How to Replace Fluorescent Tubes with LED
Replacing fluorescent tubes with LED bulbs can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint; Because they consume less energy, use brighter light sources that do not contain toxic mercury or other chemicals, and spread illumination more evenly than fluorescent bulbs. They’re durable, easy to use in any weather, and don’t require a warm-up period.
Replacing a standard T8 or T12 fluorescent tube can be tricky because the process involves more than just plugging or screwing in your new bulb. Before replacing the tube, you must remove the old ballasts and do some electrical wiring. Despite being able to save $200 a year in energy costs, most people dislike replacing incandescent light bulbs. If you don’t want to remove the ballast, there’s an easy way to change a T8 fluorescent tube with and LED equivalent – no need for removing anything!
Switch to a Plug and-Play LED Tube like this one:
- It’s Quality made and guaranteed for 5 years
- Works with the vast majority of T8 ballasts
- Distribute light evenly with a 132-degree beam angle
- Has a 50,000-hour lifespan, more than 10 years in most standard-use applications
- Provides more light than a 32 Watt fluorescent tube with only 18 Watts
- Saves energy by reducing consumption by 80%
- Compatible with light sensors
- No toxic mercury or toxins
- No annoying hum due to failing ballast
How to Remove the Ballast to Replace a T8 Fluorescent Tube With an LED
Simply place our 4’ LED T8 Hybrid Tube (Type A+B) Tube in the former T8 fluorescent tube position, with No ballast removal. If you already have an LED replacement tube for your T8 fixture, replacing it will take about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the breaker or shut off the power at your home’s main electrical panel before working with electricity.
- Remove your original T8 fluorescent bulbs. Remember that they contain toxic mercury and are fragile, so be careful when handling them to avoid breaking them. Dispose of them safely—they cannot be sent to recycling with your general waste nor can they go in the landfill. You can find a recycling program in your community.
- To remove the ballast, cut the wires and remove the ballast. Expose the hot and neutral wires. Make sure they’re long enough to reach the socket wires.
- Rewire the fixture by connecting the fixture and socket wires together. Follow the LED manufacturer’s instructions on the box. In general, all you have to do is twist the wires together on each side with one of the incoming circuit wires from the center.
- Install your LEDs as you would a standard fluorescent T8 tube, simply insert the tube and twist it to lock in place.
- Turn the power back on with the circuit breaker and test them out.
Type A Linear LED Tubes (Ballast Compatible)
Type A LED lamps are designed to work with standard fluorescent ballast units. Type A LED tubes, which are also known as Plug & Play lamps, can be easily installed. These tubes can be used with the ballast from your existing fluorescent light fixture. The benefits of LED tubes are their ease of use and safety. The wattage and light output for this type of tube can be controlled by the existing ballast: low, normal, or high. Type A lamps are often installed by simply replacing existing fluorescent linear tubes, creating a safer installation than Type B. Although these tubes are considered to be ballast-compatible, not all manufacturers’ ballasts are compatible. Most tube manufacturers recommend checking their list of compatible ballasts before installing Type A tubes. When choosing Type A tubes, it is important to consider the age and compatibility of your ballast.
Type B Linear LED Tubes (Ballast Bypass)
Type B LED tubes are fluorescent ballast bypass lamps. Type B lamps are also called line voltage lamps. These tubes have an internal driver that is directly wired to the power source and bypasses a ballast. The benefits of Type B LED tubes are lower costs and reduced maintenance. Arguably the most popular, Type B tubes are less expensive and require less maintenance than other types. Although popular, type B is also the most complex to install of the types of LED tubes. The installation of these lamps requires that the existing ballast be removed, and the line voltage wired directly to a socket (non-shunted).
Type A+B Linear LED Tubes (Ballast Bypass & Compatible)
Type A+B LED tubes are fluorescent ballast bypass and/or compatible LED linear lamps. Formerly known as Type D, A+B lamps are sometimes called combo or magic tubes. A+B tubes are designed to be used with or without ballast. The Type A+B LED tubes are safe and versatile. These combo tubes provide maximum flexibility in both technology and application. Plug & Play for ballast-compatible operation or removal of the ballast for ballast bypass operation. Although these tubes are considered ballast compatible, not all manufacturers’ ballast are compatible. Most LED tube manufacturers suggest reviewing their list of compatible ballast before installing Type A+B LED tubes.
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