LumberJocks

Lights: going from fluorescents to LED bulbs

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by Craftsman on the lake posted 10-10-2019 07:36 PM 863 views 1 time favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3017 posts in 3950 days


10-10-2019 07:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lights shop lights led lights led

This is an viable and cost effective solution to lighting in the shop. For me it was a fix.

Over the past ten years I’ve had ballasts go bad in one then two more of my fluorescent lights. Ballasts are expensive. My alternative was to order a bunch of porcelain screw in light sockets on Amazon (about $3 each, with pigtails). And I found some 100 watt LED light bulbs. I was going to put in four of them in each fixture when I thought all I’d be able to get was 60 watt ones but I came across 100’s in Walmart. Here in Maine they are subsidized by a program called ‘Energy Maine. About a dollar each. (60 watters are $1.97 for a four pack. Good deal).
.
The sockets have a forked metal mounting bracket that I bent down slightly and screwed to the fixture.

Total cost of each fixture to rig it for 300 watts about $12. Their actual energy drain equivalent is 42 watts. The lights are bright white not soft white so they’re as bright or brighter than the four 4 foot fluorescent tubes they replaced.

And, they’ll probably outlast me. I may never have to deal with them again.

Another note: The fixtures are four foot hung ceiling recessed fixtures. They’re not expensive and all of mine come free off craigslist. I see them often as sometimes they are removed from stores and either sold online or given away. My score, way back when, was fifteen of them. I’ve taken some 3/4” plywood and framed them after mounting them to the ceiling.

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


41 replies so far

View LesB's profile

LesB

2206 posts in 3956 days


#1 posted 10-10-2019 08:04 PM

That is what keeps me interested in this web site. Someone always has a better or unique idea.

I have converted 4’ fluorescent light fixtures to LEDs using the 120v direct wire LED tube lights which sell for about $8 each and it works great. The direct wire LED tubes eliminate the need for a ballast. Your idea is a much less expensive way to accomplish the same thing.

-- Les B, Oregon

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

219 posts in 114 days


#2 posted 10-10-2019 08:12 PM

You may want to check on the price of some LED shop lights. They can throw out a lot of light and it is easy to add more. Sams club has some that are cheap and probably have more output than your old lights. At my office I get an instant rebate from the power company to replace 2X4 with LED. Without the labor which we have in house it gets real close to what new bulbs cost and lowers the electric bill.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3017 posts in 3950 days


#3 posted 10-10-2019 09:31 PM



That is what keeps me interested in this web site. Someone always has a better or unique idea.

I have converted 4 fluorescent light fixtures to LEDs using the 120v direct wire LED tube lights which sell for about $8 each and it works great. The direct wire LED tubes eliminate the need for a ballast. Your idea is a much less expensive way to accomplish the same thing.

- LesB

I considered this solution then thought of this one and made the decision. It is a good possible solution though.

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

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3017 posts in 3950 days


#4 posted 10-10-2019 09:37 PM



You may want to check on the price of some LED shop lights. They can throw out a lot of light and it is easy to add more. Sams club has some that are cheap and probably have more output than your old lights. At my office I get an instant rebate from the power company to replace 2X4 with LED. Without the labor which we have in house it gets real close to what new bulbs cost and lowers the electric bill.

- controlfreak

Not bad, about $30 each and they put out a bit of light, about 5000 lumens. The ones I put it in are about 4800 lumens so either solution is plenty light. Like I said I was going to put in four sockets but I tried three and it was plenty light. I decided on upgrading these fixtures instead of new ones because they were already on the ceiling. I only had to do 3 fixtures but I’ve got 6 in the shop. As the last three die I’ll make the same upgrade.

I love going into the shop, especially in winter and turning the lights on and it seems like daylight in the place. It makes you feel like getting to it.

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

View pottz's profile

pottz

6389 posts in 1497 days


#5 posted 10-10-2019 09:58 PM



That is what keeps me interested in this web site. Someone always has a better or unique idea.

I have converted 4 fluorescent light fixtures to LEDs using the 120v direct wire LED tube lights which sell for about $8 each and it works great. The direct wire LED tubes eliminate the need for a ballast. Your idea is a much less expensive way to accomplish the same thing.

- LesB


this is what i did,bought the tubes in bulk packs at lowes took out the old bulb’s put in the new ones,done! ive got 34 tubes that use the energy of about 16 old ones and are brighter.i actually took out 8 and it’s still brighter.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

250 posts in 4259 days


#6 posted 10-10-2019 10:20 PM

I found 4’ LED bulbs at Costco that replace the fluorescent tubes. I replaced all my shop lights in 10 minutes. Not all LED bulbs will work in all fixtures.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3017 posts in 3950 days


#7 posted 10-10-2019 10:55 PM



I found 4 LED bulbs at Costco that replace the fluorescent tubes. I replaced all my shop lights in 10 minutes. Not all LED bulbs will work in all fixtures.

- northwoodsman

They must still go through the original ballasts though right?

