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Forum topic by Corkpuller posted 01-11-2022 08:19 PM 824 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 699 days

01-11-2022 08:19 PM

Hello from DEEP East Texas.
I have a framed room inside my new metal building and am in the process of starting to install the electrical.

My last shop was built over 25 yrs ago and I thought the 8’ flourecent HO rapid start ballasts were the nutts back then.
I know nothing about these LED fixtures or how to determine the correct wattage/ lumen, etc for my shop.

The woodshop room is 16’W x 30’D .. 10’ finished ceiling and the interior walls and ceiling will be WOOD.
T1-11 walls and beadboard ceiling is the current plan.

Appreciate any input from folks who are in the know with good quality LED fixtures. I ain’t putting up china freight fixtures or anything that has cords hanging to plug in.
I want surface mount with some type of diffuser ,, “I think”. Color – 4k – 5k

I see what seems to be a good amount “discount” lighting vendors on the www.
Prefer to buy one of the known brands from a well established respected vendor. Which I’m also at a loss on.
Phillips, Lithonia, Sylvania, ????


-- "ain't too smart but I'm always thinkin"

25 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7481 posts in 3954 days

#1 posted 01-11-2022 08:40 PM

While I appreciate your not wanting to buy Chinese fixtures, I suspect you will find it almost impossible to find any that are N.A. made. That said, I put up inexpensive fixtures 3 years ago and they have worked well. I like the daylight type (4500 to 5000K) and my approach was to put out;lets in the ceiling, which allows you to use the (shudder) cheap plug in fixtures. The 2 lamp fixtures are very light and can be mounted almost anywhere and if you didn’t put in plenty of outlets you can daisy chain most of them up to 4+ fixtures. If you happen to find some USA (or even N.A.) ones ‘m interested in knowing who made them.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Corkpuller's profile


9 posts in 699 days

#2 posted 01-11-2022 08:51 PM

Well sir, honestly I’d prefer not buy any dang thing made in China, but we both know those days are long gone. I should have been more clear and said the fixtures that a lot of folks are raving about from Harbor Freight. Even though I own several things from that store. There are similar fixtures from WalMart, Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot,,,,,

I have no doubt they would probably work, those are just not the type I’m wanting to install. From my research it seems LED’s will lose their color over time and something to do with heat from substandard circuitry / internal parts that cause failures.

Maybe I’d never notice, or maybe they’d last longer than me, but. I’ve waited a long time to build this place and I’d like to install the best quality, reliable lighting I can afford.
Which is just a few notches more than Chi—- Harbor Freight. ~grin

I’m the upper end of lower class… LOL

-- "ain't too smart but I'm always thinkin"

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6952 posts in 2683 days

#3 posted 01-11-2022 09:11 PM

You can use your old fixtures, bypass the ballasts, and install LED “tubes” that fit just like the old fluorescent tubes.

This saves money and wiring if you already have the old fixtures mounted. These tubes work as “drop in” requiring no more effort than just climbing a ladder and swapping out, but you lose some efficiency over bypassing your ballasts and running the 110V directly to the sockets.

View Knockonit's profile (online now)


1238 posts in 1663 days

#4 posted 01-11-2022 10:19 PM

i purchased all my shop lighting at either costco or sams joint, for 20 bucs a fixture and you can tie them all together is awesome,
i also hung two of the sensor lights, while they are on a switch, i leave it on and i always walk into the shop and a light kicks on, as i set up primary switchs outside office door not near back door, (i didn’t give it much though really ) so coming in back door dark as hades, but not now. awesome fixtures and they can be set to not be sensor units

led, best lighting i over lit, and after a bit of use , adjusted the location, and made easy since they all have a 6ft cord on them
rj in az

-- Living the dream

View northwoodsman's profile


1091 posts in 5207 days

#5 posted 01-11-2022 10:24 PM

My neighbor installed some LEDS in his garage over Thanksgiving. I went over to “supervise” because he wanted to borrow my laser to align them. He installed ten fixtures in two bays of a three bay garage. They are single tubes about 46.5” long and you can either link them with cords or end to end with connectors. He hard wired them to the boxes where his old fluorescents connected. They came with clips that mounted to the ceiling and then the lights snapped in place. Installation took about 45 minutes. I have never seen anything so bright in my life with no shadows. He could have easily gotten by with 6 of them. I think he paid around $80 on Amazon.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7481 posts in 3954 days

#6 posted 01-11-2022 10:29 PM

The ones I used were from 2 places, the first from Costco. They were good, but not as nice as the second type I bought from Amazon. The Sunco lamps are quite bright and have held up well so far. I’ve not bought any from HF, and generally try to avoid them when buying anything that plugs in.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View squazo's profile


393 posts in 3106 days

#7 posted 01-11-2022 10:41 PM

go to

Ive got 6 of the 2×4 lights in my 24X32 shop with 12 ft ceilings.They only protrude from the ceiling about 1/2 an inch. They are dimable and you can change to color all with the press of a button, even after they’re installed. They make a surface mount kit for going onto drwall, as they are made for a drop celing grid, but its like 20 bucks so i made little tabs out of aluminum for like 3 cents a piece.

