How to Upgrade Your Florescent Shop Lights to LED

Furniture & Lighting Home Workshop
How to Upgrade Your Florescent Shop Lights to LED

In this video from the ever-clever Chris Notap, Chris converts the fixtures for his T8 florescent shop lighting into LED tube-accepting fixtures. He runs through two methods of the upgrade. You can use a plug n’ play solution, which you simply install in the fixture like any other bulb, and then there’s a proper retrofit.

Plug n’ play is easy, but it leaves the ballast intact which will continue to consume energy even though it is not used. A retrofit involves removal of the ballast, some hardware replacement, and some rewiring. But all of this is fairly straightforward, as Chris so clearly demonstrates.

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Chris also experimented with bulbs of two different color temperatures, 4100K and 5000K. After living with each for a few days, he thought they were both great and a huge improvement over the old florescent bulbs. The 4100K is a bit softer and warmer, the 5000K a bit harsher/brighter. He says he would be happy with either color temp in his shop. He estimates a 20% improvement in light quality in his shop and these bulbs are rated at up to 50% less energy consumption than conventional tube lighting.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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