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Thread: Are LED 4 ft. lights durable?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Are LED 4 ft. lights durable?

    I have 6 4ft. floresent shop lights in my garage. Every year I have to go through and replace several bulbs and/or ballast to keep them working. The garage is unheated and I know this is not ideal for floresent lights and these are the cheap Walmart 4 ft. floresent lights. My question is how do the LED's around $40 compare to the floresents? Do they require maintenance?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Joe504's Avatar
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    https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-15-Watt-...ack/1000258419

    Look around, you should be able to find them cheaper.

    I have had led replacement tubes in my garage for 2 years, never had a problem.

    I think physical bypassing the ballast is supposed to be cheaper and last longer.


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy

    Flailguy's Avatar
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    No real maintenance, by the time they quit it's time for a new fixture
    They like the cold too

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    Put one in a very damp basement (mud room really !) 4 years ago , still brighter than the 2 flourescents it replaced.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    FLINTNFIRE's Avatar
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    i Have a few that are 4 years old a few newer and some of the round led house fixtures that are 8 years old , still going strong , I was having the florescent tubes go bad yearly and ballasts not lasting , for shop it is switch on wall to plug ins on ceiling and replace them if needed , spare box of them in corner , better light , energy savings .

  6. #6
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    A couple years ago, Menards had them on sale (with rebate), end price was $9.99
    In Minnesota, when it gets to 10º or colder, florescent tubes are worthless and some LEDs don't like it either.
    but the $9.99 Menards 4' LED works in cold...still going strong.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe504 View Post
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-15-Watt-...ack/1000258419

    Look around, you should be able to find them cheaper.

    I have had led replacement tubes in my garage for 2 years, never had a problem.

    I think physical bypassing the ballast is supposed to be cheaper and last longer.


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Those bulbs need a ballast which is almost always the problem with florescent lights.

    You want direct wire LED bulbs also called bypass bulbs or type B. Cut out the ballast and rewire for the new bulbs. The wiring depends on the bulbs you choose. 80% of tube lighting problems are the ballast anyway. I've converted almost a dozen now. They work great and 2x the light of the florescent tube. Many replace 2 bulbs with one, doing so cuts your power consumption from 80W to less than 20w per fixture. I like more light so I always install 2 LED bulbs.

    This has all the information you need to decide. https://www.1000bulbs.com/category/t8-led-tube-lights/

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Took down all the 8' florescents 4 bulbs each in my garage. Had been there for 20 plus years. Put in 5 Harbor freight 4 footers early this year. So for $120 plus tax I basically brightened up my two car garage considerably. 5000 lumens each. Figure to do two more and thats it. And if one fixture dies another $20 to replace it.
    Have pull cords so don't need them all on at the same time. Used to buy a case of lamps each year just to replace the ones in the garage. And you can piggyback up to 5 or so fixtures. I have a big power strip on the ceiling and all of them are fed off that strip. So at this time I can turn or on all of them or leave them all off and just use the pull cords. My BIL and his son got all the working fixtures with lamps for helping me do the installation. Only thing you have to watch out for is the fixtures are lower than the old ones. just be careful you don't snag one. Frank

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I replaced 2 4' double florescent fixtures in a fella's small workshop with a 4 led strip 4' fixture. Bought the fixture at Home Depot last year. CE Commercial brand, I think. I had to replace the power supply which I ordered online since nothing was available locally after a years use.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Replaced 20 fluorescent bulbs in my calving barn with LED 3 years ago. Temperature range is 110° to -45° they always illuminate. I can't say that about the previous bulbs, and have to say I typically reolaced 3/4 of them per year - haven't replaced any of these yet.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Boolit Master StuBach's Avatar
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    Are LED 4 ft. lights durable?

    I work in retail and in 2014 we replaced all our lighting in most of my stores with LEDs. Back rooms got 4’ replacement bulbs wired into existing fixtures where we removed the ballasts and store fronts got recessed new fixtures. Across 30 stores I have only had 4 bulbs total need to be replaced and these bulbs are used 24hrs a day in most stores. Highly recommend the upgrade.

    In 2015 I replaced all my 4’ bulbs with direct wire option from https://shopgreentek.com. (Specifically like their 6000k 20w option for their brightness and being close to daylight in color spectrum but they are rarely in stock.) and all have performed amazing with no failures. 4 of which are in my garage in mid-Michigan where temps ranged have ranged from -20 to 105 with no issues.

