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Dead 5 ft fluorescent tube - replace with LED fittings?

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Richard_C

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My double garage/half workshop has a 5ft fluorescent near one end and a pair of 60w spots at the other - filched from a bed headboard I ripped out the day we arrived. Both have been here 25+ years and I have replaced bulbs as necessary. The garage has a proper roof and the lights are fitted to the joists - no ceiling. The tube has packed up - might be starter might be tube itself - so I thought I might upgrade the whole lot. I do have task lights over the bench and lathe but as I age, more light can't be a bad thing.

I'm thinking of 2x LED battens, something like this:


Should be easy to wire in as a straight replacement. Aside from cost, which is more than just getting a new tube but is easily affordable, are there any downsides?

Thanks
 

Ollie78

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I recommend the V-tac ones in 6400k ( like daylight) I put a bunch in my workshop, they are ip65 rated and easy to wire in. I think they were 35w but they are easily as bright as twin flourescent tubes.
Pretty cheap too can't remember if ebay or amazon now.

Ollie
 

Sporky McGuffin

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The only potential disadvantage is slightly reduced angle of coverage, fluorescent tubes being 360° emissive. That said I had LED battens in my last workshop, and have them in the new one, and in both the lighting is very even.
 
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Chico

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You will not regret it, you get used to them after a while but I changed mine and couldn't believe I worked in the light I had before. I went for the LEDs that you can change over batons. I think mine just came from B&Q, 2 twin fittings.
 

AES

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I THINK (NOT sure) that we have similar LED "tubes" here to what's been described above.

They're a straight 1 for 1 replacement for the original flouro tubes. Remove the old tube, PLUS the starter, fit the new LED tube PLUS a new starter (it's some sort of "special" apparently) but no problem, it comes in the pack together with the new LED tube, and "Bob's yer Uncle".

No idea of the manufacturer though - the ones I'm talking about are under the local DIY chain's own label, no doubt imported from China.

Better light (you can have a choice of "warm" or "white daylight here - I went for the latter) and apart from slightly re-orienting one of the battens to get a better light fall, absolutely no problems at all.

The equivalent of about a tenner each here, and immediate start up every time (no pause or flicker like the old flouros). AND they're supposed to be cheaper to run too (though I don't scrupulously check the quarterly bill, so haven't noticed a big difference).

About the only down side I've found so far is that because I have an odd assortment of battens from when we moved here, almost 30 years ago now, some of the less-common lengths that were found easily in flouro tubes don't seem to be available in the modern LED tubes - well not here anyway.

Based on my own experience, as above, I'd say go for it.

BTW, some time back I learnt from the wise folk here that if you do decide to stick to flouros for some reason, then when the flouro dies and you replace it with the same, you should always replace the starter as a matter of course. Here you have to buy that starter separately, but they're only a matter of a few bob.

HTH
 

Stuart Moffat

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Personally I would recommend getting away from the 360 long tube and get 600 x 600 led panels which shine light down and outwards north south east and west. If your joists happen to be 600 x 600 centres ( many are) you don’t need any special fittings. I fitted mine by routing a length of scrap to make an thin l shape. Cut it into short lengths about 100mm and screwed to the joists to create a lot the panels slide into. If you put up a pair(s) you find that shadowing disappears. I no longer have little spotlights to light the likes of my bandsaw blade.
 

Henniep

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I THINK (NOT sure) that we have similar LED "tubes" here to what's been described above.

They're a straight 1 for 1 replacement for the original flouro tubes. Remove the old tube, PLUS the starter, fit the new LED tube PLUS a new starter (it's some sort of "special" apparently) but no problem, it comes in the pack together with the new LED tube, and "Bob's yer Uncle".

No idea of the manufacturer though - the ones I'm talking about are under the local DIY chain's own label, no doubt imported from China.

Better light (you can have a choice of "warm" or "white daylight here - I went for the latter) and apart from slightly re-orienting one of the battens to get a better light fall, absolutely no problems at all.

The equivalent of about a tenner each here, and immediate start up every time (no pause or flicker like the old flouros). AND they're supposed to be cheaper to run too (though I don't scrupulously check the quarterly bill, so haven't noticed a big difference).

