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Shop light LED conversion bone head move. #5167341 07/21/19 02:27 PM
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JTK Offline OP
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I was at a local hardware store the other day and saw that they had Philips 48" LED tubes on sale for $3.99/ea. I grabbed one off the shelf to check the wiring configuration and it was a ballast bypass, single ended power style. The packaging was a little beat on that one so I grabbed two others.

Got the ballast stripped out of the old heavy-duty vintage T12 shop light and wired it single ended. Put the lamps in, fired it up and got nothing. Swapped the lamps around. Still nothing. How could I have gotten this wrong? Took the cover off the housing to recheck my wiring. All good?

Looked at the sleeves the lamps came in. They are direct wire, leave the ballast in place LEDs!! The package I looked at in the store and the ones I actually bought (the ones on sale) are different style. I let the smoke out of those buggers with one flip of a switch. spank


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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: JTK] #5167352 07/21/19 02:37 PM
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Oh boy. I purchased hyperikon brand ballast bypass from Amazon. Did the wiring and I've been pleased.


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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: Cujet] #5167357 07/21/19 02:43 PM
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JTK Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Cujet
Oh boy. I purchased hyperikon brand ballast bypass from Amazon. Did the wiring and I've been pleased.



I've seen a few recommendations for that brand. I'm just trying to figure out why a direct wire (leave ballast in place) LED lamp would be cheaper than bypass lamps?

I guess my take away from my smooth move above is, be sure the read the packaging and lamp labeling before you buy and before you re-wire your fixture!


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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: JTK] #5167412 07/21/19 04:01 PM
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It could be there are utility incentives to "retrofit" vs installing new tubes.

I got some utilitech (lowes generic) T8 LEDs that are fantastic for $2.50 each about three years ago. They haven't been that cheap since. They were on red-tag "clearance" which is weird for new tech.

Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: JTK] #5167416 07/21/19 04:05 PM
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Audios Offline
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These were really impressive, and screwed right into the existing incandescent holders.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BQV1CMY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: eljefino] #5167457 07/21/19 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by eljefino
It could be there are utility incentives to "retrofit" vs installing new tubes.

I got some utilitech (lowes generic) T8 LEDs that are fantastic for $2.50 each about three years ago. They haven't been that cheap since. They were on red-tag "clearance" which is weird for new tech.


You're probably on to something with that. Perhaps they're subsidized somehow.

I like utilitech! Have had good luck with fixtures and various lamps under that brand. I too find it odd that ballast bypass T8 lamps seem to have gone up 2-3x the price they were several years ago. Where the ones you bought powered from one end or are they double enders?


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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: JTK] #5167481 07/21/19 05:34 PM
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I think they were double enders. 2 pins on each end. I've seen single-pin T12 8-footers, antique tech. Not sure how the HV wiring works, frankly. I just like how they light my shop up. Directionally, they focus just enough extra light "down" without being obvious about it.

Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: JTK] #5167525 07/21/19 06:40 PM
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I really would like to run bypass ballast types but they cost more.
I got the 12 led t8's I needed for around $4 each. They actually come on in the winter(garage) and dont take 5min to warmup(basement) so its a win.

The kitchen 4-bulb fixture uses around half the watts with the leds so that is a win too... all with 5min to install.. and no rewiring up on a ladder.


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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: eljefino] #5167557 07/21/19 07:20 PM
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JTK Offline OP
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Originally Posted by eljefino
I think they were double enders. 2 pins on each end. I've seen single-pin T12 8-footers, antique tech. Not sure how the HV wiring works, frankly...


Sorry.. What I meant by that was, with the ones requiring ballast bypass, the led retrofit tubes are either powered at just one end of the tube (one pin "L", the one next to it "N") and the pins at the other end of the tube are basically there to hold the tube in place. Or, the tubes are powered such that the two pins on one end are the load/power end and the the two pins on the other end are the neutral. What I've learned is you've got to be sure of which style you've got or you'll wind-up with what I did with my ~$9 worth of new LED tubes. *PooF*

Last edited by JTK; 07/21/19 07:22 PM.

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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: Cujet] #5167564 07/21/19 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Cujet
Oh boy. I purchased hyperikon brand ballast bypass from Amazon. Did the wiring and I've been pleased.



Me too, I love their lights!!

Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: JTK] #5167572 07/21/19 07:35 PM
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Is the cost saving as great with ballast-in LEDs? The main point of converting is saving money.

Our new house has 4- 4' fluorescent 2 bulb fixtures, when the bulbs go bad I'll replace the fixture. Or maybe just replace them sometime and be done, bought a 4 pack of 4800 LM fixtures for $80 on Amazon last summer for in the garage.


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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: JTK] #5167633 07/21/19 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JTK
I'm just trying to figure out why a direct wire (leave ballast in place) LED lamp would be cheaper than bypass lamps?


Economy of scale in production? My guess is they expect to sell a lot more of the direct-fit lamps. Almost anybody can change a lightbulb. Lots of people won't take a fixture apart to rewire it.

Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: JTK] #5167730 07/22/19 12:07 AM
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Yeah, you have to be extremely careful with LED bulbs and what they're designed for.

Right now with the mad rush to convert from CFL/Fluor. to LED there are various bulbs being produced that may be direct replacement only, meaning they need the ballast, they may need to be rewired (either to one end or both, depending on lamp configuration), or rated for both applications. All this leads to a lot of confusion, so it's imperative that you understand what it is you're buying and how to install it.

Additionally, I've been told by LED bulb suppliers that eventually the manufacturers want to only do fixture replacements. On one hand, this would end the confusion, however, it adds to the expense and hassles of converting to LED or replacing an LED bulb if it goes bad.

The starter went out in one of the ballasts in my kitchen last year. I needed to get back up and running immediately, so I bought bulbs that were direct replacement, but that could also be rewired. I swapped out the F-bulbs for LED and have not gotten around to rewiring the fixtures yet. The advantage of removing the ballast is that you're not burning 30 or 40 watts just to fire the ballast that's not being used. Ballast removal results in the highest energy savings.


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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: JTK] #5167884 07/22/19 09:02 AM
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The problem of fixture replacement is the wiring may not come in where old wiring did and then wiring would need to be moved in finished ceiling (in my case).


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Re: Shop light LED conversion bone head move. [Re: Donald] #5167906 07/22/19 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Donald
The problem of fixture replacement is the wiring may not come in where old wiring did and then wiring would need to be moved in finished ceiling (in my case).



Not only that, but in the shop light realm, LED shop light fixtures are sure not made like the old stamped steel T12 or even some T8 fluorescent beasts were. They are plastic and paper thin aluminum for the most part.

I'm beginning to wonder if the manufacturers are pushing the leave the old ballast in place LED replacement tubes to prevent litigation associated with removing/discarding old ballasts, hazards associated with bypassing the ballast, etc. I know the better tubes come with the appropriate labeling you're supposed to stick on the fixture, indicating the ballast has been bypassed and to never use fluorescent tubes in it.

Like said above, running these LED retrofits with the old ballasts in place has to add 30-40 watts in power consumption, which is like adding another bulb to the fixture just in wasted power. Plus the junk ballast can still go out, rendering the fixture useless.

Also, just to add to the above conversations, I'm finding pricing for decent 48" LED, ballast bypass bulbs at close to $10/each!! Yikes. There are no namers on eBay for around $5/ea, plus tax of course.

Last edited by JTK; 07/22/19 09:40 AM.

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