
EchoBravoSierra Offline
Shop Shark
I replaced a bad double 4' fluorescent hung over my truck with the one hanging over my workbench, then added two single 4' LED fixtures over the work bench (Northern Tool, $19.99 ea on sale). I love them! They are bright, silent, and the light is slightly warm instead of the cold bluish fluorescent light. I put the LEDs over the front edge of the work bench instead of against the wall where the fluorescent was, so each will light the bench and the underhood area of each car. The LEDs are pull string, while the fluorescents are on the light switch, so there are options.

https://media.fotki.com/2v2EQg65nxDubp.jpg

Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295291 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,782
L
Lugnutz Offline
Shop Shark
I built a shop and have 32 four foot LED bulbs on the ceiling. I planned for 100 lumens/SF and actually have 112lumens/SF. I only need 1/2 of my lights on when I'm tinkering. All the lights go on if I really need them. I also bought DIY clip-on-the-wall style LED lights from Amazon. Loved them so much (cheap too) that I bought another set of 8. Some went on the wall to provide light from the side. Others went above my workbench. Let there be LIGHT!

LINK HERE for a video.

Last edited by Lugnutz; Fri Jan 18 2019 03:27 PM.
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295292 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,381
S
sstock Offline
Shop Shark
Absolutely nothing better for a shop, phasing my T8s out and replacing with 4' LEDs

Lugnutz, who supplied the shop building?


1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 cu inch, sm420, 3.55 rear, omaha orange, still 6 volt, RPO green glass, side carrier spare
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bli...n05i04t1aokgm4p04jiwgffwhyyih5xbk0h00410
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: sstock] #1295294 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,782
L
Lugnutz Offline
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by sstock
Lugnutz, who supplied the shop building?


This LINK tells the story. The building went up in one day. Concrete was already poured a month earlier. The link to the supplier is at the top of the page.

This is a fun video I made on construction day. LINK HERE

Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295299 Fri Jan 18 2019 04:03 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,115
G
Grigg Offline
.
We recently installed 21 new 4' fixtures with two each 4' LED bulbs in my wife's shop. They're great, nice light, and plenty.

My research started here, https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=278420
Note coupon codes in that first post applicable to below items.

We ended up ordering from here
These bulbs, https://www.prolighting.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=GL07103-2M
Choose the 4000 instead of the 5000 because the softer (less blue) seemed better for my wife's purposes, and I think they'd be great in my shop as well.
These bulbs wire from one end or both, direct wired 120V or with existing ballast. Keep it simple and more efficient by direct wiring them, from one end.

These fixtures, https://www.prolighting.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=LSS2XT8USE4803
no ballast, just steel box with things to plug in the above lights. They're sturdy enough.

Next I'll buy more bulbs for my shop and remove the ballast from existing fixtures that take 4 bulbs each.

With a lot of lights it still adds up, but in the long run it's a pretty cheap option, and I believe the fixtures and LED bulbs are cheaper than the florescent fixtures I started with that have lasted ~10 years or a little more before replacing some ballast and bulbs.

Last thought, if you want solar power do that before you reduce power usage with LED lights. They don't generally want you to install more panels than your demand, which means averaging out you still owe the power company something each month or year instead of them owing you. So get that solar panel calculation done with your higher electrical load, then if you use less power with better lights or other energy saving measures you're more likely to have a zero or negative power bill.

Grigg


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals
1948 Chevrolet 6400 - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup
---All pictures---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295342 Fri Jan 18 2019 10:42 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,358
K
klhansen Offline
Shop Shark
If you've got older 4 shop style fluorescent fixtures, you can change out the tubes in them to LED. I've bought LED tubes at Costco for less than $20/pair and they work in any old fixture. They are much brighter than the fluorescent tubes.
Really easy upgrade.
Another option is to buy fixtures with bulbs. My son in law bought about 20 new fixtures for his 25x25 shop. He got a smoking deal on them from Costco He'll probably need to wear sunglasses with them on. wink

Last edited by klhansen; Fri Jan 18 2019 10:58 PM.

Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295343 Fri Jan 18 2019 10:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 638
HandyAndy Offline
Shop Shark
I'm just curious, did you remove the ballast or wire around it? I've seen where the tubes can be wired from one end or both ends. Maybe it's cheaper to buy new light fixtures designed for the LED light......


Andy

His: 1947 Chevrolet 3100
Hers: 2008 American Saddlebred

"A Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." - Benjamin Franklin
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295345 Fri Jan 18 2019 10:59 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,358
K
klhansen Offline
Shop Shark
Andy
The ones I got just directly replaced the tubes. No ballast removal at all.

