Workshop lighting

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by BJC, Dec 24, 2015.

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  1. Dec 24, 2015 #1

    BJC

    BJC

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    Not wanting to hijack the thread on lighting an off-grid hangar, I started this thread.

    I have decent flurescent lighting in my workshop, but I find that I would like some additional light, more for the color than additional lumens. I have considered LED light, but they are expensive.

    VFR, what LED lights are you using?

    Does anyone else experienced with LED fixtures in a workshop or similar application have a recomendation?

    Thanks,


    BJC
     
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  2. Dec 24, 2015 #2

    lake_harley

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    A friend of mine went along on a recent road trip.....about 18+ hours in a day. With plenty time to talk one of the topics was fluorescent vs LED shop lights. I think he's kind of a techy wannabe and he's really big on replacing his fluorescent shop light bulbs with the LED variety. He maintains you get more light with the same, or less, power. That smacks of a "free lunch" to me, and I've never found those to really exist .My shop lights have never really been as good as I've wanted and have recently been considering improvements and replacement as needed. What good timing for this thread since it's something I've also been pondering.


    Lynn
     
  3. Dec 24, 2015 #3

    rv6ejguy

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    I had a very dim hangar a few years back with just 2 fixtures. I bought 6 Y- socket adapters and eight 42watt CFLs. Screw a Y adapter into the socket and then screw 2 more into those like branches of a tree. Screw in your four CFLs and you quadruple the light at pretty low cost and consumption. Looked wonky but worked really well.
     
  4. Dec 24, 2015 #4

    Dana

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    I'm not over fond of the type of light fluorescents give out but I broke down and replaced the 200W incandescents in my garage with equivalent CFL bulbs. The main drawback is that they take a few minutes to come up to full brightness.

    The company I work for just built a new building with everything high tech, including all LED lights throughout the offices and shops. Impressively bright, actually too bright in the office so we generally turn them down or off since we have lots of natural light through the huge skylights. LEDs keep getting better and cheaper, probably the way to go nowadays.

    Dana
     
  5. Dec 24, 2015 #5

    bmcj

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    I like the brightness and color of the LED's, but I also appreciate the distributed area of emission that you get with a long fluorescent tube. I find that the old style bank of fluorescent tubes in my kitchen gives me better overall lighting and less shadows than a complete set blight point lights (bulbs or canned lighting).

    Color can be an issue with fluorescents, but they come in a variety of colors (optical temperature ranges) that include the bright white that I like. On the down side, fluorescents can be slow to start and reach full brightness, are difficult to dim (requires special CFL base), can build heat in the CFL bases, and are a personal and regulatory nuisance when they break. LED's on the other hand are bright, instant, low power, long lasting, and dimmable. You can even by Bluetooth/Wi-Fi enabled LED bulbs (just screw them in) that you can control from your panel, computer, or smartphone.
     
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  6. Dec 24, 2015 #6

    akwrencher

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    Several friends of mine have recently gone to LED's from Costco that look like flourescent tubes. Instant on and are impressively bright. Check them out, I think they are about $30 a fixture, maybe 40" long, two tubes.
     
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  7. Dec 24, 2015 #7

    Kyle Boatright

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    In my garage, I have 4 sets of LED shop lights from Sam's Club. They are great and I'm considering them for additional light at the hangar. 4800 lumens/fixture if I remember. There is no flickering, the light is bright, and they take about a quarter second to illuminate. My wife complains (tongue in cheek) that our garage is as bright as the face of the sun.

    Here they are:

    4-foot LED Shoplight - Sam's Club
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
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  8. Dec 24, 2015 #8

    ScaleBirdsScott

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    I'm all about LED when possible, but the nature of them makes it less than ideal for area lighting as far as I can tell; much better for focused spot lighting or accent lighting. But, prices are going down and I'd consider some LED area lights nowadays. And for LED anything, I say get that stuff online; it's ridiculously cheap on places like ebay, amazon, etc. And that link from Sams club looks like a good rate as well. I don't know if the quality of these LED direct from China is on the same level as stuff that has to be rated and sold domestically in the stores, I don't really care in this case, but if you do might be worth checking into. I know LED running on AC is not so good from the flickering, but other than that, not really sure it matters much. The power draw should be so low, and if one or two diodes on a strip does crap out it doesn't kill the whole light all that much.

    That said, a few T5 HO bulbs in some fixtures will make your shop feel like a grow-room and that's starting to get to the right level of brightness. Those are not cheap setups to install or operate, but I basically want to feel like I'm getting a tan while in the shop, and those do alright.
     
  9. Dec 24, 2015 #9

    akwrencher

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    Just go to your local Costco or Sams club spend $35 bucks and go home and plug in the LED shop light. It's bright, and doesn't flicker that I can tell. Freind of mine has a huge shop for heavy equipment with multiple bays. He is replacing his lighting with these. Our electric is rather expensive here.
     
  10. Dec 24, 2015 #10

    cvairwerks

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    I'm putting T5HO 4 lamp fixtures with 54W 6500K bulbs in my shop. The 6500K really helps when trying to color match something. The only bummer about them is the lamp cost...23$ per bulb.
     
