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Justin B.
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Refurbing Shop Lights
01/31/17 at 22:46:49
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I have a few light fixtures in my shop with buzzing ballasts, don't want to fire up when cold, etc, so I decided to try a little upgrade.

I ordered some rolls of LED strips and some small 12 VDC power supplies and gutted the existing fluorescent fixtures.  After removing the innards I applied 4 strips of the LEDs, wired them up to the small PS, and used the existing power cord to supply the DC supply.

I was surprised, they actually work!  I went with the "warm white" so they are probably a bit dimmer than the "cool white" but will probably be more pleasant.  Each 5m roll consumes 18 watts so I'll be saving some juice, to boot!  One roll will lay down 4 full strips with a couple feet left over.

Cost of the retrofit:

$5.75 - 5M roll of LED
$6.23 - 12V/24 watt power supply
  

Shop_Light_1.jpg ( 304 KB | Downloads )
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Shop_Light_2.jpg ( 243 KB | Downloads )
Shop_Light_2.jpg
Shop_Light_3.jpg ( 197 KB | Downloads )
Shop_Light_3.jpg

Justin B.

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Chris S
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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #1 - 02/01/17 at 01:43:53
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Nice job!

LED is the way to go without a doubt, lots of benefits and lower costs...
  

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Barry
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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #2 - 02/01/17 at 09:34:55
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That's a good idea.

At the school I work at we are starting to retrofit 60Omm square LED panels that drop into standard false ceiling grids.  They are very cheap to buy and to run.

I prefer warm white. I found that 4000K  panels are just a bit too harsh. 3700K is better.
  

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Justin B.
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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #3 - 02/01/17 at 17:00:37
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These are the 3700k variety.  I don't believe the "perceived" brightness is as mush as the "cool white" but you are correct about them not being so harsh.

I just ordered 10 more power supplies from a HK seller, @ $4.27/ea, and decided to step up to a 36 W supply for a little more added margin.  I am refurbing these for about $10 which is about 1/3 of what a new fixture would cost so for me it is a no-brainer!
  

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Billmc
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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #4 - 02/02/17 at 09:48:09
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Justin, is that the power supply in the middle of the 1st picture? It looks almost like a regular ballast.
Home Depot/Lowes?
I like it!!!
  

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Justin B.
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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #5 - 02/02/17 at 11:14:23
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Bill, no it's a 24 watt 12VDC power supply from China, Inc.  It is small enough (18mm x 18mm) to fit in the channel and still be able to snap in the cover.  I ordered 36 watt supplies to finish up the rest and they have the same dimensions as the 24 W.
  

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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #6 - 02/02/17 at 11:53:55
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Thanks Justin I'll check them out.
  

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Justin B.
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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #7 - 02/02/17 at 14:02:39
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Justin B.
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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #8 - 03/08/17 at 16:27:01
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An update on this project.  Subjectively I decided that the 4 strips of LEDs didn't provide as much light as the 2 fluorescent bulbs so I used 6 strips on the next one since I had ordered the 36 W power supplies.  This was pretty close but I wanted more!  I ordered a couple reels of the high intensity LEDs and WOW!  Two strips of the high intensity put out more light than the two bulbs so that will be the way I go on the rest.
  

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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #9 - 03/19/17 at 21:47:10
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Thanks for sharing the info - I think that I will be doing something similar in my garage this spring.  I tried to work in my garage during the winter, but when the temps get down to 10F or less the fluorescent tubes are worthless.  Not that I can spend alot of time out there when it is that cold, but the darkness just makes me want to stay our there even less!
  

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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #10 - 03/19/17 at 22:39:40
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Did you get the high intensity ones from the same seller? Would you have the specs or a link for those?
  

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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #11 - 03/20/17 at 21:05:43
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What is the cost comparison between your conversion and ready made LED replacement tubes? Just curious. I know if you are a member of this forum that automatically makes you a frugal s.o.b. Smiley but I am interested in how much of a savings this is or if this is more of a because I could exercise.
  

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Justin B.
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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #12 - 03/20/17 at 22:20:36
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I guess the cost for one light conversion is probably around $8.  The cheapest LED conversion "bulbs" I've seen were about $20 odd/ea on WOOT.  You still had to re-wire the fixture getting the ballast out of the circuit and running AC line voltage to the replacement "bulbs."

The high intensity and power supplies I ordered straight from a supplier in HK.  I just ordered 3 more reels and that should take care of everything.  The high intensity actually work out cheaper as one roll will convert 2 lights and be brighter to boot!

Other than the leds and power supplies you just need solder, smallish (22 gauge) wire, heat-shrink, and an old light fixture.  The light fixture is optional. 

I also took a couple 6' strips of plywood, made a 12' strip out of 'em, and ran 4 strings of the low intensity ones down it to replace a couple of fluorescent fixtures we had in the living room for indirect lighting. 

Here's the latest conversions:

LEDs - about $19 USD/shipped for 15M (3 rolls):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/311450777085?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&var=6104993307...

Power supplies - 12V @ 3 amp for $4.89 + minimal postage.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/301959033442?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&var=6007579664...

From a safety point of view I may have headed off some possible fire danger as a couple of the ballasts had capacitors starting to break down and were arcing.
  

Justin B.

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Justin B.
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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #13 - 03/20/17 at 22:21:45
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nhmaf wrote on 03/19/17 at 21:47:10:
Thanks for sharing the info - I think that I will be doing something similar in my garage this spring.  I tried to work in my garage during the winter, but when the temps get down to 10F or less the fluorescent tubes are worthless.  Not that I can spend alot of time out there when it is that cold, but the darkness just makes me want to stay our there even less!


No warm-up period for LEDs!  Smiley
  

Justin B.

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Re: Refurbing Shop Lights
Reply #14 - 04/10/17 at 21:07:03
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We are in the process of upgrading all our tubes to LED.  Being done as the bulbs burn out.  I've purchased several different styles of bulbs and such from these guys:

https://www.superbrightleds.com/

Decent prices and a YUUUUGE selection.    Wink
  

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