Workshop lighting

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Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
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. Are you asking because you want to buy some, or because you don't believe what I wrote? Here are the shop lamps at Menards for$10.97. They aren't on a special price now, they are frequently available for less than $10 While you are there, pick up some bulbs, they are$1.98 each.

So, that is 385 lumens per dollar. If anyone knows where complete LED fixtures and lamps are available for that price, chime in. Initial price isn't everything, but it is often a significant factor when the utilization rate will be low. Add in the fact that the lumens per watt are about the same as LEDs, and, well, you can see why this might be an attractive approach.

This is the first place I checked, you can probably do better ( I have). I'm also sure it is possible to spend a lot more, as you did (I'm not questioning what you spent), I just didn't want anyone to get the idea that it was necessary to do so. Merry Christmas.

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Kyle Boatright

Well-Known Member
Are you asking because you want to buy some, or because you don't believe what I wrote?

Here are the shop lamps at Menards for $10.97. They aren't on a special price now, they are frequently available for less than$10

Dan Thomas

Well-Known Member
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.
We're looking at high-bay LEDs for the hangar. Like this: Energy Saving Bridgelux Industrial Led High Bay Lamps 100W, AC85 - 265V, 50 - 60 HZ

They claim 100-110 lumens per watt, and better than 92% efficiency.

This one claims 130 lumens per watt: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lightest-120w-led-high-bay-light-130-lmw-weighs-only-12kg-lighting?trk=sushi_topic_posts

LEDs are coming and they're getting better and cheaper and everything else will give way to them. All fluorescents have mercury in them and the regulations will just get worse regarding their disposal. And in a hangar like ours, changing a tube or ballast requires getting the scaffolding out and setting it up or renting a manlift. And the ballasts don't last long anymore (no PCBs allowed) and the electronic ballasts are expensive. The tubes we get are failing sooner, too. They're becoming an expensive pain.

Bring on the LEDS. Sooner the better.

Lucrum

Well-Known Member
Log Member
I get the brightest bulbs in stock. I like to see what I'm doing.

Vigilant1

I haven't bought the t8/t12 type leds for my shop yet, but I have bought the standard bulb type when they are on clearance for $1-$4 a piece, than I found a bunch of these Brooder Lamps on sale for a little more than $5 a piece, took off the clamps, cut and hardwired in the cord and let them hang by the cord. The 75w equivalents are actually closer to 100w in effective brightness.. Very bright and cheap lighting that works year around.. View attachment 46106 That's a good low-cost approach, especially if your local utility offers rebates or special pricing on the typical residential-use LED bulbs. Lots of small, cheap, moderate output lamps give even lighting. The driver circuit in any LED lamp will likely fail well before the stated life of the actual light emmiting diodes themselves. Having the driver circuit fail in a$3 bulb won't be the budget buster that having one fail in a $200 snazzy industrial high-bay LED unit would be. These units are coming down in price all the time, and the mass-produced residential LED units are gonna stay cheaper than industrial models. But, I don't think the folks who own my municipal hangar would like to see me hardwiring lamp cord as part of a permanent wiring system, or having units like this hung using the lamp cord as the mechanical support. Last edited: Midniteoyl Well-Known Member That's a good low-cost approach, especially if your local utility offers rebates or special pricing on the typical residential-use LED bulbs. Lots of small, cheap, moderate output lamps give even lighting. The driver circuit in any LED lamp will likely fail well before the stated life of the actual light emmiting diodes themselves. Having the driver circuit fail in a$3 bulb won't be the budget buster that having one fail in a $200 snazzy industrial high-bay LED unit would be. These units are coming down in price all the time, and the mass-produced residential LED units are gonna stay cheaper than industrial models. But, I don't think the folks who own my municipal hangar would like to see me hardwiring lamp cord as part of a permanent wiring system, or having units like this hung using the lamp cord as the mechanical support. They might not, seeing as you have to stay to code, but I own my shop (on my land) so did what I wanted .. However, the strain relief on the lamps and junction boxes are more than capable of holding these as its just a socket and reflector and doesnt have to hold the huge ballast of a Sodium or Metal Halide lamp. Even if they last only 10-12khrs, I feel they are still worth it in the long run. I got them fairly cheap a couple of years ago and they can be found that cheap now, so running and replacement costs are low. Besides, the only florescent lamps I haven't had to change every 1-3yrs are the ones over my kitchen sink (those bad boys have been running 8-12hrs a day, every day, for at least the 11yrs I have been here as they came with the house), the rest have just been crap. bmcj Well-Known Member HBA Supporter It seems to me that the fluorescent tubes and fixtures don't last as long as they used to... has the quality declined in more recent production runs? 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.

