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Clear or Frosted LED Shop Lights | Which is Better? (Frosted vs Clear LED Lights)

frosted vs clear led shop lights

Not all LED lights are going to be the same. We get used to hearing about LED lights and assume they are a one size fits all kind of idea. This is not true though. Some LED lights are going to provide different results based on how you plan to use them. For example, the type you would use in your shop are different than the ones you may use in your home or outside. 

Two types of LED light bulbs that you can use are clear and frosted. They each have their benefits and drawbacks. We are going to take a look at each one to see which is best for you to use in your shop. 

Related: My Favorite LED Lights For Shops and Work Areas

What is the Physical Difference Between Clear and Frosted? (Frosted vs Clear LED Lights)

The differences you see between clear and frosted LED lights is pretty simple. We can start with the clear lights. This is where the bulb around the glass is transparent. You can look at the bulb and see all of the components inside when you turn it off. There is nothing in the way and you can easily see damage. It is simple and easy to work with. 

However, a frosted LED bulb is a little bit different. Rather than being able to see right through the glass, this kind of bulb will have more of an opaque screen to it. When you turn the bulb off and look at it, it is impossible to see the LED components at all. 

Depending on how you plan to use these lights, you may want to see the inner workings of the LED bulb. For others, it does not matter. There is a market for both of these bulbs, though it is often more about the style of lighting and how you want the area to look. There are a few other types of benefits to consider as well though. 

Related: Do LED Lights Work In Freezing Temperatures?

Which Light is Brighter?

When it comes to your shop, it is a good idea to pick out a light that is brighter. This makes it easier for you to see around the shop and get your work done. The good news is that whether the light comes with a clear or frosted glass, it will not make much of a difference in the brightness or the color. However, you should take a look at the shadow that is cast. 

The clear glass is going to cast a sharper shadow than others while the frosted glass is going to give a softer shadow. In your shop, you may find that it is better to have a softer shadow, but it will depend on the area you are working in. 

Keep in mind that the brightness of the bulb has more to do with its strength, or wattage, and efficacy, or lumen, rather than the glass casing that is around it. If you need a brighter light, then it is important to choose one that has a higher number on both of these. 

Related: How Many LED Lights Can Be On One Circuit?

When to use Clear or Frosted LED Lights?

There are specific times when you will want to use each of these two types of lights. The most common times include:

Clear LED Lights

You will find that the clear LED tubing will give a light that is sharper and easier to notice. This makes them the right option when you have an area that should catch the eye. If you use a light fixture with a perforated shape, then these clear bulbs are better. 

These clear options are good as exposed light sources. When you can pick the right wattage, they can light up even a large room with some of the sharp light that you want. This makes them perfect for construction areas, warehouses, and other commercial applications like your shop. 

Frosted LED Lights

These types of lights are good if you need an even and more diffused light option. These are easier on the eye and will not pop out as much or cast a filament shadow at all. These are options that you will find in areas where you need an even type of lighting. The clear covers can make the light seem larger and they will not turn into the center of attention in that room. 

These frosted LED lights are best to work with in smaller office buildings. They give enough light and avoid some of the shadows that other options will provide. And since you do not need to work in a big area, they are perfect. However, they may lack a bit when it comes to a larger option like a big shop so they may not be the best option for this. 

The Cost

The cost of each one is going to be pretty similar to one another. This is not going to make a big difference on which one you choose. It will depend on what you are looking for and what other features you want more than the actual type of light covering that you go with. Both the frosted and the clear LED shop lights are within a few dollars of each other so if you prefer one, the price is not going to prevent you from using it. 

Which One to Use?

The type of LED light to use in your shop will depend on your personal preferences and what you want to do in your own shop. For the most part, the clear lighting is better for this application because it can light up a very large area and make it look bright, though the shadow can be a problem in some cases. 

However, if you have a smaller shop that does not need as bright of lights, then the frosted option can be good. It is a more subtle light that is not as bright and glaring, but still makes for a nice light to have while you get work done. In the end, it is all about your personal preferences. 

Below are the LED lights I use in my shop. And I can’t recommend them enough. I’ve been more than happy with them.

My Top Pick!
Hyperikon Linkable LED Shop Light 4FT Double Tube

The Hyperikon Linkable LED Shop Light is the the shop light that I use in my own shop at my house. And I can't recommend this LED light enough.

Of all the lights that I installed I found that the overall quality is very good and all units worked properly without any glitches.

Hyperikon is very responsive and their customer service/ warranty is great.

  • 5000k (Crystal White Glow)
  • 4000 lumens
  • 40 watt
  •  Plug and play for instant full brightness with no flicker.
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