About the only down side I've found so far is that because I have an odd assortment of battens from when we moved here, almost 30 years ago now, some of the less-common lengths that were found easily in flouro tubes don't seem to be available in the modern LED tubes - well not here anyway.

Based on my own experience, as above, I'd say go for it.

BTW, some time back I learnt from the wise folk here that if you do decide to stick to flouros for some reason, then when the flouro dies and you replace it with the same, you should always replace the starter as a matter of course. Here you have to buy that starter separately, but they're only a matter of a few bob.

HTH
Just replaced my flourecent with LEDs. We, in south africa, also have the replacement LED tubes that fit into the old fittings . Highly recommended
 

Inspector

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When we built the house in 2016 I ordered LED baton fixtures much like the one you are contemplating direct from China. They were much more expensive then but have equaled out now. I like them because they are much thinner than fluorescent lights and they don't hum. For what it is worth mine are 1200mm long, 4000 lumen, 6000K and I have 16 in the 59 square meter shop.

One thing about direct replacement LED bulbs where you pull the ballast and rewire them, is that in some jurisdictions you nullify the certification of the fixture and may not be insured. It might be different in your countries but for the sake of a little more cash it isn't worth it to me to find out.

Pete
 

Oakay

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I THINK (NOT sure) that we have similar LED "tubes" here to what's been described above.

They're a straight 1 for 1 replacement for the original flouro tubes. Remove the old tube, PLUS the starter, fit the new LED tube PLUS a new starter (it's some sort of "special" apparently) but no problem, it comes in the pack together with the new LED tube, and "Bob's yer Uncle".

No idea of the manufacturer though - the ones I'm talking about are under the local DIY chain's own label, no doubt imported from China.

Better light (you can have a choice of "warm" or "white daylight here - I went for the latter) and apart from slightly re-orienting one of the battens to get a better light fall, absolutely no problems at all.

The equivalent of about a tenner each here, and immediate start up every time (no pause or flicker like the old flouros). AND they're supposed to be cheaper to run too (though I don't scrupulously check the quarterly bill, so haven't noticed a big difference).

About the only down side I've found so far is that because I have an odd assortment of battens from when we moved here, almost 30 years ago now, some of the less-common lengths that were found easily in flouro tubes don't seem to be available in the modern LED tubes - well not here anyway.

Based on my own experience, as above, I'd say go for it.

BTW, some time back I learnt from the wise folk here that if you do decide to stick to flouros for some reason, then when the flouro dies and you replace it with the same, you should always replace the starter as a matter of course. Here you have to buy that starter separately, but they're only a matter of a few bob.

HTH
The cylinder in an LED batten light is called a 'fuse' rather than 'starter'
 

Richard_C

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Thanks all for input. Seems like there is no downside to LEDs in principle.

I've looked at the straightforward (and cheaper) tube replacement, didn't know they existed, but I've decided to put 2 new fittings in to replace the fluoro and the old spots. I'm also at the age (almost 70) where I want things I fix to stay fixed - can't imagine I will be wanting to mess with light fittings in 10 years time. So decision 1, whole new fittings.

Then I looked at panels, attractive option but I would need 4 or 6 because of the layout - fairly high line of racking down half of middle, 5 ft battens will span but I would need at least 2 panels each side of the garage, spacings not quite right so some messing about would be needed.

Plan is to get 2x 5ft'ish LED batten fittings and if I find I need to add more, or add a panel, I will. It will give me 14,000 lumens which is double what I have now. Neat mind would put battens at 90 degrees to joists but when I come to it I might go 30 degrees 'off' with one one way and the other the other to reduce dark corners. Will see what its like when I come to fit them.

All good ideas and all worth thinking about. Glad I asked the question because it made me work through the options.

Off to press the 'order now' button, need to get on with it because the fluoro really is proper dead despite ministrations with starter, popping a different tube in and contact cleaner spray.
 

delboy

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I have just replaced my lights with Reeve led battens from screwfix product number 5440r
these give excellent lighting for my workshop.
 

Richard_C

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Just finishing this off - ordered from Toolstation yesterday, their standard next day delivery. Came about lunchtime, bright day (cold though) so fitted them without drama. Stunning difference.

Downside? Yes, all the odd bits I put away in dark corners to deal with another day, no dark corners any more so you can see all the junk. Need a day of tidying.

Note to self: why didn't I do this years ago?
 
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