Upgrade to LED Shop Lighting!

– Soon after we moved to Denver, I upgraded the lighting in the shop and I thought it would be a good time to teach you a little bit about lighting and a little bit about the LED technology that I was going to install. I made that video, I put
it on our second channel. You know, the one that nobody
knows about or watches. So I decided to bring
that video over here. Again, it’s two years old, you’ll see the shop space
doesn’t look quite the same as it does now, but I think
the information is good and I think you’re gonna enjoy it. Let’s get to it. So today I wanna talk about shop lighting and before I show you
what I installed here, in the new shop, let’s take
a trip down memory lane to a simpler time, 2012,
when I built the dream shop. I did my research on lighting at the time and it seemed pretty clear to
me that T8 fluorescent bulbs were the way to go. They had phased out the T12. T8s were smaller, brighter, more efficient and it just seemed like
a logical solution. Now LED was around at the time, but the problem was it
was cost-prohibitive and there really wasn’t a lot in the way of options for that, so T8 was really the only way to go. Since then, about five years later, we now have tons of LED choices. The market has taken off,
there’s a lot of options and the cost had really come down. Now, here in the shop here in Denver, we actually are working
with America Green Lights to outfit all of the LEDs in the shop and it is nice and bright and beautiful and looks good on video. And I have two different
types of fixtures, and I’ll show those to you later, but for now, I wanna talk a little bit about some terminology. Because in order to be
an informed shopper, you need to know some basic terms. And I’ll tell ya, this lighting stuff, you could really geek out on it and it is certainly a science
that you need to master if you’re gonna get into the business. But if you’re just buying shop lights, you just need to know a few terms to understand what you’re buying. So the type of light we’re
talking about today is LED. That stands for Light Emitting Diode. Now, we’re not gonna get
into the science behind it, but just understand that it is brighter, it’s more efficient so
it costs less to run and it produces less heat. Now, when you look at lights, you’re gonna see a bunch
of different numbers on the packaging and the next three terms deal with what those
numbers actually mean. One important one is lumens. Lumens is total light output, and that’s just how they measure it. So if you have a lot of lumens, it’s gonna be really, really bright and if the number is low,
it’s not gonna be as bright. You’ll also see references in
literature to foot candles. We’re not gonna really get into that, it’s related to lumens, but most commercial products
I’ve seen reference lumens and that’s where we’re gonna
keep out discussion today. The next number you might see is CRI, that stands for Color Rendering Index. Now, when it come to artificial light, some are better at showing you what the colors actually look
like than others, all right? What we’re comparing this to is daylight. Natural sunlight is a 100 on the index. Basically, it is showing you vivid colors and you can see the colors
accurately for what they are. With artificial light,
some of them are very good, so if the number is low, it means that you’re not really
gonna see red as true red or blue as true blue. But if it’s a high CRI, in the
90s, maybe, you know 90-95, that actually means the colors
are gonna be bright and vivid and very close to what natural
daylight would produce. Next up is color temperature. You’ll see this as a
number with a K at the end that stands for Kelvin, that’s just the scale
that it’s measured in. If you go 5,000 Kelvin or higher, you tend to get into your
blues and your whites. It looks like a cooler color. If you go below 5,000 to
two, 3,000s, that’s warmer and you’re gonna see
more yellows and reds. Now, this matters because
the way the light reflects onto surfaces and things in the shop, it can actually give
you an unrealistic view of what the color of
that thing actually is. Now, as someone who does video, this is extremely important to me. It may not be as important to you but you still want a color that kind of makes sense for the space. And when it come to these colors, I think it’s interesting
if you look inside a house, most people can’t exactly tell you what the right color is for temperature, but they will tell you the
wrong color temperature. So if you go into a living room space and someone has daylight-spectrum
6,000 K bulbs in there, it’s not comfortable. It’s weird, it would feel
odd to sit in a living room that’s brightly light with 6,000 K. But if you go into a
laundry room, let’s say, or a work area and it’s lit
with 3,000 K lightbulbs, a very warm light, it’s
gonna feel weird in there. It’s gonna look dim, it’s not gonna be a bright,
active space, right? So for a workshop, in my opinion, I think 5,000 K is a pretty good number. Now, Jim over at American Green Lights did an amazing job sort of
looking at my shop space and helping me determine
what the best layout is and what kind of lights I would need to properly light this space not just for woodworking
but for video work. So let me show you the details. Jim requested two things from me: my shop dimensions as well
as my proposed tool layout. It’s a little early to fully
commit to tool locations, but I figured, hey, let’s run with it. Jim recreated my layout using his software and placed a series of
24-watt and 60-watt fixtures throughout the shop with light being focused over
each major tool or work area. He then generated a heat map showing the areas where the
light would be brightest. As you can see, the tool areas
are yellow, orange and red, meaning it will be brightly lit. The areas between the tools
are a lot less important. But since most of the shop is green, that means there’ll be
a fair amount of light consistently cast around the
shop to help limit shadows, which really helps with my video work. Now, let’s look at the lights themselves. Now, here is a 24-watt fixture and we kinda saved this to last ’cause it’s got a nice dent
in there, unfortunately. But you can see I’ve got
a nice strip of LEDs here and the driver is encased in
it`s own little compartment and, of course, the LEDs
mount on top like this. So all you need to do is connect this to
standard 120-volt power, you’ve got your hot, your
neutral and your ground. Pretty straightforward. And this guy produces about 2,500 lumens and the color rendering index is 92 to 95, so really good quality. The 60-watt fixture’s a little bit larger. We’ve got five LED strips here, two drivers in the case and
this guy puts out 6,000 lumens. Now, keep in mind that my
shop is half woodworking shop but also half video studio, so the things I’m concerned about and the amount of attention
I’ve paid to lighting might be a little bit more
than you’re prepared to do. But, at least if you
know some of these terms when you go and shop for lights,
you could be more informed and make sure you’re
getting a quality product. Because guess what. There’s a lot of stuff
coming in from over seas and it’s very hard to verify
the quality of those things. So at least knowing the terminology, you can make an informed buying decision. Of course, check out
American Green Lights. They make a fantastic product
and in addition to this video, we actually have a little article
that my buddy Vic wrote up telling you a little bit about the different types of LED
lights that are out there with some recommendations as well that you might wanna
incorporate into your shop. Because sometimes brand new LEDs are not necessarily the way to go. There are retrofit kits and
replacements for T8 bulbs that are LED, which is
pretty cool, all right? So be sure to check
that out on the website. All right, thanks for watching everybody.

