Light Bulbs


When I took my first class at Marc Adams’ School of Woodworking I had no idea that someday I would be working there. The place has been called “Disney World for Woodworkers” for several reasons, but what is it like to work there?

Well so far, I’ve changed a lot of light bulbs.

We’ve been in the process of converting all of the T8 fluorescent bulbs to LED’s. And in case you didn’t catch it the first time, there are a lot of light bulbs.

This has made me think about the lighting in my own shop. I’ve known for a while that I work in the dark, but with a few task lights strategically mounted around the shop it hasn’t been bad. I just didn’t know what I was missing. If you already have fluorescent fixtures the conversion isn’t difficult.  It’s just a matter of changing shunted tombstones out for non-shunted ones and removing the ballast. There are plenty of good websites that explain this better than I can, but to wet your appetite here is a decent YouTube video by ToolboxDIY that explains all that you need to know (Warning: He does confuse the use of the words “shunted” and “non-shunted” a couple of times. To clarify, you will want non-shunted tombstones for LEDs. Unless, of course, you like sparklers.)



5 Comments Add yours

  1. Todd Reid says:

    Hey just think when you finish that there is a pile of plane irons and chisels that are dull and rusted for you to sharpen. I think it was Paul Seller that I read the story of his apprenticeship and the first day the master gave him a pile of plane irons and chisels to sharpen. Cheers


    1. Eric Key says:

      I think I read that too! Marc’s method of sharpening consists of using a belt sander upside down, so it would go pretty fast if I find myself in that position. 😉


  2. Joe says:

    Out of curiosity, do you think fluorescent fixtures installed three years ago need all of these modifications? At the time, LED fluoursecent style shop bulbs were still rare. Any suggestions on which color K to use and how much of a difference there is overall lumens?


    1. Eric Key says:

      If I had recently installed fluorescent fixtures I probably wouldn’t change them. But if you do switch them out they will need these modifications to work. Most of the LED tubes have a small transformer or chip board in one end. These require a different type of tombstone and eliminate the need for the ballast. As far as color goes, I think it is a matter of personal preference.


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