LED ballast confusion

Old 01-05-17, 07:52 AM
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LED ballast confusion

This started out as question to other members, but I decided to do some investigation while writing this post.

Our store sells several types of LED tubular style lights as do most stores. One of the SATCO (owned by Philips) 4 foot T8 LED (14T8/LED/48-840?DR) bulbs states that it is ballast dependent. My question, Does this mean that a fixture must have a ballast specific for LED bulbs or does it plug into a typical fluorescent ballast type fixture.

So according to the SATCO website for this bulb, it should be a direct snap in for fixtures with existing and compatible ballast..(see compatibility chart http://www.satco.com/website_pdfs/Sa...ityChart_B.pdf) of fluorescent tubular fixtures.

Additional searching of the Philips website also shows more and more LED tubular bulbs available as direct replacements with existing fixtures and no re-wiring necessary.

So, FWIW I would suggest to many of those seeking to change out fluorescent T12s to LED T8s, might check major manufacture's websites to see if they make a direct replacement.
Old 01-05-17, 10:17 AM
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I'm not sure why, unless you just did not want to do any wiring, you would want to keep the ballast.

When I get around to making the switch, I plan to rewire directly to eliminate the ballast but leave them in the fixture so if I ever move I can keep the LED bulbs!
Old 01-05-17, 11:32 AM
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If ballast dependent then it probably won't work without the ballast but they also make ones that work either way. I just can't imagine spending that kind of money and keeping a ballast. Like buying a car that needs a horse to pull it.
Old 01-05-17, 12:53 PM
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I just installed LED bulbs in some 4' T12 fixtures in my shop. The LED bulbs could go either way and I think they were rated for anything from 100-277 volts. You could put them in like a fluorescent bulb and run with the fixtures ballast. Quick and easy but wasteful of some energy in the ballast. Or, you could direct wire them to 120VAC. And, there were two ways you could wire them and still work. I was shocked at how flexible they were and best of all they work. I wired 120VAC to the two pins on one end of the bulb with nothing hooked to the other end and they work.
Old 01-05-17, 05:41 PM
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Dane..... were you happy with the performance of the LED tubes over the fluorescent ?
Old 01-06-17, 07:22 AM
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For me it's been a moot issue. I can buy a complete 4' 2-tube LED worklight that can be daisy-chained for $29.99 at Costco. So far I haven't found retrofit tubes cheaper than that for a pair--and they sell em right next to the fixtures.

The part that bugs me is WHY should retrofit tubes be more expensive than a complete fixture?

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