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Thread: LED Lighting for Shop

  1. #1
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    LED Lighting for Shop

    Has anyone found suitable LED lights for their workshop? I have been looking but haven't found quite what I need.

    I need some surface mount lights to fix to my shop ceiling. One complication is that I have 6"x14" beams supporting the second story crossing the shop ceiling every four feet. The bottom of the beams are 9' high with the ceiling (tongue and groove flooring) another 13" above the bottom of the beams.

    I don't want to fix the lights to the beams as they are an aesthetic feature of the shop (#1 Doug fir shaped and finished) so the lights need to mount to the ceiling and have about a 120 degree arc of light. High bay fixtures that hang from the ceiling are the best I've found so far (2'x1' fixture providing 11,500 lumens - about the same as a 4 bulb t5 fluorescent fixture but about 5 times the cost.)

    Any experience, ideas, suggestions?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Webb View Post
    Has anyone found suitable LED lights for their workshop? I have been looking but haven't found quite what I need.

    I need some surface mount lights to fix to my shop ceiling. One complication is that I have 6"x14" beams supporting the second story crossing the shop ceiling every four feet. The bottom of the beams are 9' high with the ceiling (tongue and groove flooring) another 13" above the bottom of the beams.

    I don't want to fix the lights to the beams as they are an aesthetic feature of the shop (#1 Doug fir shaped and finished) so the lights need to mount to the ceiling and have about a 120 degree arc of light. High bay fixtures that hang from the ceiling are the best I've found so far (2'x1' fixture providing 11,500 lumens - about the same as a 4 bulb t5 fluorescent fixture but about 5 times the cost.)

    Any experience, ideas, suggestions?

    Thanks.
    It seems the consensus is, as you have discovered, that LED's are the newest technology and as such are an expensive option; at least for now. Florescent T8's are the more economical and popular solution.

    It sounds like you have one good looking shop. I might find that a difficult choice, make dust or host a social function
    Last edited by Jeff Erbele; 01-04-2014 at 9:23 PM.

  3. #3
    image.jpgI put LEDs in track light strips. You can load them with more LED bulbs than you can standard bulbs. I also like that you can "point" lights at machines or bench tops. I like the "color" of the light they produce. Spendy but I really like them and it's less $$$ over the long term (I'm told).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Fuller View Post
    image.jpgI put LEDs in track light strips. You can load them with more LED bulbs than you can standard bulbs. I also like that you can "point" lights at machines or bench tops. I like the "color" of the light they produce. Spendy but I really like them and it's less $$$ over the long term (I'm told).
    Nice looking shop Dave. I like the idea of spot lighting at workstations vs general lighting. I need to refixture my shop. Looking at T8s as cost effective, but I am starting to use LEDs in my home, 6 of them in the kitchen pots ,three in a difficult to access chandelier in a stairwell. Maybe if I wait long enough the cost of LEDs will come down substantially.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like you are looking at the Liithonia IBH11L MV about 16" x 24". It is a mid bay unit so not as glaring as most high bay units. It is still probably way too much light from too small an area to be comfortable in a low ceiling. I've got one we are trying in a row of shelving that is mounted at 15'.

    If your ceiling is 12' or less, you will probably not like them. Those big beams may help keep them out of a direct line of sight and make them more acceptable.

  6. #6
    Why not suspend T8 strips or industrials from the ceiling to put them in a plane even with the bottoms of the beams?

  7. #7
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    Yes, indeed, LEDs seem to be a more expensive solution. I've currently got temporary 4 bulb T8 fixtures hanging at about level with the bottom of the beams, but they are not my preferred permanent alternative. I'd rather have something installed as a surface mount to the ceiling above the level of the beams.

    At the moment the shop is pretty well filled with dust but, as you supposed, once it's finished my neighbors have requested a party and suggested that we hold all our dinner parties in the shop in the future.

    It is/will be a nice looking shop but, since it's the last one I'm likely to build I thought I'd do it as close to the way I wanted as I could. It will mostly be a hand tool shop with some machine capability but dust is not my friend and I've learned to prefer hand tools for most of the things I do. I'll post some pics when it's finished but it will be awhile.

  8. #8
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    Very nice looking shop! Thanks for the suggestion. It would certainly be less $$$.

    I'll probably need higher levels of light than you've installed since my eyes are not great, but your solution is worth considering. I'll have to see what it would take to get the light levels suggested in the Shop Lighting article by Ken Fitzgerald (and that I need for my eyes/type of work I do.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Fuller View Post
    image.jpgI put LEDs in track light strips. You can load them with more LED bulbs than you can standard bulbs. I also like that you can "point" lights at machines or bench tops. I like the "color" of the light they produce. Spendy but I really like them and it's less $$$ over the long term (I'm told).

