LED Shop Lights

Shop lights are not only used to light up small task areas or work benches, they are also used in large garages, workshops, utility rooms, and shops. The lights usually hang from the ceiling via hooks or chains.

LED shop lights are rapidly gaining popularity because of their numerous benefits. The dated, decades-old shop lights have components such as massive steel reflectors and heavy ballasts in metallic enclosures. LEDs are designed to replace older fluorescent shop lights whose efficiency and lifespan pale in comparison.

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Advantages of Shop Lights

Easy to install since you do not need to conduct extensive electrical work or to tamper with wires.

Shop lights are very flexible and adjustable. Their height or placement position can be adjusted to suit the space where they are installed.
The design ensures that little light is wasted because they are usually installed exactly where the light is required the most.

How to Choose the Right Shop  Lights

Picking the right shop lights for your application can make the difference between high-quality illumination and poor, dim lighting. It can impact not only the safety of your workers but the efficiency of the tasks carried therein.

 

Before choosing your shop lights, you should first of all know:

 

  • The height of the building’s ceiling from the ground
  • The time the shop lights will be required to run
  • That older inefficient shop lights can easily be retrofitted with energy-efficient LED shop lights

 

In processing plants, factories, or warehouses, high bay lights should be installed as they are designed for ceilings that are 20ft to 40ft high. These lights provide high-quality, intense light that can sufficiently light up a broad area. They are also used to illuminate warehouses, gyms, and recreational facilities.

 

High bay lights are also installed in event centers and conference halls or hangars with high, cavernous roofs. These shop lights provide light with little glare that evenly illuminates the areas below it. Conventional shop light fixtures use prismatic reflective accessories to create diffused light that is perfect for casting light on elevated objects or shelves.

 

These multidirectional lamps use aluminum reflectors to direct light down to the task areas to generate adequate light and reduce light wastage as well. Low bay shop lights are designed for spaces with 12-20ft high ceilings. They require less lumens than their high bay counterparts.

LED Warehouse Lights
Before (left) and After (right) conversion to our LED Shop Lights.

Different Types of LED Shop Lights

New Shop Light fixtures

 

These units are comprised of LED bulbs integrated into new light fixtures. The older shop lights and fixtures are gotten rid of and new LED shop lights and fixtures are installed in their place. The LED light fixtures are usually decommissioned at the end of their long work life.

 

LED Shop Light Retrofits

 

Retrofits are typically comprised of a LED head and driver. The bulbs are therefore replaceable. For instance, a LED replacement tube can replace a fluorescent tube while its driver can replace the ballast.

Most businesses prefer new LED lights over retrofits because they are up-to-date and have a sleek, attractive look. LED shop light retrofits may also have certain limitations that might hinder their electrical or mechanical integration with the preexisting fixtures. This could adversely impact the overall performance of the light.

The shop light sector is awash with older types of shop lights that require retrofits. This has triggered extensive research and development to ensure that the LED retrofits work better with older fixtures, cutting down both installation and labor costs.

 

Are new LED shop lights better for your application? They are if:

 

  • You are looking for high energy and light production efficiency
  • You want easy-to-install plug and play luminaires that have a modern design
  • You do not have preexisting older type shop lights – you’re installing the lights in a new application
  • You have the budget needed to purchase and install new LED shop lights

 

LED shop light retrofits are perfect for you if:

 

  • You have older shop light fixtures that are inefficient and consume a lot of energy
  • You are looking for an affordable option of adopting LED technology
  • You are waiting for newer LED light technologies to be introduced
  • You are willing to pay an electrician to rewire your older light fixtures to either remove or bypass the ballasts.

 

What to Look for When Buying Shop Lights

 Light Output

The light output of LED lights is commonly measured in lumens. Conventional light sources were purchased according to watts. The higher the wattage, the brighter the bulbs were. Lumens were of little concern back then, but as low-wattage light sources that produced quality light were introduced, lumens became an essential part of light bulb purchase.

And as advancements continue to be made in LED technology, LED shop lighting has become more efficient, giving quality, uniform light for very little wattage. The lights have also become more affordable. LEDs now offer superior light for less than half the wattage of conventional lights. Wattage, as a measurement for quality light, has become invalid and lumens (and luminous efficacy) have taken over.

