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Thread: LED Lights Made a HUGE difference!

  1. #1

    LED Lights Made a HUGE difference!

    Well, you folks were right again!

    I don't do electrical wiring. I worry about screwing it up and causing a fire. So this morning I had an electrician out to install 7 ballasted fixtures with fourteen 5000 degree "Smart Drive LEDs". He also added 2 new outlets. The job was far and away mostly labor - 2 guys for 5 hours.

    Man, oh man, those LEDs make a HUGE difference. It's like daylight in there now. It's astonishing.

    Edit: And those 14 bulbs use only 15watts each. That's 210 total watts for the whole set.

    Thanks for the advice!

    Fred
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 12-21-2018 at 4:37 PM.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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  2. #2
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    Sounds cool but expensive. I installed 8 48” four bulb T8 fixtures when I was putting my shop together. I would like to upgrade them to Smart Drive LED’s at some point but buying 32 bulbs will be a good chunk of change. I’ve switched out all of the other lights to LED. I really love the 100w equivalent LED bulbs in my task lighting.
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  3. #3
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    After I installed a bunch of LED replacement bulbs I liked the difference too.

    But I'm just wondering why you had ballasted fixtures installed? The LED bulbs don't "really" need ballasts. But one of the bulb types was designed to be dropped into an existing ballasted fixture. So, if you already had ballasted fixtures, they would drop in and wouldn't require any modification. But for a new installation I would have thought that you would have installed the ballast-bypass (direct-wire) type of LED replacement bulb.

    But there are two drawbacks with using LEDs replacement bulbs that are designed to work in a ballasted fixture: (1) if the ballast fails, it will either need to be replaced or you will need to switch to a "by-pass" type LED, and (2) the ballasts normally get a little warm during operation (which is normal) but this represents energy that is being lost in the form of heat. I think that a replacement ballast is roughly the same cost as a new fixture - - around $30.

    When I switched over my workshop, I had considered keeping the ballasts. But I had some old fixtures that were magnetic, some that were electronic, some that were instant start, etc. I found that the drop-in type of replacement bulbs would only work in some fixtures but not all. So, I removed all of the ballasts and put in the "by-pass" (direct-wire) type of replacement LED bulbs. They work great.

    I find it interesting that the ballast-type LEDs are actually more popular than the bypass type LEDs. This has got to do with the convenience of the drop-in installation.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brice Rogers View Post
    After I installed a bunch of LED replacement bulbs I liked the difference too.

    But I'm just wondering why you had ballasted fixtures installed? The LED bulbs don't "really" need ballasts. But one of the bulb types was designed to be dropped into an existing ballasted fixture. So, if you already had ballasted fixtures, they would drop in and wouldn't require any modification. But for a new installation I would have thought that you would have installed the ballast-bypass (direct-wire) type of LED replacement bulb.

    But there are two drawbacks with using LEDs replacement bulbs that are designed to work in a ballasted fixture: (1) if the ballast fails, it will either need to be replaced or you will need to switch to a "by-pass" type LED, and (2) the ballasts normally get a little warm during operation (which is normal) but this represents energy that is being lost in the form of heat. I think that a replacement ballast is roughly the same cost as a new fixture - - around $30.

    When I switched over my workshop, I had considered keeping the ballasts. But I had some old fixtures that were magnetic, some that were electronic, some that were instant start, etc. I found that the drop-in type of replacement bulbs would only work in some fixtures but not all. So, I removed all of the ballasts and put in the "by-pass" (direct-wire) type of replacement LED bulbs. They work great.

    I find it interesting that the ballast-type LEDs are actually more popular than the bypass type LEDs. This has got to do with the convenience of the drop-in installation.
    Can't speak for anyone else, but .....
    Costs based on my experience buying through Home Depot Canada.
    Complete, new LED fixture - $150.
    New T8 ballast - $18, drop in LED bulbs - $7 each (on sale). Another option is new task fixture, $18 - $22.
    Made my decision easy.
    Mike

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brice Rogers View Post
    After I installed a bunch of LED replacement bulbs I liked the difference too.