Attached Files
IMG_1401.JPG (55.22 KB, 229 downloads)
IMG_1398.JPG (95.73 KB, 229 downloads)
IMG_1399.JPG (58.7 KB, 227 downloads)
IMG_1400.JPG (63.03 KB, 228 downloads)
Last edited by klhansen; Fri Jan 18 2019 11:18 PM.

Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295379 Sat Jan 19 2019 04:33 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,115
G
Grigg Offline
.
If you have T5 fluorescent don’t buy new fixtures.

Many of the new “LED” fixtures are same old fluorescent fixtures simply without any ballast.

If the LED tubes you choose will operate without a ballast, most will, then you’re better off sniping out your ballast and wiring direct. You don’t need to physically remove it if you don’t care to.


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals
1948 Chevrolet 6400 - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup
---All pictures---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295536 Sun Jan 20 2019 01:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,469
P
Paul_WNC Offline OP
Shop Shark
Hey all,

Thanks for the great input on the LED lights. Good to hear that those that have made the switch are happy with the light quality produced from the LED style bulbs. I went to our local Lowes yesterday in attempt to see some LED shop lights on display. Unfortunately in spite of the giant size of the store, they had little LED shop light inventory and no working display. They were not cost competitive with online vendors either. As of now, I believe my choice of direction is to replace all of the old fixtures with ones that are designed to function with LED bulbs as my existing fixtures are the simple (cheap) units that hang from a chain. The problem is that I have (16) - two bulb fixtures so it will cost a bit to make the change. You all have equipped me with much more information and resources to study, now all that is needed is some comparison shopping. Thank you to all that have responded.

Paul

Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1295580 Sun Jan 20 2019 06:48 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,115
G
Grigg Offline
.
Do your existing fixtures have 4’ bulbs? If so probably don’t have to change the fixtures.


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals
1948 Chevrolet 6400 - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup
---All pictures---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1296460 Sun Jan 27 2019 05:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,317
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
Where do you find type B bulbs? Home depot and Lowes only carries type A, which only work with the ballast connected. I currently am steadily having more and more ballasts going out on me.
I like my fluorescent lighting just fine. Multiple failing ballasts, not so much.

Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1296468 Sun Jan 27 2019 05:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,381
S
sstock Offline
Shop Shark
Carl, you will like the instant bright when turning the LEDs on.
A buddy of mine just put some on the wall to help with painting the sides of his car, he was more than happy with the amount of light a definite plus over the fluorescent lights.


1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 cu inch, sm420, 3.55 rear, omaha orange, still 6 volt, RPO green glass, side carrier spare
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bli...n05i04t1aokgm4p04jiwgffwhyyih5xbk0h00410
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Grigg] #1296497 Sun Jan 27 2019 09:14 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,115
G
Grigg Offline
.
Originally Posted by 52Carl
Where do you find type B bulbs? Home depot and Lowes only carries type A, which only work with the ballast connected. I currently am steadily having more and more ballasts going out on me.
I like my fluorescent lighting just fine. Multiple failing ballasts, not so much.

Originally Posted by Grigg

These bulbs, https://www.prolighting.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=GL07103-2M
We chose the 4000 instead of the 5000 because the softer (less blue) seemed better...
These bulbs wire from one end or both, direct wired 120V or with existing ballast. Keep it simple and more efficient by direct wiring them, from one end.



1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals
1948 Chevrolet 6400 - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup
---All pictures---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1296504 Sun Jan 27 2019 09:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,317
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
Thanks Grigg!

Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1296508 Sun Jan 27 2019 10:03 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,115
G
Grigg Offline
.
You’re welcome, and try this.
7% off coupon code GARAGEJOURNAL


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals
1948 Chevrolet 6400 - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup
---All pictures---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1296608 Mon Jan 28 2019 03:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 699
V
VEW Offline
Shop Shark
I put the FEIT LED's in my shop a couple years ago. Started with just two and then just kept adding them because I "saw the light". I've got them everywhere now. A tube in two of the fixtures failed several months ago. I didn't think they were supposed to do that. They are self contained, so not replaceable (they say). Anyway, I contacted FEIT just for the heck of it. Their rep confirmed that my thinking was correct. They asked where I got them (Costco), how many I have, and asked for my address. They sent me two new ones ----no charge!


Victor

41 3/4 Ton Pick Up (in process)
55 Grumman Kurbside (Doughboy) 235/3 on tree w/ OD
57 3100
58 C4400 Viking (Thor)
59 C4500 Short Bus (Magic Bus)
59 G3800 1 Ton Dually (Chief)


Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1297138 Fri Feb 01 2019 05:06 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,317
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
Thanks Grigg. I placed my order before I saw your discount code. Oh well.
I got the bulbs, bypassed the ballasts and put the bulbs in place. Got light and no fire. Woo hoo!
I went for this change over to avoid the crappy ballast issue that I have had on a continuous basis. These bulbs are less expensive than new LED fixtures and less work to do the change over than to change out entire fixtures.

Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1297153 Fri Feb 01 2019 01:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 344
A
Apache1 Online
Shop Shark
WalMart>they sell a 4' LED plug and play fixture that has plenty of lumens. No bulbs to contend with. I had a 30 x 30 garage built recently and wanted something other that the same old run of the mill fluorescent tube style lighting. Never liked the fact that when the gas got cold during the winter months they performed poorly...but to mention they are phasing out tube fixtures.
No ballast to fool with...light weight...extremely bright...in fact don't look directly at one or you get that camera flash in the eye effect.

19.00 bucks + tax ea. Operating for a year now w/o issue.

Worth checking out

Last edited by Apache1; Fri Feb 01 2019 01:34 PM.

1959 Apache 3100 Fleetside SWB (Shop Truck)



Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1297189 Fri Feb 01 2019 10:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 638
HandyAndy Offline
Shop Shark
I have a 4' fluorescent light fixture over my workbench in the garage. It was getting difficult to start with this cold weather and always seemed kind of dim to me.

Today, I headed out to one of the big box stores and bought a couple type B LED T8 replacement lamps. I removed the ballast and re-wired the fixture as per the instructions. The new LEDs are 2200 lumens and 4100K cool white. What a tremendous difference the LEDs make.

Thanks for all the great information. Let there be light!


Andy

His: 1947 Chevrolet 3100
Hers: 2008 American Saddlebred

"A Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." - Benjamin Franklin
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1297195 Fri Feb 01 2019 11:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 423
M
mick53 Offline
Shop Shark
My friend installed them in his shop. They make his radio buzz. I have LED's pointing on my polishing machine and they make my radio ear muffs buzz.


Old enough to know better, too young to resist.
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1297199 Fri Feb 01 2019 11:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 344
A
Apache1 Online
Shop Shark
There is one unusual occurrence that I never experienced using these LED fixtures. When the 5hp Air comp cycles on the lights go into what I suppose can be referred to as stroboscopic effect. Its hard on the eyes so much I turn out the lights when working in the shop during the day. My sky lights afford me that. Don't know if it alters the incoming 100 amp service from the main house or what. Alters the cycles, frequency issues, etc. I was told by the electrician who wired the new garage its a common problem with LEDs and its not a safety concern. So I guess I live with it while using my air tools. :>(

Last edited by Apache1; Fri Feb 01 2019 11:57 PM.

1959 Apache 3100 Fleetside SWB (Shop Truck)



Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: HandyAndy] #1297207 Sat Feb 02 2019 12:33 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,317
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
Originally Posted by HandyAndy
I have a 4' fluorescent light fixture over my workbench in the garage. It was getting difficult to start with this cold weather and always seemed kind of dim to me.

Today, I headed out to one of the big box stores and bought a couple type B LED T8 replacement lamps. I removed the ballast and re-wired the fixture as per the instructions. The new LEDs are 2200 lumens and 4100K cool white. What a tremendous difference the LEDs make.

Thanks for all the great information. Let there be light!

Hey Andy,
Which Big Box store? Lowes and Home Depot don't carry type B around here.
Carl

Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1297211 Sat Feb 02 2019 01:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,782
L
Lugnutz Offline
Shop Shark
I bought 3 sets of these for the shop.LINK HERE
The “built in switch” is actually a corded switch. You can link them end to end, link with cords, or use as a single light. Enough cords for each light if you want to have a switch for each light.
I use them over the workbench and tool boxes. I have some mounted along the wall for side lighting too. I am very happy with how easy they are to install.

Last edited by Lugnutz; Sat Feb 02 2019 01:11 AM.
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: 52Carl] #1297268 Sat Feb 02 2019 02:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 638
HandyAndy Offline
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by 52Carl

Hey Andy,
Which Big Box store? Lowes and Home Depot don't carry type B around here.
Carl


Carl,

It was Menard's.

Sylvania 48" 32W White Equivalent Linear Cool White Ballast Bypass T8 LED Light Bulb


Andy

His: 1947 Chevrolet 3100
Hers: 2008 American Saddlebred

"A Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." - Benjamin Franklin
Re: LED Workshop Lights? [Re: Paul_WNC] #1297372 Sun Feb 03 2019 02:38 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,317
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
I was gonna guess Menard's. They aren't out this far east. They seem to be centralized in the sod buster region of the country. smile

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