Shop lighting...anyone go with LED T8? - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum

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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Shop lighting...anyone go with LED T8?

Hi guys,

I was all set to go with 12 8' tandem Florescent T8 fixtures since I'm finally ready to install my shop lighting having just finished the drywall. I did some research to see if LEDs had come down in price and they are surprisingly affordable now. The only question is whether I can find T8 fixtures with "instant start" ballasts for a reasonable price that are compatible with the Philips LED T8's. Most don't list the ballast information on-line. Have any of you guys done the switch from Florescent to LED T8's or started out new with them?

Thanks,
Darren

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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:55 PM
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I have high bay HID lights, but have been considering converting to LED bulbs, so I will be interested to see what other's experiences are here with your T8s as well.

Thanks for posting this.


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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:46 PM
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Non technical, I bought two led fixtures same size as the 48" dual bulb fixtures and Love them. They seem to be brighter and they dont cast a shadow. I guess with all of the tiny lights on the panels no matter how you lean over you project no shadow. I have had them for 3 years now. I spent $105 each.

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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 07:03 PM
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I am using HyperIkon T8 LEDs (they also fit T12 fixtures). These work with NO ballast, the reason I went with them is that one of my ballasts went bad and I figured why replace it? The bulbs just wire directly to the 110 V, easy!

Funny name, good performance. About $10 each in packs of 4.

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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I am using HyperIkon T8 LEDs (they also fit T12 fixtures). These work with NO ballast, the reason I went with them is that one of my ballasts went bad and I figured why replace it? The bulbs just wire directly to the 110 V, easy!

Funny name, good performance. About $10 each in packs of 4.

boB
So, did you just take the ballast out of the equation and wire directly to the terminals?

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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 08:42 PM
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Yep, tossed the ballast in the trash. HyperIkon provides little stickers for the fixture, something like "no ballast, do not install fluorescent tubes". As my ballasts or tubes go out I am replacing them, have 8 converted so far.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bobquincy View Post
I am using HyperIkon T8 LEDs (they also fit T12 fixtures). These work with NO ballast, the reason I went with them is that one of my ballasts went bad and I figured why replace it? The bulbs just wire directly to the 110 V, easy!

Funny name, good performance. About $10 each in packs of 4.

boB
I think these are what I used. I had one ballast in the last set I installed a few years back fail and came to the same conclusion-the lights are cheaper that the ballast. Just make sure the ones you buy are able to run on 110v and bypass the ballasts even if they are working. In two of the original fixtures in the garage I first simply changed bulbs but they had the same type delay the fluorescent bulbs had and didn't like it. After wiring directly I'm pleased with the LED bulbs. Mine came from Amazon.

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:58 AM
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I installed these as replacements in my 4 tube kitchen fixture and got rid of the ballasts. There is about a 1-2 second delay after turning on the switch. They are far superior to the florescent bulbs and much brighter. -- Chuck

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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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I'm a tad nervous about using a non-ballast LED solution. I think I'd like the option to do either so having the ballast. I also don't want to buy fixtures with ballasts just to not use them. I have some thinking to do. I'm also a bit nervous about replacement LED T8s should the time come that one or more fail. I want to be sure they match in output etc... with fluorescent bulbs that is pretty easy.

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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 02:42 PM
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Where's NiceGuyEddie when we need him?
Is he still around? I might try and PM him.

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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 03:08 PM
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Is he still around? I might try and PM him.
Yes he is still around

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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 05:41 PM
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yes of course I am here! I just passed a Certification in Lighiting test, a 4 hour test that was the hardest test I have ever taken in my entire life. I work in engineering design, and i design outdoor architectural lighting, such as "acorn" lights you see on a Main Street, but i am familiar with all aspects of lighting, except maybe photography and stage lighting.

T8 Florescent, whether standard or HO is still the best bang for the buck when it comes to lumens per dollar.

For a shop, considerations of color rendering are negligible so Flourescent is still OK. Even a cheap-ass strip light, the kinds with two bulbs and no reflector system produces even light with almost no shadows or dark spots on the floor.

a problem with some LED "Florescent" tubes is you can get literally hundreds of little shadows from all the individual LEDs in the tubes.

unless you live in a REALLY cold place, the florescent tubes will start up below freezing. they might flicker a bit but will warm up. so the off the shelf stuff at Home Depot is still excellent.

If you are retired and spend a lot of time in the shop and have your shop lights on 40+ hours a week, well, then you need to calculate payback on the LED stuff. many areas of the country have pretty cheap electricity rates.

P.S. – don’t under-estimate paint!! the color of your ceiling, walls, and floor dramatically affects your overall light levels and shadows. If you are fortunate enough to have a shop with a drywall ceiling, paint them white. Also, try to do at least the first few feet of the top of your walls white.
Matstng thanked this.

