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Thread: Recommendations for LED upgrade?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    I am interested to know what you end up with.
    When I looked into converting the fixtures I had the cost was a lot higher.
    Of course initial cost is, well initial cost.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Doylestown, PA
    I found tombstones on Ebay that had a hole for a bolt or screw. I bought a bag - 12 I think - and retrofitted some fixtures that used integral lamp holders. The LED tubes are direct wire so simple to install. The tubes came with a sticker that said the fixture is 120 volt, it didn't have a ballast. That's a very good idea I think. I'm not sure what would happen if a 'conventional' fluorescent tube were inserted into a fixture that was 120 volt but I doubt it'd produce the desired result.
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 06-16-2018 at 8:02 AM.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I like to save a little money sometimes when I can do it myself.

    Like, replacing the ballasts on my flourescent shop lights, and other closet lights around the house.

    I cant recall the exact issues right now, but this approach was way too much trouble.

    So, after some research, it seemed like LED was a no-brainer.

    WM had these 4' LED fixtures that were about $35 per

    So i saved my lunch money and bought a bunch over time.

    They should last forever, low energy requirement, and not a problem to switch on/off (unlike flourescent)

    Now, in particular, a great feature is the ability to just take the LED strip out of the factory casing, and hook up in a series, for task lighting, like @ sharpening area:


    Of course, the electrical stuff was done under the direction of my generous electrician friend.

    A lot of lumens in a small area is what I like-when I'm working, I do like lots of light.

    (the LEDs are still encased in a barrier housing so any water splash is not a problem).
    Confidence: That feeling you get before fully understanding a situation (Anonymous)

  4. #19
    Well, that's helpful. I hadn't thought of just screwing tombstones down. It looks as though many of the tombstones I had been looking at actually have a provision for a screw or captured nut, like this:

    So, I think that's what I'll do: buy some screw-down tombstones (instead of the expensive 'retrofit' kits which include new bases to allow slide-in tombstones), and convert from 8' to 4'.

  5. In my 30x34x10 shop I installed the 16 of the 4' Costco fixtures and switched them in quadrants. They are 3+ years old and have been excellent.

  6. #21

    What I ended up doing

    So, I bought these tombstones:
    at a cost of 0.45 each, and these lamps:
    at a cost of $11.67 per tube (this price included 1 free tombstone per tube). So, a total cost of ~ $48.50 to replace a dual, 8-ft fixture ($24.25 per 4-ft dual lamp fixture).

    At the ends of the fixture, the tombstones just slid into the existing slots. For the middle of the fixture, I had to drill some holes in the fixture and used some self-threading screws (sheet metal screws would have worked) to secure the tombstones. Ripped out the ballast, and ran the wiring to the center set of tombstones. Probably took 30 minutes for the whole job (for one fixture).

    Going by the specs, I replaced 2 8ft HO fluorescents rated at about 110W and 8600 lumens each (220W and 15200 lumens total) with 4 4ft LEDS rated at 18W and 2120 lumens each (72W and 8249 lumens total). You can't compare the lumens directly, because the fluorescents emit at 360degrees, and some of that was wasted on the ceiling or fixture (no reflector), whereas the LEDs emit all of their light downward. The LEDs have a frosted cover, so that the light is spread out somewhat uniformly in the downward direction (avoiding the issue that .

    Subjectively, it feels like about the same amount of light, but it's pretty hard to judge. I definitely don't feel as though I need to rush out and buy another light. I could always add a couple lamps to the existing fixture, since I have the tombstones. I'm happy with the replacement - the cost was low, the replacement was simple, I have a wide selection of lamps to choose from now, and I've cut my power usage down to less than a third of what it was.

    Having the tombstones gives me other options, as well - I've seen that some people just screw them directly into the ceiling, any place they want bulbs. Probably not UL approved, but it is simple.

    Before and after pics shown below, but no attempt was made to adjust for exposure, etc. so don't draw any conclusions about brightness from these.

    Thanks to all who provided input.
    Before, After


  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Falls Church, VA
    Blog Entries
    when I was building my new basement shop, I had something of a windfall and bought 20 4' lights from Home Depot. The shop is much brighter than my old one which was lit kind of ad-hoc with 20 4' flourescent fixtures. One nice feature is that the current draw is so low that they are all on a single switch. I had my old lights on 3 circuits.

    I had about a 20% failure rate in the first month or two and HD cheerfully replaced them. Since that time, I haven't had a single failure.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Medina Ohio
    I just got an email from Rural King that has LED for a good price. You can even order them on line

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