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My quest for better lighting

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Forum topic by jgt1942 posted 12-24-2020 07:47 PM 624 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jgt1942

291 posts in 2903 days


12-24-2020 07:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lights led safety

The quest for good lighting was high on my list. Not only would better lighting allow me to see more easily but better yet it would be safer! Thus as we moved into our new house I wanted to improve the lighting. Our house is 2 story, located in Oak Island, NC. The lower level will hold my woodshop and possibly two cars. The following documents my saga. To take light level measurements I used “Lux Light Meter Free” see https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.doggoapps.luxlight. I cannot verify the accuracy of the app but I used it for all measurements thus you can consider it as a good reference.

The large area is 16.5’ x 60’ the smaller is 28.5’x28.5’. Originally my thought was to just use the large area but so far I have used both.
The original fixtures each had 4 SATCO S9976 LED tubes. Per the specs they would deliver 2100 Lumens and have a color temperature of 3500K which is a bit on the warm side.

We allowed the original owners to stay in the house an extra month past closing and we used the large area to store everything.
My first reference measurement was taken just to the left of the large opening. It measured 277 LUX.

One of my sons offered to paint the green areas with white high gloss paint. After he completed I again measured the light output, it had increased from 277 LUX to 308 LUX, e.g. a little more than a 10% improvement.

On a previous light project the tubes I used had clear plastic as the outer shell rather than glass. I therefore decided to remove the translucent plastic on the fixtures. This increased the light level from 308 LUX to 339 LUX, e.g. about 10% improvement.
I had four “HYPERIKON LED TUBES” (Hyperikon 4 Foot LED Tube, T8 T10 T12 40 Watt Replacement (18W), Single End Ballast Bypass, Clear Lens, UL, 2160 Lumen, 6000K left over from a previous project and had been very pleased with them. To use these tubes required changing the tombstones. Tombstones are the connectors that you insert the ends of the tube. In my previous project this was very easy but not the case for the fixtures in the new workshop.

On the left is the tombstone for the Hyperikon tube and on the right is the tombstone used in the fixture. Note that the old tombstone has tabs that snap into the metal of the fixture.

It seemed simple enough just to mark and cut the fixture.
Using my Dremel and diamond cutting disk I proceeded to cut. Even though I used a diamond disk it still took longer than I expected.

After completing the first slot I tested and the fit looks good, thus I cut the other four slots.

I assembled everything and reinstalled the fixture. Then I realized that the electrical connections for the tombstones were on the other side of the metal.
I removed the fixture, made the slot a bit deeper, applied Duct tape to prevent cutting into the wire and then reinstalled the fixture.

Before installing the new tubes I moved the ladder to measure the light output from an old fixture.

AH! Success, I then measured the light level output. I placed my phone on top of the ladder yellow rail, the ladder is directly under the fixture.
WOW, better than twice the output.

OK so I felt I was on the right path and very happy with the results. Now I needed to order more of the Hyperikon tubes.
I did NOT want to go with the single ended tube.
Also, cutting the slots for the tombstones was an effort.

I did my research at the Amazon site and placed my order.
DRAT – somewhere along the line I got confused and ordered the WRONG tubes. I had ordered 3.75 foot long tubes rather than 4 foot tubes.

I called Hyperikon support explained what I did and what I wanted. Very quickly he found what I wanted and send me an email with a link.
I clicked the link and ordered the bulbs

With the new double-ended bulbs the installation was MUCH easier. Just make a few wiring changes and use the same tombstones.
I then installed the new bulbs.
DRAT!!!! They were not 6000K
Again I called Hyperikon and again he sent me the link.
I decided to see what eBay had to offer and found “T8 4FT LED Tube Light Bulb 60W Bi-Pin G13 LED Shop Light 6000LM”. The thought of 6000LM of output had me on a cloud. See, https://www.ebay.com/itm/T8-4FT-LED-Tube-Light-Bulb-60W-28W-22W-Bi-Pin-G13-LED-Shop-Light-2400LM-6000LM/352869408489?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=622310081202&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649
I placed the order! BTW there were three dropdowns on the eBay page. Ensure you make the correct selections.

The order quickly arrived. I made the wiring changes and installed four tubes.
WOW, WOW!!! 5574 LUX (again the phone was placed on top of the yellow rail on the ladder under the fixture.
Note the intensity of the light on the back wall on the left side (new tubes from eBay) and the light on the far right wall (Hyperikon tubes).

I installed the new tubes in three other fixtures. I now have four of my fixtures with the new tubes from eBay and one fixture with the Hyperikon tubes.
Now to make one more measurement near the left side of the large opening.
1. Original – 277 LUX
2. Painted the walls – 308 LUX
3. Removed the fixture covers 339 LUX
4. Latest – 974 LUX
Again WOW, WOW!!
The shop is now super bright and I’m VERY pleased with the results.