Amazon.com: LEDMart(tm) 50w LED Flood Light Cool White Lamp Landscape Outdoor Waterproof 90-240v, 120 Degree Beam Angle (1): Industrial & Scientific
I always wonder when I see bulbs like this if the beveled reflector does much? It seems like the LED's don't protrude far enough for the reflectors to do anything.

VFR-on-top

Well-Known Member
It seems to me that the fluorescent tubes and fixtures don't last as long as they used to... has the quality declined in more recent production runs?
I've a bunch of bulbs that still work, but the fixtures are long gone. I think I paid about $10 bucks for them. Maybe I got what I paid for. I always wonder when I see bulbs like this if the beveled reflector does much? It seems like the LED's don't protrude far enough for the reflectors to do anything. View attachment 46150 You may be right, but the recession is perfect for large shop hanging (around the 9' level) -- most of them won't shine directly in your eyes except the ones directly in the vicinity of where you are standing. Alan Waters Well-Known Member I'm using four ft. fixtures which have six T5 bulbs. Best I have ever used but I think nothing beats natural light. studentasaur New Member I have quite a few CFL's, and do not care to replace them unless LED's continue their downward cost trend. The biggest cost driver would be the initial cost, and service life, not the operating cost. I use a small halogen on a clamp and swivel for my detailed model RR work. With the above being said, I like the LED light quality/ spectrum better than CFL's. Just not enough so that I would spend any extra cash to change them. BJC Well-Known Member HBA Supporter 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. ... Does anyone else experienced with LED fixtures in a workshop or similar application have a recomendation? BJC LEDs are coming and they're getting better and cheaper and everything else will give way to them. I confess, I tolerated the flurescents, mostly because the cost / quality of the fixtures that I looked at was unfavorable. As Dan pointed out, LED lights are getting better (and, hopefully, cheaper), so I’m looking again for experience reports with four foot or eight foot LED light fixtures in workshops. Thanks, BJC TFF Well-Known Member I have added some led 4 foot fixtures in the car port, wife's sewing/ art room and tool shed. Worth it. They replaced regular bulbs not fluorescent. I have had plenty of fluorescent and it's no contest. Will see how long they last. That is the only question. Hot Wings Grumpy Cynic HBA Supporter Log Member I recently replaced the T8 lights in our kitchen with retrofit LEDs that work with the ballast removed. I'd already bought a couple of LED shop lights, but even though they were on what I considered the expensive side, I really liked them. The retrofit units are quite reasonable in price and worked out so well that I'm going to be replacing all of my shop lights (4' fluorescent) with them. It will take some labor and time to rewire the fixtures (about 10 minutes each) but the cost savings compared to buying ready to hang 4 foot LEDs makes it a fair trade - IMHO. My shop lights were/are already pretty good because I at one time did painting and needed good light for body work and color matching. I expect, based on the kitchen retrofit, to see a noticeable improvement with the LEDs. Little Scrapper Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Log Member My entire shop I swapped out all the old ones and put new 2x4 LED lights in. Really inexpensive at Menards and extremely bright. My energy bill dropped to nothing and I have 2 lights on 24/7 because it's a safety code. I would never go back. BJC Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Other than having to rewire an existing fluorescent fixture to bypass the ballast, what are the advavtages and disadvantages of “ballast compatible” 48” LED tubes verses not ballast compatable? Can LED tubes be used on one side with fluorescant on the other of a two-tube fixture? BJC Little Scrapper Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Log Member I just looked up my bill. I paid$90 each complete. Takes 15 minutes to pull the old troffer light out, drop the new one in and wire it. The beauty is you get the whole fixture for that.

Keep in mind, I have a suspended ceiling so probably not apples to apples

HBA Supporter
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