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  • LED Lights

    Hi folks can i get some advise re LED. i now have 4 pull chain 34w fluorescent t8/t12 units and would like to replace the bulbs with LED. i see that there are kits where the ballast does not need to be removed which is the way i'd like to go any info and direction would be welcomed.

    Regards
    Allan
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  • #2

    Re: LED Lights

    While you do not need to remove the ballast from the fixture you do need to remove the power to it, cut the ballast wires at the tombstones (tube connectors) and reconnect the power source to the tombstones. You may want to use the cut-off wire from the tombstone to connect your power source for the LEDs.
    There are 2 types of installations, single-ended and double-ended.
    In the single-end case the power is applied to one end of the tube only (one pin hot, the other neutral) and the connector on the other end is only to hold the tube in place. In this configuration the tombstone must be of the non-shunted variety which means each pin connection on that end is electrically isolated from the other or you would short the power line.
    In the double-end case, the hot goes to one end of the tube and the neutral to the other end. In this configuration since there is only one power connection at each end the tombstone likely can be either shunted or non-shunted.
    ALWAYS FOLLOW THE PARTICULAR LED TUBE'S INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS! The above is a general overview.
    billh
    Last edited by billh; 10-16-2020, 03:10 PM.

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    • #3

      Re: LED Lights

      There are in fact more than two types of replacement LED tubes for fluorescent fixtures. Some require the bypass of the ballast and others work with the ballast. As a further complication, there are two types of ballasts, older magnetic and newer electronic ballasts. The LED's that work with the ballast only work with the newer electronic ballasts. You can determine if your ballast is compatible, view the existing lights thru a cellphone or digital camera, if you see dark stripes across the tubes then you have the older magnetic ballasts and LEDs will not work with them. In addition, if you bypass the ballast in Canada you invalidate the certification of the fixture.
      Long story short, when I replaced my fluorescents I scrapped the fixtures and went with these https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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      • #4

        Re: LED Lights

        I understand swapping incandescent lights for LEDs but I'm curious why folks change from fluorescents. Is it the light quality? Cool temperature performance? I doubt the energy savings justifies the expense but maybe I'm wrong on that. Enlighten me please.

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        • #5

          Re: LED Lights

          I switched because my fluorescent tubes were slow to start up in colder weather (my ballasts were the older magnetic type) and tubes were failing, seems like they lasted less than two years and then the light output dropped off. When I switched to the LEDs I linked to, the lights come on immediately and the light level was significantly brighter and hopefully will stay that way.

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          • #6

            Re: LED Lights

            Originally posted by Kayak Jim View Post
            I understand swapping incandescent lights for LEDs but I'm curious why folks change from fluorescents. Is it the light quality? Cool temperature performance? I doubt the energy savings justifies the expense but maybe I'm wrong on that. Enlighten me please.
            For me and my aging eyes it's the light quality. I find it overall less tiring to work under LEDs than under fluorescents.

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            • #7

              Re: LED Lights

              Originally posted by Kayak Jim View Post
              I understand swapping incandescent lights for LEDs but I'm curious why folks change from fluorescents. Is it the light quality? Cool temperature performance? I doubt the energy savings justifies the expense but maybe I'm wrong on that. Enlighten me please.
              - You can get equivalent light levels for about half the power consumption.
              - Maintenance costs are a lot lower with LED. In a residential setting, where fluorescents would be switched frequently (shortens their life), the LEDs will last 4 or 5 times longer
              - Cold temperature operation is better with LED.

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              • #8

                Re: LED Lights

                Apparently there are now LED tubes that directly replace T-12 tubes that use a magnetic ballast while leaving the ballast in circuit but I know nothing about them. They are the most expensive though.
                As far as cost-saving with LEDs go, if you have 12 double 4ft fixtures in your shop you have 2*12*34 watts/tube= 816 watts. I calculate my Ontario real cost of power which includes taxes, delivery charges, power cost, etc at about 25 cents/kwh during the day. So for 0.816 Kwh x 25 =20.4 cents per hour. If I have 18 watt LED tubes the cost is 2*12*18x 25= 10.8 cents per hour. which is roughly half, say $0.10 per hour. So if you have the lights on 8 hours per day 20 days per month x 12 months per year the saving is about 8*20*12* 0.10$ = $192.saving. Cost of a single LED tube is roughly $12 give or take so our 24 tubes cost about $288 which means a payback period of roughly 1.5 years as a rough estimate if I did it right. Not a bad saving, maybe I should do mine.
                billh

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                • #9

                  Re: LED Lights

                  I wasn't aware of the magnetic ballast compatible LEDs but of course the magnetic ballasts are generally older and maybe approaching failure so eliminating them makes sense to me.

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                  • #10

                    Re: LED Lights

                    It seems they remain powered so there is also some wasted energy being given to them and if it hums it will still hum. Here is a link to one site I found that sells them at $15 US which is closer to $20 Cdn.

                    https://www.earthled.com/collections...nt=20878881220

                    I would eliminate the ballast rather than do these. Also, they may not work with all ballasts.

                    billh

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                    • #11

                      Re: LED Lights

                      Originally posted by Kayak Jim View Post
                      I understand swapping incandescent lights for LEDs but I'm curious why folks change from fluorescents. Is it the light quality? Cool temperature performance? I doubt the energy savings justifies the expense but maybe I'm wrong on that. Enlighten me please.
                      In my shop I have 8-10 of the old spiral fluorescent bulbs and as they fail I switch them to LED (so far 3) but I still have the two 8foot fluorescent tubes that are at least 7 years old , their light blend well with the rest and lights up the shop so well that I have left them untouched so far.
                      These old fluorescent tube type lights seem to last a long time and still throw a lot of light in my small shop but when they eventually stop working, I'll replace them with LED.

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