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 Post subject: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 342
Location: Kingston NY
Along the high ceiling of our car barn, we have 400W mercury vapor lights. MV is supposedly the least efficient of the high intensity discharge family of lights. As far as I know, these old ballasts will not accept other HID bulbs such as metal halide. If you were me, would you stick with MV (bulbs now often >$50/ea) or would you invest in a new lighting system?

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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5250
Location: southeastern USA
I think it isn't as critical what you use for ambient light provided there's adequate task light in areas in which there's work going on. You might find that 4 foot T8 fluorescent shop lights are all the ambient you need.......but you'll need more of them than vapor fixtures. There's a solar powered parking lot pole lamp project out there - you will probably find it if you google around a bit - in which vapor lamps were replaced with solar charged LED retrofits and now there's no power or lamp replacement going on for a long time, and the coverage and color temperature is improved. It's possible that some similar product with solar collectors on the roof could work for you.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 794
Location: NJ
Just as information, or as a caution, we tried one of the large spiral fluorescent replacement bulbs at work two years ago. (I can't say the manufacturer's name, of course, but the young lady in the on-line sales video was rather nice looking). The bulb was supposed to be a screw-in replacement for the 400 watt bulbs, no need to replace ballasts, etc. Well, the first one didn't work in two different fixtures, made by different manufacturers.

A second bulb, which they supplied after we returned the first one, didn't work either. We were also not able to return the second bulb for credit. My suggestion here, if you go with the big spiral fluorescents, is to get one on approval and make sure you can return it if it doesn't work.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:16 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
EDM wrote:
Just as information, or as a caution, we tried one of the large spiral fluorescent replacement bulbs at work two years ago. (I can't say the manufacturer's name, of course...


Why not? If you are providing factual information of a specific nature, what concerns do you have?

I could understand if you posted something like "Don't buy Goofy's GigaWatt Bulbs, they suck!", and left it at that. They could, I guess, conceivably sue you for slander, assume they like trolling chat rooms and filing frivolous lawsuits.

But if I say "I bought 3 of Discount Dan's LEDs, two didn't work at all, and the third burns out after a week!", what reason would I have to be concrned about naming names?


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:10 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Nowadays they're practically giving away used HID lighting, so you might shake the trees for a shop that's upgrading and get their old stuff.

If you're thinking new, Stand pat. The field is moving freaky fast, "at the speed of silicon tech". Even the government and the power companies can't keep up, they're still doing incentives for fluorescent lighting, even as the salesmen admit to my face that they know it's obsolete and they say "wait for LED".

And that's what I say. LEDs have already won some sectors (e.g. PAR30s) and are pretty definitely going to win in shop lighting too, in the long term. There are no bulbs or sockets, nothing to maintain. Hoist it up there and never look back. And as I say, "any color you want, as long as it's not black."

If LED is not workable for you today, just wait :) Seriously. I've heard every decade the cost drops by a factor of 10. This is silicon semiconductor technology, it does that LOL. Even this is 16 months old. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeROsV_yePs

I'm walking my talk, I have a ton-pile of fifty programmed-start fluorescent ballasts, just to have them to upgrade fluorescents to T8. Only got a few in before the world changed and now I'm going LED.

EDM, I've never heard of a fluorescent that is screw-in compatible with mercury or sodium. The ballasts work quite differently. My hunch is you that you don't need to replace the old ballast with a new ballast, but you do need to bypass the old ballast.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:00 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 543
Location: Scottsboro, AL
We constructed a 4,800 square foot enginehouse last year. General interior lighting is fluorescent, comprised of 22 T-5 six lamp 8' strip fixtures with reflectors, with T-8 lamps used in storage and office areas. A combination of 50-watt and 85-watt LED packs are employed for exterior wall mounted security lighting.

Several other steps were taken to enhance efficiency of the lighting system. The T-5 overheads are divided into four zones with separate switches. We seldom find it necessary to have all the lighting on at once. I am a big believer in employing natural light wherever possible, so we included four "Daystar" skylights. My only regret is not having budget for more of these; on a sunny day they provide ample illumination. Ten windows, two thirds of which are installed in the south facing wall, are mounted twelve feet above ground level to provide side lighting (and being elevated keeps them from becoming an easy point of entry for casual thiefs or vandals). Ceiling and interior walls are covered in white steel liner panels, which bounce light everywhere.

The overall results are vastly superior to our old dungeon-like shop building, which had a hodge-podge of T-12 fluorescents and various hi-bay light fixtures, and no windows or skylights.

Alan Maples
Everett Railroad


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:00 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 5:48 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Hickory, NC
Full disclosure- I own this LED Lighting manufacturing company.

