I just swapped out my old, dim fluorescent workshop lights for bright white LED shop lights and the difference is like night and day… LITERALLY! I wish I made the switch years ago. Today I’m sharing 7 reasons why you NEED to replace your old workshop lights with LED shop lights.
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You guys know why the site is called “Saws on Skates”, right? My workshop is small (only about 10×13) and all of my tools are mounted on wheels to maximize floor space. Saws on Skates is a wink and a nod to my small, mobile workshop.
You would think it would be easy to light a tiny workshop, but despite the small size, my workshop has always been dark. When I moved into my house, the previous owner had installed five shop lights in the workshop, but the space was dark. It was like I was working in a cave. I installed four additional shop lights. It was still dark. I painted the walls gloss white to reflect the light. And it was still dark.
I noticed just how dark my shop was when I started taking the building process photos for my furniture projects. I tried using a clamp light to better light my projects. But I had to keep moving the light around attempting to provide the best possible light for the photo. Move the light, take a pic. Move the light again, take another pic. Arrrrgggh! “This is CRAZY!!! There has to be a better way!”
I did some research and found many DIYers were using LED shop lights to light their workshops. People were in LOVE with how bright the LED shop lights are compared to their old, dim fluorescent workshop lights. I decided to put the lights to the test and I’m here to say, I’m CONVINCED! I switched to these LED shop lights and today I’m sharing why you need to make the switch too!
7 Reasons Why You NEED to Replace Your Old Workshop Lights with LED Shop Lights
Turning on fluorescent shop lights is like watching the sunrise… on a pea soup foggy morning. You flip the switch and those long buzzing tubes take their sweet ole time to warm up and eventually they start emitting some dim light. But, flip the switch on the LED shop lights and BAM!!! It’s like the sun instantly landed in your workshop!!
Rattle and Hum
You know what you hear when you turn on a fluorescent shop light? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz It sounds like a bunch of bug zappers hanging from your ceiling. You know what you hear when you turn on LED shop lights? Nothing. Zip. Nada. You hear silence and that silence is music to my ears. All of that fluorescent light buzzing drives me buggy!!!
No Bulbs to Change
Have you ever changed a fluorescent light bulb? Getting those little pins lined up in the holders is like threading a needle in the dark. You think you get those little pins in position, try to rotate the bulb and the pins pop out of the holder on one side and on the other side the pins get jammed in the holder. You keep inserting the bulb, attempting to rotate, remove the bulb and start again. It takes about 17 tries before it will go in.
Do you know how to replace LED bulbs? You don’t. The box for this LED shop light says it can last up to 45 years! 45 YEARS!!! Just think about that… how long do your fluorescent bulbs normally last?
No Bulbs to Store
Because LED shop lights don’t have any bulbs to replace, you don’t need to have any extra bulbs on hand. Which means extra space in your workshop. And I don’t know about you, but I can always use more space in my tiny workshop.
No Bulbs to Recycle
Because there are no bulbs to replace, there are no bulbs to recycle. And yes, those fluorescent bulbs are supposed to be recycled. No, they can’t be used like light sabers and yes, I know they make a fun popping sound when you break them. The trouble is they contain mercury and when you break them, the mercury is released into the air. By the way, the metal housings of your old fluorescent fixtures should also be recycled.
Let There Be Light
Here’s the real advantage of LED shop lights… they’re SUPER BRIGHT!!! I knew my fluorescent shop lights were dim, but I didn’t realize how dim they were until I replaced them with LED shop lights.
This may sound crazy, but I actually feel like I have more room in my workshop. The corners of my workshop were so poorly lit that I felt forced to stay under the fluorescent light. When I first flipped the switch on the LED shop lights I thought “There’s some unused space in this corner… why didn’t I ever install some storage ? Oh yeah, I couldn’t see it!” Then I thought “I can actually see the pencil marks I just made on this board – this is AMAZING!!!”
I’ve read there is significant energy savings of using LED shop lights vs. fluorescent shop lights. I’m not qualified to compute the energy savings, so I don’t feel comfortable commenting on it. But I will share this…
Let’s say you buy five fluorescent light fixtures (about $15 each or $75 for five). We’ll also need to buy some bulbs. Let’s say the bulbs last three years (it could be more or less depending on use, temperature, etc.) The LED shop lights can last up to 45 years, so during that time we would need to buy fluorescent bulbs 15 times. A case of bulbs is about $30 and if we buy them 15 times, we’ll end up spending $450 on bulbs. Over the course of time we could potentially spend $525 on a fluorescent light set up.
Let’s say the LED fixtures are about $55, or $275 for all five. Compare that to the cost of fluorescent lights we end up saving about 48% over the course of time. Yes, the initial investment is more, but over time you would actually end up saving. Plus, you can’t beat the brightness of the LED shop lights!
So you want to see the LED shop lights in action, right?! Well, here’s the comparison. Before you check out the pic, I want to be totally transparent with you. This comparison isn’t quite apples to apples. I took the before pic (on the left) and then started removing the fluorescent light fixtures, when I got to the fixture above the band saw/dust collector I noticed the bulbs were dead. At this point it was too late to take a new pic. In the after pic (on the right) the new LED light is installed and the light is on.
Are you still a skeptic? I would encourage you to replace just one of your old fluorescent shop lights with an LED shop light. I know you will be impressed with the difference!
LED shop lights will make a HUGE difference in your workshop. They start immediately; they’re quiet; there’s no bulbs to replace, store or reycle; they’re SUPER BRIGHT and they will save you money over time. You need to give ’em a try!
Have you switched to LED lights in your workshop? Tell me about your experience in the comments. Oh, and if you found this information helpful, would you please pin it to Pinterest? Thank you!