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Thread: replaced fluorescent lights with led's

  1. #1
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    replaced fluorescent lights with led's

    I just replaced my old 8 foot florescent light bulbs with new LED bulbs that do not need a ballast. Boy are they bright and nice no more humming and real easy to change over. I ordered them on Tuesday and they arrived on Thursday. Fast delivery and on orders over $99 free shipping. Each bulb was only $17.99 here is the site I ordered them from Green Light Depot

    https://greenlightdepot.com/collecti...=5255880441894

  2. #2
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    I am building a new shop and I have been researching LED shop light fixtures. My electrician told me the least expensive route is to buy fluorescent fixtures, ballast and all, and use LED retrofit tubes instead. I looked a lot and discovered he was correct. Dedicated LED fixtures are more expensive and put out less light than comparably priced T-8 fluorescent fixtures with retrofit tubes.

  3. #3
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    That actually makes a lot of sense, Art, and you don't even need "expensive" fixtures since the LEDs don't really care like fluorescent tubes do, such as with temps. Half of my LED lighting in my shop is plug-and-play retrofit LED-"tubes" and the other half are LED fixtures. (bought inexpensively from Costco in both cases) Sometimes, I think that I have the sun in there. I actually just bought two more of the fixtures as they were on sale for a net $19.95 each in a two pack...these will replace the last two, crusty old T12 lights in some dark corners.

    Jerome, being able to use direct wire LED-"tubes" can be a money saver for sure.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    The ballast is an expense that isn't necessary. Why would fixtures that include one be less expensive?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    The ballast is an expense that isn't necessary. Why would fixtures that include one be less expensive?
    It seems logic and marketing/pricing are strangers sometimes.

  6. #6
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    I have a bunch of the old fluorescent lights in my shop, not ones that take the new T-8 bulbs, and am running out of replacement tubes. Is there an LED option of will I need to purchase new fixtures?

    Thanks
    George

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Bokros View Post
    I have a bunch of the old fluorescent lights in my shop, not ones that take the new T-8 bulbs, and am running out of replacement tubes. Is there an LED option of will I need to purchase new fixtures?

    Thanks
    Just rip out the ballast and insert direct wire 4' LED bulbs. T8 bulbs use the same "tombstones" as the old T12's, so they don't have to be changed out. I have installed 3 cases of these (at church) with no bad ones: https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/192824/PLT-10848.html
    NOW you tell me...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Bokros View Post
    I have a bunch of the old fluorescent lights in my shop, not ones that take the new T-8 bulbs, and am running out of replacement tubes. Is there an LED option of will I need to purchase new fixtures?

    Thanks
    What size are they. 1 pin or 2 Green lights have both I am changing out 8 ft 1 pin and 4 ft 2 pin with bulbs that bypass the ballast as long as the pins work you can use them

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    The ballast is an expense that isn't necessary. Why would fixtures that include one be less expensive?
    Mass marketing prices sometimes affect that kind of thing...especially for the units with very cheap ballasts. If you just want/need the fixture (metal parts, tombstones, cord) to compliment some relatively inexpensive direct wire LED "tubes", sometimes...buy the el-cheapo shop lights works out financially.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    You can often find used commercial fluorescent fixtures with bad or old ballasts for very cheap on Craigslist.

  11. #11
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    Was just at Home Depot and they had Phillips 4ft 2100 Lumen 5000K T8 LED replacement tubes in a 10 pack for $50. Individually for $7.
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    The ballast is an expense that isn't necessary. Why would fixtures that include one be less expensive?
    When we would have to fix fluorescent fixtures gone bad, we'd just buy new because it was considerable cheaper than replacing the ballast. Even with 2x4 troffers, installing new was cheaper. When the new electronic ballasts were all the rage, we'd be tossing out the old troffers and installing new ones by the truckload. Sounds crazy but manufacturers had it priced so new troffers were cheaper than new ballasts.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  13. #13
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    4 ft troffers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Bouis View Post
    You can often find used commercial fluorescent fixtures with bad or old ballasts for very cheap on Craigslist.
    I realize this is an old thread, but in case there are some folks just getting around to the change from fluorescent tubes to led fixtures and or bulbs, I want to offer a caution. I was the beneficiary of five (5) 4-bulb, 4 ft T-8 troffers from a nephew/electrician when I built the shop 4 years ago. I removed the old ballasts and replaced with commercial ones at $11 each. I also painted the interior reflective area with "chrome" paint and left off the diffuser. Three of these sit on framing 8-1/2 ft off the floor and two of them are roughly 10 ft off the floor hanging on chain. I also replaced all of the bulbs with high output fluorescent bulbs from the Phillips Alto line. I get about 10,000 lumens from the four 32W bulbs or close to 80 lumens per Watt. I have several 4 ft 2-bulb shop lights and I also used keyless ceramic fixtures in some areas of the shop where "general" lighting is needed, but not the high intensity required for fine work and tool set up. MY POINT - I am seeing a lot of shop lights (typical 4 ft hanging fixture with two led rows) offered for sale that only equal the efficiency of fluorescent bulbs. There are some led tubes that can replace fluorescent bulbs but some require bypassing the ballast while others do not. I am just beginning to see some led tubes that use only half of the wattage (13-16W) to create roughly 2500 lumens. Be sure to look at the lumen output and lumens per Watt of electricity. I see examples of 2-bulb led shop lights for as little as $20-25 each but they only put out 3200-3500 lumens, a significant reduction (30%) in actual light if you are accustomed to 5200 lumens at certain critical shop areas. Save yourself some disappointment and do your homework; the technology is moving fast. I changed from Compact fluorescent bulbs (self-ballasted CFL or curly bulbs) in the ceramic fixtures to led bulbs and I get a bit less light, but still enough to do what is needed in those areas. I invested about $30 each in the 4-bulb troffers and have enjoyed "operating room" brightness beneath them for four years. I will switch to led tubes when the lumens and price are right; that time is fast approaching as I see 150 lumens per Watt at hand.

  14. #14
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    Comparing the lumen output of a conventional light source (be it fluorescent, incandescent, or HID) is like comparing apples to peanuts. The LED source is putting out all its lumens straight out the face of the chip, whereas other sources are relying on fixture optics to direct the light from all around the source to the desired direction. Fixture optics can absorb a tremendous amount of the lumens produced by the source.

    The exception to this is a bare bulb in a keyless lamp holder, because none of the light is affected by reflectors or lenses.

    I think if you replaced the lamps in one of your 2x4 troffers with 14W - 18W LED tubes, you would be surprised to find that the net light output is improved.

  15. #15
    I replaced all the bulbs in my troffers with ebay LED bulbs a year or so ago. Light in the shop was increased, and I removed all the ballasts, with the idea of increasing the insulation in my attic. Not one bulb has failed.

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