-- JohnT


12 replies so far

View Foghorn's profile (online now)

Foghorn

1058 posts in 402 days


#1 posted 12-24-2020 07:57 PM

Nice shop and some good research work to get the results you wanted! I installed some “Big Ass” lights in my much smaller space. They even came with sunglasses with a “Big Ass” logo. Pricey but some bright.

-- Darrel

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

7889 posts in 3424 days


#2 posted 12-24-2020 09:42 PM

Some good solid research. Interesting results as well. Now, one thing I would add is once you start filling this up keep the colors of cabinets and such as light / white as possible. Makes a huge different. More so in a smaller shop. For years I painted or stained cabinets as I wished. In past few years I have gone more with clear wood finish or ultra bright white paint for all cabinets above waist level on the wall.

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

View jgt1942's profile

jgt1942

291 posts in 2903 days


#3 posted 12-24-2020 11:58 PM

Thanks, Darrel/woodbutcherbynight
I forgot to mention I have 12 foot celings. In my AZ shop I had 10 foot celings. The higher height gives me more options to install things against the ceiling. I’ve already installed three ceiling fans that are tied into the lights, thus when I turn off the lights the fans are also turned off. Each fan has its’ own remote control.

I also installed an airline at the ceiling level with two drops about 30 feet from each end. Later I might install more drops.

Somewhere high on my list is to install an air cleaner that will service the entire shop by dumping air at one end and collecting the air at the other end.

I’m still working on the dust collector. I got a Harvey G700 but it is not big enough for some of my tools. I will be selling it and getting a Clearview.

Darrel, I’m curious as to what you paid for your Big Ass lights? I reused my fixtures thus only needed the tubes which cost $200, I just checked and already they are $13 less expensive than when I purchased the first of Dec.

If I need more lights in the smaller section I think I will go with tubes that can be mounted to a board or the ceiling. See 2-100PCS LED Tube Lights T8 8FT 6FT 4FT 2FT 6000K 14W~120W Shop Light Fixtures at https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-100PCS-LED-Tube-Lights-T8-8FT-6FT-4FT-2FT-6000K-14W-120W-Shop-Light-Fixtures/352866812811?hash=item522880438b:g:klQAAOSw0MpfYxKB&var=622131308083 for the 8foot tubes rated at 120 watts 8 tubes are currently $170. If you shop around you can get 60W 4 foot tubes. Either would work for me, the 8foot would be half the effort to install.

Darrel, I agree IMHO everything should be the whitest gloss white possible. I do have some pullout cabinets and they are white!

-- JohnT

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woodbutcherbynight

7889 posts in 3424 days


#4 posted 12-25-2020 12:47 AM

I used these lights and installed outlets in the ceiling. This way no hard wiring. My ceiling is low, only 8ft.

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

View LesB's profile

LesB

2878 posts in 4458 days


#5 posted 12-25-2020 06:58 PM

I have used the direct wire 120v Hyperikon LED tubes in my garage and they worked great. I also converted the soffited fluorescent lights in my two bathrooms to these with good results.

I tried to convert my 8’ fluorescent lights in the shop the same way but discovered that they put out so much RF (radio frequency) interference I could not listen to the radio in there….yep, old fashioned radio. I checked the 4’ units in the garage and there was some RF but not so much the radio signal was cancelled out like it was in the shop. Disclamer; I live in a rural area so my radio signal is not as strong urban areas and that doesn’t help the problem.

Also out of the four 8’ LED tubes I bought two have gone bad in about a year even with infrequent use….in the barn where I don’t listen to the radio.

As an experiment I bought one of those winged or deformable garage light fixtures that have 3 or 4 adjustable wings with LEDs in them and they fit in a normal light socket. They put out a tremendous amount of focusable light and do not emit so much RF that they interfere with the radio. I’m considering replacing my each 8’ flourescent tube light fixtures with these. Just one puts out more light than the 8’ fixture.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Foghorn's profile (online now)

Foghorn

1058 posts in 402 days


#6 posted 12-25-2020 07:44 PM


Darrel, I m curious as to what you paid for your Big Ass lights? I reused my fixtures thus only needed the tubes which cost $200, I just checked and already they are $13 less expensive than when I purchased the first of Dec.

- jgt1942


They were ridiculously expensive. About $500 each for a 2’ x 1’ fixture. I believe they are 5000k and 13,000 Lumens and are supposed to last over 150,000 hours.

-- Darrel

View clagwell's profile

clagwell

365 posts in 807 days


#7 posted 12-25-2020 08:24 PM



I have used the direct wire 120v Hyperikon LED tubes in my garage and they worked great. I also converted the soffited fluorescent lights in my two bathrooms to these with good results.

