Quantcast

Workshop LED lighting making me motion sick

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

MacGyver

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Location
Saffron Walden
Hi,

A few months ago I fitted four LED batten lights to my single garage workshop. Turns out, I cannot be in there for more than 15 minutes without feeling motion sick. I figure it is the imperceptible flickering (which is noticeable when taking a video with my phone).

Lights are these: Integral LED Lightspan Slim LED Batten - 4ft - 4000K

Does anyone else suffer from this? Any ideas for a solution? I figure I will have to replace the lights but what with? I thought a good brand like Integral wouldn't be a problem.

Any ideas appreciated.
 

Myfordman

AKA 9Fingers
Joined
19 Jan 2013
Messages
2,289
Reaction score
96
Location
Southampton area
A LED replacment tube in an old fashioned conventional fluorescent fitting will only flicker at 100Hz and should be the same as a conventional tube.

Are you ok with normal tubes?
 

Oddbod70

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2020
Messages
170
Reaction score
71
Location
Hampshire
I have LED battens and (luckily) I don't seem to be affected. I believe the usual symptom is a headache of some form rather than motion sickness. Unless they are direct current (most are not) they will flicker. Our eyes can detect it, but you won't consciously notice it and most people won't be affected.

I'm not sure what to do about it really. You could try an "off-grid" 12v DC lighting setup, but it's expensive, and I'm not sure how much light you'd get. Alternatively ordinary fluorescent tubes show the effect less (but do still flicker). Maybe good old fashioned incandescent fittings are the answer.
 

Fitzroy

All the gear...
Joined
12 Mar 2013
Messages
1,157
Reaction score
89
Location
Aberdeen
I do not get sick but i really notice the strobe effect from some LEDs, which I have had to replace. Phillips bulbs seem to be the least likely to display flicker.

I have recently changed a bathroom cabinet from fluorescent tubes to LEDs. I used self adhesive LED strip tape which I mounted on a backer board, powered from a 240V - 12V DC LED transformer. In a bathroom cabinet I used 6m of tape which gives out about 200lm. Its very hands on as you are basically making a big flat bulb yourself but no flicker as they are DC units and pretty cheap at about £10 for the LED strip light and £10 for the transformer/driver.

Fitz,
 

Bm101

Lean into the curve.
Joined
19 Aug 2015
Messages
3,941
Reaction score
270
Location
Herts.
Panels were my first thought too.
I get it occasionally with what seems to be a small but definite range of flickering. It makes me profoundly irritated more than feel ill but thankfully whatever range triggers it seems small. If I'm in a room with others and mention it quite often they seem unaware.
In the film Fight Club (bear with me here....) there's several themes that surface through the film like subliminal advertising. The guy in the film works in a cinema and splices pornographic frames into family films. It's all part of the film but I remember watching it with friends. We were watching the end credits and..
'Woah! Wtf! Did anyone just see that?'
General bemusement followed.
'There was a guy with his D*** out. Right there! Did no one see it?!? Really!??'
No one in the room had seen it. General laughter and mockery in my direction.
'I'm telling you. Give me the zapper!'
It took a while to get it paused on the exact frame but there it was. Clear as day. Obviously put in there to mirror the film.
We played it through again and no one could spot it. Apart from me.
I was also at a pub once and a Scottish (not joking) mate dropped a fiver and I caught it with one hand while drinking a pint of guinness with the other before he even turned his head. (F*** Me! he said staring at me and quite possibly slowly backing off a bit ). 🤪
No idea what it all means but obviously people read light/movement signals at different speeds.
I'm probably just using my allotted life span up really fast. :unsure:
Hope the panels work for you. Good luck.


 

Fitzroy

All the gear...
Joined
12 Mar 2013
Messages
1,157
Reaction score
89
Location
Aberdeen
Bumped into this, interesting reading.

.
 

Sheptonphil

Scrumpy junkie
Joined
29 Dec 2012
Messages
1,001
Reaction score
72
Location
Somerset
@Myfordman Yes fine with normal tubes.

@Oddbod70 Yes I think constant current is the key.

I have ordered some of these: 1200mm x 300mm LED Panel Light (4000k)

I will update this thread on whether it solves the problem or not.

Thanks
For a workshop I’d have gone for (and did for my workshop build), the 6000k light units The 4000k are a warm light, the 6000k are daylight, IMO a better light for working with materials, measuring tapes and sharp tools in a workshop.
 

