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How to Convert 8ft Fluorescent Shop Lights to LED

Still Running Fluorescent Lights in Your Shop?

A lot of us get so used to "meh" lighting that we forget that it can be better. We put up with dim or dark area, straining to see details while working. Many of us, like one of our other customers with this issue, have resorted to supplementing inconvenient lighting with even more expensive-to-run incandescent, halogen, or metal halide lamps.

Then, the buzzing ballasts and flickering bulbs can be a regular irritation, especially when they fail, and you have to replace one after the other. Are you tired of having a pile of burned-out, 8-foot tubes taking up space? Previous customers we’ve helped have faced this problem, because garbage collection services often won’t dispose of hazardous waste.

Avoid the hassles of running fluorescent lights; converting to LED can make such a difference for any workspace. In addition to solving the problems above, replacing your 8ft fluorescent shop lights with LED tubes also significantly reduces operating costs over time. This is because LED lights cut energy usage by around 50-60%. These savings quickly pay off the initial fixture costs, and from that point on, your lights will put monthly energy savings into your pocket for years to come.


Two Options for Converting Fluorescent Shop Lights to LED

Once you’ve decided to update your shop lighting, you will need to decide to either retrofit your old fixtures or buy new ones.

If you don’t have any issues with your existing shop light fixtures (they look fine, they’re in good repair, they have years of life left in them), you can keep them right where they are. After only a minor wiring adjustment, you can use our T8/T12 8ft tubes. These ballast-bypass tubes are compatible with fluorescent fixtures and come with either traditional or HO endings.

Alternatively, if you want to update the look, location, or number of fixtures, if your fixtures are no longer functioning properly, or if you are beginning a brand-new lighting project, we have many options available for new LED shop light fixtures.

Option 1: Retrofitting Your 8ft Fluorescent Shop Lights with LED

So, you want to keep your existing shop lights and just switch them over to 8ft LED bulbs. No problem: this is a simple wiring job that takes about five minutes per fixture, once you get the hang of it. All you need to do is remove the ballast from your fixture (say goodbye to failing ballasts for good!) and wire the main power directly to the lamp’s sockets.

We have a quick video tutorial below. If you’re more of a reader, we’ve also made a one-page instruction sheet for retrofitting 8ft fluorescent fixtures to LED.

Ready to convert your shop lights to LED? Our most popular LED tube for shop lights is the high lumen 8ft LED Shop Light Bulb. It’s a great balance between increased light output and price and falls right in the middle of our line-up.

To see our other options, including a replacement for HO bulbs with R17D sockets, head over to our 8ft LED shop light tubes category. In-stock tubes usually ship within one business day from the warehouse nearest you. 

Option 2: Installing New 8ft LED Shop Light Fixtures

If instead you are choosing door number 2, then you will be purchasing brand new LED fixtures.

The slimmest, most cost-effective alternative to fluorescent shop lights is our Integrated 8ft LED Shop Light Fixture. It’s about the same diameter as a fluorescent tube, yet those slim dimensions contain both the light source and the fixture. Additionally, the sealed housing keeps debris out of the fixture, which means fewer maintenance tasks to deal with around the shop.

These integrated shop light fixtures can be installed either flush against your ceiling or wall, or suspended from wires. Connect 2 or 3 of them end-to-end to reduce the amount of electrical work required; wire the first fixture to your power source, then simply plug them in.

If you’re not tied to 8ft fixture lengths, we offer a whole collection of LED shop light fixtures, from basic standalone to end-to-end connectable, and from vapor tight for dusty and wet shops to high-style modern lights for engineering and high-tech shops that want to leave an impression on visiting customers.

However, if you want something that looks like your old fixtures and, like your old fixtures, uses tubes that you can change out, you can still take advantage of LED energy savings and longevity with our 8ft LED-ready 1- and 2-lamp fixtures.

These ballast-free fixtures don’t need any retrofitting to work with LED tubes; you simply pop the tubes in like you would with your old fixtures. You can find these on our LED-Ready T8 Fixtures page. What’s more, when you purchase 8ft LED shop light tubes from us at the same time as the fixtures, you instantly save an extra 5% on the tubes.

We’re Here to Help

If you have specific shop lighting problems you’re looking to solve or have questions about upgrading the lighting in your specific situation, ELEDLIGHTS is here to help with every step of the process. Reach out to us at (215) 355-7200 or email