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I disagree

lumen output is really for the birds, what you really want is PAR, if you can fins PAR measurements that tells more of a story

PAR is what they use in salt water aquariums to make sure the coral has the needed light at the depth it is at, and is much more accurate for messing the light option at different distances.

as you more away form the light the light spread and reduces PAR but lumen measurement can still stay high directly under the light source.
 

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Finding PAR references on lighting is, probably, not quite as easy as finding "3 HP" on a Craftsman hand power tool. In fact, I wouldn't even know one if I hit it on the golf course [a few hundred feet from my house]. Lumens, on the other hand, they's about as common as that "3 HP" thing.

I'm sure they'll do another terminology shift, after word gets out and if it's an improvement in establishing light levels under my counter.
 

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I dunno what PAR is, but you can get a light meter for $20 on eBay and find out how many footcandles you're getting at any given location. That could be very… illuminating. I can't remember what mine is because it's been a while since I did it, but IIRC it was 150+ at bench height in most places (of course it varies depending on where you are in relation to your fixtures). And that's nice.

It's good for houseplants too. The human eye is very adaptable and so it's hard to estimate absolute brightness. 150 footcandles (which is 5x as bright as most rooms in a typical house) would be like what you'd find under a dense tree outside. Direct sun is 8000+.

IIRC a footcandle is 1 lumen per square foot. Of course you will not get as many as you expect because all of the light isn't projected straight down evenly across your floor.
 

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Thank you for this thread OP, this was the exact thing going on in my mind these days.

I will be looking into the HD commercial LED light turbov6camaro mentioned in his post. 2 of them (plus existing 2 fluorescent) should be suffice for my 400 sq ft garage.
 

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That says PAR is a measure of light available to be used by plants. Since we presumably aren t growing plants in our shops, lumens or footcandles is probably a better measurement to use.

- soob
plants use red, green, and blue area of the spectrum , mostly the red (depends on plant and time of year/sate of growth ect.)

with that in mind
Current understanding is that the 6 to 7 million cones can be divided into "red" cones (64%), "green" cones (32%), and "blue" cones (2%)

64% of your sight is read light, 32% only 2% blue, thus why to much blue cause eye strain and such

since all colors we see are measured from the red/green/blue measuring the yellow does not really help us

since PAR meter cost $300 it is not really something I can experament with right now, but well balance light from aquirmus are bright and everyone says they look good.

LOL

just something to think about really
 

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Thank you for this thread OP, this was the exact thing going on in my mind these days.

I will be looking into the HD commercial LED light turbov6camaro mentioned in his post. 2 of them (plus existing 2 fluorescent) should be suffice for my 400 sq ft garage.

- vskgaming
i have one over my Table saw and outfeed and it cover that entire are very well, its 8×7 but i would think 2-3 in your area should work, you may need 3 or 4 for shadow elimination though

don't matter if you 500000000000000000000 lumen if it's shadowed it still sucks lol
 

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I'm trying to decide on lighting for my shed and was looking at the 12v led's for more light and cheaper price than flourescent. I didn't realize there was 110v led string lights. How did you wire them? Are they all on one switch and one breaker? Or did you break them up?

thanks
 

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You'd be mistaken. They will work just fine. Compare light output of the LED's to the florescent you'd use. Better yet, invest sixty bucks in a couple for a work area and get some first hand experience.

I have eight foot ceilings and wished I could get a couple more feet for better dispersion of the lights I have.

I would like to upgrade to LED, but my shop is 1200 sf with a 10 ceiling.I don t think I could get enough light from LED s.

- MrRon
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
How did you wire them? Are they all on one switch and one breaker? Or did you break them up?
I wired up a normal receptacle box in the ceiling and the LED strip plugs into that with a normal 2-prong plug. The entire length (50 meters) is powered through that one plug, and it's controlled by a wall switch. The power draw is pretty reasonable. I don't remember exactly, but somewhere in the 200 Watt range. There should be detailed specs for the strips you are considering.
 