Inspector

Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
Joined
18 Jun 2006
Messages
1,696
Reaction score
114
Location
Saskatoon, SK., Canada
I put LED batten lights in my shop when it was built 4 years ago. I have no idea whether brands makes a difference or not as mine were a direct purchase from China and came with their own name on the sticker. There is no flicker nor any signs of strobing at any of the machines. Sorry you have a problem but I don't know might stop it.

Pete
 

Retired

Established Member
Joined
24 Jun 2012
Messages
72
Reaction score
45
Location
Fenay Bridge. Huddersfield.
Hi,

Sorry I can't help with the original question but regarding LED panel lights I installed five 2' square LED panel lamps to replace the old strip lighting; the panels cost £150 and I wish I hadn't bothered; floor to ceiling height in my workshop is only about 7' and because of this the LED panels are directional with little spread of light other than the area directly below each; with all five switched on the workshop looks well lit until I want to focus on something like a scribed line on metal in the vice; and for lathe work I need additional lighting; had I known I'd have just replaced the tubes in the strip lights but not with LED tubes.

Kind regards, Colin.

LED lights_0002.JPG


The workshop looks well lit up but I managed better with the old fluorescent strip lights. The LED panels don't cause any health issues with me like headaches; perhaps they would work better on a higher ceiling?

LED lights_0003.JPG
 

Sheptonphil

Scrumpy junkie
Joined
29 Dec 2012
Messages
1,001
Reaction score
72
Location
Somerset
Hi,

Sorry I can't help with the original question but regarding LED panel lights I installed five 2' square LED panel lamps to replace the old strip lighting; the panels cost £150 and I wish I hadn't bothered; floor to ceiling height in my workshop is only about 7' and because of this the LED panels are directional with little spread of light other than the area directly below each; with all five switched on the workshop looks well lit until I want to focus on something like a scribed line on metal in the vice; and for lathe work I need additional lighting; had I known I'd have just replaced the tubes in the strip lights but not with LED tubes.

Kind regards, Colin.

The workshop looks well lit up but I managed better with the old fluorescent strip lights. The LED panels don't cause any health issues with me like headaches; perhaps they would work better on a higher ceiling?
your workshop looks much the same size as mine and DBT85’s and we are running 10 and 12 of the 2ft panels respectively. These are 6500k daylight units. My ceiling is 8ft and the spread with the ten of them is fine. I do fine marking and lathe work. I do have task lighting on the pillar drill and I do have it still for the lathe when I used to have twin flourescents should the need arise, but I haven’t found it necessary yet.
 
Last edited:

RickG

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2018
Messages
186
Reaction score
29
Location
Stortford, Herts, UK
Hi, I'm a Lighting Design Engineer by trade. Been doing this for about 25 years and I work with LED lighting. I'll post again later and fill you in with some basic facts about lighting. I'll try to get this done this evening.
 

Cabinetman

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
718
Reaction score
276
Location
Caistor lincolnshire
Hi, When I was fitting out my present workshop I remembered that somebody once told me that spinning blades etc could look as if they were stationary due to the strobe effect from fluorescent tubes, so we split the lighting into two circuits – I was lucky as I had three-phase power. I did look into fitting LEDs but it was a few years ago and they were too expensive. Ian S
 

RickG

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2018
Messages
186
Reaction score
29
Location
Stortford, Herts, UK
Workshop lighting: from a Lighting Engineer's experience - Part 1

When you first come to the conclusion that your workshop lighting isn't really quite enough anymore it's easy to put this down to our eyesight failing and a need to install new fittings. This isn't always the case.

It is true that when you get to 80 years old the light your brain receives is around 40% of what you would have seen as a younger person. It's also true that the vision an 80 year old will see is much more yellow in colour than when younger. So when you get older you will need more light to see what you're doing. You may also prefer light sources that are a colder, blue tinge, rather than a warmer, more yellow tone.

If the decrease in light isn't likely to be brought on by age issues, then take a look at the lighting you have. After all, you were presumably happy with it once?
Assuming it's fluorescent lighting you have:

Look at how fat the tubes are, if they're over 1" in diameter, then replace the fittings. These are T12 tubes. The gear in the fittings are old and very inefficient. You'll also struggle to buy new lamps anyway.

If the tubes are about 25mm or 1" in diameter they're T8. These are readily available still, and will be for a few more years. Look at the ends of the tubes. Are they going black? If so, you could get a significant increase in light level by simply fitting new tubes.

All light sources lose light output over time. This isn't a new phenomenon. This is true for every type of lighting including LED. So if the lamps are old consider fitting new lamps.

