replacing 8' fluorescent tubes with LED


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Old 02-02-16, 12:01 PM
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replacing 8' fluorescent tubes with LED

Hi.

In my shop I have two 8' twin tube fluorescent fixtures. The ballasts and/or tubes are starting to have issues. Hum, flicker, not always starting.

I've been replacing most of the lights inside the house with LED and was hoping to do the same for these (bypassing the ballasts).

The bulbs installed are: Phillips F96t12/cw/ho/ew. Specs for these are:
Fluorescent, High Output Lamp, 95W, Bulb: T12 (Tubular), Base: Recessed Double Contact (R17d), Lumens: 8000, CRI: 59, Color Temp: 4100K. Length: 96 in

These have the recessed double contacts. I've read lots of posts saying you can install a T8 bulb into a T12 socket (with a new T8 ballast, irrelevent) but I think this is refering to the standard bipin T12 tubes and not the recessed double contact type.

I couldn't find a source for T12 recessed socket LED tubes, I can find lots of inexpensive sources for 8' T8 bipin. Am I looking at changing over the sockets.

Also, none of the enclosures have the plastic enclosures (not sure what the correct term is, lens?). I'm not sure if they are standard things you can cheaply get replacements for, of if I'm better off leaving as is, or if I also need new sockets, maybe looking for 2 used 8' bipin fixtures at the local rebuilding/recycling center?

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Size:  19.3 KBThe current fixtures are made by Lithonia lighting and are the type that connect to an outlet, there are outlets in the ceiling (I didn't install this way).
 
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Old 02-02-16, 12:36 PM
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I think you will be looking a a LED conversion kit. I have seen ads where the two tubes are replaced with 4 4 foot tubes. Not sure about the push-in ends.
 
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Old 02-02-16, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss
I think you will be looking a a LED conversion kit. I have seen ads where the two tubes are replaced with 4 4 foot tubes. Not sure about the push-in ends.
I'm not worried about this, 8' T8 LED bulbs (ballast bypass) are readily available, but they are usually T8 bipin.

I think I'm going to have to replace the sockets on the fixtures (or get 'new' fixtures). This was the question I was asking, best approach.
 
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Old 02-02-16, 01:29 PM
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Stop and consider how many hours per month the shop lights are actually in use. Convert those hours into watt-hours by multiplying the watts per fixture by the hours of use. Then multiply that by the cost of your power to see the actual operating cost on a monthly basis.

I also have eight-foot high output fluorescents in my garage/shop, a total of five twin tube fixtures. Most of the time I am only running one fixture, occasionally as many as three. I'm really guessing now but I would say about the equivalent of about 200 watts for maybe 12-15 hours a month or at most 3,000 watt-hours a month. That works out to be about thirty cents per month at my rate of ten cents per kilowatt hour.

Now maybe I am severely underestimating the usage so let's figure that I am really using four times as much power, that would mean that I am using about $1.20 a month to light my garage/shop. Multiply that by 12 and the cost per year is $14.40.

But maybe I am still underestimating so let's again multiply by four. Now I am estimating that I am using the lights for 8 hours per day or 240 hours a month which would be $4.80 cents per month or $57.60 per year to keep the lights on.

Now take whichever figure best suits your usage and compare it to the cost of retrofitting the LED fixtures. I'll bet that your "break even" point is going to be measured in YEARS, probably many, many years. I would opt for buying new high output fluorescent tubes if at all possible. I did read somewhere a year or so ago that 8 foot fluorescent tubes were going to be discontinued but I do not know when. As far as I know 8 foot high output tubes are still readily available. I have a complete spare set of tubes and considering how long they last I suspect that I will die before using all the tubes I have.

Now your situation is likely different than mine so you have to run your own numbers to see where your break even point is. If that point is still many years away it just plain doesn't make ANY economic sense to discard the fluorescents for LEDs.
 
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Old 02-02-16, 01:34 PM
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I'm sorry but I didn't ask for an economic analysis of the break even point. Is it so hard for people here to answer the question asked. Maybe it's just me, I have a standard rule when I'm on forums, answer the question that was actually asked, not what I'd like them to have asked and if I have no answer to the question asked, say nothing.
 
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Old 02-02-16, 02:26 PM
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I've always had to watch my money as well as the money of any clients and employers. Excuse me for trying to watch your money as well.

However, since money is no object with you, why are you even considering replacing individual parts like sockets? Why not just yank out all the old fixtures and replace with the latest and greatest? You can even do it on a yearly basis, keep the economy going all by yourself.
 
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Old 02-02-16, 05:58 PM
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none of the enclosures have the plastic enclosures (not sure what the correct term is, lens?).
The term might be lens or enclosure.