Prices on LED lighting are now so competitive that you can now buy a more expensive "equivalent" fixture and the energy savings the first year will make up the difference. The key points in buying any LED fixture are

a) What foot-candles do you want on your target? A lot of people make the mistake of trying to compare Lumen output when replacing older systems and that can be tricky. Most "bulb" technologies put out lumens over a 360 degree omni-directional pattern. LEDs are unidirectional (about 120 degree) and a lot less lumens (about 70% less) are required from an LED fixture than a conventional bulb one. To get an idea of foot candles, your desk top in an office will have 28-45 ft-cd. The darkest spots of a lit parking lot at night will have .5 to 2 foot candles (these are of course very general examples)

b) Pick a fixture with the BEST LEDs on the market- Philips Lumiled, LG, Nichia, Cree. Anyone else is suspect. Make sure the fixture is UL, ETL, CSA, or otherwise safety tested and listed.

c) Prices will continue to drop on LEDs, but not as fast as previous years. 7 years ago, a 30 Lumen part cost $4.70 each. Now, 150 Lumen parts cost a buck. Still, in the past year, even as volumes soar, costs have dropped only about 5-7%. The technology is also now running into a wall in regards to Lumen output. "Back in the day" it seemed that once a month someone was leapfrogging someone else going from 50 to 60 to 80 to 100 Lumens. Nowadays, 150L seems to be slowing lots of folks down and the incremental output will likely not be increased at the same pace as in past years.

d) Don't waste your time on CFL's as a replacement system. Inherently unreliable, susceptible to temperature effects, put out UV light to fade drawings, artifacts, glass prone to breakage, and full of mercury. LED fixtures have NONE of these problems and are generally backed by a 50,000 hour warranty (that's 17.5 years operating at 8 hours a day). We have more trouble making sure the fixture BODY will last as long as the LED!

www.eLEDdirect.com
www.eLumenosity.com

Feel free to send me a PM I can answer any LED questions or be of any assistance. Again, I do own the company, but hope there's enough educational value in my post to keep it appropriate for the "Interchange".

Matt Bumgarner


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:05 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 794
Location: NJ
To be very honest, I don't remember the exact name of the manufacturer, it was awhile ago, and I didn't want to badmouth the wrong outfit. The box and bulb were recycled. I just took a quick look online, and none of the ads rang a bell; maybe that particular manufacturer is no longer around. The ad, both in print and on their site's video, claimed that no ballast replacement was necessary. I remember my boss tried wiring one up directly before we gave up.

I thought I had hit a real home run when I saw that ad, as we have been trying to trim energy costs for some time. Converting 20-odd fixtures should have given us some decent savings. Not in this case, though; the old adage, "if it seems too good to be true, it usually is", applied here.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 241
Personally I would not work under mercury vapor lighting without quartz area lamps. I especially would suggest you not paint in this light. Merc Vapor lamps can look somewhat OK when new, but as the globes age they fade to dim green.
We converted a University field house from Merc vapor to a compatible Metal Halide globe with a color temp of 3000K. The difference was remarkable. Light level at the floor almost doubled and looked more like quartz. The globes last a very long time but also cost much more than the old merc vapor.
The new electronic ballast fluorescent fixtures can compete with gas discharge in efficiency. And you can select/change the color temps to suit your needs. However I would not want the job of replacing a lot of tubes on a high ceiling. Yes fluorescent tubes cost less but there will be a lot more of them. There also seems to be a lot of ballast compatibility issues. Like tubes flickering after being replaced just last month etc.
I would try to hook up with an electrician or lighting help line and see what ballast replacement kits are available to convert to Metal halide.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
We have replaced our outdoor lighting with LED fixtures. The driveway, back of my office, front of my office and outbuildings are lighted continuously and the garage has a motion sensor double-bulb fixture. The neighbors asked how we could light the whole place that brightly. Total wattage for wired fixtures (not counting the solar ones), about 70. The older incandescent fixtures it replaced were well over 300 watts and didn't cover nearly as much area. I'm often over here quite late, especially if there's a big editing job at hand, and it's comforting to step out into even light rather than a few bright pools and a lot of dark. (I'm more worried about wild animals than feral humans, but your mileage may vary.)
We also replaced our living room and hallway lighting with LEDs. I'm very happy with the results.

Also, I work with a lot of beads and find the day-balance LEDs excellent for that. I need to replace the light here on the desk because it's running on a small spiral fluorescent and everything looks green. When something needs a precise color match, I turn out that one and use a small LED lantern.

It's not a matter of waiting for LEDs. They're here and far better than anything else I've used. What I really need is a better solar panel and deep charge batteries for the solar lights.

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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1043
Location: Youngstown, OH
When we built the Tod Engine Building I installed three 450 watt HID lights along the centerline of the structure. (44' x 60'). I then installed 10 enameled light fixtures (old school steel mill lighting) along the perimeter of the building and used the 68 watt edison based CFLs that are available at Home Depot for $15 each. My power consumption went from 1350 watts with a lot of shadows to 680 watts with no shadows. I would like to replace the CFLs with LEDs to drop the power usage down even more but I have not found any that will put out the equivalent amount of light. These bulbs put out 4200 lumens, and with Matt saying that 150 lumens seems to be the limit for LEDs, there is so much of a gap there that I don't think I'll ever be able to convert over.

One thing we are going to do this summer is replace a 4' x 40' section of corrugated iding under the south eaves with clear translucent panels. This should make it possible to not even need electric area lighting on most sunny days.

BTW, if you want to convert to HID lighting, it should not be difficult to find HID lights. I have had three different people offer to give me as many as I could haul away.

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Steel Industry Preservationist, Narrow Gauge Railroader and ALCOhaulic


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 241
I’m a retired old head electronic engineer. And although I have a lot of LED lighting I still don’t trust it for large areas. I have seen recently gas stations and some street lighting converted to LED but if I had to install something today that would put me back several thousand dollars I don’t think I could pull the LED lever yet.
We had very good luck with small battery applications under around 300 lumens. But I have had 120 VAC high power LEDs burn out after a couple months or fade below 50 percent in less than a year of continuous use. Some of this probably due to most brands manufacturing in China.
Here are some links to measuring the lifetime of LED lighting.

http://www.colorkinetics.com/support/wh ... fetime.pdf

http://www.philipslumileds.com/technolo ... intenance/

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ ... e_leds.pdf

“Most manufacturers of high-power white LEDs estimate a lifetime of around 30,000 hours to the 70% lumen maintenance level”

Not all but some LED products can loose a lot more than 50 percent in a shorter period because they are over driving the LEDs. Heat will also decrease lifetime. As they fade they will also color change toward blue.
If you want to try LEDs use a known brand and make sure the manufacturer can provide a guaranteed lifetime often referred to as Lumen Maintenance Level.


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 520
Not a shop facility, but Detroit Metro Airport is replacing all of it's parking lot lights with LEDs...

of course their duty cycle and need is just a bit different!

see

http://www.freep.com/article/20140318/B ... D-lighting

Bob H


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:05 am
Posts: 98
My salesman from Jasper engines was at the shop last week. He was trying to sell me led lights that would fit my eight foot fixtures. He said that all you have to do is disconnect the ballast and hook up positive and negative wires.
Hundred dollars each tube guaranteed for twelve years.
Al


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 Post subject: Re: Shop Lighting: Keep or replace mercury vapor?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Hot Metal wrote:
I would like to replace the CFLs with LEDs to drop the power usage down even more but I have not found any that will put out the equivalent amount of light. These bulbs put out 4200 lumens, and with Matt saying that 150 lumens seems to be the limit for LEDs, there is so much of a gap there that I don't think I'll ever be able to convert over.

No no no, you misunderstand. He was talking lumens per dollar, saying it only costs $1 for a single emitter of 150 lumens. There are MANY emitters in a commercially assembled bulb. Here's a Cree household bulb teardown, http://www.designingwithleds.com/cree-6 ... tear-down/
See, that's 20 packages, and each one has 4 LEDs proper in it. So 80 LEDs actually in that product.
RCD mentioned a ten dollar 6000-lumen LED (100 watts), this here. Look close - it is actually a 10x10 array of LEDs in a single package. And that one's 9000 lumens (though I would derate it because it's junk and will age fast if you run it at full power.)

One other thing about "lumens". A bulb throws light in a sphere. LEDs throw light in a 60-140 degree cone. What do you WANT in a high-bay light? You want a 60-140 degree cone. There's no point sending light sideways or up. Problem is, bulbs get credit for all those lumens they throw in useless directions. LEDs do not. So lumens are not equal. An LED lumen is worth a lot more.

It's ironic to see "bulbs" like the Cree above, trying so hard to emulate an undesirable aspect of bulbs, simply because fixtures were designed to cope with an undesirable aspect of bulbs.

Quote:
BTW, if you want to convert to HID lighting, it should not be difficult to find HID lights. I have had three different people offer to give me as many as I could haul away.

They're upgrading, because they care about their power bill, or because of subsidies. Now instead of sodium or metal halide high-bays, they are putting in 6-tube fluorescent lights. Target just built a store lit entirely with those.

I don't see sanely priced quality LED high-bays yet, but I expect to. This one, well LEDwholesalers is about as respectable as Chinese gets. But still lacking the genius of design typical of American products. What happens when sawdust clogs those heatsinks?


Last edited by robertmacdowell on Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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