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LED Workshop Lights?
#1295281 Fri Jan 18 2019 02:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,577
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.


Re: LED Workshop Lights?
Paul_WNC #1295285 Fri Jan 18 2019 02:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 8,921
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.

'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2)
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe
USAF 1965-69 Weather Observation Tech (got paid to look at the clouds)

"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"! Hug a cop!

Re: LED Workshop Lights?
Paul_WNC #1295287 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,315
ace skiver
They are getting better/brighter, and less expensive as time moves on.

Tim []
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [] - part of the family for 15 years
- 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 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. []
Re: LED Workshop Lights?
Paul_WNC #1295290 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 186
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.

Re: LED Workshop Lights?
Paul_WNC #1295291 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,014
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?
Paul_WNC #1295292 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,661
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, torque tube still,omaha orange, still 6 volt, RPO green glass, side carrier spare, all done
1964 GMC 1000
305 Big Block V6, sm420, the next cab off restoration
Re: LED Workshop Lights?
sstock #1295294 Fri Jan 18 2019 03:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,014
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?
Paul_WNC #1295299 Fri Jan 18 2019 04:03 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,146
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,
Note coupon codes in that first post applicable to below items.

We ended up ordering from here
These bulbs,
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,
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.


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?
Paul_WNC #1295342 Fri Jan 18 2019 10:42 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,620
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
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.

First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos []
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: LED Workshop Lights?
Paul_WNC #1295343 Fri Jan 18 2019 10:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 868
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......


His: 1947 Chevrolet 3104 []
Hers: 2008 American Saddlebred []

"I proudly Stand for the Flag and Kneel for the Cross" Unknown
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