Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 28

Thread: Disposable LED Shop Light Mental Hang Up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Celina, TX
    Posts
    181

    Disposable LED Shop Light Mental Hang Up

    Hello All,

    I'm in the process of building new shop after my relocation to TX back in 2017. I've been reading the various threads regarding LED lighting and I think that seems like the obvious choice. It seems like there are two general options. One is to purchase standard fluorescent fixtures and set them up with LED tube bulbs. The other is to purchase LED fixtures that already have the bulbs/strips installed - basically plug and play. Based on the various links in some of the threads, the second option seems like it might be the most cost effective. My concern is that when one these fail, the bulbs cannot be replaced. So you end up scrapping the existing fixture and purchasing a new one. I know the life span of LEDs is supposed to be really long, but I'm hoping to use this shop for many years and this seems potentially wasteful. Also, I don't want to end up with a patchwork light situation if I have random failures over time and can't find the same brand/design for a replacement in the future.

    Is this a legitimate concern, or do I just need to get over it?

    Charlie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    1,479
    The good/bad news is that LED lighting is continuing to evolve fairly rapidly and that it is unlikely that you will find a direct replacement for either the fixture or bulb in a year. In general that's good because they are getting better and better with time, high CRI bulbs are much more accessible and affordable now than they were.

    I too am concerned about the total energy cost of throwaway fixtures, and try to avoid them as a result even when the initial cost is lower. I can always put a better bulb into an old fixture.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    1,205
    You've brought up a very good point. I too have a problem with using fixtures that have to be thrown out when they fail. It's particularly bad in a setting where matching fixtures is important, like in a home or commercial space. I've already had to deal with recessed LED fixtures going bad after just a couple of years & having to tell the customer that the manufacturer no longer makes a replacement that matches. So I now recommend to customers fixtures that use a replaceable lamp & then fit them with LED lamps. That's the way I've gone in my own house. For fluorescent strips, I prefer to use the LED lamps that are the ballast bypass type because the ballast consumes energy, can get noisy, and is another point of failure. There are some very good LED replacement tubes available now with very high efficiency and CRI.

    And then there is the whole other issue of the cheap throw away fixtures being a huge waste of resources. I have a big problem with that too.

  4. #4
    As is often the case, there are other factors to consider. If you buy retrofit bulbs that are ballast compatible, then you are retaining the ballast, which in inexpensive fixtures tend not to be that reliable. If you use line voltage retrofit tubes, you have the time and labor to rewire the fixtures, and you end up creating waste of the ballasts. If you are buying new and the fixtures come with fluorescent tubes, those potentially get wasted too. My engineering background leads me to believe that the retrofit tubes are likely to be less reliable than the straight LED fixtures. You are enclosing the heat generating (and heat sensitive) electronics in the tube, you have twice (or four times) as many power supplies (one in each tube as opposed to 1 per fixture, and you have more connection points (all the tombstones).

    It's one thing if you have fixtures in place that you want to retrofit, but I don't think it makes sense, now, to buy new fluorescent fixtures and convert them.

    One way to address your concern about not being able to get a replacement for a failed fixture is to do what I did...buy a couple of spares.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
    Posts
    5,848
    There is to me one advantage to retrofitting common tombstone type fixtures. That type of connection is very common and IMO replacement parts will remain available for the foreseeable future. I found removing ballasts and rewiring trivial. Recyclers take them no problem.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Upland, CA
    Posts
    1,343
    It is very common in new installations to just buy LED ready fixtures. This is a common one:
    https://www.maxlite.com/products/t8-...LSS2XT8USE4803

    They are about $15. Your local wholesale light supplier should have similar items for similar prices.

    Then you just choose whatever direct wire bulb you prefer. These are the same bulbs available to direct wire existing 4' fluorescent fixtures so they will continue to be readily available at low cost.

    First step is to determine what type of lighting works best for your shop configuration. Probably the most important single thing that will determine what type of fixture will work best is ceiling height and desired mounting height of the fixtures.

    Here is a link to a reputable supplier that has one LED ready strip on sale for $13.99 each with no freight charge on $100 order:
    https://www.beeslighting.com/diva-li.../p/ST48232-LED
    Last edited by Greg R Bradley; 08-10-2019 at 12:48 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    9,461
    Where I live you cannot convert a fluorescent fixture to LED by removing the ballast, as the electrical approval of the fixture is cancelled.

    As others have said, you'll be able to purchase ballasts, sockets and LED refit lamps for a long time, that will allow you to keep the fixture appearance constant........Rod.

  8. #8
    I wonder if there is any technical reason why removing the ballast from a fluorescent fixture makes it less safe or is it strictly an administrative issue? I assume to make it legal you would have to have it tested and certified by CSA and that's not financially practical.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    I wonder if there is any technical reason why removing the ballast from a fluorescent fixture makes it less safe or is it strictly an administrative issue? I assume to make it legal you would have to have it tested and certified by CSA and that's not financially practical.
    The only problem I can see with losing the certification is if your insurance requires that you have certified products in your home or shop. Other than that, since you're doing the wiring you can do it in a way that produces a very safe lighting fixture.

    Since I have existing fluorescent fixtures in my shop I plan to convert them to LED bulbs when I use up my stock of fluorescent bulbs. I only have a few left so I expect I'll start converting in the next year or so.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    The only problem I can see with losing the certification is if your insurance requires that you have certified products in your home or shop. Other than that, since you're doing the wiring you can do it in a way that produces a very safe lighting fixture.

    Since I have existing fluorescent fixtures in my shop I plan to convert them to LED bulbs when I use up my stock of fluorescent bulbs. I only have a few left so I expect I'll start converting in the next year or so.

    Mike
    I'm in the same situation and will probably convert to LED by removing the ballasts unless I learn that there is a technical risk involved.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Upland, CA
    Posts
    1,343
    Canada has a requirement that any electrical device has to have a certification from a government agency. ANY change to any electrical device means it has to be certified in the "new" configuration.

    The original post was about NEW fixtures and not using throw away fixtures. This is real common in industrial but the BORGS seem to mostly sell throw aways. The LED ready fixtures are basically a fluorescent fixture without a ballast and just wired direct.

    It's also easy to convert a 4' FL fixture. Now that you can buy combo single/dual ended power LED tubes, you don't even have to worry about shunted or unshunted tombstones in the fixtures.

    If you are buying dual ended power LED that means power goes to one end and common to the other.

    Since Doug Garson knows who CSA is, that probably means he is in Canada and will have to decide if non-CSA fixtures are a problem.
    Last edited by Greg R Bradley; 08-12-2019 at 5:10 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    3,810
    When I wired my new shop a year ago, the cheapest replaceable element LED solution was to buy fluorescent fixtures without bulbs and populate the fixtures with LED retrofit tubes. This was cheaper than buying bulb replaceable LED fixtures. I went that direction and have been extremely pleased ever since. I haven't lost a ballast or a LED "tube".

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg R Bradley View Post
    It is very common in new installations to just buy LED ready fixtures. This is a common one:
    https://www.maxlite.com/products/t8-...LSS2XT8USE4803

    They are about $15. Your local wholesale light supplier should have similar items for similar prices.

    Then you just choose whatever direct wire bulb you prefer. These are the same bulbs available to direct wire existing 4' fluorescent fixtures so they will continue to be readily available at low cost.

    First step is to determine what type of lighting works best for your shop configuration. Probably the most important single thing that will determine what type of fixture will work best is ceiling height and desired mounting height of the fixtures.

    Here is a link to a reputable supplier that has one LED ready strip on sale for $13.99 each with no freight charge on $100 order:
    https://www.beeslighting.com/diva-li.../p/ST48232-LED
    So about 27 bucks for a fixture that will only be about 4k lumens. I have been buying 14k lumen led fixtures for 28 bucks.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    9,461
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    I wonder if there is any technical reason why removing the ballast from a fluorescent fixture makes it less safe or is it strictly an administrative issue? I assume to make it legal you would have to have it tested and certified by CSA and that's not financially practical.
    The ballast provides overload and thermal protection for the fixture, once you remove that, the fixture needs to be approved for use.

    That's why I convert to an electronic T8 ballast and LED lamps where required.............Rod.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Thicket, TX
    Posts
    104
    I was also concerned with single use less so I put in these from wade house-linghting

    74E9D55D-7A66-4B79-AAA2-5A65BEA4D81D.jpg

    I have 9 in my 12x26 shop and it is very bright an even

    5D863DE5-311B-4F62-802B-0AF74B33746D.jpg

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •