The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
I used to have florescent lights in my garage. We used to have florescent lights in our shop at work. The lights in my garage were old, the ballasts were failing, and I got tired of them being dim and flickery anytime the temperature was below freezing. The same applied to the lights in the dealership shop. Plus, with more than 20 fixtures under my responsibility between the two locations, I was getting tired of replacing burned out florescent tubes.
Last year I put some cheap ($30 per fixture) LED lights in my garage. This fall, the dealership put LED fixtures in our shop. Best money I (and the dealership) ever spent. The lights in my garage come on quick and bright, even when the temperature is below zero. My garage has never been so well illuminated. The shop at the dealership is like a different building--bright, even light, no flickering, no "humming" from florescent tubes. And best of all, I haven't had to climb a ladder, stand on a the edge of a combine's grain tank extension, or climb the mast of a forklift, to change a single burned out light.
If you're looking for a midwinter shop project that will make a night and day difference in your shop--consider LED light fixtures.
We installed 15 LED high bay lights in our new shed 50x80x 16 high, and they work great. We purchased additional lights for our shop and can now actually see what we are working on. They cost about $140 each and are worth the cost so far.
We did the same recently. However, there is definitely some backfeeding from the new bulbs. I'm going to cobble together a ground loop isolator for our shop radio, because the noise impedes the radio signal so much, it now only works with either the lights are off or the shop doors are all open.
Is there a brand that you recommend?