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Technical Shop lights

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blackanblue, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,924

    from red oak

    Haven`t upgraded to LED`s yet. But I use the daylight T-8`s bulbs in my shop. . All the lights in my house have the daylight bulbs. Big difference.
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,538


    AHotRod likes this.
  3. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,458

    from Woburn, MA

    I have several in my kitchen. I just shopped around for the size and wavelength I need/wanted. The ones I got (3NLED from Home Despot) did not require bypassing the ballast (which was pretty much dead). They've worked great for me since 2016 and I MUCH prefer the light (my eyes liked fluorescent light much).

    This cost me about $40 when I did it but you can find them WAY cheaper now if you shop around. You want to search T8 LED "PLUG N PLAY" with whatever size and features you want.

    It may be cheaper and easier to just buy new fixtures too. I've got a few of these going up in my shop soon. The ONE that's up already makes a huge difference.
    AHotRod likes this.
  4. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,344


  5. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,298


    My florescent fixtures are old and when it is damp in the winter they don't like to light up all the way and I have to tap them to come on. I am slowly replacing them with LED fixtures and like the results.
  6. metlmunchr
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 729


    My own preference is frosted bypass type tubes and 5000K color temp. Some people prefer 4000K, but just about everyone prefers the frosted tubes over clear as the clear ones tend to create some weird and irritating shadow patterns if they're lower than 16-18 ft above the floor.

    The 4 ft bypass type tubes are available in both single end and double end power configuration. Have to pay attention to which one you buy initially, and sorta standardize on that type for the future as the wiring differs from one to the other.. One isn't better than the other. Just a difference in design.

    Getting rid of ballasts is one of the primary advantages of going to LEDs. None of the transformer type ballasts will work with the direct replacement type tubes, and only certain ones of the solid state ballasts will work with them.

    According to a friend who's owned an industrial and commercial electrical contracting business for 40 years, if there's any particular fluorescent ballast out there that's actually a good reliable product, he's never found it. Back when fluorescents were the only option, some of his industrial customers would replace all the tubes in their facility every so often due to the fact that the light output degrades pretty fast over time. When his men would do a job like this, they would also replace all the ballasts at the same time because his experience is that a good percentage of the ballasts out there today won't last much longer than the typical fluorescent tube itself.

    He now uses bypass LED tubes exclusively for a re-lamp, and if the customer insists on using the ballasted LED tubes then he tells them to find someone else to do the job as he doesn't want the warranty headaches associated with dead ballasts.
  7. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,105

    Mike Colemire

    You might check around, I know of 4 or 5 people around here that sell the 8 ft ones, they buy a bunch at a time and sell them for $22 a piece. A friend redone his garage and put the white metal on the walls and ceiling. He run 4 rows of the 8 footers on the ceiling and it's amazing the light he has. I'm picking up some tomorrow, I'm thinking of running a row down both walls on a separate switch.
  8. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,878

    from Dublin, OH

    That's just 4 LED 4' shop lights. One side of garage!
    The light output is great and if you lay them out right, there are nearly no shadow areas.
    brad2v, AHotRod and mgtstumpy like this.
  9. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 3,712

    from Ok

    I used the same as HRP.
  10. thehazguy
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,794


  11. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 929

    from Indiana

    I replaced 18 2bulb 4 foot fluorescent fixtures with 18 2bulb 4 foot LED's in my 30 x 36 shop. It was good enough for a lot of years, but WHOA! with the new LEDs I swear I have been in hospital operating rooms that weren't this bright. Great for old eyes. I still find myself wearing my LED headlight at times though!
    AHotRod and mgtstumpy like this.
  12. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,722


    I just had my shed (20'x20') rewired with new power points as well as upgrading the old fluorescent tubes with new LED ones. Wow, what a difference in illumination, plus they use less power. I still have 2 x overhead fluros in the house garage and over the bench in the shed plus overhead skylights. Worth the expense IMHO.
    AHotRod likes this.
  13. did this last spring. Best change I ever did to my garage. Twice the light as the same thing in fluorescent lights. I bought mine on amazon by the case. I removed the ballasts in my old fluorescent fixtures and just wired the bulbs directly to the incoming wires. You don't need ballasts with the leds.
    AHotRod and upspirate like this.
  14. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 259


    I had two, 4 bulb T12 units on the left and right and one 2 bulb T12 unit at the front , and 1 screw in fluorescent bulb in the rear in my "work bay" of the 2 car garage---no lights in the "dead" bay. The light was OK, but always issues with ballast and bulbs, and forget about them working in the winter time. I fianally got so fed up with the constant dicking with them, I pulled them down and gave them free to a coworker who was happy to take them.

