Upgrading CFL kitchen fixture to LED - need advice

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Old 01-09-19, 01:11 PM
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Upgrading CFL kitchen fixture to LED - need advice

I tried using LED tubes with the existing T8 ballast and they worked for a while, but then started flickering, and eventually, the ballast died. I've heard that flickering is a common problem with the original LED tubes, but that there are newer bulbs which don't do this. I'm considering just bypassing the ballast and using direct-wire LED tubes (4 ft.). Is that the best route, since it's more energy-efficient, eliminates the ballast failure issue, and would avoid the flicker problem? Any downside? If not, do I have to source a specific type of bulb to work with my shunted headstones? Thanks!
 
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Old 01-09-19, 02:23 PM
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With shunted headstones LED must be powered from both ends or the headstones replaced.
 
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Old 01-09-19, 04:21 PM
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I never install LED bulbs and use a ballast. I install LED bulbs that are line powered (you remove the ballast and power them directly from 120 VAC) and have never had any flickering or problems. Read the specs for the bulbs you are considering. Some are powered from both ends and others do it all from one end. Also, some bulbs come packaged with new headstones.
 
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Old 01-09-19, 04:23 PM
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I'm considering just bypassing the ballast and using direct-wire LED tubes
Even if the headstones need replacing definitely use the not ballast LED, honestly it doesn't make any sense to go LED and keep those ballasts.

I just changed over my garage and I could not be happier.

Watch the color selection, while the 6500K for the garage is impressive you would not want that in the kitchen!
 
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Old 01-09-19, 04:38 PM
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Thanks, Ray. Sounds like you're in agreement that bypassing the ballast is the way to go. I'll start the search for the recommended LED tubes, and look into how I'll need to run the bypass wiring.
 
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Old 01-09-19, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Marq1 View Post
Watch the color selection, while the 6500K for the garage is impressive you would not want that in the kitchen!
Thanks for the tip, Marq1.
 
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Old 01-09-19, 04:45 PM
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Thanks for the advice, Pilot Dane. Do you - or any other members - happen to have any favorite brands/models, from your experience?
 
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Old 01-09-19, 05:02 PM
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I used the cheapest I could find on Amazon about three years ago and have no complaint.
 
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Old 01-10-19, 05:56 AM
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I have tried Hyperikon (8' and 4') and SuperbrightLED's 4' basically picking the cheapest available at the time and they have all worked well. Between home, office and warehouse I have over 30 tubes with the oldest 3 years old and I have not had a single one fail so I can't say one brand is better than another.

Look closely at the photos for the tubes you choose. Some brands have a clear tube so the individual LED's are visible which is OK for a shop but not in a kitchen if the bulb is visible but if your fixture has a diffuser it probably doesn't matter.

Definetely choose a warmer color temperature (lower K number). Higher K numbers appear brighter but have a cold, institutional feel. Don't worry about the brightness of lower K number bulbs as they are still a bit brighter than traditional fluorescents.

Bypass wiring is no big deal. Make sure the power is turned off. Remove the old ballast leaving the wires in the fixture as long as possible. Then connect your house's hot (black) and neutral (white) to the wires leading to the tombstones as needed. Cap off or remove unused wires in the fixture and your done. The hardest part of the job is bringing the ladder into the house.
 
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Old 01-10-19, 08:52 AM
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I have Hyperikon in my garage for 3 and 4 years, no problems at all. Best part is if your furnace should go out and your kitchen drops below zero you'll still have nice bright light.
 
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Old 01-10-19, 09:11 PM
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Don't intend to hi-jack the thread, but......I have the same outdated (1993) CFL in the kitchen and magnetic ballast and they flicker and buzz. I am not going to do any electrical work but hire an electrician. These sit on top of our kitchen cabinets and face upward.

Guess there are three options.. 1) Leave fixture in place and install new bypass LED tubes, 2) buy new LED fixture and tubes. 3) buy new CFL fixture and CFL tubes.
Also Is an in-line fuse needed ?

Still confused about single / double ended; shunted or non shunted; plug and play...but that is why an electrician will come over.

Last, I read that I should not connect a non-shunted tombstone directly to a branch circuit. ???

Thank you
 
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Old 01-10-19, 10:32 PM
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still confused about single / double ended; shunted or non shunted;
Does this help you understand:

Shunted means the two slots in tombstone are connected to each other.

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Last edited by ray2047; 01-11-19 at 01:27 AM.
  #13  
Old 01-11-19, 05:57 AM
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Yadda Yadda you have a couple options. You can retain your existing fixtures, remove the ballasts and install 120 VAC powered LED bulbs which is what we've been discussing. Another option is an LED fixture system that is mostly just plugging things together. With this system the only issue is adding an outlet above your cabinet to plug these lights into.
 
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Old 01-11-19, 06:27 AM
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read that I should not connect a non-shunted tombstone directly to a branch circuit. ???
More likely it was a shunted because that would be a dead short if both hot and neutral was connected to the same tombstone. See shunted tombstone diagram in my previous post.
 
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Old 01-11-19, 08:05 AM
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Thanks for your great advice, everyone. I opted for the "toggled" brand, single-ended bulbs. 4000K/2300 lumens. They were an easy install, with supplied non-shunted tombstones to replace my shunted ones. So far, working like a charm. Hope you all have a great weekend!
 
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