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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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yes of course I am here! I just passed a Certification in Lighiting test, a 4 hour test that was the hardest test I have ever taken in my entire life. I work in engineering design, and i design outdoor architectural lighting, such as "acorn" lights you see on a Main Street, but i am familiar with all aspects of lighting, except maybe photography and stage lighting.

T8 Florescent, whether standard or HO is still the best bang for the buck when it comes to lumens per dollar.

For a shop, considerations of color rendering are negligible so Flourescent is still OK. Even a cheap-ass strip light, the kinds with two bulbs and no reflector system produces even light with almost no shadows or dark spots on the floor.

a problem with some LED "Florescent" tubes is you can get literally hundreds of little shadows from all the individual LEDs in the tubes.

unless you live in a REALLY cold place, the florescent tubes will start up below freezing. they might flicker a bit but will warm up. so the off the shelf stuff at Home Depot is still excellent.

If you are retired and spend a lot of time in the shop and have your shop lights on 40+ hours a week, well, then you need to calculate payback on the LED stuff. many areas of the country have pretty cheap electricity rates.

P.S. – don’t under-estimate paint!! the color of your ceiling, walls, and floor dramatically affects your overall light levels and shadows. If you are fortunate enough to have a shop with a drywall ceiling, paint them white. Also, try to do at least the first few feet of the top of your walls white.

Thanks for chiming in. I was planning on the Lithonia 8' tandem T8 fixtures and fluorescent bulbs. I guess it might just make sense to stick with it. I will be painting the ceiling white so I should get plenty of light with little to no shadows.

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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 05:55 PM
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So, did you just take the ballast out of the equation and wire directly to the terminals?
You are correct in most cases. The LEDs inside either work on 120V AC or they have a half-moon-shaped, relatively long driver in the tube that convert 120V AC to DC, typically 700ma DC to be specific.

some LED replacement tubes work from the ballast in the florescent fixture. this gets tricky and they often don't work so great.


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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 06:22 PM
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Thank you Eddie! Like Darren I'm also headed down the shop lighting road at this time I was perfectly happy with the T8s that I had in the old shop but was pondering whether I should pony up the $ for LEDs this time around. I'd pretty much decided to stick with the fluorescents after doing the lumens/dollar and payback time exercises and your input has helped convince me.

Thanks again!

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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 06:46 PM
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It's hard for companies to market LEDs for shop lights in regards to being better than T8 or T5. I work for Hubbell Lighting, which owns all sort of lighting companies including Lithonia and Prescolite, the mass-produced stuff you see at Home Depot, yet in our own factory we have T5 HO 4x4' lights! (with motion sensor)

great news about the florescent stuff is you can easily chose your own color temperature, warm white, neutral, bright white (blue-ish)

for a shop, since you might be painting and/or dealing with colors, you best bet is grab the stuff they market as "daylight" or "full spectrum"

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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 07:27 PM
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I have found it is difficult to get a CRI rating for most LEDs. Cree used to show the CRI on some of their bulbs but stopped, GE just says their "Reveal" are "full spectrum" which means little. My T12s are all 93 CRI or better and to me it makes a big difference even in a garage. Let's hope the LED manufacturers get better at letting us know what the numbers are.

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It's hard for companies to market LEDs for shop lights in regards to being better than T8 or T5. I work for Hubbell Lighting, which owns all sort of lighting companies including Lithonia and Prescolite, the mass-produced stuff you see at Home Depot, yet in our own factory we have T5 HO 4x4' lights! (with motion sensor)

great news about the florescent stuff is you can easily chose your own color temperature, warm white, neutral, bright white (blue-ish)

for a shop, since you might be painting and/or dealing with colors, you best bet is grab the stuff they market as "daylight" or "full spectrum"
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post #19 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 08:02 PM
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I am very impressed at all of your knowledge!

Lighting manufacturers are getting better, the major ones have the Lighting Facts label, and it's good to see the public is learning terms such as Color Temperature and Color Rendering Index. They have really good displays at Home Deopt and Lowes showing this.

FYI - most "cheap" LEDs are CRI 70.

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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 09:42 PM
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I bought these and converted a few lights by wiring direct t0 120V. I like how bright they are. picked up some tombstones for them, I converted T8 and (T5 ? older larger bulbs).
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post #21 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 10:00 PM
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T8 Florescent, whether standard or HO is still the best bang for the buck when it comes to lumens per dollar.

P.S. – don’t under-estimate paint!! the color of your ceiling, walls, and floor dramatically affects your overall light levels and shadows. If you are fortunate enough to have a shop with a drywall ceiling, paint them white. Also, try to do at least the first few feet of the top of your walls white.
Listen to this guy. I have t8's and the color of walls, ceilings and floors makes as much difference as the fixtures.

