Shop Lighting

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Forum topic by MAS520 posted 03-11-2018 10:33 PM 900 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 1095 days

03-11-2018 10:33 PM

My shop lighting needs to be updated. currently 4’ fluorescents at least 17 years old. The shop is 25X30. Looking for some suggestions.

-- Mark,Oelwein Iowa Cardinal Fan!

14 replies so far

View ScottKaye's profile


773 posts in 2554 days

#1 posted 03-11-2018 10:45 PM

easy enough.. try these LED's from Amazon. $39.99 a piece. I have replaced 3 of 5 lights so far and the difference is (pardon the pun) simply night and day. I can now work in my shop with out having to have spot lights all over the place.

These are flush mount lights. The first one must be hard wired (no extension cords) and all the rest can be daisy chained. I chose to hard wire each light as the wires were already in place from the old fixtures. 4000 lumens and 5000k color make for a very bright fixture and it uses half the power of my old fixtures with no ballast hum.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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773 posts in 2554 days

#2 posted 03-11-2018 10:55 PM

my wife and kids all had the same response after they saw the new lights installed

“oh….... oh wow… thats bright”

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View torus's profile


382 posts in 1015 days

#3 posted 03-11-2018 11:09 PM

Slightly cheaper option :)

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6033 posts in 3010 days

#4 posted 03-11-2018 11:13 PM

Upgrading your existing fixtures by eliminating the ballast and putting in LED bulbs runs about $12 a bulb. Once you have converted the first one it takes about 5 minutes a light to do all the rest. Bulb burns out, just replace the bulb not the entire fixture.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View ScottKaye's profile


773 posts in 2554 days

#5 posted 03-11-2018 11:18 PM

slightly cheaper yes, but less of a light in my opinion. No cover so you are staring at bulbs instead of a diffuser. Also they are hangers not flush mount and they dont look like they can be direct wired but have to be use with an extension cord. they arent as white in color 4000k vs 500k. I really wanted to avoid hanging lights in my shop for because they would be perfect dust catchers. Best to go on Amazon and get an education. theres litterally hundreds of fixtures to choose from

Slightly cheaper option :)

- torus

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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773 posts in 2554 days

#6 posted 03-11-2018 11:26 PM

I looked at replacing the bulbs only with LED bulbs. I couldn’t find any replacement bulbs nearly as bright as the fixture I purchased. Also, my old florescent were completely shot. Each of them needed new ballasts. (the replacement LED bulbs wont work with out ballasts unless you get a kit that bypasses the ballasts all together and frankly that more of a hassle than its worth.) So by the time i added up bulbs and ballasts it was the same price as getting a new fixture.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View ScottKaye's profile


773 posts in 2554 days

#7 posted 03-11-2018 11:31 PM

By the way. I am not receiving one dime from Amazon for recommending different products by linking them here. I have noticed some people create their own sub stores and get a kickback from Amazon for sales made thru their link. I don’t believe in that and won’t use it. But that’s a whole separate topic on its own. If you want to make a few bucks fine, make a few bucks. But you should be upfront and disclose the fact about the kickback when you make the recommendation.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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Craftsman on the lake

3099 posts in 4039 days

#8 posted 03-12-2018 12:29 AM

I like to look at this two ways. First LED is great: If you want you can purchase LED tubes and do a simple fix for your existing lights to convert them. It includes putting in new end connectors (on one end) and bypassing the ballasts. Do a search on amazon for LED tubes and you’ll find them and connectors like these. The tubes are more expensive than Florescents but they’ll last a very long time

The other way is to purchase four foot florescent fixtures that go into hung ceilings from a place like Lowes You can even find them on craigslist for a song. That’s how I got mine. Contractors will often remove a bunch of them from a store during a remodeling. This one is $38, four bulbs and bright and good light with diffuser. I screw mine to the ceiling and wrap them in sanded plywood strips.


-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6033 posts in 3010 days

#9 posted 03-12-2018 01:21 AM

These do not require any ballast, in fact they give instructions on how to remove. The tombstone ends, (that’s what they call them) will let you remove the wires they have with a small pick or screwdriver. I converted my 10×10 addition to these couple years ago. The rest of the 16×20 shop remains normal 4ft florescent bulbs. Not because I did not like the LED but mostly because I have 150 bulbs I got from someone years ago. Nevermind the 21 ballast still available as replacements, also got for our favorite price of free.

I figure LED are only going to get better. On con for the bulbs I have is they aim straight down, no diffusion. I suspect they will get wise and put lines of lights on a triangle pattern and improve this. When, who knows…LOL.

Something to note for all looking into this. Watts is not the only important part of this equation. Color temperature (Kelvin) also must be factored in. Some like super bright, others want a warmer glow. That would be personal choice. Best advice, buy one, try it out and see what works best for you.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View josephf's profile


217 posts in 2698 days

#10 posted 03-12-2018 04:07 AM

i picked mine up through cosco . they carry different ones at different times .

View BurlyBob's profile


6887 posts in 2867 days

#11 posted 03-12-2018 06:06 AM

Sure wish LEDS were available when I did my garage. I’m stuck with T8’s till they die.

View Bumpy's profile


40 posts in 1083 days

#12 posted 03-12-2018 10:59 AM

My shop is 25×40 x 14, I just upgraded to LED’s purchased through Amazon. I used the Sunco, 4’ 5000k units. I put a total of 16 in, 6 down the center, 5 on each side. Incredible amount of light. The lights are available in cartons of 2 / 6 / 10 etc. Obviously the more you buy, the price goes down. Delivery was 3 days. Easy install

View Sparks500's profile


255 posts in 932 days

#13 posted 03-12-2018 12:39 PM

I ordered LED bypass tubes online and got them for about 5 bucks each with free shipping. Had to order 25 to get the free shipping, of course.

I was at the ReStore the other day and they had some really nice shaded shop lights with wire tube protectors for $10 each. Got 5 of them to replace some of my older scavenged fixtures.

Most older Fluorescent fixtures had 2 wire tombstones, which can be rewired and used for LED bypass tubes, but newer T8 fixtures use the shunt type tombstones and have to be replaced.

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View pauljuilleret's profile


107 posts in 2254 days

#14 posted 03-12-2018 12:47 PM

On Jan 19th I did a review here on Lumber Jocks on screw in led lamps also from amazon take a look at that and see if it covers what you are looking for.

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