  9. #9
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    Yes, the Lithonia IBH11L MV is the closest thing I've found to LEDs providing the amount of light I need (actually I'D NEED 2 fixtures in each bay between the beams to get the amount of light required. But...they are not surface mount and they are expensive.

    I'd be interested in learning more about your experience with them. Of course, it's hard to know how they'd be in my shop but based on my experience with temporary 4 bulb T8 fixtures and my unscientific comparison in seeing the IBH11L MV fixtures in operation it does not appear that they would be too glaring in my shop. The amount of wood in the posts and beams seems to soften rather than reflect light.

    There appear to be plenty of options in troffers that are recessed mounted but not much in surface mounts. If you know of any surface mount options I'd appreciate learning of them.

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg R Bradley View Post
    Sounds like you are looking at the Liithonia IBH11L MV about 16" x 24". It is a mid bay unit so not as glaring as most high bay units. It is still probably way too much light from too small an area to be comfortable in a low ceiling. I've got one we are trying in a row of shelving that is mounted at 15'.

    If your ceiling is 12' or less, you will probably not like them. Those big beams may help keep them out of a direct line of sight and make them more acceptable.

  10. #10
    How about Fluorescent strip lights with reflectors?

  11. #11
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    Russ,

    You said that the IBH11L is "expensive". I understand pricing may be very different in AK but that is Lithonia's Contractor Select - low end LED warehouse, made in large quantities, and designed to be sold at a low price by HD, etc. It is $219 around here at HD. For a commercial LED warehouse fixture that is extremely low priced. Most of the other models including other brands that are comparable, will be at least double that, many FAR more than double. How much is that lamp in your area?

    Lithonia has a STL4 surface mount that actually does have more than 120 degree spread but it is designed to replace surface mount 2 bulb T-8 fixtures. They are designed more for offices and are about $300 each but they are less than half the light output of the IBH11L so you would need more.

    There is the LBL4 surface mount that is about $125 but does not have the spread you need. That light mounted on the ceiling at your 9' + 14" ceiling height doesn't seem like it needs a wide spread to me.

    What is the pricing at your suppliers?

  12. #12
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    At this point, it appears the LED version of tubes is no more efficient than the mercury containers.

    I have aluminum light strips I bought from lightingwill.com that are 20" long and have 45 LED's each. The LED's can be dimmed. Also, they can be cut every three LED's and the bars, cut or not, can be chained. I only paid ten a bar for them. Everything I found state side went up at least twenty a bar.

    I had an inexpensive power supply (about $25.00), but had to go a magnetic power supply [90watt, for my situation]to be able to dim them on the 120VAC side. For under cabinet lighting, they are wonderful. Much of the time, we don't use anything but these and they really light the kitchen well. However, I took a strip outside. after dark, and a single strip light the deck, but it was obvious.

    I took a bar outside, after dark. It lit the deck, but it was obvious I'd need a lot more to bring the lighting to a place I could run these in my shop for other than task lighting. Keep in mind, however, these were 3.6 watts per bar and the more powerful LED's would likely fill the task.

    I modified a motion light so I wouldn't have to install bayonet type mercury curlies. It now takes screw in and I used a ten dollar, big box LED as a replacement. I like that one as much as, or more than the original bulb. My inspiration was the cans I installed during a dine remodel. We put dimmable LED's in those and ran them off a four-way dimmer. Five of them REALLY light up the little 10'x12' dine room. So much so, we keep them dimmed, unless on mop detail.

    I experimented and bought some individual LED's and a power supply. For the money, it gave me some insight and toys to install on things like the band saw, miter box and so forth. Just have to decide where to use them and how many more power supplies I want to buy for about twenty a piece. If nothing else, I have some LED's that will focus light without having to detract to much from the industrial beauty of the equipment.

    Hopefully, something in those ramblings give you something of value.
    Last edited by Kelly Craig; 01-20-2014 at 9:28 PM.

  13. #13
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    http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...-bulb-4ft/870/here are some that will fit in a regular flourecent fixture that might do the job.

    Last edited by Jeff Nicol; 01-22-2014 at 9:17 PM.
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  14. #14
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    WOW, that would cost me over $2200 to change my T8s over to LED! I think I'll wait a bit longer before leaping off that bridge.

  15. #15
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    Last summer I installed bunch of track lighting in my home and decided to go with LED. Total Lighting Supply http://totallightingsupply.com has a truly state of the art single source LED bulb from a company called Soraa. (single source as in one big LED, not a cluster of little ones) These bulbs are available in a few variations of Kelvin and arc -- from true spot to broader area. They were developed (as I understand it) for high-end retail environments. The light is really amazing. By being single source they don't cast any odd shadows and they do run very efficiently. They are self contained as far a transformers go…so it is not a low voltage system and they run on pretty cheap rudimentary cooper style track. And compared to the cost of the bulbs the fixtures are pretty cheap too. Its an expensive option for a shop and I'm not sure open track isn't asking for dust trouble in a shops.

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