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

View Sark's profile

Sark

200 posts in 873 days


#8 posted 10-10-2019 11:32 PM

I replaced 12 T-12 fluorescent tubes with all LED replacements that work off the same ballast. From HD. Wow was the shop brighter. Unfortunately, these crummy bulbs are constantly going off and on. Almost never get all 12 on at the same time. And if I do, within 5 minutes, they start winking off. The maybe some will come on later. What a waste of money.

I use to think that the bulbs were turning off because getting too hot with the heat of Summer. But it appears that its just a defective design…or bad batch. The lights will go off when its cold or hot. Maybe faster when it’s hot. Sometimes they’ll come back on after a while. Bad batch or bad design? I don’t know. Will replace with LED fixtures once I get some time.

The T-8 fixture replacement bulbs have worked perfectly.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3916 posts in 1087 days


#9 posted 10-10-2019 11:51 PM

I’m finding LED is a win win/ I had low cost T * fixtures that were blinking out at a rate of 1 per month in both the house, and the shop. I needed to replace them with something, so instead of going deeper into the T8 pit of despair I am buying LED’s. So far I have never paid more than 15 bux a fixture for 5000’s. I have been catching them at Menards on sale, and also with an 11% week. Generally I buy ahead several lights, so I can swap them as soon as I see a problem.

I just wrote in another thread you used to get at least 3 to 5 changes of bulbs from the lights, now they usually go bad before the bulb needs swapped. Electric lighting is junk. I fell for the pay more, and get better quality light thing some time back, and my experience is buy cheap, replace as needed for the lowest cost to use.

I’m enjoying better light, and I’m finding if you have enough of them, and use them often enough, you can see a huge difference on the electric bill. Truly a case of economy of scale.

-- Think safe, be safe

View 4wood's profile

4wood

36 posts in 466 days


#10 posted 10-11-2019 01:40 AM

I have several of the 4’ LED’s from Costco. They come on sale fairly often for $18. On one that I bought had a tube go out, but the other still works. I thought I could just change the tube, but it is not possible to change a tube, you must buy a whole new fixture. You will only need to change a couple bulbs which is much cheaper. I think your idea is very good.

View accord's profile

accord

5 posts in 36 days


#11 posted 10-11-2019 09:34 AM

I’ve been wanting to change the fluorescent lights in my shop/garage for years…not sure how good they are but harbor frieght has LED on sale this weekend (parking lot sale) for 19.99 , just might try a few anyone use the HF lights ? I was told LEDS come on nice even in the cold weather . that’s my big problem as I am in the garage almost daily doing something but have to wait till the heat builds up in order for the floro lights to work

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3017 posts in 3950 days


#12 posted 10-11-2019 10:37 AM



I ve been wanting to change the fluorescent lights in my shop/garage for years…not sure how good they are but harbor frieght has LED on sale this weekend (parking lot sale) for 19.99 , just might try a few anyone use the HF lights ? I was told LEDS come on nice even in the cold weather . that s my big problem as I am in the garage almost daily doing something but have to wait till the heat builds up in order for the floro lights to work

- accord

These look like good lights. Bruan makes some fairly good quality stove hoods and looking at videos this light looks well made and is as bright or brighter than a couple of fluorescent tubes. At the sale price I think they’d be worth it. And yes LED’s are instant in cold weather…Maine here.

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

View SMP's profile

SMP

1401 posts in 418 days


#13 posted 10-11-2019 11:31 AM

I wouldn’t assume they will outlast you. Though the packages claim they last “up to” 500 million hours or whatever ridiculous number, i find I still have to replace led bulbs every year or two.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2931 posts in 1735 days


#14 posted 10-11-2019 01:57 PM


I found 4 LED bulbs at Costco that replace the fluorescent tubes. I replaced all my shop lights in 10 minutes. Not all LED bulbs will work in all fixtures.

- northwoodsman

They must still go through the original ballasts though right?

- Craftsman on the lake

Many of the 4’ LED tubes can be “drop in” (use the ballasts) or wired directly (ballast removed/bypassed).

Good call on checking with your local electric co. on rebates. Many/most will rebate for energy efficient devices/appliances but don’t advertise this very well. My utility will rebate 50% of the cost of the fixture/bulbs.

The only concern I see with what you did is the Edison style bulbs have issues with heat from their power supplies hidden in the bases of the bulbs. This heat tends to shorten their life, but you now have a light that uses bulbs available in almost every store and are cheaper than ever.

Great upgrade!

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3017 posts in 3950 days


#15 posted 10-11-2019 02:11 PM



I wouldn’t assume they will outlast you. Though the packages claim they last “up to” 500 million hours or whatever ridiculous number, i find I still have to replace led bulbs every year or two.

- SMP

I dunno… I replaced all bulbs in the house about six years ago. I’ve never had to replace any of them so far. Hoping the 22,000 hours on the box is at least close. If figure the lack of heat might be the reason they last so long.

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

showing 1 through 15 of 41 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com