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Im thinking about increasing the lighting in my shop. Currently have 8foot T8 bulbs at 3600K. 11 foot ceilings. I have two side by side double hung windows on one wall that aid in the lighting. Every winter I cover the windows with foam board and eliminate the outside light, then consider adding more fixtures. I do a large amount of antique restoration plus custom furniture so color rendition is important. Ive been getting by with what I have but really would like it brighter. So should I go 4 foot florescent at 5000k. LED? Any info is appreciated.
LED no question. Your power company may have an energy saving rebate program. You should see at least a 20% savings on electric costs over florescent.....and there is no mercury in the tubes.
I know someone who just upgraded their building to LED and I was surprised how bright the space was with surprisingly few 2' square fixtures.
I'm not sure about the color light issue so can't help there.
I just replaced old metal halide high bay lights with 4000k led and the overall clarity in the shop is definitely better, not to mention how nice it is to not hear the buzzing from the ballast all day. I opted for 4000k instead of the 5700k because I didn't want the lighting to feel too cool and sterile. The led's are uncomfortably bright to look at directly as my model lights aren't diffused, however my ceiling height is almost 17' so it's not really an issue.
LED's are a game changer. We immediately upgraded our sanding process, based upon improved lighting. Basically, we reduced swirls and over-sanding to near nothing, so consider that if you're hesitating to take the leap. Better lighting means better work and faster.
LEDs generally have a crappy CRI. Usually sitting around 80-85. It's OK but there is generally a blue cast in most LEDs.
The fluorescents I have have a CRI of 93+ so color rendition is pretty close to sunlight (CRI 100)
Just something to think about if you are particular about color.
Moving from HID to LED isn't as cost efficient as you think. A Metal Halide lamp puts out 30,000 lumens, a Sodium vapor puts out 50,000 lumens. They both have horrible color rendition but they have good light output per watt. You'll be told the whiteness of the light will make up for the loss of lumens, sorry - I disagree.
When I swapped out from Sodium Vapor I had to almost double my wattage usage with myT5 HO54s. But it's so much better.
Moving from fluorescent to LED is more equal except for the availability of higher CRI lighting. It exists but is much more expensive. The LED prices will keep coming down and you can get deals from your power company if you add enough.
The CRI on the t8 fluorescents I have are 90, the 4 foot LED are rated at 82. I havent had time to search the web more for other options on bulbs. Im going to guess that an older T8 fluorescent may loose that 90 rating over time, or not emit 90? I do need to replace a few of the bulbs I have up as I can see a difference in some of them.
Thanks to all for your response. Appreciate it.
either led or florescent - but daylight bulbs
We re-lit the shop in 2016. LED where not widely available, at least not cost effective ones. Our shop is larger so the cost was a concern. The thing we did do that had great value was work with the light manufacturer. We used 6 bulb high bays.
We got a meter from our electrician to measure lumens. We went around the shop to find the area that we liked the brightness of and measured the lumens.
We provided the lighting manufacturer a drawing on the building, told them the ceiling height and the desired lumens. They returned to us a drawing with light placement. We followed the drawing and got nice even light throughout the building at the brightness we wanted.
In a few areas we added task lights, very few.
My point is that there are resources out there to help you. You can also go to an electrical supply house. They stock, the most popular LED light. Talk to them, ask them what is the best. Talk to them about color.
Leo- I found LED bulbs, 4 footers at 92.2 CRI in either 4 or 5000 K. at 15watt. Ordered them and the fixtures this AM so we will see how they work out. THe bulbs are not cheap(16.95 per bulb) but Im only adding a few to increase the light in some areas so its not killing me that much.
go shop around and you can find led lights for cheap. switching them out is the best thing you could do. Did mine 3 years ago and have not had a problem since. 8 ft leds on a 16 ft ceiling
I agree, you can find cheap LED lights but they don't have the hi CRI rating.
CRI, I guess that is color? Well to be honest the new led lights we used did have a more of a blue color to them then the old yellowish flourcents. All I know is that they put out so much more light that the color of anything looks 100% better. We replaced a two bulb flourcent with a single 8 ft led, wired it direct (by passed the balast) to the 120v and turned them on. I think we got the 8 footers for $12-14 each. WE have 5000 sq ft and put up ten of them. We thought we were going to ten on the other side but when we turned them on they lite up the whole place, so we never went back and got the other ones. I guess I'll just have to put up with the low CRI like I really know what that is and even care less. Put them up and yo won't be dissapointed and you will never change bulbs again
LED is a new technology. I was in a building that had LOTS of outdoor LED downlights and 100% of them failed in 6 months.
To think you will never change a bulb again is optimistic.
Usually the LEDs don't burn out, the drivers do. But in the end it's the same thing, no light comes on when you flip the switch.
Doug, CRI is how close the light comes to the color of the sun. The sun has a CRI of 100.
If you are doing critical color matches a high CRI is a good thing to have. If you are just doing woodworking, as long as the light is pleasing to work by the CRI doesn't matter much.
We did an LED conversion on all the lights in our shop a few years back utilizing an incentive program through our local power company. Best thing ever!! Mostly because we got rid of those stupid bulb covers OSHA requires on open fixtures. We had about 125 8' two bulb fixtures that we retrofitted to 4' bulbs with kits supplied by the electrical house eliminating all the ballast. The other half of our shop was HO enclosed fluorescent fixtures that we completely replaced with similar LEDs. So much better light and so far durability has been good. We worked with a local electrical supply house that did all the paperwork for us in return for selling us overpriced light bulbs and fixtures, however they are of much better quality than the cheap Amazon specials.