LED ballast confusion


Old 01-05-17, 06:52 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,004
Received 230 Votes on 205 Posts
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.
Sponsored Links
Old 01-05-17, 09:17 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 6,538
Received 367 Votes on 342 Posts
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, 10:32 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
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, 11:53 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 23,725
Received 623 Votes on 576 Posts
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, 04:41 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,108
Received 1,112 Votes on 1,032 Posts
Dane..... were you happy with the performance of the LED tubes over the fluorescent ?
Old 01-06-17, 06:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MI
Posts: 2,636
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
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?
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: