//ArrowChat Code
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Upgrading lighting in my shop finally after years

  1. #1
    Billy Golightly's Avatar
    Billy Golightly is offline Always finding new and exciting ways to not give a hoot in hell Catch me if you can
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Live Oak, FL
    --
    15,015
    Blog Entries
    14

    Upgrading lighting in my shop finally after years

    I'm fortunate to have a pretty nice shop at home, but last few years have had very little time to actually work in it, and when I do, its inevitably is in the evenings or at night, and unfortunately the lighting in there has always been really poor...

    Here's a 6 year old thread where I was contemplating doing something and asking for advice back then if you want to reminisce or observe my snail pace of change; http://www.3wheelerworld.com/showthr...70-Shop-Lights

    And heres one over 10 years ago I was complaining about them: http://www.3wheelerworld.com/showthr...ght=shop+light

    So around the first of the year I got serious about researching and figuring out what I wanted to get the job done. I had actually talked to an electrician friend I know last summer and was advised I'd probably be looking at over $5,000 to put high bay UFO lights up, which seemed crazy to me. Part of the problem was the shop has a lot of stuff in it. A lot, and moving it all to use a scissor lift straight up was not really practical. There was also zero electrical circuits ran over head, and the bottom of the trusses were around 15ft up, so it wasn't exactly easy to reach and work on. I had decided the best thing to do was a rent a straight boom self propelled lift and just open the big shop door, the back door for draft, turn the heat buster fan on and try not to asphyxiate myself with the fumes. So I had that part mostly worked out...

    So onto the hardware:

    I had earlier converted several 8ft florescent lights to LED bulbs, and while they did get brighter, the glare off of them was pretty bad if you happened to look directly at them. So when I was considering UFO high bay lights I was really conscious of the glare factor. I found some on Amazon that not only had antiglare globes, they also had dimmer drivers built in. NOTE: Knowing what I know now, I would not do the antiglare globes and dimmer setup again unless I had much lower ceilings (10ft?), however I got it now. So then as I continued to think about this, I also wanted to run a dimmer, because to me in my mind, the worst part of this would be if I spent all this time and money putting up six lights and they'd be so bright and have such a glare I'd loath to turn them on and would hardly ever actually use them. So I bought six of them. They're 150w units, these are them: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I'm definitely not an electrician but I'm "fair" at doing that kind of work and I've become a fan of MC/Armor Clad cable (aka, bx if you're old school) because you literally just unroll it and strap it down. I can bend regular conduit but using MC is so much faster. So anyways, then I began trying to research and understand the proper way of running MC cable, but also having the two 0-10v dimming wires, for the drivers on these light fixtures. Having MC cable with 2 separate dimmer control wires running along side of it, but outside the metal clad housing seemed really chintzy and way of doing it. So after some more research I found a product made by Southwire called "MC-PCS Duo" that's basically 12g metal clad cable, with the 0-10v dimmer wires built into it, for the express purposes of exactly what I was doing. It was kind of expensive, but it seemed like it would do the job perfectly, and simply so I would minimize my time with the rental equipment.


    I ordered some "strain relief" bushings to fit into metal conduit junction boxes that the wires/cable from the light fixtures themselves would go into the junction boxes. I'd saw these before but never knew the technical term for them. They're neat and worked good. https://www.amazon.com/MGI-SpeedWare...7KBFLF8X&psc=1

    And I got a neato Cooper dimmer switch that handled all six lights on one circuit.

    I then had to get a bunch of misc hardware, junction boxes, covers, MC cable connectors for the junction boxes, etc all together from local hardware store.


    I started off the actual beginning work by getting the main panel open and cleaning it up, putting in a couple new breakers, and making a new tap into the side of it, with a switch box for the dimmer that I would then run the circuit on up the block wall into the trusses and split off into two rows, of 3 lights. I had a lot of cleaning of cobwebs and dirt dobbers in box also. Compressed air was a big help in getting it cleaned up. So after that was finished I pretty much had the circuit tapped into the main and was already mounted on the wall with the dimmer, waiting for the lift I had rented to show up where I could start actually working on the ceiling with the lights.



    Got the lift a few days later and started working. I began by putting in 2x6s across the trusses where the lights would hang, drilling holes for the eyes for them to hook onto, and then came back and laid 1x4s over the trusses for the cable and wire to run on so it wasn't just strung in-between each rafter dangling. Everything went pretty much according to plan until I realized the dimmer wires coming out of the light fixtures were insanely short compared to the power lead. I'm talking like power lead cord was 2ft long, and dimmer lead was, maybe 6 inches? No possible way to tie into the same junction box like I had originally planned. Thanks chicoms. So I had the lights all hung the first day and then overnight I kinda stewed on the situation and decided I could mount a second junction box to the underside of the piece of wood the fixtures were hanging from, bring the dimmer wire into it, and then run a short piece of MC cable in a loop basically from that second junction box on the bottom, to the one on the top, and that worked out pretty well. I wound up pulling the wire out of the MC cable and leaving in only the 2 dimmer wires on that short loop section. It was a lot more work but it looked pretty nice and kept everything within the cladding that way.

    Few more hours of work and I found myself going back down the wall headed towards my dimmer switch box where I was already tapped into the main breaker box, and I had not asphyxiated myself from the engine fumes yet either so that was cool. Little bit more work and I was able to kick them on. Little delay, powered right on, and hey, they were pretty bright. Not as blindingly omg wtf it's the sun bright I was hoping for, but definitely a vast, vast improvement from the 8ft fixtures I've had mounted on the sides of the shop walls for the last 20 years. There was actually light in the center of the shop.


    So anyways that's my abbreviated review of my experience in researching, collecting, buying, and installing the components in my shop for some new lighting I have wanted to do for over 10 years now.


    Apparently I cannot get pictures to upload to my own forum using the photo uploader anymore, so here is a Box link with a bunch of photos and an off/on video as well as a demonstration of the dimmer. https://app.box.com/s/rxvw59qjirtghe8utaift7vsg5bmp2k3
    One can only beat their head up against the wall so often before they get blood in their eyes.

    Note to members: Stupidity is a BANABLE offense, mods can decide if YOU are being stupid and WILL ban you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Mexico
    --
    8,693
    My fix to getting pictures to upload from my phone was to send the pictures to a second phone and then upload them from that second phone. Apparently there is some sort of automatic compression that goes on when you text, or messenger a photo.
    F**K ZUCK!

  3. #3
    wild200x is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerFirst time rider
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    --
    196
    cool read. thanks. I have been working on my shop as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    ohio
    --
    1,642
    I looked into leds to replace the Metal halide high bay lights we are using right now (16’ celling’s) and decided against using led cause they kill FM reception (industrial ballast resistor ‘s will too) and we live were the cell service sucks so no streaming radio. And as of right now the cost of the lights wouldn’t out weigh the electric savings and hassle of installing them.
    If its on the internet its got to be true they can't put any lie's on the internet

  5. #5
    Billy Golightly's Avatar
    Billy Golightly is offline Always finding new and exciting ways to not give a hoot in hell Catch me if you can
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Live Oak, FL
    --
    15,015
    Blog Entries
    14
    Yeah I don't think it would be worth switching from halide to LED ufo lights unless you had dozens of them running all the time you were going to save money on operating costs from.

    Overall I'm fairly happy with these - it's been years in the making

    Edit: Yay I got a picture to upload. Now I need to try a few more...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	0317211531_HDR~2.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	1.26 MB 
ID:	267258
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	0317211649_HDR~2 (Medium).jpg 
Views:	25 
Size:	210.9 KB 
ID:	267257
    One can only beat their head up against the wall so often before they get blood in their eyes.

    Note to members: Stupidity is a BANABLE offense, mods can decide if YOU are being stupid and WILL ban you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NEPA
    --
    7,045
    I went with these after a short period of research. I couldn't be happier. They are blinding,,truly,,, if you don't have enough space.https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Please help those who cannot help themselves.

    ALWAYS buying Museum quality machines,3 and 4 wheels. And any and ALL ,NOS parts,EVERY brand.