40 thoughts on “Upgrade to LED Shop Lighting!

  1. I have an older house I'm assuming I have old wiring and old everything so adding LED bulbs causes them to flicker depending on the brand some flicker really hard and make everything look like stop promotion some of my switches buzz the lights themselves buzz and even LEDs that are dimmable only dim to about 70% of their full output. Help.

  2. Yes, this video is 2 years old. I originally published it on our second channel but brought it here for more folks to see. If you're considering LED options in your shop, don't miss our article: https://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/led-shop-lighting/

  3. I think I've watched this video some time ago. I use the information that you gave at my job, daily. This was probably the very best explanation of LEDs and lighting that I've run into. Thank you.

  4. In setting up my new shop (12 x 24 portable garage) I installed 3 American Green Light LED 2 strip lights. The lighting is fantastic. I did some research and choose American Green Lights in part because of this video. I also choose American Green Lights as I also started my own Youtube channel. Thanks Marc.

  5. For ultra high quality finishes and particularly matching finishes, I have a setup with several different types of lights that can be turned on and off individually. This lets me test out how finishes look under different bulbs, which is important when matching finish in an existing kitchen or similar.

  6. I usually stick with around 4K for lighting in the house. I cannot stand 3k lighting at all. Feels like you are in a dingy smoky bar. In the shop I try to stay around 5500k. The problem is that many lights you find that are rated at 5500k and a high CRI are not even close to their rated outputs. If you want real ratings don't go with the cheap stuff go with a reputable brand.

  7. My understanding is thatwhen people retrofit a fluorescent shop light, there is no savings in electrical costs unless they remove the ballast. Perhaps you could do a video addressing this issue and how to modify the shop lights or at least make sure you are not naivelyputting LED bulbs in a fluorescent fixture that will use the same electricity the old fluorescent bulbs did. I followed various YouTube videos, cutting out the ballast and rewiring, but only a couple of them actually worked, and some fried the bulbs. The retrofit bulbs vary in terms of whether they have both contacts at one end, or one on each end etc

  8. I upgraded my shop to LED about 2 years ago.

    You have another channel on YouTube?

