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Old 12-15-2017, 06:31 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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Default Cheap LED lighting

Will someone please tell me this is a stupid idea before I go through with it?

So I've been wanting to get some LED lighting in my shop to replace my old, outdated fluorescent lighting. I missed out on a Black Friday special which was a 4' fixture for around 19.00. Now the cheapest I've found them is about 25.00.

My next thought was to replace my bulbs with LED tubes, but:
1. I only have one fixture that has the correct tombstones.
2. The bulbs mount on the sides of the fixture instead of on the bottom.
3. All my old fixtures are super rusty and ugly anyways.

I did find what I think is a great deal on bulbs though... 7.99 shipped, for a 2640 lumen, 4' bulb. I ordered two of them just to try out, and I'm very happy with them, so here's what I came up with...
Buy a bunch of these bulbs for 7.99 each:
https://www.lightup.com/t8-4ft-led-t...s-lumegen.html

Then buy a bunch of these tombstones for .60 each:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...QOYWIPH9&psc=1

I already have a bunch of these handy boxes and covers that I got for free:
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2017, 06:31 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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(I'm mounting this to a 2X4 just to test out how easy it'll be to mount and install this setup)
I don't have those tombstones I posted above yet, but I do have two that will work for me to test, so I cut a hole in a blank, handy box cover, and mounted one of the tombstones. I had to also drill a hole for this older style of tombstone. If I do go through with this project, I'll have my CNC table cut a perfect, clean rectangle in the covers, rather than drilling and filing like I did here. I'll also cut two rectangles instead of one so I can line up two bulbs in a row. That way it will be like an 8' fixture putting out 5280 lumens of light.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:32 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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Then I wired up the tombstone, and mounted it to the handy box:
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:32 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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Then I built what I'm calling the "TENSION END". I used a 2"x6" piece of 18 gauge steel, drilled two pin holes, and two screw holes in it, then bent it at a 90. (I'll also have my CNC cut these to size, do all the holes and cut a relief slot so I can bend it pefectly to length without measuring or needing a vise.)
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:33 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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Then I put the LED tube in the tombstone, held the tension end in the correct location, marked the two holes, then screwed the tension end to the 2X4.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:34 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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The tension end has plenty of pressure to hold the LED tube VERY securely to the "fixture" and keeps it from being able to spin as well. It's also very easy to remove. I already have the handy boxes and covers, so the cost for this 4' complete fixture would be just 8.59, and If I wanted an 8' "fixture" the cost will be just 17.18 for a 5280 lumen LED light! Plus... since my last order, the LED bulb place just sent me a 10% off code for my next order, so it'll be even cheaper!

Yes, there's the cost of the steel I have to cut, and I'll probably paint them to look nice, so I should consider that into the cost as well, but this still seems to be a very inexpensive option for LED lighting and with the help of my CNC table, it'll be easy to do.

Can anyone think of any reason... safety, price-wise, or other, not to go ahead and make a bulk order of these LED tubes, and get some much needed light in my shop?

Hey, look at that... it works!
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:13 PM
Lew Hartswick Lew Hartswick is offline
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Very nice. I wish it would be that easy to re-do my garage. 25 or so years ago when I did the lighting I use 4 two tube 8 ft fixtures of the single pin ends type. The have been good except for the problem in COLD weather. Now the 8 ft long fixtures won't be easy to modify. Wish they would make an 8 ft LED tube . I could re-wire or re-tombstone if necessary but so far no solution.
...lew...
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:41 PM
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Norm W Norm W is offline
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They do make an 8' LED tube. Amazon has them.
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:57 AM
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toprecycler toprecycler is offline
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Default Cheap LED lighting

I guess the first “osha” type thing that come to my mind is will the wood be safe with the heat. I know leds are not supposed to be hot, but then why are they always mounted on aluminum for heat sinks. And will the wood keep from warping and breaking the light bulbs? Might not have to worry with that spring end. There is no power transferring to those pins right. Would not want to reach up there to replace a bulb and get shocked.

Other than that, are you planning on selling your place? That might be a negative from a potential buyer. Kinda redneck fix. And give them a bargaining point for lowballing the price.
Other than that, Just what I would consider doing. I have more spare time than spare money. I would rather tinker and make something even though I could maybe pick up some side work and buy what I want. But I always come back to thinking how many hours I would have to work at work to make enough money to buy something, and if I can make it in twice the many hours, then it is a good deal.

I really don’t care too much about looks, but I really should because some day, my kids will have to worry about getting rid of all my stuff, and I would hate for someone to come in and tell them that everything I did is a safety hazard and they need to bulldoze the place and redo everything to the way the authorities say it should be. Never mind that it has been working fine for 30 years already.
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Last edited by toprecycler; 12-16-2017 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
Will someone please tell me this is a stupid idea before I go through with it?
I will.
You already have the stuff all made and UL approved and mounted. You should disconnect the power from the ballast, cut the wires from the ballast at the end of the tombstones with the red and blue wires, and attach those to the power wires. Install the tubes. Done.
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