    I installed 4 of these 4' hardwired Commercial Electric units from home depot in the same spots as the old ones and it was a DRAMATIC improvement. And they fire up no matter what the temp. No bulbs to worry about (they use LED strips inside), and are super lightweight compared to old fixtures that I damn near needed two people to hang. The only thing I had to climb back up there for was to replace the covers that magically fell a couple of times until I made an adjustment to the housings (They have since actually fixed the issue on newer ones).

    I put them in my basement shop and again, night and day compared to the old T12 junk that was in there. I have 4 of them there too and in a much tighter space (13x28 with 7ft ceiling) and there is not a spec of unlit area.

    Maybe I paid to much, I don't know, but at $50 apiece, they are a relative bargain over the old junk I was trying to make work. I'll never go back.
  15. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,147


    I've replaced mine throughout the house and garage.3,000k in the kitchen and bathrooms, 4,000k in the garage . Bought a bag of new tombstones on Amazon. at $10 or so for the bag,it was just easier and faster than converting the old ones.
    Got the Amazon links off one of the other HAMB threads on this same subject a few years back
  16. Hyvolt
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 251


    Didn't see anyone mention I installed 50 4 foot led tubes last winter. Been great. I recommend removing the ballast, other wise if you don't and go with the ballast compatible and the ballast fails, now you have to rebuy a ballast.

    Superbrightleds is in the St.Louis area and are very good to deal with.

    Sent from my LM-V405 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  17. Jeff J
    Joined: Mar 15, 2007
    Posts: 942

    Jeff J

    I changed all my florescent unit with these LED fixtures $25.00 for 8 footers and $15.00 for 4 footers and they are double elements ! Super happy as a screw dropped on the floor has no chance of hiding now ! You can see the difference from the lite up compared to the florescent unit with 4 bulbs T-5 Plus in winter they turn right on with no warm up or flickering !

    Attached Files:

  18. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 666

    from Brooks Ky

    I bought a box of led bulbs off eBay that has bulbs which are compatible with my instant start T8 ballasts. Simply switch bulbs and turn them on. Works great and a lot brighter. Seems like I paid less than $100 for a box of them.
  19. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,745

    from Berry, AL

    We changed all the standard bulbs to the squiggly florescent type a few years ago, now, as they go bad I’m replacing them with screw in led’s. Right now, I have a ceiling fan light in my work area with 4 out of 5 sockets with the squiggly bulbs, I’ll replace them with led as they go bad, too. I have a 4 foot shop light over my tool boxes, I need to change it out as well. The standard screw in led bulbs are bright and available in different color ranges, I like the white light over the bluish ones.

    Next trouble light I buy will be led. I have a little 6” one that is twice as bright as my 12” fluorescent. Had a guy work on my truck by the side of the road one night, he had a 3’ led that lit the area up light daylight!
  20. I used the cheap ones from Costco when they went on sale. I put six in the garage (replaced 5 old tube units), I don't need all of them on now, unless I'm's SUPER bright.

    I also replace the two 8 footers in my moms garage with four 4 foot LEDs (also from Costco) and that is freaking bright. Oh yea, my mom had a single 4 foot shop light in a bathroom (recessed behind a cover) and I replaced that with an's almost too bright.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    AHotRod likes this.
  21. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,250


    Here is the deal of the day!

    Buy $200 worth and take $100 off with this coupon code: LED$100

    I just bought 16 four foot tubes. $12.90 ea. = $206.40 minus $100 = $106.40 divided by 16 = $16.65 ea.

    Coupon is only good for 1 time and only till the end of August.

    I have already replaced all of my shop lights with these and now have enough to do my paint booth.

    I use the no ballast type with clear covers.
  22. Fabber McGee
    Joined: Nov 22, 2013
    Posts: 791

    Fabber McGee

    I bought 50 LED tube ballast bypass bulbs last winter, but didn't get around to changing any until very recently. As stated elsewhere, I agree that you're much better off to eliminate the ballasts. They are using power all the time and when the old ballast does fail, you'll either have to replace it or replace your light tube with ballast bypass then.

