T-12 L.E.D to replace T-12 Flourescent tubes

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Old 08-22-14, 11:20 PM
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T-12 L.E.D to replace T-12 Flourescent tubes

In my house I have about 12 to 13 T-12 fluorescent fixtures with one being near the stairwell in my basement and hard to get to because of things stored in that area. Three of my fixtures need new tubes and that is about all of the fluorescent tubes I have left. So I think it is time for a major change as the fluorescent tubes burn out fairly quickly and I don't care for mercury in my lighting.

My question though concerns the ballasts can you just use the fluorescent tube ballast or do you need to buy a new ballast? Also some of the fixtures with their plastic covers are cracked now and I want to replace the whole fixture. So I would like to know the best fixture brand and the best tube brand too.

I think too that the big box stores really don't have what I need as I looked in big orange not long ago and really wasn't impressed by their quality. So I really think an online source will work better for us. Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 08-23-14, 12:36 AM
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There are two types with one LEDs don't use a ballast. It is removed. Your 120 volts is connected to the sockets on one end. The sockets on the other end are not powered. If it is fixture with shunted sockets such as T-8 they will need to be replaced. However with T-12 you should be able to reuse the sockets. There is another type that is designed to use with the existing ballast. The latter is easier for replacement but you have a ballast which can fail and produces some heat and probably wastes a bit of electricity.
 
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Old 08-23-14, 05:29 AM
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I am not convinced that an LED would offer longer life than the fluorescents you have now. Similar to how CFL's promise a amazingly long life but seem but half in the package die within 6 months.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 08-23-14 at 08:58 AM. Reason: not>now
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Old 08-23-14, 07:56 AM
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go to lowes and try an LED fixture about the size of 8x48...........real nice..........$80.00 or so

LED's are great for flat surface lighting
 
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Old 08-23-14, 08:14 AM
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You did not mention how your lights are installed. Are they in a suspended ceiling or are they surface mounted? How many lamps per fixture?
 
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Old 08-23-14, 09:21 AM
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You did not mention how your lights are installed. Are they in a suspended ceiling or are they surface mounted? How many lamps per fixture?
Sorry Tolyn Ironhand I should have mentioned that they are surface mounted. I personally think that LED lights will be better for us than what we have now. Ray from what you told me that is fantastic news that you can use the original ballast. I think I would rather go with that kind of tube for now and just replace bad fixtures as needed so having the ballast is not really problematic even with more electricity being used. I still though need to replace some of the poorer quality fixtures because of cracked plastic covers.
 
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Old 08-23-14, 10:51 AM
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Here is an example of what I found: https://www.1000bulbs.com/category/t...fit-led-tubes/
 
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Old 08-23-14, 02:47 PM
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Only thing to note about Ray's link is they are make for T8 fixtures. Your current fixtures are T12 and likely do not have instant start ballasts.

Also note the color of those lamps. The two listed are 5000K and 4100, both being a bit on the cool side for a home. I normally suggest 3500K or warmer for a home and 4100K for an office/commercial.

I would suggest replacing the old fixtures with new T8 fixtures, as you already mentioned. Then installing the new LED lamps.

This might also be helpful: LED T8 Linear Tube Lighting Retrofit FAQ | How to Retrofit
 
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Old 08-23-14, 03:14 PM
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I would bet that your ballasts will fail before the LED's, if the fixtures are all in the same room it seems like biting the bullet now may be better.
Just my opinion.
Geo
 
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Old 08-23-14, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for the links Ray and Tolyn Ironhand I think for ease of retrofit I will stay with T-12 as that is what is in my existing fixtures. They say I need a driver instead of a ballast for the tubes and I imagine it is the same as wiring a ballast and probably would fit in the same spot as the old ballast. I have changed ballasts before so that shouldn't be too hard to manage. When I get some time I will look over the websites and see about the drivers. I am thinking that the driver tubes are cheaper but again will have to investigate some.

I will try to investigate this soon but in the mean time if someone has brands in mind that are a good quality that will help me. In any event I will be doing this slowly as I see the tubes are kind of expensive. Not all of the fixtures are in the same area some are in my basement workshop area and some in other parts of the basement such as one in my office. The last one is in my kitchen upstairs and harder to reach when I need to replace a tube.

I think too I will need help in selecting the proper driver as I see there are many to choose from. Some say up to 100 watts and I am wondering if you can use a lower wattage bulb in them. Right now I am using 40 watt fluorescent two tube fixtures. I want to try to keep the cost low too but still have something that will last a long time.
 
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Old 08-23-14, 07:36 PM
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I think too I will need help in selecting the proper driver
No driver is needed with the ones I looked at. You just hook the tombstones on one end to the AC in and that is it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjw2UXVJaS0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjw2UXVJaS0
 
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Old 08-23-14, 11:31 PM
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Thanks Ray for the video it is very informative and the place that made the video I see sells the kits and the tubes. Only thing I am not sure about is what holds the tubes in place, will a T-8 tube fit in an old T-12 socket on the un-powered end or do I need to buy all new sockets? I ask because the ends look similar and could be the same distance apart but may not be. If I don't need to buy many new things then I can save a bit of money.