    But I'm just wondering why you had ballasted fixtures installed? The LED bulbs don't "really" need ballasts. But one of the bulb types was designed to be dropped into an existing ballasted fixture. So, if you already had ballasted fixtures, they would drop in and wouldn't require any modification. But for a new installation I would have thought that you would have installed the ballast-bypass (direct-wire) type of LED replacement bulb.
    Long story..... I went with the ballasted because of a scheduling problem. We'd intended to use direct wired. They were out of stock when he went to get them yesterday and the supply house needed a week to get them (The Holidays). So he bought the ballasted fixtures and planned to "shunt" the ballast so they'd be direct. It was then that he realized the "tombstones" for the direct bulbs were different too, and he couldn't get them either. He called me and we decided to go with the ballasted because I'd have a difficult time rescheduling time off at work. (I only had today off, so it was do it today or postpone to mid-January.) I've used this company before and they are reputable. And the price for the job was the same either way. So I pressed ahead. My folks have had flourescents in their kitchen 20 years and they've never replaced a ballast. So I figured my odds are good there. The risk is probably more that at some point, the ballasted LED bulbs might become extinct. But I guess we'll see.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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  6. #6
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    This past summer, I built a new shop with all LED lights. As it turns out, the cheapest alternative at the time (and may still be) was to buy 8 foot fluorescent fixtures with ballasts and populate them with LED tubes that were compatible. I have no idea why that was more economical than buying dedicated LED fixtures but that is the truth.

  7. #7
    I've looked at replacing my 40 watt tubes with non-ballast LED tubes, but at $12.75 per tube (Home Depot price), it would take 8,500 hours of operation to break even on the lamps at 10 cents per kwh. That's 1,062 eight hour days. For my home shop I don't think you can justify the price of the new LED tubes as it would take me more than 6 years to break even if I worked in my shop for just for hours per day every day of the week. Even getting tubes at $6.00 per tube it still takes at least 3 years of four hour days with no holidays or vacation just to break even. I probably don't put in 100 four hour days in a year, so my shop would take far longer to break even.
    Lee Schierer
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  8. #8
    I agree Lee. The price hasnt come down enough to justify the conversion for the sake of cost savings. The tech is still too expensive. It will come down over time, but we're still a ways off. (Remember $900 VCRs?) I wanted this change primarily to increase the brightness in the shop. 64 watts in each of my fixtures wasn't bright enough and I didn't want to add more in the main bay. So for me, it was worth the cost for that reason alone. Maybe not so for others.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    I agree Lee. The price hasnt come down enough to justify the conversion for the sake of cost savings. The tech is still too expensive. It will come down over time, but we're still a ways off. (Remember $900 VCRs?) I wanted this change primarily to increase the brightness in the shop. 64 watts in each of my fixtures wasn't bright enough and I didn't want to add more in the main bay. So for me, it was worth the cost for that reason alone. Maybe not so for others.

    I had one of $900 VCRs....even worse, it was a Sony Beta! 3 years after I bought it, you couldn't rent movies locally for it. LOL!
    Last edited by Bruce Page; 12-22-2018 at 12:28 AM.
    Ken

  10. #10
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    Excellent. To me, good lighting is worth every penny, regardless of the cost. I put in T5 fluorescents instead of LEDs and the quality and quantity of the light is incredible. The color temp on mine is also 5000K.

    As our eyes get older we need more light. Also, the brighter the light, the more the iris closes and just like a camera the depth of field increases making it easier it is to focus on things, both near or far.

    JKJ

  11. #11
    Fred,
    Good job! Your workshop is your sanctuary so if the lighting upgrade makes it better, good on you.
    I think the upgrade was free in a sense because you will ultimately get your money back through energy efficiency and bulb length.
    Also, it's not just about money. According to what I have read, based on the UV spectrum and wavelength band, the general thinking is that LED light is better (maybe much better) for your eyes and health. Not to mention that bright lighting levels are important for the intricate tasks we are often doing in woodworking.

    In my case, I sprang for LED wraparound fixtures. I think they're made by Simkar. I know there were cheaper ways to do it, but I haven't regretted it for a moment.
    Edwin

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    I had one of $900 VCRs....even worse, it was a Sony Beta! 3 years after I bought it, you couldn't rent movies locally for it. LOL!
    I had a Sony Betamax too. The betamax video quality was so much better than VHS but Sony did a lousy job promoting it.
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  13. #13
    Do you know how many lumens/sq foot?

    T

  14. #14
    Problem I have with LED with my experience in industrial settings and home is the life is terrible, nowhere near what they claim.

  15. #15
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    Ken, yesterday my daughter just had a white elephant gift exchange in her debate class. The only criteria was it had to be school appropriate and totally useless. The gift that got the biggest laugh was a VHS tape. Iím sure they have no idea what a beta tape looks like.

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