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Forum topic by Dirt13 posted 04-11-2017 04:22 PM 740 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dirt13

4 posts in 250 days


04-11-2017 04:22 PM

I cannot for the life of me seem to find a lighting solution. I’m wanting LED shop lights that I can hardwire. Simple, simple and yet I can’t seem to find them. Please offer some suggestions. I’m losing my mind over this.


19 replies so far

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

79 posts in 543 days


#1 posted 04-11-2017 04:41 PM

You’re crazy! (you asked for it) :)

I made my own. Not very hard, fairly inexpensive.

8’ steel stud from the big box store ($4.00)
16.4’ reel of self-stick LED strip lights from Amazon ($12.00)
12v power supply from Amazon beefy enough for 6 light bars ($20.00)
Replacement appliance cord from big box store
Some lamp cord from big box store
Screw-on DC jacks from Amazon
Crimp-on spade connectors from big box store

I think six 8’ LED light bars cost less than $150

I could assemble and install a new 8’ light fixture in under 20 minutes.

I put in a new outlet and wired it 3-way to 2 switches (my shop has 2 doors). The replacement appliance cord gets attached to the power supply, then plugged in to the switched outlet.

They are BRIGHT!

I’d be happy to provide more details if you’re interested.

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

614 posts in 747 days


#2 posted 04-11-2017 04:51 PM

4 ft. White LED Linkable Shop Light

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Dirt13's profile

Dirt13

4 posts in 250 days


#3 posted 04-11-2017 05:34 PM



4 ft. White LED Linkable Shop Light

- Ripper70


Yeah this is the type of light I keep finding with proprietary wiring and plugs. I don’t want to wire in receptacles for each light. I’m thinking there has to be a simple (hopefully cheaper) fixture that I can mount light to light with plain old 14/2.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

479 posts in 1308 days


#4 posted 04-11-2017 05:38 PM

I know the OP mentioned hardwire but for anyone wanting to take a hardwire-type fixture and make it plug-in, pick up some computer power cords from like… almost anywhere. In the IT department where I work we have at least an entire 20-gallon storage tote full of them. Cut the computer-end off (the C13 connector), leaving you with a 6ft SJ cable with a 5-15P end. Wire the cord into your light. Even if you buy computer power cords for this, they still come out a lot cheaper than the stuff sold at big box stores. And lights are fine to use with 18AWG cord.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

479 posts in 1308 days


#5 posted 04-11-2017 05:40 PM


4 ft. White LED Linkable Shop Light

- Ripper70

Yeah this is the type of light I keep finding with proprietary wiring and plugs. I don t want to wire in receptacles for each light. I m thinking there has to be a simple (hopefully cheaper) fixture that I can mount light to light with plain old 14/2.

- Dirt13

Dirt13 – check on craigslist for 4ft T8 fixtures. Often times when the ballast goes out the whole fixture just gets replaced or junked. If you buy some fixtures like that, take the ballast out, and wire the pin holders to 120v mains, you can use T8 LED bulbs, which are cheap.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View WhereDidIPutThat's profile

WhereDidIPutThat

27 posts in 1175 days


#6 posted 04-11-2017 05:46 PM

I used these fixtures from the big box store.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia-Lighting-2-Light-Flushmount-Steel-White-Fluorescent-Light-C-2-40-120-MBE-2INKO/100148706

Removed the ballast and sell it on ebay cause you wont need them.

Rewired the “tombstones” to how the LED light bulbs will receive the power supply, two ends/ single end. make sure you mark that on the outside in case they will be replaced.

-- palette wood connoisseur

View WhereDidIPutThat's profile

WhereDidIPutThat

27 posts in 1175 days


#7 posted 04-11-2017 05:47 PM

Yep, This is the way the to go.

Dirt13 – check on craigslist for 4ft T8 fixtures. Often times when the ballast goes out the whole fixture just gets replaced or junked. If you buy some fixtures like that, take the ballast out, and wire the pin holders to 120v mains, you can use T8 LED bulbs, which are cheap.

