LED Shop Light

Submitted to Community Café

I have a shop area one one side of a 2-car garage (so my wife's car gets to live indoors while my truck stays outside!)  One disadvantage is poor lighting.  I borrowed an idea of truning a small roof flashing into a shop light and decided to build it out of wood (for more stength, larger size, and stability in a breeze.)  I had purchased LED lights previously to to create indirect lighting in our living room, so I know how bright they are and how easy to work with - and inexpensive to purchase and inexpensive to burn.  The "fixture" couldn't be simpler -- two 8' 1x4 pieces glued at right angle.  I plan to rip 3/4" along one piece so the two sides are the same dimension when joined; I'll also cut a couple of triangular pieces for end caps.  I'll paint the whole thing in a bright white for maximum light refraction, hang it from the garage ceiling with jack chain, and wire it to the existing ceiling light so it is operated by the wall switch.  It's inexpensive (16+ feet of LED lights around 10 bucks, a transformer to convert to 12v is another 8 dollars, and even though I probably won't need it but will kick myself if I do: a tint remote control for dimming or on/off is only another 5 dollars, so the whole thing comes to about $38 after two 8' boards, lighting components, tax, and shipping - about the cost of a cheap light fixture.  But this one is custom fit to my needs and belches out some really bright light directly over my work area.  By comparison, I bought a 4' long LED shop light to replace the original 2-tube florescent fixture (better light output, but still not adequate) and it ran me $40 on sale.  LED is definitely the way to go - my strip of 300 bright lights pulls 72 watts and stays very cool to the touch and the lights are supposed to last 10 times longer than incandescents.  I am anxious to get my light built and wired; I remember from my last experience with an LED strip - it is "plug-and-play" which eliminates wiring totally.  Even the dimmer is a small device abot the size and shape of a fat fountain pen with plugs on both ends to hook directly into the supply wire . . . couldn't be simpler or easier.