They are great.

View ibewjon's profile


2940 posts in 4254 days

#8 posted 01-11-2022 11:14 PM

I have purchased alot of lighting from super bright LEDs, and have had good results and good customer service. They should be able to help with layout, quantity, ect. Just don’t by replacement lamps that use the old ballast. Then you will be replacing ballasts when those fail. You also said you have HO fixtures, and I have not seen led replacement lamps to fit those, only bi pin ends.

View Corkpuller's profile


9 posts in 699 days

#9 posted 01-12-2022 01:03 AM

Thank you very much for the input. I do appreciate it.
I don’t believe y’all got the “gist’ of my question / questions.

This is new construction.
I’m not retrofitting anything.

Looking for suggestions on amount of light and where to to source the lights.
Not interested in plugging them in. They will all be switched and hardwired.

I understand that I can go to a Sams or wherever and buy “shop lights” that link together. That’s really not what I’m looking for.

I have a framed room inside my new metal building and am in the process of starting to install the electrical
The woodshop room is 16’W x 30’D .. 10’ finished ceiling and the interior walls and ceiling will be WOOD.
T1-11 walls and beadboard ceiling is the current plan.


-- "ain't too smart but I'm always thinkin"

View Foghorn's profile


1522 posts in 848 days

#10 posted 01-12-2022 01:07 AM

I have the “Big Ass” ones in my shop/garage. They are quite a bit more expensive than most LED lights and are supposed to last 150,000 plus hours. I’d call them the Festool of LED lights although a Bosch or Ryobi will do the job. They even come with “Big Ass” sunglasses! An audacious, luxury purchase but they sure are cool. :) I have two of the garage ones (23” long and 13,000 lumens each) in my 24’ x 20’ garage/shop.

-- Darrel

View Moptopbebop's profile


1 post in 135 days

#11 posted 01-12-2022 03:13 AM

I have finished my new wood shop building and have been using the new LED lightning for about 10 months now. I purchased Barrina brand from Amazon. They are narrow 4 foot lights attached to my ceiling. I put three in a row. and I have six rows in my 24’ x 24’ shop with 10’ ceilings. On two switches. I chose these because of the high CRI which is 85. That high of a rating gives a very true color rendering. I recommend them.

View ibewjon's profile


2940 posts in 4254 days

#12 posted 01-12-2022 01:50 PM

Sorry, sounded like a retrofit. So I would look for low bay led lighting, each hangs individually. Or look at home Depot for led strip lights or low Bay lights. Call a lighting supplier, such as Super Bright LEDs for more help. All depends on the budget. In commercial and some industrial projects, fixtures have a cord at each fixture as the required disconnect at each fixture for maintenance.

View NohoGerry's profile


59 posts in 171 days

#13 posted 01-13-2022 01:24 AM

The lighting in my new shop was Lithonia CSS LED Strip Fixtures-available from my local electrical supply house. I used 8 ft fixtures (10 of them in the shop-2 in the shop garage). The fixtures in the shop area itself put out 100,000 lumens of light when all are on-a blessing for my aging eyes.
The fixtures feature adjustability of lumens (3 levels), and tone (3 different color tones).

Total electrical consumption when all 10 fixtures are on (I have them switched in 3 zones) is the equivalent of a 200W incandescent bulb, per hour.

All lighting is made in China. Lithonia is a recognized brand that professional electricians prefer.

As to cost, I had started with a plan that involved using cheap 2-ft tube flourescent fixtures from Home Depot, paired with LED tubes in each fixture. I calculated the cost per fixture and the tubes needed for it. The numbers came out that the Lithonia fixtures (which are integrated LED’s not separate tubes) were about $20 more per fixture than the Home Depot fixture and tubes solution! So spending an addition $200 on an already expensive shop building for a better quality solution was a no brainer!

And my electrician loved installing them.

Hope you found my experience helpful to you.

View tvrgeek's profile


2379 posts in 3110 days

#14 posted 01-13-2022 01:37 AM

I put in a bunch of hard wired from some WEB supplier. They buzz. I am tempted to rip them out and put in ceramic A-base sockets and use those screw in petal things.

View dbhost's profile


5906 posts in 4693 days

#15 posted 01-13-2022 01:59 AM

Not sure about starting off new, but I am doing a retrofit of my existing 7 2 tube 4ft fixtures in my 18×20 garage workshop.

Dedicated LED fixtures don’t need a reflector as the light only comes out of one side of the tube instead of all the way around the way flourescents work..

The odds of you avoiding Chinese manufactured products are MUCH lower than the odds of finding an honest politician.

My approach since I am in a garage is to surface mount the fixtures, and route the wires in raceway like Legrand Wiremold and just break out just before the outlet in the ceiling.

Generally speaking, 4ft ballast bypass tubes pull around 16w each, My personal preference is for 50000K color temp (Daylight whtie), with white painted walls / ceiling in the shop to take advantage of the light.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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