Before you do fit new lamps also consider the fittings. If they are T8 type they can fit into 2 types. Look to see if your fittings have a round drum-shaped starter switch. If they do, then change the fittings.

What the starter switch tells me is the fittings are older and are flashing at a rate of around 50Hz.. It's these fittings that present a danger of stroboscopic effect.

If they don't have the started switch you could change the lamps, depending on the general condition of the fittings. Fluorescent lighting without the starter will be "High Frequency" circuits. These flash at 400hz So makingthe strobe effect less likely. They're also a lot more efficient than the older fittings.

Other ways to increase light levels:
1. Make sure your lighting is clean.
2. Paint your ceiling and walls white. This may not always be feasible, but if you can do this is can increase the light level in the room by up to 50%
 

RickG

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2018
Messages
186
Reaction score
29
Location
Stortford, Herts, UK
LED Lights. From a Lighting Engineer - Part 2

Not all LED Lights are the same. There are cheap fittings and expensive ones and you do get what you pay for. That said; i design lighting for education, hospitals and offices etc. So please be aware that my dim view of cheaper fittings will be coloured by this. My customers demand long fitting life and many hours use. You will have to work with your budget and hours of use.

Heat affects the life of LEDs. Workshops will often be cool. So this will help increase fitting life.Add to this you won't be working 15+ hours a day.

Okay, so now some info on LED lighting.

Most LED lighting bought from an electrical wholesaler, Online LED resseller or retail outlet will be fittings sourced from a factory selling fittings to the market for less than £5 each. They will often have a 5 year warranty, but you should read the terms thoroughly. Many wil be "guaranteed against 100% failure" So if any of the Less are still working, no matter how dim, you won't be able to claim.

The OP @MacGyver talked about feeling motion sickness. This will probably be due to strange instability in the LED driver, or the LED boards. The power supply may not be putting out a good clean output, causing a bad reaction in the board.

Someone here mentioned Philips Lighting. Philips make good lamps and Panels. So do buy them with confidence. (I don't work for Philips).

Other good suppliers are: Tridonic, Whitecroft, Apollo Lighting and Thorlux.

LED Panels.
There are good panels and bad. Good ones will be priced at around £50+.
All LED panels have the LEDs located, facing sideways around the edge. This doesn't give a lot if space for the LEDs to sit. There also isn't going to be much metal there for providing a heatsink to dissipate heat from the LED components. This heat will shorten the life.

Add to this the fact that the maker will want to get as much light as they can from the limited number of LEDs. So they will crank up the circuit current to make the LEDs work harder; shorter life. So if you're offered 600x600 panels with over 3500 lumen output, be aware the life may not be impressive. Yet, again, if you only use the workshop a few hours a week, then this may not be an issue.

LED Replacement tubes.
These are not something I would ever recommend. These generally require the mains voltage of 230v to be connected directly to the fluorescent lamp terminals. These lamp holders are designed to a voltage of nearer 20v after the starting surge voltage. So by installing these you're making an electrical decision I would consider brave.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please feel free to ask questions. If I have upset anyone who has just bought lighting, then I apologise, but I can only talk honestly.
 
Last edited:

Myfordman

AKA 9Fingers
Joined
19 Jan 2013
Messages
2,289
Reaction score
96
Location
Southampton area
Workshop lighting: from a Lighting Engineer's experience - Part 1




What the starter switch tells me is the fittings are older and are flashing at a rate of around 50Hz.. It's these fittings that present a danger of stroboscopic effect.
Just a minor correction. Basic fluorescent tubes flash at 100Hz on UK mains. They light on every half cycle of the mains and extinguish at the zero crossings every 10mS
 

RickG

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2018
Messages
186
Reaction score
29
Location
Stortford, Herts, UK
Hi Colin,
You're right about LED lighting being more direct. This also isn't helped if the light fittings have the LEDs at the perimeter of the panel. A better solution would be to have fittings more like these:

The LEDs are facing down rather than sideways. They also give a better spread. Maybe you can add 1 or 2 of these in critical places?
 

RickG

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2018
Messages
186
Reaction score
29
Location
Stortford, Herts, UK
Probably right. It's ages since I looked at fluorescent circuits. Most of my time now is on LED and controls.
Thank you.
 

MacGyver

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Location
Saffron Walden
I am happy to confirm that switching to the LED panels mentioned above has solved the problem. I can now work happily without feeling sick, just in time for winter!
 
Top