Am I looking at changing over the sockets?
Those would be the lampholders. Yes, you can change them.

or if I also need new sockets, maybe looking for 2 used 8' bipin fixtures at the local rebuilding/recycling center?
Good luck on that! 8 foot fluorescent lamps, other than high output, are single pin lamps and have one spring loaded and one stationery lampholder. Any typical F96T12 lamp has the single pins the same as the 8 foot T8 foot lamps which are now becoming scarce. The only 8 foot fluorescent fixtures I have ever seen that take bi pin lamps are the 8 foot 2-lamp tandem fixtures which take 4 - 4 ft T8 lamps.

Any more questions?

This all sounds like a lot of work, I'd just replace the fixtures if I had plenty of money to burn.
 
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Old 02-03-16, 09:19 AM
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At Costco yesterday I saw Feit 4-foot, 2-tube LED shop lights with 3700 lumen output for $24.99 with instant rebate. Even if you can find retrofit tubes and tombstones that cheap (doubt it)--what's your time worth?
 
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Old 02-03-16, 07:03 PM
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I saw Feit 4-foot, 2-tube LED shop lights with 3700 lumen output for $24.99 with instant rebate.
That is a good buy! I saw some similar fixtures at Lowes, but don't remember the exact price, but I believe they were like $10 to $20 higher.
 
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Old 02-03-16, 07:42 PM
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I checked Amazon because at that price I was interested but that were $40+ at Amazon (Of course sometimes items are made cheaper with lower quality to meet a price point of a large retailer.)
 
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Old 02-04-16, 07:34 AM
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I never considered Feit as a major manufacturer like Cooper-Metalux or Lithonia, but they do make a lot of LED lighting products, many are private labelled. I wouldn't be afraid of them at all.
 
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Old 02-04-16, 09:43 AM
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When Costco first started carrying these you had to be there the same day the truck arrived--they sold several pallets as soon as they could place them (probably to ppl who re-sold them on eBay or Amazon). I finally was able to get a couple for my basement and love how they cast a shadow-free light like fluorescents, but without the hum, weight or heat.
 
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Old 02-04-16, 05:50 PM
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Another option to consider are new F96T12/HO electronic ballasts. They should take care of the hum and provide more reliable starting as well. The savings won't match LED, they'll have lower losses which will reduce power consumption a bit.

I don't know much about LED retrofits for this size. I did a quick search and did find at least one kit out there, and it was essentially a 2xF96T12/HO to 4xF32T8 kit with LED tubes.
 
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Old 02-06-16, 07:09 AM
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This may not help you, but my two cents about buying LED products: If you choose to replace the fixture (and I would - F96T12/HO is archaic technology), you should not buy a fixture that does not have replaceable components, such as an LED 4' tube. For instance, I replaced some 50GU10 cans in my house with standard recessed cans that accomodate incandescent lamps, instead of an LED fixture. This way, as the technology evolves, I can put in the best LED screw in replacements without replacing the entire fixture.

You should know that almost all of the manufacturers of LED products from say, 2008, are now out of business. And those that are still in business manufacture products that barely resemble their originals.

Due to sheer numbers, the focus on LED replacement for fluorescent is the 4' tube and incandescent replacements. 8' tubes are very problematic due to the weight of the heat sink required, so none of the reputable companies even brought them to market. You'd be better off replacing the fixture with 4', or retrofitting to accomodate 4'. You can buy the cheapest 4' shoplight available, and bypass the ballast for LED product. If you retrofit the fixture, you may have to replace the lampholders, to ensure you don't use parallel wired product vs. series wired. The mfg. of the LED tube you select should have instructions.

I worked for Sylvania Lighting Services for 10 years, focusing on retrofitting this old technology from T12 magnetic, to T8 electronic, T5HO electronic. Then as a Mfg. Rep. for the absolute best LED products as the market emerged from 2008-13. The company that holds the patent for 4'T8 LED is Altair, who introduced the Toggled fluorescent replacement. This is still the only LED fluorescent replacement worth considering. They now license their technology to several companies, but none hold to the component and manufacturing standards that they do for their own American made product. I've been out of the business since 2013, but at that point, the DOE, who's Caliper Program evaluated LED technology, recommended that no product from China yet merited consideration.

It's important to note that even large, well respected companies brought LED junk to the market, in their rush to capitalize. Some of the worst products we evaluated were from GE, Philips, Lithonia, and Cooper, so caveat emptor.

You can learn about LED quality testing, applications, and more at CALiPER Testing | Department of Energy
 
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Old 02-06-16, 07:16 AM
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8ft 40W LED Linear Tube - (Bypass Tube) €“ Green Light Depot to replace 8' florescent bulb with LED bulb - no ballast or socket replacement necc.
 

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Old 02-06-16, 08:03 AM
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That replaces 8' Slimline lamps, with single pin, not HO. 8'HO has Recessed DC Base.
 
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Old 02-06-16, 10:45 AM
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The OP's light fixture is a high output (HO) florescent light which does not have the standard single pin or bi-pin ends. The entire light fixture will either need to be replaced, or a tandem retrofit kit needs to be installed to convert to 4 tandem bipin lamps. Then he can make the choice to either install 4' LED lamps or install a T8 ballast and just run florescent lamps.
 
 

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