The Workbench: Episode 3 - Installing New LED Shop Lights.

Work on our new workshop is well on its way to completion, and I have been documenting the whole process for my YouTube channel. Back in October of 2015 I moved into a new (to me) home, and somehow managed to convince my significant other to let me turn the entire two-car garage into a workshop. While this was amazing news, I quickly realized that this endeavor was going to cost me more than I thought. 

Installing LED Shop Lights

As you can see from the images above, the garage does have a few pros, but several cons. Starting off, the garage floor is already epoxy coated, which helps keep the dust down, and prevents spills from staining the concrete below. The garage is also a little oversized for being a two-car design, and that works to my benefit. Finally, the garage has its own separate attic above it which can be used to store things we don’t want stored in the main attic. 

Unfortunately, the only source of light in the garage was a single “flood” light that was pointing towards the rear. The garage door opener also has a light, but with it being almost 30-years old, the light it produces is almost negligible. I looked into buying some 4-foot T-8 fluorescent “shop lights” but it quickly became apparent that I simply could not afford the correct lights at the quantity needed to  properly illuminate the entire garage for video production work. 

American Green Lights LED Shop Lights Install

This is because the standard “shop lights” sold at Home Depot or Lowes only run about $14 for the fixture and then another $8-10 for 3000k T-8 bulbs. These cheap shop light fixtures utilize a magnetic ballast that produces a lot of “noise” in the form of buzzing and a 60Hz flicker that would make higher speed video shooting almost impossible. More expensive shop light fixtures feature solid state ballast that fix these issues, but cost 4-5 times what the basic models cost. When you factor the cost of 5000k color temperature bulbs and the nicer fixtures, the cost to fully light the shop at the level I wanted ran about $675 total. 

Installing energy efficient LED shop lights

At that cost, I would have to wait 6-7 weeks before I could even purchase the fixtures, and to be quite honest, I never liked the idea of fluorescent lights all that much anyway. The cost of LED lighting for the workshop is still several times the cost of the cheaper fluorescent lighting though, but I knew I wanted to go the LED route. This led me to contacting several different LED shop lighting manufacturers looking for someone to sponsor the lighting. The first to reply was a company called American Green Lights, and their offer was more than I had hoped for. 

Installing American Green Lights PerformaLUX LED Shop Lights

In total, American Green Lights sent nine of their 4-foot 6000k 48W PerformaLUX shop lights. These lights feature a constant current driver, which means that the LEDs will not flicker like other models that are either AC powered or PWM driven. This makes them perfect for use in a workshop that is being designed for video production. Check out the video at the top of this post, and head over to our YouTube channel and click the Subscribe button! Also head over to American Green Lights’ Facebook page and show them some love for supporting our new workshop! 



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