  11. Dec 24, 2015 #11

    Vigilant1

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    It would be true if LEDs were more efficient than fluorescents, but they are not. Just do the math on the commonly available lamps: T8 fluorescent takes 32 watts to give about 2950 lumens = 92 lumens per watt. A typical 10 watt LED screw-in replacement for an incandescent bulb gives about 900 lumens = 90 lumens per watt. There are other reasons people might prefer LEDs, but initial cost and overall energy efficiency for broad area lighting are not among them?

    On the LED lamps, if they have the term "effective lumens"' then know it is pure snake oil.
     
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  12. Dec 25, 2015 #12

    rv6ejguy

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    I always run a cost analysis first. We pay around 7-8 cents/ kilowatt hr. here for electricity.

    Look at Lumens per watt per dollar and how many hours a day you have your lights on per year. Look at the payback time for one bulb.

    At this point LEDs don't make sense if you want to save money. My CFLs have years more life left, by then maybe LEDs will have come down to the same prices. They're just hosing people right now because they are new and are shaming people into getting rid of perfectly good CFLs, claiming better efficiency. LEDs are dirt cheap in China and should be here too. I'm waiting for that.
     
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  13. Dec 25, 2015 #13

    Kyle Boatright

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    I spent $40/fixture plus $27 for bulbs (net, almost $70/fixture) for T8 lights and fixtures that are equivalent to the $35 LED's I purchased for my garage. Beyond that, those $9 T8 bulbs have a fairly sharp drop off in lumens over their 10k hour life. LED's don't. If you live long enough, you're likely to replace the T8's 5 times before the LED's die (not that many of us will need to replace the T8 bulbs). Also, the LED's don't have the low temperature issues fluorescents do (not that I'll be in a 0F workshop).

    IMO, the *right* LED's are a pretty good deal that I've been unable to match in fluorescent lights.
     
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  14. Dec 25, 2015 #14

    Vigilant1

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    I'm sure it is possible to spend that much, but I see shop lights ( good quality electronic ballasts, etc) advertised all the time for $10. The T8 bulbs for them are another $1.50 (I don't know how it is possible to spend $13.50 per bulb!) so that is $13.00 total cost per fixture that draws about 68 watts and produces 5900 lumens. I would like to see a comparable LED fixture that matches that price for similar output. And the electric efficiency is almost identical. Note that I am being very conservative on the lumens for the T8s-- some 32 watt bulbs put out 3300 lumens initially, with a mean output over their life of 3100 lumens each. And there are many color temps available.

    I don't hate LEDs, like I said, there are good reasons to choose them for many applications if you need a well-focused output, if you need something shock resistant, if you like the light quality. But for general background lighting of a hangar, especially one that won't be used all day every day, I don't see a strong case for them right now when compared to fluorescent bulbs (unless a person just has extra money or wants to have the newest thing).
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  15. Dec 25, 2015 #15

    Pops

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    I think that CFL are about at the bottom of my list for lighting. Nothing about them that I like.


    Dan
     
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  16. Dec 25, 2015 #16

    rv6ejguy

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    I've got T12s in my new hangar with electronic ballasts, instant full bright light, no flicker even when cold. I keep it around 10C (50F). Work fine and and not expensive.
     
  17. Dec 25, 2015 #17

    VFR-on-top

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    I began replacing florescents in my shop with LEDs when the transformers from my Home Depot fixtures began failing.

    Agree with the comments re: buying online. It's the only way to go for equipping a large shop. But before you buy in bulk, test a few in your shop. Also note that they're likely from China. Some may be defective as reported in reviews, but Amazon makes it easy to replace. One of mine was missing hardware and they sent me another one quickly.

    I've also replaced all my out sodium and halide fixtures outside the shop and around the house with these as well. The outside screw-in bulb fixtures on the house got LED bulbs on sale from Home Depot.

    This one is available for around $20. A huge price drop from only a year ago. This is not the one I bought though, I believe mine were 30 watts.

    http://www.amazon.com/LEDMart-Lands...F8&qid=1451031230&sr=1-2&keywords=outdoor+led

    Quote: "I also appreciate the distributed area of emission that you get with a long fluorescent tube."

    Agree.
     
  18. Dec 25, 2015 #18

    gtae07

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    I fitted out my shop with 9 T8 twin-bulb fixtures and put in 6500K fluorescent tubes. With white semigloss walls it's nice and bright inside. Seeing as I'd probably wind up moving before the tubes needed to be replaced and I couldn't get LEDs in the color I wanted, I just stuck with fluorescent.

    I've also been replacing all the bulbs in the house with 5000K LED bulbs. It's so much nicer inside, nice and brightly lit and not dingy yellow.
     
  19. Dec 25, 2015 #19

    Joe Fisher

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    I am kind of interested in the LED's I had 15 fluorescent shop lights. I have been replacing them with the 40wat screw in type. I listen to AM radio for long hours I have a car radio with a power supply and an out side antenna. Because the fluorescent lights interfere with the radio if they are working good. Two or more times a week a light will go bad still light but makes a racket in the radio. So I climb up and trade bulbs around and fine the offender and replace it. I wounder what other draw back the LED lights might have.
     
  20. Dec 25, 2015 #20

    Kyle Boatright

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    Can you provide a link to those $10 fixtures and $1.50 bulbs? BTW, the T8 fixtures I used have 3 bulbs. So I'm using $9 bulbs, which are available at the local big box stores.
     

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