    I am turning my PM's Off,my Email is billsracing@hotmail.com,put 3WW in the subject. Thanx!

    Gun laws do not stop criminals. BULLETS do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    --
    1,576
    Glad you got better lighting lighting in your work space!

    Quote Originally Posted by atc007 View Post
    I went with these after a short period of research. I couldn't be happier. They are blinding,,truly,,, if you don't have enough space.https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I bought a few sets of a similar LED light. $30 for a pair and huge difference for a simple plug and play. I laugh at the item descriptions as 'deformable' light.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Northeast
    --
    17,311
    Back in the day if you wanted some serious lighting you needed a Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium or a Mercury Vapor, and NONE of it was cheap. A bulb alone was 45, 60, 80, 100$ depending on wattage. If they went out, they had to cool for 5 or 10 minutes...

    LED's have been a great item that the government finally let us have. I get a 4' fixture at Job Lot for 12$ and I've had some for a few years now. Super bright, super cheap and super energy saver.

    The Lumen output is equal to or above in many cases, saving you lots on energy consumption and a work space can never be too bright, unless you're a moth, or Billy staring at his light fixtures

    I have a few new 4' fluorescents laying around and I don't think they're even worth converting at the current cost, but any 8' fixture is probably worth saving....
    [SIZE=4]WHO IS Q?? SERIOUSLY - DID THEY EXPOSE ALL THEIR CRIMES JUST TO DISTRACT US?? JUST MADE US MORE FURIOUS!![/B]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
    --
    1,393
    Not forgetting about the instant on too.

    LED, hit the switch, BAM, they're on and full brightness.

    The older technology shop lights, hit the switch, and wait. If it's very cold outside, may have to wait for a while, or they may not even come on at all if cheap fluorescents. Then there's the constant buzzing, OMG.


    Also not forgetting that powerful LEDs still get very hot. No touchy-touchy.
    The story of three wheels and a man...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
    --
    2,855
    Looking great Billy and a vast improvement! If you were to sheet the roof and paint it bright white you would increase the lighting by a 1/3rd is my guess. Raw wood has a tendency to absorb light. Painting the walls bright white would also help. Is anyone else jealous that there isn't 16" of insulation in the roof and 6" on the walls, lol. Dang Florida guys!
    Trikes
    1970/71 US 90 (Aquarius Blue)
    1970/71 US 90 (Future Resto Project)
    1972/73 US 90 Camo Project (110 Big Bore)
    1972/73 US 90 Green
    1977 ATC 90 w/83 110 motor (Fugly)
    1982 ATC 70
    1983 ATC 70 (Ladybug)
    1973 ATC 70

    1965 Marketeer 3 Wheel Golf Cart with 1986 Honda 250 drivetrain

    TF 2015

    Feedback http://www.3wheelerworld.com/showthr...ck-for-coopool
    http://www.3wheelerworld.com/showthr...k-for-coolpool

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    --
    10
    The lighting setup looks great!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    NY
    --
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by big specht View Post
    I looked into leds to replace the Metal halide high bay lights we are using right now (16’ celling’s) and decided against using led cause they kill FM reception (industrial ballast resistor ‘s will too) and we live were the cell service sucks so no streaming radio. And as of right now the cost of the lights wouldn’t out weigh the electric savings and hassle of installing them.
    Funny you say this. I ran into it when I put lights in my garage. "Why do I get such crappy FM reception?" A bunch of googling and found the answer. Having a radio playing is not a big deal it would seem but its huge to me!

  13. #13
    Billy Golightly's Avatar
    Billy Golightly is offline Always finding new and exciting ways to not give a hoot in hell Catch me if you can
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Live Oak, FL
    --
    15,015
    Blog Entries
    14
    FWIW: I have not had any issues with the radio working and playing in my shop, but the stations I listen to are only 60 or so miles away, and I'm in Florida so no mountainous regions to interrupt signal. But mines worked fine.
    One can only beat their head up against the wall so often before they get blood in their eyes.

    Note to members: Stupidity is a BANABLE offense, mods can decide if YOU are being stupid and WILL ban you!

//ArrowChat Integreation Code //