    In 2018 I picked up about 9 of the Costco 4’ enclosed shop fixtures for $12 each when on sale (dual bulb complete fixture that plugs into a standard power plug) and wired them to light switches by converting a normal bulb light fixture to a plug. Added two of these fixtures to garage and again, no issues with any of them. Unit is the same as the one in these two packs but when bought in warehouse they often run on sale for less than $20 each, https://www.costco.com/feit-electric...100462723.html

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    monadnock#5's Avatar
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    I started out slow, but faster and faster everything incandescent or fluorescent is out the door and replaced with led.
    You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
    Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy

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    I also had florescent fixtures. I pulled them out and put in these instead. How long they will last, I do not know but they do put out quite a bit of light.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0748YTDMK/

    The LED replacement bulbs, IMO make little sense. You have a ballast stepping up 110VAC to voltages needed by the florescent bulbs and then stepped back down for the LEDs to operate.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Several years ago I replaced 4 4' flour. kitchen lights with LED (home depot). 2 lasted a few months. Last month another quit. Took down 2 and replaced the failed one. LEDs are OK but electronic ballasts are cheap and fail. Nobody sells replacement ballasts.
    Whatever!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by StuBach View Post
    I work in retail and in 2014 we replaced all our lighting in most of my stores with LEDs. Back rooms got 4’ replacement bulbs wired into existing fixtures where we removed the ballasts and store fronts got recessed new fixtures. Across 30 stores I have only had 4 bulbs total need to be replaced and these bulbs are used 24hrs a day in most stores. Highly recommend the upgrade.

    In 2015 I replaced all my 4’ bulbs with direct wire option from https://shopgreentek.com. (Specifically like their 6000k 20w option for their brightness and being close to daylight in color spectrum but they are rarely in stock.) and all have performed amazing with no failures. 4 of which are in my garage in mid-Michigan where temps ranged have ranged from -20 to 105 with no issues.

    In 2018 I picked up about 9 of the Costco 4’ enclosed shop fixtures for $12 each when on sale (dual bulb complete fixture that plugs into a standard power plug) and wired them to light switches by converting a normal bulb light fixture to a plug. Added two of these fixtures to garage and again, no issues with any of them. Unit is the same as the one in these two packs but when bought in warehouse they often run on sale for less than $20 each, https://www.costco.com/feit-electric...100462723.html
    I put in 30 of the Costco lights in my 30x32 garage. Love em. I wanted lots of light

  16. #16
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    We just have regular old light bulbs in our basement at hone and I like to be able to see well since I have a vision impairment. I did some looking around a year ago and at Lowes, I found a 4' LED fixture with the bulbs for, IIRC, somewhere around $24.00 or so. I bought one to try and it was amazing. We ended up staying in AZ for the summer but when we get back to MI this next spring. I plan on replacing the old bulbs with the 4 foot LED fixtures. Pretty simple installation as all I did on the one I bought to try was unscrew the bulb, screw in a plug adapter and hang the fixture - plug it in. The bulbs were on a switch.

    I always had 4 foot and 8 foot fluorescent fixtures in my shops and like everyone, battled with ballasts going bad as well as bulb replacement. Always had to have a bulk box of 4 and 8 foot bulbs on hand. With the LED - no longer. I plan on hanging a LED 4 foot over my loading bench here in AZ as well as ack in MI as I think the LED fixtures are the best thing to come along since sliced bread.

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Harbor Freight $23.99 today

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
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    We replaced a bunch (50+) of 4' and 8' fluorescents at our range a year ago. There are 3 kinds of LED lamps that I know of 1) direct replacement, 2) double ended AC bypassing ballast, 3) single ended AC bypassing ballast. We used version 2 which requires removing the ballast and re-wiring the fixture. The ballasts were the biggest problem in non-conditioned building that were 130F in the summer and 10F in the winter. So far the LED lamps are working fine. Its nice to have working lights in the heat and the cold. I believe the version 2 lamps were about $4 each for the 4' ones and are more reliable and much cheaper than the version 1 lamps.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    You don't need to buy replacement fixtures but you need to be aware of the LED bulb options. There are bulbs that require that the ballast remain in place and bulbs that require you to bypass the ballast and they are not interchangeable. The disadvantages of leaving the ballast in place are that you still have to deal with replacing the ballast if it goes bad and the ballast increases the amount of energy used to power the fixtures. It takes about five minutes to bypass/remove the existing ballast, so that is the option I chose. There are all kinds of videos on youtube showing how to do it. You must purchase bulbs that are specific to the option you choose to go with. I bought my bulbs at Lowes and the boxes specify whether bulbs are to be used with or without a ballast but you have to be smart enough to read the box. Thankfully, Lowes does returns because I found out the hard way.

    The third option is to replace the sockets in one end of the fixture with single-ended sockets so that only one end of the fixture is powered. Again, not hard to do but includes the additional step of buying and installing the connectors and rewiring the fixture, but is still not hard to do. This is called a single-ended bulb and is not interchangeable with those discussed in the first paragraph.

    Gus Youmans

  20. #20
    I have found that the $10 Black Friday 4’ LED lights from rural king are not any good. Had one DOA and another go out a month later. I do like the fact the have an outlet on one end for daisy Chan I g them. Made it real easy to install in the garage.

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