After considering possible upgraded shop lighting I think I’ve found the best option. However, I’ve decided against it. Here’s why.
With all the great comments on my last blog, I was going to type up a response but decided it might make a better blog in its own right. After all the encouragement I received on LED shop lights, I did some research and came away very impressed. Still, I’ve ruled them out.
If I just needed top-notch lighting to work by, I’d be ordering LEDs right now. However, lighting has to serve both my working environment and, more importantly, my photographic needs. Lighting with a “daylight” temperature works best, but that limits the choices for what's available in LED.
The real issue, though, is cost. LEDs are pricey compared to their fluorescent counterparts, and to completely replace all my shop lighting – and I have a lot due to my photographic needs – would be so prohibitively expensive that I just can't consider it at this time. I could purchase really efficient air conditioning for the shop, something I desperately want and need more than upgraded light fixtures, for about the same cost and I can’t afford that, either.
Sure, I could save money by gradually switching over from fluorescent to LED a couple fixtures at a time, but from what I’m reading that could mean mixing light types and temperatures. Again, if it was just workable light I was looking for that would be fine, but I’m unsure how mixing types and temperatures would affect photography. I can’t afford to experiment.
Prompted by your excellent suggestions, my research has convinced me that I definitely want LEDs in my shop. Some day down the road I’m sure I’ll get them. But for now upgrading from T12s to T8s is more in line with both my current needs, and the current thickness of my wallet.