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I have been moving in the direction of the OP. I may be reconnoitering my shop soon and have considered going with strip/ribbon LEDs installed as he did. Obviously no one size fits all. Quality LED components are not the be-all-to-end-all. They are not inexpensive but do offer lower operating costs, far less maintenance(none), and wider design / use options beyond what other existing lighting options do.

Over the past year I have worked LED lighting into a number of projects, the results have been great and going forward I will be using them with more frequency. If you do the research you will find that there is a plethora of cheap versions which offer poor performance, i.e. premature failure as well as a handful of quality offerings that live up to Lumen, CRI and longevity claims. As with anything else - you get what you pay for.

I replaced a pair of outdoor flood lights with a commercial LED fixture. I am extremely happy with the results. The price was high but the results are great and if it lives up to the stated specs I will save money on my utility bill, never have to climb a ladder to replace a bulb again, and get great performance even in sub zero temps (which I did this past winter).

I also used LED strip/ribbon lights similar to those used by the OP to encircle the entire inner perimeter of a large but shallow clothing closet. The result was outstanding , by spreading the light source over a very wide area it all but eliminated shadowing while searching through the closet and gave good enough color rendering to distinguish dark navy blues from blacks .

I had a 8' remnant piece from the closet project which I installed at the wall to ceiling juncture going down the length of my basement steps. This shed far fewer overall lumens that the previous existing 75W bulb at the top and 75W bulb at the bottom of the stairs offered however the result is far superior as the lighting is far more evenly applied and eliminates shadowing from the source. Everyone who uses the stairs agrees.

So my point is, from my experience, when spreading a light source over a wide area as you do with an installation such as the OP used, you blanket that area with light that is nearly devoid of any shadowing and thus ideal for a work area. Quality LEDs can be had that are similar to fluorescents, i.e. cool white and warm so color rendering need not be any worse that with fluorescents. If accurate color rendering is essential to a task I could set up a work area specifically outfitted with any light source appropriate for that task.
 

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Great and economical use of strip lights Isotope!

To get rid of the "Christmas light" feel there are a ton of inexpensive options you might want to consider. The easiest/cheapest would be to take any scrap 2×4 material, cut it in half for a 2×2, dado a 5/16"-1/2" (depending on your light strip width) slot in the middle and secure that to the underside of each joist. You can notch the top of the 2x material so that is spans any electrical wires/conduit, and just screw it to the joists. Then you get a nice tight appearance without sacrificing much height. Paint it white and it can really clean up the look.

You could even get really crazy and build in a lens cover by cutting in a 1" T slot so you could insert a plexiglass/lexan strip. The possibilities that LED strips are giving us are amazing.

I am putting up an "art wall" at my shop stairs with scrap acrylic panels from a commercial job we were going to toss, and have incorporated LED strips. Cut a 10mm dado for the light strip to recess, then cut a 12mm dado for my acrylic panel to sit in.

This application is obviously for a clear acrylic panel to get secured in, but the same principle applies to overhead applications. Any piece of wood with a dado in it gives a clean spot for screws to be recessed and for the lights to be secured. The strip lights I purchased have sticky back tape on them. I dont know how long that would last against bare wood, but a couple dabs of CA glue here and there, and your champion.

Table Wood Tablecloth Rectangle Beige


Wood Wood stain Table Floor Hardwood


Wood Sleeve Beige Collar Hardwood


Brown Wood Wood stain Beam Plank
 

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Like Onhillww, I've experienced the advantage of spreading the light over an area and was very pleased with the result.

I bought ten 20" long light bars for ten bucks each from lightingwill.com and installed them under my kitchen cabinets. I had wired for halogens so I had to dim them through a magnetic transformer (120VAC dimmer), rather than the usual means of dimming off a 12V dimmer. They work so well, we rarely turn on the overhead lights, other than the task lights at the stove and the sink.

With the bars, there are not bright and dim spots, like we would have had with the halogens. Of course, there is the heat issue too. Finally, though power is REALLY cheap in Eastern Washington (e.g., literally three dams next door) running halogens hours a day would have spun the meter. As it is, the entire counter is lit off only a few watts.