- William Shelley


-- palette wood connoisseur

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

479 posts in 1308 days


#8 posted 04-11-2017 06:25 PM



Yep, This is the way the to go.

Dirt13 – check on craigslist for 4ft T8 fixtures. Often times when the ballast goes out the whole fixture just gets replaced or junked. If you buy some fixtures like that, take the ballast out, and wire the pin holders to 120v mains, you can use T8 LED bulbs, which are cheap.

- William Shelley

- WhereDidIPutThat

I should mention… there are two kinds of T8 LED bulbs. Ballast voltage, and mains voltage

The flourescent ballasts drive normal bulbs at a really high voltage, about 650-700 volts AC. Some LED bulbs are designed to go into an existing T8 fixture WITH a ballast in it. So the LED bulb uses the high voltage input and converts it to DC to drive the LEDs.

The second kind is designed to fit into an existing T8 fixture and has the medium bi-pin base, but expects that the ballast has been removed or bypassed and the bi-pin holders at the ends are wired directly into the 120V building wiring (mains). If you mix up the LED bulb type, it will probably die instantly.

For the record, I do like Jon’s idea with the LED self-adhesive reels. Distributing light over a larger area reduces shadows cast and overall increases the usability of the light.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

637 posts in 1378 days


#9 posted 04-12-2017 12:46 AM

I buy these from Lowes and then buy the T8 LED bulbs for cheap. Works great for me and they are hardwired to my switch.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Utilitech-Prismatic-Acrylic-Ceiling-Fluorescent-Light-Common-4-ft-Actual-48-12-in/1225813

Can’t find exactly what model T8 bulbs I bought, but there are plenty and are relatively cheap. I actually need to add one more and I think I’ll be decent with lighting.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

27095 posts in 2177 days


#10 posted 04-12-2017 01:00 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks.

Love my LED lights

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8328 posts in 1325 days


#11 posted 04-12-2017 01:00 AM

LED wraps (typical fluorescent looking fixture with a wraparound diffuser) are available through most lighting distributors or electrical supply houses nowadays.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#12 posted 04-12-2017 02:37 AM

These fixtures from Sams Club work well. They have just a regular 3- prong plug. I simply removed the old light in the middle of the garage and replaced it with a 4-gang receptacle so that I could plug them in. If you don’t want to use a receptacle, you can always just cut off the plug or buy this one also from Sams which might be a better choice.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View jacww's profile

jacww

8 posts in 846 days


#13 posted 04-12-2017 02:41 AM

Here is a source for LED tubes that fit standard fluorescent fixtures.

They have two types:

Direct wire: You will need to replace tube holders (called tombstones) and remove the ballast.

Plug and Play: These can be put into a standard fixture with a ballast. These are not quite as efficient.

$6.99 per tube if you buy a case (16 tubes).

https://www.1000bulbs.com/category/led-tube-price-break/

I have not bought any yet, but plan to.

TonyC

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1821 posts in 2783 days


#14 posted 04-12-2017 04:21 AM

Stay far away from florescents. There is no good reason to buy them.

Come on, wiring up a receptacle or ten isn’t that bad a deal. You lose how much time out of twenty years that you’ll be using them? It’s a lot easier than running conduit out of a box.

I installed receptacles and the only change I might make is to swap some single duplex plugs to doubles. I may not have to, since I added a second circuit just so one bank could go down without taking out the other (both are dedicated to lighting).

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#15 posted 04-12-2017 01:00 PM

BTW, I would stay away from the LED tubes that allow you you use a fixture with the ballast still installed. The ballast will not last as long as the LED tube so you’ll end up having to replace it eventually. They also use a little more electricity than one without the ballast. If you are going to be installing new fixtures anyway, you will be better off buying one with the LED’s in it than retro fitting a florescent fixture with T8 LED tubes. By the time you buy a florescent fixture and the T8 LED tubes, you won’t save any money.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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