To know how bright a light source is, there are a few things you should keep in mind: 

  • The brightness of the light at its source
  • How much of the light illuminates objects a distance away from the light source

 

Luminous Efficacy

 

A light source's luminous efficacy describes its ability to emit light using a specific energy draw. It is calculated in lumens per watt. The higher the value is, the better the bulb is at energy efficiency.

Luminous efficacy is used to determine a light source’s efficiency and helps dictate how many light fixtures are required in a particular space. HID shop lights have lower levels of luminous efficacy than LED shop lights, which means that they are less energy-efficient light sources.

 

Foot Candles

 

Foot-candles are units of illuminance used by most lighting professionals to measure the appropriate levels of light required in outdoor and indoor spaces. They are used to measure the intensity of light as it falls on a task area or an object.

While lumens are used to quantify the intensity and power of light emitted by a light source, foot-candles are used to quantify the intensity produced by the light as it hits an object.

Light tends to decrease in intensity as you move away from the source, even though the light source remains bright. An object that is illuminated by the light at a distance receives much less light than an object that’s near the light source. To ensure that all objects in a location receive the same amount of light, you either have to move them closer to the light source or increase the number of light sources. 

In lighting, 1 foot-candle = 1 lumen for every square foot. Foot-candles are photometry units from the English standard of measurements. The SI equivalent of a foot-candle is known as the lux.

One lux equals one lumen per square meter of space lit. If you want to convert FCs to lux, the equation used is 1 FC = 10.76 lux.

Illuminance

The illuminance of any given space is affected by the location, orientation, and the size and shape of its light sources. Illuminance is the quantity of visible light that illuminates a specific point on a surface (plane) from all directions above the surface (plane). Lux is the SI unit for illuminance.

 

 

Color Temperature

 

In layman's terms, color temperature describes the color appearance of light. Most white light produced by light sources has a tinge of other colors in it. Warm white light colors have a yellow/red/orange glow while cool white lights have a blue tint to them. Between cool light and warm light lies daylight white, the most popular of all light colors.

Since the terms cool and warm are very imprecise measurements, there is a more accurate color measurement system used. It is known as the Kelvin scale. Kelvin is an SI unit of thermodynamic temperature.

While light colors are measured in temperature, light does not have a temperature per se. Color temperatures are derived from the color changes a piece of metal like iron goes through when being heated. The wide range of colors that the metal produces help describe the various shades of white light.

When iron is heated, it glows red hot, and upon further heating, it begins to take on an orange hue. As heat increases, the iron melts and its color changes to bright white then to bluish white. At 2,700º Kelvin, the iron glow is a warm yellow color referred to as warm white.

HID shop lights usually produce warm white to daylight white colors. These colors are known as warm colors simply because artists refer to oranges, yellows, and reds as warm colors. Blue is referred to as a cool color. The CCT measurement may appear contradictory. A high color temperature denotes a cool color (blue), while a low CCT represents a warm color (yellow, red, orange).

Which CCT Is Suitable For Your Application?

  • 2000K to 3000K
    This light is soft and yellow and is perfect for recreational and rest areas in the outdoors as well as guest lounges, restrooms, and dining areas.
  • 3100K to 4500K
    This light is white in appearance and works well for task lighting in workspaces, offices, and food processing facilities.
  • 4600K to 6500K
    This light has a daylight-white quality to it and a blue tint. It is used in work areas where complex tasks are carried out, such as garages and workshops. High color temperatures increase color acuity and color perception since there are no warm colors like yellow to introduce a bias.
  • 6500K and above
    This is a bluish-white kind of light that is perfect for task lighting. Extremely bright in appearance, it is commonly used to illuminate jewelry and for display lighting. It accentuates the sparkle of precious jewels, and when used in car dealerships, it highlights the colors of cars, making them more enticing to potential buyers.

 

LED shop lights have a wide range of CCTs than HID shop lights, occupying 2200K to 7000K. The color temperatures of HID shop lights are usually dictated by the components used.

 

Color Rendering Index

To describe how competent a light source is at revealing an object's colors to the human eye, the color rendering index is used. CRI is also used to define how accurately a light source reveals subtle color shades and variations in objects to the eye. It is a scale with values ranging between 0 and 100 that describes the color rendering accuracy of lights in comparison to a reference source of light – such as sunlight or blackbody radiation, which have a CRI of 100.

Lights with high CRIs render colors better. LED shop lighting has CRI values of 90 and above and is therefore excellent at color rendering. These lights can be used to light up tasks that require excellent color perception. HPS shop lamps have low CRI values of 25 and below while MH lamps have CRI values of 60-65.