All these things said, for my shop, I want the maximum blast of light I can, reasonably, get. It would take a lot of bars to give me what the four foot shop lights provide.

-----------
NOTE: LED's offer no significant, if any, power reduction compared to florescents.

 

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Magaoitin,
Very neat project, I can just imagine the aesthetic effect. Allow me to caution you on the design as I can see you have put a lot of thought into the project and would not want to see it fail. LEDs one limiting factor is that they degrade when exposed to heat. By trapping those lights in a channel there is no way for the heat generated by the lights to dissipate and as such will lead to premature failure unless you can offer some kind of venting to the strip. Perhaps incorporate vent gaps into the design. To this end if you look at quality LED fixtures you will see they are equipped with cooling fins for this very reason. From the link below - 1. Thermal Management - Heat = death to LEDs. Ask if and how the LED strip lights have been designed for proper thermal management and heat dissipation. If they have not, the LED's 50,000+ hour LED chip life span may drop to 10,000 or 20,000 hours. This can be done on a chip level and on a PCB level. Do not solely rely on an aluminum heat sink to dissipate heat away from the LEDs. The product should be designed at a component level to ensure a longer lifespan.

Also, the deeper one buries an LED strip into a dado type grove the more severely you will limit the lateral spread of the light. For area lighting such as a work shop a better and less expensive solution is to first apply aluminum foil tape (the type used to seal ducts) which has very tenacious adhesive to the joist bottoms, then apply the ribbon lights to the taped surface. The LED adhesive will adhere very well to the foil tape. Suppliers also offer narrow aluminum strips designed to house the LEDs but these can be costly for a project the size of a work shop. Here is one example:

http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=71702&cat=1,43349

FWIW - here are two good resources for LED information. The first has a lot of technical detail but you should skim the entire article as there are some easy to understand sections and great graphics. The second link is more user friendly:

http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/nlpip/lightinganswers/led/abstract.asp
https://www.flexfireleds.com/top-4-considerations-before-buying-flexible-led-strip-lights/
 

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If accurate color rendering is essential to a task I could set up a work area specifically outfitted with any light source appropriate for that task.

I never decide on colors, or try to match under general shop lighting. I prefer to take the materials or samples to an area similar to the expected location an item will be used to make color decisions.

It's easy enough to find a "typical home location", or daylight in a home shop.
 

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i have the four foot led fixtures thru out shop, some days one must wear sunglasses, plenty of light, even have task lighting at a few locations, seems the older i get the more light i want.
led no heat ,and white light
 

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i have the four foot led fixtures thru out shop, some days one must wear sunglasses, plenty of light, even have task lighting at a few locations, seems the older i get the more light i want.
led no heat ,and white light

- Knockonit
I just go by the 4' LED shop lights at Sam's or Costco and pick one up every so often and in fill where I am getting a shadow. Check the way that they interconnect. I have some with a proprietary goofy plug so I always need to move them to the end of the line. Get the ones that have a standard plug to interconnect. Very happy with mine, small shop so this method works for me.
 

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Yet another useful thread as we build out our shop. Lighting is one of the things we are working on. At present we are in the "something quick to get setup" mode. As such we simply have 4' LED lights from a mix of the big box stores hanging from our currently open rafters. That will change once we have the ceiling in. At that point, lighting will be installed on a more permanent basis and this thread will be a reference. What we install will at least partly depend upon what we end up using for ceiling (roofing tin, sheetrock or beadboard panels). With roofing tin LED roll lighting may well be a good choice.

I have already considered incorporating the roll LED into our cabinet builds. Having some lighting experience, I know that having light without seeing the light bulbs glare is a very good thing. On a cabinet setup you can easily hide the light strip. We are building one set of cabinets that will be about 30' along our north wall. That will be the ideal place for LED strip lights.
 

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My experience is "shadows" just mean you don't have a sufficient number of fixtures to "COVER" the area with light. Adding go go lighting might make it a little better, but for old guys like me, probably at a risk to greater eye strain than needed.

If anyone has headache, or difficulty focusing after being in a darker space, and trying to do work, a look at your lighting source may be helpful to a good solution.
 
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