Be nice too to not have to worry about powering a transformer that can go bad. I still would like to look into the driver type too and compare the two types. One website I looked at claimed you could use your old transformer with their bulbs but I don't really know how true that is.
 
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Old 08-24-14, 12:39 AM
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Thanks Ray for the video it is very informative and the place that made the video I see sells the kits and the tubes. Only thing I am not sure about is what holds the tubes in place, will a T-8 tube fit in an old T-12 socket on the un-powered end or do I need to buy all new sockets? I ask because the ends look similar and could be the same distance apart but may not be. If I don't need to buy many new things then I can save a bit of money.

T-8 and T-12 bulbs use the same sockets.
 
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Old 08-24-14, 12:40 AM
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The only difference between a T-8 and T-12 is the pins on a T-8 are shunted together. On the T-12 it is a separate wire for each pin. In the video they were replacing a fixture with T-8 tombstones. On your T-12 you don't need to replace them.

Side note: iI is common to upgrade a T-12 florescent fixture to T-8. When you do that you change only the ballast. The tombstones are reused. They just connect both leads from the tombstone to one lead from the ballast shorting them together like on a T-8 tombstone.
 
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Old 08-24-14, 05:16 PM
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I understand the information about the tombstones but now I see there are two types of led t-8 tubes ones that need wires on both ends as in the example I found here Robot Check .

And the other kind that was mentioned in the video you supplied Ray that only require wires on one end. I really would like to buy this from Amazon.com but don't know what they call the tube that has wires only on one end which would be easier to wire. I get gift certificates for Amazon.com so that would save me money.
 
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Old 08-26-14, 09:10 AM
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Personally I think the tubes that use the hot on one side and the neutral on the other side are simpler, and safer if a normal tube is put in by accident.
 
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Old 08-26-14, 09:46 PM
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Hedgeclipper asked me to stop by and check out his thread. The LED replacement tubes are kind of new to me so I really didn't have anything new to add. I'm actually enjoying reading about the replacements available.

I have converted all my home fixtures to T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts.
(That's about my speed)
I have no complaints about T-8's and electronic ballasts.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 01:39 AM
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Pete thanks for checking in on this I know you are an electrician too so it is why I invited you to join in. Well these are fairly new and still kind of expensive so I understand why you might not know about them. Apparently from my research so far some can use your old ballast but seem to be too expensive and some require no ballast and thus no hum anymore from the ballast. I think I found my answer to the particular class of tube this is and that is G-13. I was looking for other wiring instructions in hopes of finding the name.

I did find some instructions from Phillips and they talk about shunted and non shunted tombstones. My question now is which way should the tombstone be wired should it be shunted or not shunted?

I wish I could have copied the wiring illustrations but couldn't and I have no way of making a diagram instead I will give you a link to the PDF document I looked at http://www.lighting.philips.com/us_e...013_v6_web.pdf . I have only two tubes in each fixture. Thanks for everyone's help I am understanding this much better now.

As to the other type of tube being safer because it has to be wired on both sides maybe you are right but I think if somebody used a fluorescent tube in a rewired light nothing would happen either way. So I take the middle ground and say the jury is still debating about that.

Edit: I just looked over the documentation just a bit better and they said not to use a shunted tombstone in their warning area at the bottom of the document.
 

Last edited by hedgeclippers; 08-27-14 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Additional information
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Old 08-27-14, 01:58 PM
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I thought I would update everyone and let you know that I contacted the seller mentioned in Rays video. Apparently the type that is wired on the other end too can cause fires at least according to the seller and he wouldn't even give me a designation for those tubes because of that. So for me it will be the type that is wired only on one end. Also the same company has a type of tube that uses a transformer but it costs $2.00 more and in today's economy every dollar counts. Besides that I can now get rid of humming transformers.

I don't know that I will go with this company maybe and maybe not but I will give you links to both kinds of tubes and the retrofit kit. So anyone who wants to make the change can and I certainly would keep the video up as long as possible because it explains the installation of the retrofit great. The people seem to be nice to talk to too and explain things well. for the retrofit kit here is the link it is for the brightest led kit they have LED T8 4ft. 20 watt clear retrofit G13 base 2 lamp retrofit kit 5000K

I saw that I was taking up a bit too much space so here is the link for just the tube in the kit which is made by Green Watt according to the person I chatted with LED T8 4ft. 20 watt clear retrofit G13 base lamp 5000K OUR BEST SELLER . Now here is the link to the other kind of led tube that can use the ballast that is in the Fluorescent fixture Plug and Play T8 LED Lamps - T8 LED Lamps - LED . A bit on the expensive side now but the ceiling is low in the basement and it would be difficult to install lighting cans.
 
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