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Author Topic: Buy LEDs or keep the fluorescents? (8' shop lights)  (Read 410 times)
HeroHog
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« on: January 11, 2019, 12:48:45 PM »

Buy LEDs or keep the fluorescents? (8' shop lights)
In this video, (he) unbox(ed) and install(ed) LEDs in (his) shop. Compared to the fluorescent bulbs, the brightness of the bulbs is amazing!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixHyyXbvMwI
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Brad Johnson
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 01:56:41 PM »

I converted Dad's shop over the holidays. Drastic improvement, plus there is no warm up time in cool weather.

For the sake of simplicity I did the ballast-bypass 8' sticks in Dad's shop. They look almost identical to the Hyperikon (sp?) used in the vid. Couldn't have been simpler. The only thing I did different was to ditch the small center supports. Drilling the holes and putting in screws was a pain. I just used a simple zip tie pulled snug but not tight, just enough to support the centers and keep the lamp straight along it's length.

My brother was impressed enough he did his shop, too. Only difference was he went with 8' to 4' conversion kits that adds a center set of tombstones. About the same price and end result, just a bit more work on the install. Offset was the much smaller shipping boxes made transport easier (car trunk vs. needing a pickup truck).

Brad
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 01:57:12 PM »

Go LED.

I got a four pack of 4' LED lights on woot a while back and put them in over my Mill and Lathe.  They're great, and I will be swapping out the florescent in the shop and welding area as I find more deals.

I also have a LED directly over the lathe for that work, and it's awesome for working.

No noise, and no flickering, with great, bright light.

IMNSHO there's not any reason right now to install a light anywhere in your house (or car for that matter) that isn't LED
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Kingcreek
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 02:47:14 PM »

I'm going to replace the 8' fluorescents in my garage. I used my last new tube from a case of them and won't buy any more. Currently 8 pairs on 2 switches. I thought about using the 4' with motion activation for some of them next time they're on sale at Costco. I don't know if I want 8s for the rest of them or not. I might use the opportunity to reconfigure the whole thing.
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 02:54:21 PM »

Another vote for do it.

I've got 4' florescents in too much of my house.  Laundry room, both bathrooms, garage, shop, and kitchen.  I've started swapping the bulbs to LED as they fail, and the Feit bulbs I've been buying are easily twice as bright, generate no heat (very nice for AZ in the summer), and are reported to last a lot longer than florescents.  I'm about 1/3 swapped over.
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 03:09:53 PM »

If I donĺt reconfigure Iĺm concerned I might actually have too much light in my garage.
When I built it originally I followed my dads advice to place lights not over the 2 car spaces but alongside and parralel to the cars so I wouldnĺt shadow the sides.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 07:16:06 PM »

About 5-10 years ago, a good fluorescent set was as or more energy efficient than LED.  Then, I think it was Cree, came up with a new technique that allowed a much thinner phosphor layer, which just about doubled white LED efficiency.

This flipped energy efficiency, and because there's much less energy waste and waste heat was always the limiter for how bright LEDs could be, you could get much more light out of a given surface area as well.

As such, at this point LEDs will probably last longer(life of fixture) than fluorescent bulbs, don't have the mercury disposal problem, and are more energy efficient.

I'd go with a good LED set over tubes any day.
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 07:17:02 PM »

I'm looking at replacing the 20 year old 4' tubes in my shop. A couple of them are a bit slow to start and all of them suck when it's cold but they did last pretty much 20 years. I think I hung them the 1st week of March in 1999 so I guess I got my money out of them.
I've got 8 double tube "shop lights" on 2 different circuits.
Having not kept up with the latest fad in lighting I'm not sure what my best dollar wise option is going to be.
If I understand it right I can opt for ballast bypass and I'll need to do some rewiring inside the fixtures which I am perfectly capable of doing. However is there an easier and not too much more expensive plug and play option?
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 07:27:12 PM »

Walmart sells four foot LED shop lights for a $20 plug and play. How bad could it be?
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2019, 07:53:08 PM »

I'm looking at replacing the 20 year old 4' tubes in my shop. A couple of them are a bit slow to start and all of them suck when it's cold but they did last pretty much 20 years. I think I hung them the 1st week of March in 1999 so I guess I got my money out of them.
I've got 8 double tube "shop lights" on 2 different circuits.
Having not kept up with the latest fad in lighting I'm not sure what my best dollar wise option is going to be.
If I understand it right I can opt for ballast bypass and I'll need to do some rewiring inside the fixtures which I am perfectly capable of doing. However is there an easier and not too much more expensive plug and play option?


Are the fluorescents T8 or T12?
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2019, 08:48:58 PM »

Are the fluorescents T8 or T12?