I tried to convert my 8 fluorescent lights in the shop the same way but discovered that they put out so much RF (radio frequency) interference I could not listen to the radio in there….yep, old fashioned radio. I checked the 4 units in the garage and there was some RF but not so much the radio signal was cancelled out like it was in the shop. Disclamer; I live in a rural area so my radio signal is not as strong urban areas and that doesn t help the problem.

Also out of the four 8 LED tubes I bought two have gone bad in about a year even with infrequent use….in the barn where I don t listen to the radio.

As an experiment I bought one of those winged or deformable garage light fixtures that have 3 or 4 adjustable wings with LEDs in them and they fit in a normal light socket. They put out a tremendous amount of focusable light and do not emit so much RF that they interfere with the radio. I m considering replacing my each 8 flourescent tube light fixtures with these. Just one puts out more light than the 8 fixture.

- LesB

I had 8’ fluorescents in my shop. I converted them to use 6 4’ LEDs. Lots more light.

-- Dave, Tippecanoe County, IN --- Is there a corollary to Beranek.s Law that applies to dust collection?

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2279 posts in 3808 days


#8 posted 12-25-2020 10:56 PM

First rule of lighting upgrades. Never use the led replacement tubes that run on the original ballasts. Use are using an old, less efficient part. Then the ballast goes bad, and you now need to purchase a new ballast to use your new lamps. There are also kits available that supply a new driver, and magnetic mount led strips. Very easy. No tombstones.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3687 posts in 2813 days


#9 posted 12-26-2020 12:07 AM

I have and use led lights in my shop. I honestly think the best light I get is in the morning during the winter the biggest door in my shop shop faces south the low angle raking sun light that comes in is second to none.
My point is if you can get any natural light use it to your advantage and put your bench there for handtool work. And finish work.
If your not a handtool guy only machinery never mind. You won’t know the difference

-- Aj

View Foghorn's profile (online now)

Foghorn

1058 posts in 402 days


#10 posted 12-26-2020 01:55 AM

- jgt1942


I have and use led lights in my shop. I honestly think the best light I get is in the morning during the winter the biggest door in my shop shop faces south the low angle raking sun light that comes in is second to none.
My point is if you can get any natural light use it to your advantage and put your bench there for handtool work. And finish work.
If your not a handtool guy only machinery never mind. You won’t know the difference

- Aj2


Natural light rocks if you have that available in your shop. Doesn’t work for many shops and of course, windows mean less wall storage!

-- Darrel

View jgt1942's profile

jgt1942

291 posts in 2903 days


#11 posted 12-26-2020 07:26 PM


- jgt1942

I have and use led lights in my shop. I honestly think the best light I get is in the morning during the winter the biggest door in my shop shop faces south the low angle raking sun light that comes in is second to none.
My point is if you can get any natural light use it to your advantage and put your bench there for handtool work. And finish work.
If your not a handtool guy only machinery never mind. You won’t know the difference

- Aj2

Natural light rocks if you have that available in your shop. Doesn t work for many shops and of course, windows mean less wall storage!

- Foghorn


I agree natural light is best but as you stated it is very difficult for most to implement such in a workshop. The LED lights I have installed are 6500K and very close to natural daylight. I have gone an extra step and have replaced most of the bulbs in my house with 6000K/6500K LED bulbs. The builder had installed LED bulbs but most were 2300-2700K which for me are much too warm.

The only issue I have encountered so far are with the Lutron Caseta Switches. Several are dimmer switches and where possible I have purchased dimmable LED bulbs but that does not mean the bulbs will work with the switches. In three rooms I have ceiling fans with lights. The dimmable switches would not work with the dimmable LED bulbs. When powered on the lights would flash on/off every few seconds. I really don’t need dimmable lights in the ceiling fans therefore I swapped the Lutron Caseta Switches with standard single-pole/single-throw switches. This resolved the issue with the flashing LED bulbs.

In the workshop the LED tubes I installed are NOT dimmable but the Lutron Caseta Switch is. I’m in the process of contacting Lutron to determine if I need to install another Lutron switch or can do something to the existing switch to kill the dimmable feature. Initially, I considered replacing the switch with a standard switch but it is in a 3-way installation and the Lutron switch has four wires, the other switch is a standard 3-way switch but only the two terminals on one side are being used. Of course, the wires running between the switches and the light are all behind sheetrock and so far I had not determined what is what. Also, I want to utilize remote control by installing a 3rd switch using the Pico switch. This “should be” simple enough but my old brain has gone into overload. I’ve called Lutron and I’m waiting for a callback.

-- JohnT

View Newbie17's profile

Newbie17

168 posts in 1476 days


#12 posted 12-27-2020 12:42 AM

I bought the Rockler lights that daisy chain together. Awesome light. When I come back into the house I almost can’t see, lol.

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