Shop light upgrade

Discussion in 'Non-Automotive Stuff' started by 6delta, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. 6delta

    6delta In Third Gear

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    246
    Location:
    Citrus Heights, CA
    I have several 8 and 4 foot lights (all T12) in my garage that I am considering swapping over to LED. Two lights have a bad ballast, one has a noisy ballast and about 6 of the bulbs are turning black at the ends. Since the T12 lights are being phased out of production the bulbs and ballasts are getting expensive. Especially the 8 foot bulbs. My original plan was to switch everything to T8 fixtures over time as needed. Although those are also going to be phased out also at least I know how long to expect them to last. Now LEDs are popular and getting cheaper so I was wondering if anyone has any experience with them. My shop ceilings are about 9 ½ feet and everything is painted so I just want to know how "bright" they are compared to fluorescent (cool white) lights and if anyone has had bad luck with them not lasting as long as they say. Has anyone had a bad experience with them? I have a LED drop light but really prefer the old standby 100 watt bulb (until I am working under a dash.

    I have switched some incandescent bulbs inside the house to LED and so far they are outlasting the standard socket CFLR bulbs that were supposed to be better than the incandescent bulbs. The CFLR bulbs suck in my opinion.

    I know how long new T8 bulbs/ballasts will last but using less power would be a plus also.
     
  2. Huevos

    Huevos In Maximum Overdrive

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    Let me know what brand/style you go with, I will be relighting my shop as well.
     
  3. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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  4. 6delta

    6delta In Third Gear

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    246
    Location:
    Citrus Heights, CA
    Damn, your shop is clean. It does look bright.

    Is the light very directional when you are working say under the hood? I am planning on reusing my existing fixtures for now, except that I have the 2 pole bulbs and tombstones. From what I can tell the LED strips will be facing downward. I am a little concerned that the light will be directed straight down more and not diffused as it is now. I do use my shop for a little bit of everything including bodywork and painting and have several extra 8 foot T12 fixture that I use on the sides of my projects when painting but the current light configuration on the ceiling is spread out so that I do not really get any shadows on anything until I set up for paint. I am wondering if I should get the single pole tombstone type so I can rotate the lights out a little. I have also been debating on going with double 4 foot bulbs or staying with two 8 foot bulbs in each fixture.

    Maybe I will pick up a couple just to place over the work benches and see how they work. That way I can decide if I will need more flexibility before I replace all of them.
     
  5. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    I use a hand-help LED shop light when working under the hood. If you're doing a lot of painting and need to see reflections, you would probably want more of these. But I highly recommend them, especially if you don't have many outlets; you can link up to 9 of these on one power cord. And hey, 50,000 hour life...
     
  6. pmrphil

    pmrphil In Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

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    From the ones I have seen, the frosted lenses seem less "harsh", and anything over 4500 - 5000 starts to have a definate blue color to the light, not really white after that.
    Make sure you get the non-ballast ones, the rewiring takes a bit of time but well worth the effort.
     
  7. Huevos

    Huevos In Maximum Overdrive

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    How many of these can you Link together?
     
  8. pmrphil

    pmrphil In Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

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    The 8 footers in my buddy's shop only draw 1.2 amps each, so I would guess a lot - maybe 8 or 10?
     
  9. 6delta

    6delta In Third Gear

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    246
    Location:
    Citrus Heights, CA
    I plan on re-wiring the fixtures. The color information is good to know. I have 6 eight foot lights and four 4 foot lights on the ceiling plus several 4 foot single bulbs over the work benches. When I turn everything on there is plenty of light. My only problem with the hand held LED I have is I like one with an outlet and it doesn't have it. At first I didn't use it much but over time I have came to like it a lot. Too bad they break when you drive over them. That is what happened to the fluorescent drop light I had also.

    Has anyone converted there 8 foot lights to the 4 four foot configuration? I found those conversation kits online while I was searching. Unfortunately my daily driver car blew a front shock/strut so I am going to convert it from the air suspension to coil overs. As slow as I seem to be lately that will probably take my entire next weekend. You know the old saying 2 steps forward 1 step back -- fall in a hole, spill your beer. Start over again. Or something like that.

    Thanks for the information. I will post when I get it done and say how I like it.
     
  10. Clark

    Clark In Maximum Overdrive

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    I swapped out all the 4 ft fluorescent lights in the house with the LED's from Amazon. They make a huge difference AND I could throw out all the ballasts.
     
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  11. colnago

    colnago In Overdrive

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    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Are there any shop lights that don't use a chain to mount them? I have very little room between my garage door, and the garage ceiling. I'd like to mount them directly to the 2x4 above, but these lights (which sound great, by the way) don't let you get inside. I went on the Home Depot site, and most shop lights look like they're hanging from chains.

    Joseph
     
  12. Basstrix

    Basstrix In Maximum Overdrive BRONZE MEMBER

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    I've hung 2-3 different types of this style light and they tend to have the option of hanging by chains or direct mount.
     
  13. 62restomod

    62restomod In Third Gear BRONZE MEMBER

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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  14. 1979 RANCHERO GT

    1979 RANCHERO GT In Overdrive

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    I changed my body shop to 4 foot LED fixtures that I got at Sam's Club (about 35 bucks apiece). One problem is looking at light color vehicles the light reflection has yellow stripes on the panels so the paint shop and booth are still using florescent tubes. It has made a difference on the power bill and I'm working on finding affordable LED for the paint area. For hand held lights we use rechargeable LED lights, old time droplights get HOT.
     
  15. aquartlow

    aquartlow In Maximum Overdrive

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    Location:
    Summerfield Florida
    I pulled all my 4' double bulb 34watt fluorescent lights and (1) 8' quad bulb fluorescent fixture and installed the 4' 5500 lumen LED lights from Rural King, took a bit to wire up ceiling duplex outlets at each light but gives options. What a difference is all I can say. The RK lights were $25 each and have been installed 5 months no issues.

    https://www.ruralking.com/4-led-shop-light-5500-lumens
     
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