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Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? #5054952 03/26/19 06:37 PM
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y_p_w Offline OP
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Not sure exactly where this goes, but consumer electronics seemed about as good a place as any.

So this morning I turned on our kitchen light, which is a pair of 32-watt T12 fluorescent tubes in a dual fixture. I replaced the ballasts a few years back when the previous magnetic ballasts stopped working and used a Phillips Advance electronic ballast rated only for F40T12 and F32T12 tubes. It didn't quite turn on completely, although it did finally go on after a few minutes. Then it started working again consistently. However, it did seem that I needed new tubes. So I pulled it out and promptly cracked the plastic part of the G13 lamp holder. I went looking around for the part at Home Depot (where it was a special order) but then got a pair of 4 ft F32T8 tubes thinking it would be compatible with the ballast (turns out it wasn't so I plan on getting a refund). I did find the lamp holders at another local hardware store for $2 for a pair.

But I was thinking of maybe getting an LED equivalent that would direct plug in with the ballast (Phillips Advance Centium ICN-240-N Rapid Start Electronic Ballast on the label). Looking at the Phillips online guide (Home Depot seems to have a newer version than Phillips Lighting) there only seem to be a limited number of certified LED tubes.

https://images.homedepot-static.com/catalog/pdfImages/06/06b382f4-e4c7-441d-9e9d-e9c620dc1f3e.pdf
http://images.philips.com/is/conten...t_Ballast-Compatibility-Guide_2018-1.pdf

Anyone tried this before? I'm kind of confused because some of these claim there's a ballast bypass, although I'm not sure what that means. As far as I can tell, the ballast compatibility guides are for setups that are guaranteed to work between the LED tubes and ballasts. I guess I can't use T8 tubes since they're not compatible with the ballasts, but I can use 13/14 watts T8 sized LED tubes.

So any opinions on whether I should get an LED replacement? I believe they should use less than half the power and last considerably longer. Not sure about how directional they are though.

Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5054984 03/26/19 07:03 PM
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CDX825 Offline
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Ballast bypass means your hooking power directly to the sockets. Have to watch though as some sockets are shunted.

Ive had good luck with the Philips T8 led bulbs. They require an instant start ballast for T8 bulbs. The ballast are cheap and Ive converted a few fixtures now.


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Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055023 03/26/19 07:36 PM
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mk378 Offline
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Replacing the whole fixture with a purpose-built LED system usually gives you a better light pattern and energy efficiency. If you do retrofit use the type where you bypass the ballast. Then there's one less thing to go bad.

Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055079 03/26/19 08:23 PM
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mez Offline
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I purchased these. They are direct wired so you need to bypass the ballast. Real nice

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S5OA1U2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055090 03/26/19 08:33 PM
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y_p_w Offline OP
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Well - I haven't done anything yet. I returned the incompatible bulbs but then looked at what they had at Home Depot. The Philips InstantStart tubes were all ones that weren't suitable with my existing ballast. The other thing that was annoying was that the number they use to match the tubes to ballasts are on the tube and not on the package. When I talked to an employee, I was told that they were all basically being closed out and eventually they were getting more universal Phillips LED tubes meant for nearly all T12/T8 ballasts. They had this one, which was a 14-watt LED from Feit that was claimed to be more or less universal.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Feit-El...r-LED-Light-Bulb-T48-840-LEDG2/308494927

Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055139 03/26/19 09:14 PM
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pkunk Offline
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Get these ballast bypass. https://www.ebay.com/itm/T8-LED-Tube-Light-4ft-18W-Milky-Cover-100-240V-120cm-3000K-4000K-6000K-10-25pack/122373359305?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=422855399142&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649 I've got about 60 of them and love 'em. Bypass the ballasts and save a bunch of electric. Ballasts heat up-total waste of energy.


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Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: pkunk] #5055172 03/26/19 10:04 PM
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y_p_w Offline OP
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Originally Posted by pkunk
Get these ballast bypass. https://www.ebay.com/itm/T8-LED-Tube-Light-4ft-18W-Milky-Cover-100-240V-120cm-3000K-4000K-6000K-10-25pack/122373359305?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=422855399142&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649 I've got about 60 of them and love 'em. Bypass the ballasts and save a bunch of electric. Ballasts heat up-total waste of energy.

Now that I've looked into it, it seems easy enough to do. I've replaced a ballast before, so this should be easy enough as long as I remove the fuse (my house doesn't have breakers). I figure these replacements probably should last a while, but I would leave a note saying that the ballast was bypassed and now connected to the mains for a direct LED lighting replacement.

I found this, which suggests cutting the red (hot) and blue (neutral) wires from the ballast and connecting them to black (hot) and white (neutral). And the yellow wires from the ballast are totally unused because these only operate from one side.

https://blog.1000bulbs.com/home/how-to-bypass-a-ballast

[Linked Image]

I am a bit confused because some sources don't recommend a direct wire LED.

Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: mk378] #5055232 03/27/19 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mk378
Replacing the whole fixture with a purpose-built LED system usually gives you a better light pattern and energy efficiency. If you do retrofit use the type where you bypass the ballast. Then there's one less thing to go bad.



Yep , replace the whole fixture with a new LED fixture .


Wyr
God bless
Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055284 03/27/19 05:38 AM
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lyle Offline
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If you want hillbilly easy, then get any Feit brand T12 LED retrofit. These seem to be way more compatible than the Philips retrofits. I replaced 2 old 4ft T12 fluorescent tubes in a 20-year-old magnetic ballast fixture with Feit retrofits and they worked right away. It took me about 3 minutes 47 seconds to do the work, and that included removing the fixture cover.

I had some suspicions about the Philips, and the Home Depot help said that they get a lot back because of compatibility issues. Not so with the Feit brands, however.

You can do the rewiring and bypass the ballast, but then you *may* run into issues with UL listing and home inspection markdowns if you ever decide to sell, at least from what a home inspector told me.

Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055326 03/27/19 07:11 AM
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Costco currently has a pair of "drop in" 4 foot LED's on sale for $9.99. I've purchased a number of these and have been extremely pleased with the performance. The Phillips ones from Homeless depot are more expensive and less bright.

I also purchased a large number of Hyperikon "ballast bypass" 4 foot clear lens LED's for the garage. (I have 8ea, fixtures in the garage) . While the LED's are individually visible, they are bright and troublefree. But no brighter than the more pleasing Costco ones.


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Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055361 03/27/19 07:44 AM
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I just converted 8 light fixtures, 30 bulbs, to LED. Best thing I could have done. I bypassed the ballasts. I can actually listen to FM radio in the shop now. Brighter, less electricity, and no noise. I got Single-Ended-power ones, but having looked back I probably would have went with the dual-ended power, as it would have saved me some wiring. I used wires already in the fixtures. Ballast went in the garbage.


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Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055390 03/27/19 08:19 AM
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ruhroh Offline
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Ballast bypass T8s are hard to find locally. Lowe's and HD used to have some models but they've been discontinued for years now and the LED T8s now sold in those stores all need electronic ballasts to work. Some newer ones at Lowe's/HD will work with T12 magnetic ballasts but there aren't many and you really need to read the smallprint if they're even printed on the outside packaging in the first place.

Amazon bypass bulbs tends to be much more expensive than the generic eBay ones. I bought clear lens coolest ones on eBay and I should have gotten milky lens or a warmer color. What you need to pay attention to is: double end or single end powered so you can connect the right wires. If you buy the single-end bypass bulbs, you would need to make sure or replace the tombstones with non-shunted ones in addition to doing more wiring work depending on the length of wires when you cut out the ballast.

Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055516 03/27/19 10:25 AM
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Well - I can put this off because it's working for the time being. However, I'm thinking of replacing them with bypass LEDs on the advice of many posting here. Not sure if I'll get double-ended or single-ended, but it looks like the Philips MainsFit versions are double-ended. It looks like the way they work is fairly simple - hot on one end and neutral on the other end. They require either shunted or bridged non-shunted. sockets. The only problem seems to be where to just get a pair. Amazon.com sells two varieties of 4 ft ones, but only in 4 packs. Kind of a dilemma since this is a single pair setup and I have no other places where I would need a 4ft tube. I'll keep my eye out if anything similar is sold in singles or pairs.

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-LED-542506-MainsFit-Ballast/dp/B07KK56DDR

I don't really feel like taking out everything and putting in specific LED lights since I don't want to repaint and leave any holes.

So here's the plan for a double-ended setup......

1) Take out the entire ballast including all the captive wires and sockets connected to those wires, keeping everything connected. I had a heck of a time pulling out the wires from a socket to reuse. I'm going to put it aside and keep all those just in case I need to put all this stuff back in, and it's going to be a pain connecting it to stubby wires.

2) I'll go out and get new G13 sockets. They were only $2 a pair where I got my replacements. The odd thing was that they fit a little bit loose compared to the ones they replaced but were fine once everything was screwed in tight. It slid into a piece of sheet metal that was then clamped to the fixture. Then I would need to bridge (effectively shunt) them like they show here:

[Linked Image]

3) Get some 18 gauge solid copper white and black wiring. I think I can buy it by the foot. I figure keep the colors simple - matching the mains colors. Probably a good idea to use a single wire going to each socket, which will be bridged.

4) Connect the hot wires via a cap connector (or do push-in connectors work better?) on one end and the neutral wires to the opposite end.

5) Insert the tubes and hope to heck that I don't burn my house down.

Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: y_p_w] #5055607 03/27/19 11:30 AM
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JTK Offline
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My suggestion is like said above. I just can't see running 48" LED retrofit tubes through a ballast intended for T12 or T8 fluorescents. I haven't shopped these in stores in a year or two now, but finding them compatible with ballasts back them was difficult and those that were available were expensive. Apparently the game has changed now.

If the T12 fixture you have isn't purpose built for the application, I'd do yourself a favor and replace the whole fixture with something LED.

I know I've replaced about six two-tube T12 shop lights in my basement with 36" LED shop lights. They give off way more usable light for a fraction of the wattage consumed.


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Re: Equivalent LED T8/T12 tubes? [Re: JTK] #5055683 03/27/19 12:39 PM
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y_p_w Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JTK
My suggestion is like said above. I just can't see running 48" LED retrofit tubes through a ballast intended for T12 or T8 fluorescents. I haven't shopped these in stores in a year or two now, but finding them compatible with ballasts back them was difficult and those that were available were expensive. Apparently the game has changed now.

If the T12 fixture you have isn't purpose built for the application, I'd do yourself a favor and replace the whole fixture with something LED.

I know I've replaced about six two-tube T12 shop lights in my basement with 36" LED shop lights. They give off way more usable light for a fraction of the wattage consumed.

It’s a 4-1/2’ long box with a wood-grain look box and diffuser. It covers a lot of real estate and I really don’t want to mess with removing it if I can just retrofit it for direct wiring. The socket type (where I’ll get new ones) is rated for 600V and 660W.

But my plan right now is to get doubled-ended ballast bypass tubes where I’ll shunt the sockets myself with short lengths of wire. Then connect two black wires to one end, then two white wires to the other. Maybe also leave a note on the setup on the fixture, even if it’s just so I can keep it straight.

The fixture is in good condition although the original sockets are slightly blackened. I believe it’s 70s era although. Y house is late 40s. I replaced the original magnetic ballast maybe in 2011 with the electronic one I mentioned. I don’t even recognize the company. I guess it was one of several small companies that made them. I just went to dispose of household hazardous waste and forgot to get rid of the ballast.

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