Really doesn't matter. Bi-pin tombstones are the same for both T12 and T8 so retrofit tubes are direct-fit for either. 4' tubes can be had for less per pair than the cost of a new ballast. Rewiring is dirt simple... clip the wires at the ballast then wire the hot and neutral direct to the tombstones as directed by the LED tube mfg. Takes longer to get the old lamps and ballast out than it does to re-nut the new wiring config and slip in the new tubes. I had the 4' fixture in my garage done in under fifteen minutes, including getting out and putting back the ladder and wire strippers. The only "be careful" is to make sure you get the tubes in the proper orientation (hot and neutral) when installed.

Brad
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2019, 03:48:18 AM »

I got this four pack:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XGBKDKZ/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You can daisy chain them to make 8' lights, they are light enough to just be screwed into the drywall ceiling board, and just plug in.

On my install, I swapped out a light for a duplex outlet so the LED's are still wall switch controlled. But you could just plug them in and use the switch on the plug.  The kit also comes with a pigtail to direct wire if you are replacing a fixture one for one.
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 05:05:51 AM »

I currently have fluorescent fixtures in my basement utility room. Had them in there since the 1990s. They've provided good light, and they're really only incidental use, but I'm intending on rebuilding my reloading/work area, and when I do I'll very likely go with LEDs.

Castle Key has some of the 4' LEDs in his workshop and the light they produce is so much better than the fluorescents it's not even funny.
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2019, 09:15:37 AM »

Our new house is all LED.  The basement reloading and storage room, the canned good storage room downstairs, and the three car garage are all 4' LED tubes.  All those rooms are bright enough to use for operating rooms, but not harsh bright.
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2019, 10:12:29 AM »

Really doesn't matter. 

It matters if, as he stated, he's thinking about using ballast-compatible tubes. It's going to be easier to find those if the ballast is T8.

Rewiring to line voltage is definitely worth it, though, when your ballasts are 20 years old. And you don't have to physically remove the ballast, so long as you bypass it. The scrap value may or may not be worth it to you.


Quote
Bi-pin tombstones are the same for both T12 and T8 so retrofit tubes are direct-fit for either.

Not necessarily. A lot of T8 sockets are shunted, while T12s are not.
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2019, 11:35:41 AM »

I have one Lowe's 4 foot LED. it was about 40 bucks. I will never buy another fluorescent tube.
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« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2019, 11:41:33 AM »

LEDs are the way to go. Not worth spending money you don't have of course, but they're great.

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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2019, 03:19:38 AM »

Keep an eye on Woot. They occasionally have good deals on highly rated 4' LED shoplights.
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2019, 08:25:47 AM »

It matters if, as he stated, he's thinking about using ballast-compatible tubes. It's going to be easier to find those if the ballast is T8.

Rewiring to line voltage is definitely worth it, though, when your ballasts are 20 years old. And you don't have to physically remove the ballast, so long as you bypass it. The scrap value may or may not be worth it to you.


Not necessarily. A lot of T8 sockets are shunted, while T12s are not.

From what I can tell, most ballast bypass retrofit tubes are internally shunted to account for both tombstone types.

I'm with you on ditching the ballast. Going with ballast-compatible tubes means you still have a failure-prone ballast in the mix. Ballasts have a finite life span. They will fail so you're going to end up either replacing the ballast again or swapping to non-ballast tubes at some point in the near future. Save the future hassle and expense by going ballast-bypass and only doing the job once. Ballast elimination is dirt simple, takes only minutes, and is easily accomplished with a wire cutter/stripper and pair of pliers. Throw in a nut driver or socket if you want to remove the ballast  Gives you much greater choice in replacment tubes, too.

Handy tip... label the hot/line and neutral ends of the fixture. Keeps you from having to remove the belly pans if you ever want to swap tubes. Also, label the fixture as having been converted to use line-voltage LED tubes. Nice touch for any future electrician or DIYer.

Brad
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2019, 11:48:56 AM »

Handy tip... label the hot/line and neutral ends of the fixture. Keeps you from having to remove the belly pans if you ever want to swap tubes. Also, label the fixture as having been converted to use line-voltage LED tubes. Nice touch for any future electrician or DIYer.

Brad
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2019, 01:12:50 PM »

Handy tip... label the hot/line and neutral ends of the fixture. Keeps you from having to remove the belly pans if you ever want to swap tubes. Also, label the fixture as having been converted to use line-voltage LED tubes. Nice touch for any future electrician or DIYer.

Brad

The ones I've installed came with such labels. Of course, you have to be smart enough to put the labels on correctly. And then you have to be smart enough to pay attention when you put in the next batch of tubes.  rolleyes
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