    I did quite a bunch of research before I bought these from Amazon, cause I'm a tightwad bastard. They were the best lumens per watt per dollar of purchase price I could find. Single strip of LED's were around 4 bucks, double strip were around 6, so about 25% more for LED's for the same money. Simple to wire, hot wire at one end of the bulb (either pin) neutral wire at the other. No change of tombstones. I just used the wires that were in the fixture, with a lot left over. My shop uses 23, 4', 4 tube fixtures on 230 volts. I only need 2 tubes in each fixture to equal the light I got with 4 fluorescents. That will be fine for most of the shop. In the area of the bench and machine tools I'm using 3 or 4 LED's in each fixture. So far I've only installed about 20 bulbs, but the difference in light is amazing and when I'm done I'll light the whole shop with a little over 1000 watts, compared to the old 32 watt T-12's that used 2800 watts. In my shop I prefer the white light of the 5000k bulbs to the more yellow 3 or 4000k.
    AHotRod likes this.
  23. Look at LAROKE's post above. Looks like what I need also. 8 ft. Hyperikon brand on Amazon.
    LAROKE likes this.
  24. thintin
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 81

    from NEW YORK

    I installed eight linkable LED's. Instant start in all temps and zero shadow any where in the shop. No hum or background flicker like the old fluorescents. Transformed the workspace...........Well,.....except for the piles of steel,...... real good parts I'm gonna use some day, old truck,.....three welders,.....a zillion tools, fridge,..........uh, more stuff...................Damn good lights, though.
  25. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 215


    There's no down side to this, just a few things to watch out for. If yer doing a new build, its probably better to just buy new LED strips. IF you already have fluorescents, its an easy change over. Just make sure you pay attention to what kind of bulbs you are buying.
    I bought the bulbs that have both power wires on one end of the fixture, as opposed to using tubes with power on one end, and the neutral wire on the other end.
    You don't have to necessarily buy new tombstones. Just use a continuity tester to see if they are "shunted" or not. You want non shunted tombstones. That's what I already had. An electrician showed me an easy way to remove the wires from the tombstones. Just bend about 4 inches of wire into a small "crank", two ninety degree bends. Crank the wire a few revolutions, while pulling slightly on it, and the wire will pop right out of the tombstone. Where I live, a pack of tombstones is about 6 bucks for two of them.
    And for god's sake, get rid of the ballasts. No reason to keep them, as long as you buy the proper tubes.
    I have 16 double tube fluorescents in a 24 x 30 shop, and have changed over half of them. Like everyone has stated, huge improvement in light, no ballast hum, come on in cold weather. No down side.
    Its all on the garage journal. Read all about it.
    AHotRod likes this.
  26. Fabber McGee
    Joined: Nov 22, 2013
    Posts: 791

    Fabber McGee

    I just added ahoover's bulb link to my Amazon cart for the garage at my house. I have 3 or 4 eight foot fixtures in there that haven't worked in years. Quite a while ago I finally bit the bullet and spent 15 bucks apiece or whatever it was for 8' tubes at the time, only to find out most of the ballasts were dead. Huge money for them too that I refused to pay. Figured to change to more reasonably priced 4 footers, but never have, just hung a couple cheap shop lights on tie wire temporarily. The garage is just parking and junk accumulation space, so lots of light is not necessary. With Laroke's link you get 32 feet of tubes compared to 40. They cost more money and provide about half the lumens.
  27. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 786


    'Til you're searching that one damn dark corner.
  28. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,890

    from so-cal

    My 4' led's required a new ballest which I found at a discount supply for around $11 each, my 8' was just a direct wire, 8 months after I did the conversion LADWP came in with a program to change all the lights for FREE AGHHH! 100_2654.JPG
  29. HotrodHR
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 190


    I bought LED replacements that required no modifications to the existing light fixtures (4 foot x 4 tubes) from Home Depot. Just pop them in and go! BTW, the light fixtures came out of a building getting retrofitted and were at least 10 - 15 years old when I bought them and I've had them in use for about 15 years before I swapped in the new LEDs. The LEDs will still be working well after I'm long gone!
  30. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,022

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    I did mine a few years ago with LED tubes from Menards, the kind that eliminate the ballast. Work great, and work in the cold too.

    Prices have dropped since then. It’s probably cheaper now to just swap out the fixtures.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app

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