  9. I’ve always wanted to get my shop onto adjustable temperature LEDs.

    I just think it’ll be massively handy to finish a board and be able to see what it looks like in a bunch of different conditions without moving around

  10. I watched this when it first came out, and good refresher info Marc! I bought some T8 LED retrofit tubes a while back and I'm about halfway through coverting. Heck I may even make a video showing one conversion lol. I'm curious, if American Green Lights mentioned, how much ceiling height played into lumen ratings. e.g need more lumens with a 12' ceiling vs not as much needed for 8'. – Jim

  11. Great info here. CRI was a new one for me, I'll definitely be able to use that later. Personally, I've always felt that color temperature is counter-intuitive. The higher the temp, the cooler the color. Have to remember to keep that straight when I'm looking at bulbs. Thanks for sharing (again)!

  12. You saying people don't know about WW offcuts and The Woodworking Morning Show?!

  13. LEDs are more efficient because they produce less heat. That's actually the only reason they're more efficient. It's also the reason $500 Dyson fan heaters are overpriced by about $480.

    Good information though, thanks.

  14. I remember this video!! I found this video two years ago when I was putting lights up in my shed!! Still good 😃 👍

  15. Sometimes camera sensors pick up completely unexpected colors. Here's an example: http://randomer.net/stuff/sodium-polyacrylate-brains.jpg The beaker with what looks orange in the photo was actually pink! It's a mix of propylene glycol and water with a drop of food coloring. In the spoon was sodium polyacrylate beads that I'd soaked for a couple days. It was one of the tests I did for making freezer packs. I ended up using 40/60 (the blue one) instead of 60/40 because water is a lot cheaper than propylene glycol.

  16. WARNING: LED Lighting is bad for you. Stick with the T-8s. Sometimes looking into the sun isn't fun! Don't believe me (because you don't want to) and research all aspects of lighting and not just how bright it is or how cost effective. Think of your health too.

  17. Just completed my workshop. I had 20 5ft fluorescents costing me a fortune to run. But as you said up until recently led not really an option. Now here in the UK you can purchase an exact replica of the Florescent tube in Led. All you do is remove the cover and bye pass the ballast, and wire direct to one end cap ignoring the other, then fit the new led. It took me about 15mins per light fitting. I am delighted.

  18. One thing that a lot of places don’t have is light sources at workbench height. That way you get less shaddows and you can shine a light underneath workbenches and on vertical surfaces.

  19. I see that you have two other channels listed on your main page, but they are both live streams. Is it one of them that is the second channel you're referring to?

  20. Thanks for this! I'm in the process of converting a small barn at the house I just bought into my shop. This will definitely come in useful!

  21. This was really interesting, even for a guy like me that isn't a novice at lighting. Well done.

  22. I helped my parents repaint their two car garage walls stark white and then they purchased two large 360 corn cob LED bulbs…the lumens are what I imagine standing on the surface of the sun might be like.

  23. Some dimmable panel lights are configured to require an extra set of wires for the 0-volt dimmer controller. There are panel lights designed to not require the extra wires to be installed. The specifications need to be carefully read. The units with the 0-10 volt dimmers wires may cost less, but there is an installation consideration..

  24. We just did a similar upgrade in our shop a few months back. Though the lighting was a little dim and thought, plywouldn't I?

  25. Look for the fixtures with a light diffuser otherwise they will "blind you" if you should look up at them the ones that Marc shows in his image are the ones to avoid, having said that the video is 2 years old and most now come with a diffuser.

  26. I upgraded my shop with led’s a few months ago. One of the best upgrades I have ever done. Harbor freight has a great led fixture with 5000 lumens that replaces 4 fluorescent tubes with much better light. They plug onto a regular outlet so after insulation you can move them around any time. Similar fixtures are available on Amazon with the extra bonus of being able to link many fixtures together on a single outlet. Well worth the time and money.

  27. I converted my wood working shop to LED lighting and it is amazing how much brighter this bulb is. My local electric company helped by paying a portion of the bill for the conversion. The color balance is incredible. I highly recommend LED bulbs.

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