If the shop lights you’re getting will be installed in areas where color discrimination is not of utmost importance, they can have CRI values of 80. However, areas that have a lot of activities whose success and efficiency is hinged on accurate color rendition require energy-efficient LEDs with CRI values of 90 and higher.

 

 

Light Control Features

 

According to Energy Star, at least 30% of all energy utilized in buildings is wasted or inefficiently used. Light systems can help enhance energy-saving measures through light control features. Light controls can also help increase security while enhancing the comfort of the occupants in the building.

While LED shop lights can help save up to 80% in energy costs, light controls can help cut down on energy wastage by up to 60% or more. Light controls are used to enhance energy efficiency while giving the building owner control of the lighting.

 

Features of Light Control Systems

 

  • An on/off switch
  • Dimmers for high and low light output adjustment
  • Flexible light control that meets the visual needs of the user of the light
  • Automation that cuts down on energy use, improving sustainability
  • Light color adjustment
  • Light monitoring, measurement, and data reporting features
  • The altering of mood or atmosphere by using light to create varied types of ambiance
  • The change of the appearance of a space
  • Reduction of glare that causes visual discomfort at work
  • Ease of maintenance and management of light fixtures through controls

 

Types of Light Controls

 

  • Switch
    This basic light control feature is a switch, that when flipped on, completes a circuit that allows the flow of electricity. When the switch is flipped off, the circuit is broken, disrupting the flow of power, which turns the lights off.
  • Dimming
    When this basic switch is used, current is altered, raising or lowering a light fixture’s light output.
  • CCT and Color Control some LED shop lights have adjustable CCTs and their color temperatures can be adjusted according to the time of day. Through the use of tunable LED lights, CCTs can be manipulated not only to enhance the rendering of color but also the ambiance of the space.
  • Automatic Control
    This control uses signals from light or occupancy sensors depending on time, light levels, or occupancy of the space. It helps cut down energy use drastically and is ideal for management systems.
  • Intelligence Systems
    These systems depend more on microprocessors for light adjustments. The microprocessors – or light controllers – use their algorithms to make decisions on light adjustment levels.

 

Top Benefits of LED Shop Lights

They Are Cool

 

Up to 25% of the energy produced by most conventional shop lights is generated as heat energy rather than light. Fluorescent bulbs heat mercury to provide light and some of the energy they pull is converted into heat. LEDs do not have an oxidative process similar to traditional bulbs because they use semiconductors to emit light energy.

Older types of bulbs have to get hotter to produce more light, but LEDs have minimal heat production to increase light efficiency. LED lights can therefore be used in cold environments without adverse effects, unlike HID lamps and fluorescents.

The reduced heat generation of LED lights does a lot of good to a building's HVAC system. It no longer has to work as hard in summer to cut down the heat in a building.

 

High-Quality of Light

 

The light produced by LED shop lights has high CRI values and provides visual comfort. LEDs render colors accurately and are very well-suited to the retail industry where accurate color rendering is critical for sales.

 

Low Maintenance Costs

 

Since LED shop lights last 10-25 times longer than traditional shop lights, you will need to do fewer replacements. In a commercial outfit, this will pay back in terms of lower labor costs. You won’t have to hire people or equipment every now and then to replace hard-to-reach shop lights. You will also spend less money purchasing replacement bulbs and have few disruptions at work.

 

Flexibility

 

LED shop lights are dynamic and well-suited for any environment. They are rugged in build, and since they are versatile, they can be used in a myriad of applications. Additionally, they do not have the encumbrance of bulky and fragile glass casings and tubes, so they can be placed in impact-prone zones without damage. There are numerous LED shop light retrofits for older bulb fixtures, which makes transitioning to LED technology both easy and affordable.

 

They Are Sustainable

 

LED shop lighting runs for years, cutting down energy costs, reducing energy wastage, and decreasing waste in landfills. The lights have no toxic substances in them and are less hazardous not only to the environment (when disposed), but also on human, plant and animal health.

 

Paybacks can be relatively short

 

This is dependent on the 1+1+1 rule  with LED payback - Hours of Use + Cost of Electricity + Rebates.

Rebates may be the least important of the three, and high hours of use and high cost of electricity will dwarf the benefits of the rebate. Everyone likes a rebate, but we have created many proposals for our customers where payback was under 1 year even without rebates. Contact us and we can help walk you through the math.

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