[IMG][/IMG]
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post #22 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:06 AM
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I went to Lowe's a few years ago looking for high (>90) CRI T12s. The sales guy asked if he could help me and I replied I was looking for the CRI spec on the tubes. He replied "the what?" and I explained. A second sales guy came up and asked what we were looking for, the first sales guy said "CRI". #2 asked "what?" and #1 replied "color rendering index, don't you know anything?".

My work there was done, time to go.

I worked on a project to convert floodlamps for construction equipment from halogen to LED and had to learn a lot of the specifications quickly.
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post #23 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 11:51 AM
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I am quite familiar w/ color temperature but could you explain how CRI works please. Would 100 be perfect?

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post #24 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Listen to this guy. I have t8's and the color of walls, ceilings and floors makes as much difference as the fixtures.

[IMG][/IMG]
Is that a light gray? I'm considering white but would prefer a gray if I can get away with it.

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post #25 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 02:45 PM
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Is that a light gray? I'm considering white but would prefer a gray if I can get away with it.
Yes. walls and ceiling is behr Traditional Gray, eggshell finish. Floors are epoxy in the same color, but I don't remember the color. Doesn't show the wear and tear as much as white.
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post #26 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Updated my shop thread with some pics of current state: Cobra den progress (otherwise known as Darren's shop)

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post #27 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yes. walls and ceiling is behr Traditional Gray, eggshell finish. Floors are epoxy in the same color, but I don't remember the color. Doesn't show the wear and tear as much as white.
That is what I was thinking. I was worried it might not reflect the light well though.

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post #28 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:27 PM
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I am quite familiar w/ color temperature but could you explain how CRI works please. Would 100 be perfect?


In layman’s terms, CRI is an electric light source’s ability to duplicate colors just like the sun. A halogen Incandescent is a perfect 100, as it’s basically “fire” and the halogen gas inside does neat things to make the light almost exactly like sunlight (or at least ROYGBIV we see.)

The CRI is an average rating of how well a light source renders about ten samples, red felt, a banana, I don’t know them all. There is a new index coming out that measures 100 samples, anything from green M&M’s to fifteen different skin tones.

When something has a CRI of 80 such as an under-counter puck-light LED, it is an average rating, so you can totally bomb one color but still be an 80. This is one of the problems with laws forbidding incandescent light bulbs – they are replaced with something yucky, but that’s another story.

In a shop, it does not matter much if you are working on a lawnmower, but when working with colors, good CRI is important. If you are mixing paints and say “WOW that looks great!” it might not look the same outside. Good CRI is also important in car dealership parking lots.

There are other issues such as poor CRI makes you sick – it affects people that work in refineries with that amber light all night.

In any case, the price of florescent tubes is going to be about the same, so if at all possible, get the daylight bulbs with a high CRI.

LED lighting for the shop is OK – a CRI of 90 is quite good, you’d have to be an expert to walk into a room and say UGH – what’s the CRI in here, only 90? haha

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Last edited by NiceGuyEddie; 05-19-2017 at 03:50 PM.
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post #29 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:30 PM
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Yes. walls and ceiling is behr Traditional Gray, eggshell finish. Floors are epoxy in the same color, but I don't remember the color. Doesn't show the wear and tear as much as white.
Light grey is still pretty good !!!! If I had a nice garage I’d do a white ceiling, grey walls, and a light floor like the above.

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post #30 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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I'm looking at these based on your "daylight" recommendation. What color temperature do you recommend? I don't see a CRI though. Is there a place I can find that on the package usually? 6500k seems pretty blue though.

Philips 32-Watt 4 ft. T8 Daylight ALTO Linear Fluorescent Light Bulb (30-Pack)-451815 - The Home Depot


These ones are 5000k which seems more like noon sunlight but they are general use, not commercial. Still have a decent hour rating.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercia...-850/300447126

Ah crap...they both have a horrible CRI rating. Now I'm going to have to consider finding a good light with good CRI... so far hard to find and very expensive. Any suggestions on color temp and/or specific fluorescent T8? I was going to pick them up at home depot tonight but no good CRI bulbs there. I will be doing woodworking so stain matching and color matching are pretty important.

These ones state "high cri" but don't list the rating. 4100k which is kind of low???

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Philips-4...3129/204606263


I'm leaning towards these bulbs that CRI 90. Some have decent price. Just not sure if 5000k is what I should go for. Seems decent. Thoughts?

https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/56690/F-32L359.html

https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/19...NIA-22439.html

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Last edited by Darren; 05-19-2017 at 04:36 PM.
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