I just got a definitive example of how efficient my dust collection system is. All it took was shedding some light on it.
Last October I talked about how much I like my LED shop lights. Better light, better consistency, lower noise and operating expense, unaffected by colder weather and longer lasting than anything fluorescents have to offer.
OK, now consider two things. The first is that those lights have been up for about a year and a half. The second seemingly unrelated thing is that I usually do a thorough cleaning of my shop’s nether regions once a year or so to get that really fine powdery dust that goes everywhere air does. Whenever I did this cleaning there has always been a thick coating of that powder-dust on the tops of my fluorescent fixtures. It was often so thick that it was easier to use a broom to knock most of it to the floor before vacuuming the fixtures themselves.
I just relocated to another state, requiring a complete dismantling of my shop including the lighting, which moved with me. When I took those lights down last week there was just the slightest film of that powder stuff on them. So slight, a simple wiping with a rag quickly cleaned them up nicely for packing.
Since they were up only 1-1/2 years they’d never been through my old cleaning ritual, yet they were still remarkably clean. The reason was clear: I had completely upgraded my shop dust collection system about two years ago – six months before hanging those new lights – and the difference in shop dust was immediately apparent.
So, if there’s anything I like better than my new LED shop lighting, it would have to be the dust system that’s kept them clean and bright all this time.