George Vondriska

George’s Upgrade to LED Lights

George Vondriska
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Duration:   6  mins

The lighting in George’s shop was due for an upgrade to LED lights. This video isn’t meant to be a comprehensive how-to, but more of an overview of the decisions George made when choosing his new LED workshop lights.

Looking at upgrading

George’s shop has 8’ fixtures that take two T12 bulbs, and 2’ x 4’ fixtures in a drop ceiling. When George first explored LED workshop lights he would have had to completely replace the 8’ fixtures with new LED fixtures. Very expensive. Today, 8’ LED bulbs that DON’T require a fixture change are available. When you install them you remove (and recycle) the ballast. Rewiring is pretty simple.

The drop ceiling side of the shop

On the drop ceiling side of the shop, which uses 2’ x 4’ fixtures, George did an experiment. In a couple fixtures he swapped out the fluorescent bulbs for LEDs. This requires a high speed ballast. He also completely swapped out a couple fluorescent fixtures for 2’ x 4’ LED fixtures. In the final analysis, he prefers the light that comes from these fixtures.

The gain

LEDs use less electricity than fluorescents, and are better able to fire up in cold environments. They’re also dimmable, if you get the right bulb, though that isn’t much of a benefit for a shop. Plus, LED bulbs should outlast all of us.

For your shop

Do some research, crunch the numbers, and see if an upgrade to LEDs is a bright idea for you.

More tips

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15 Responses to “George’s Upgrade to LED Lights”

  1. Mark Keith

    I also changed my fluorescent bulbs in my shop/garage to LED’s but found a couple I did went out after less than a year, I then ordered permanent LED fixtures from Amazon and installed…very happy so far

  2. Walter C Carlson

    Fluorescent TUBE, not Bulb!


    Thanks! You just saved me more than the cost of membership of WWGOA.

  4. Jerry W Hinkle

    Are you paying attention to the color of the led tubes? Meaning the heat color or kelvin temperature of the outputof visible light. Also, which color are you using?

  5. Blake Dozier

    Thank you for the video. My 20'x20' shop has fifteen two tube, four foot, fixtures and the LED replacement costs have been fairly expensive. If I can find them at somewhere close to the price you mention, you may have convinced me. By the way, Bud (down below), doesn't leaving the ballasts hooked up negate some of the electricity savings?

  6. Daryl Magoulick

    Why does the ballast need to come out? Then do you have to desire it?

  7. David Hart

    Hi I have changed my work shop tubes to led .All you need to do is disconnect the supply cables and reroot them to one end of the tube as marked on the LED tubes

  8. Alberto

    Hello George, any advice from an expert about the best light color temperature to use in a woodworker's shop? 2700K, 4500K or 7000K ? Thanks!

  9. Patrick Ewing

    George, What did you mean by "the florescent lighting may fire if your shop is not heated"? Do you mean they may catch on fire? Regards, Patrick

  10. George Single

    You can Get the 4 foot T-8 and T-12 on eBay a box of 25 just over $107 They change the same as your 8 foot bulbs Take out the ballast and Wire Directly, Note When you Buy the LED's they Wire in one of Two ways, the Line "L" and the "N" either on one side of the Bulb or the L/line/Black on one end and the N/neutral/white wire on the opposite end, They come in 18 to 22 watts and from 3400k to 6000k choice of Milk or frosted Bulbs, Warm light or Cool white, Your 6000k is a pure white light and the Warm is a yellow light like the screw in tungsten E 26 bulb. I prefer the 22w cool White 6000K and it is the closest to Sun light in colir and it is Best for matching color when painting.

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