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Thread: Questions for those that converted T12 4 foot fluorescent fixtures to LED.

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom lucas View Post
    I struggle to understand why anyone would get the ballast compatible bulbs, just to save a few minutes on installation only to have the ballast fail later.
    And the ballast uses power which ends up as wasted heat.

    But there is an issue with ballast bypass in that it involves modifying the fixture which voids the electrical approval for the fixture.

  2. #17
    I have twenty some 4 bulb troffer fixtures in my shop. Changed all them out a year ago. Removed all the ballasts. Bought a few bulbs at Menards at first, then switched to ebay, as they cost half as much. Prefer the clear, but have some frosted, can't tell the difference. Not one bulb has failed in the last year.

  3. #18
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    I had T8s flickering. I got all new LEDs at Sam's club at $20 per fixture. I am mostly ecstatic.

    I maybe could spread the new fixtures out a little further apart, but I figure they are going to dim over time and it hasn't bothered me enough to get the ladder back out.

    YMMV. I really liked the GE "reveal" series incandescents, I still have a notable collection of those that are not for sale under any circumstances. FWIW the failure rate for me on the Sam's fixtures was +/- 10% but the prompt courteous exchange rate with receipt was 100%.

    Do check out the lighting sticky in this section. I installed close to 125 candles per square foot in the main area of the shop, am over 50 years old, loving it.

  4. #19
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    Tom, obviously the way to compare light fixture against light fixture, regarding light output, is to compare the lumens.

    That is the only answer I was looking for. WHO MAKES THE LED REPLACEMENT BULB WHICH HAS THE HIGHEST LIGHT OUTPUT FOR 4' T12 and T8 replacements. The specific manufacturer/s and specific bulb name/#

  5. #20
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    I bought a bunch of LED replacements.

    I opted OUT of retaining the ballasts. Why? Because they draw power, get warm, and when/if they fail, I'll need to spend perhaps $20-30 for a replacement ballast that is doing nothing. It is like buying an fake electric fireplace that requires a hook up to natural gas for a pilot light. Huh?

    I cut out all of the ballasts. So all of the power goes to the LED tube.

    4000 or 5000 degree K? It is a matter of personal preference. I opted for 5K.

    The big box stores seem to favor direct plug in (keeping the Ballasts). But on-iine there are lots of alternatives.

    What I like about the LEDs is their light is focused downward. So the sawdust settles on the side that doesn't put out light.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Landel View Post
    Tom, obviously the way to compare light fixture against light fixture, regarding light output, is to compare the lumens.

    That is the only answer I was looking for. WHO MAKES THE LED REPLACEMENT BULB WHICH HAS THE HIGHEST LIGHT OUTPUT FOR 4' T12 and T8 replacements. The specific manufacturer/s and specific bulb name/#
    Sorry Bob, I wasn't trying to be a smartaxx. I guess I misunderstood your question. Unfortunately, what you ask may not be so easy to attain. If one were to compile the data, say from 30 mfr, how much of it could you trust? Their LED source may also change over time, introducing yet another variable.

    I just know I'm happy with my 18W from greenlightdepot.com. BTW, they have a great deal right now if you buy 25 18W, ballast by-pass type, they are only $3.99 each. Cheaper yet for the ballast compatible $3.55. I'm sure the 20W bulbs are brighter still.

    They also have the "refrigerator bulbs" which do not require a fixture at all. Simply screw included brackets to a joist and wire directly. These also can be daisy-chained with included connector/sockets. I think up to 8 in a string. If I didn't already have fixtures, I would have installed this type. You can put them right where you want them.

  7. #22
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    I went for clear Hyperikon T8 90+ CRI , 4000K LED Replacement bulbs. Ceiling height is 15.5 ft.

    I am very happy with them. I needed more of them than I thought. The bulbs are direct wire, so the ballasts were thrown out, which was another big plus maintenance-wise.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brice Rogers View Post
    I bought a bunch of LED replacements.

    I opted OUT of retaining the ballasts. Why? Because they draw power, get warm, and when/if they fail, I'll need to spend perhaps $20-30 for a replacement ballast that is doing nothing. It is like buying an fake electric fireplace that requires a hook up to natural gas for a pilot light. Huh?

    I cut out all of the ballasts. So all of the power goes to the LED tube.

    4000 or 5000 degree K? It is a matter of personal preference. I opted for 5K.

    The big box stores seem to favor direct plug in (keeping the Ballasts). But on-iine there are lots of alternatives.

    What I like about the LEDs is their light is focused downward. So the sawdust settles on the side that doesn't put out light.
    I imagine most people prefer ballast compatible because they don't require modifying or replacing the fixture. I too removed the ballasts; why have something inline that is not required, is a potential point of failure and uses power without producing light?

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    I imagine most people prefer ballast compatible because they don't require modifying or replacing the fixture. I too removed the ballasts; why have something inline that is not required, is a potential point of failure and uses power without producing light?
    In my particular case, with the lights up so high, I didn't want the extra maintenance of the ballasts failing, and needing to get up that high to replace them. It took just about 5 min a fixture, at most, to remove the ballasts.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

  10. #25
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    Nov 2013
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    Waterford, PA
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    I used Tom's info and purchased LED bulbs from greenlightdepot last weekend. They arrived during the week and my husband and I replaced all the T8's in both of our workshops yesterday. 60 bulbs in total. We chose to eliminate the ballasts, so it took a few minutes per fixture to re-wire, but the improvement is dramatic!

    A big thank you Tom.

  11. #26
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    Canada
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    Download a light meter phone app that you can use as a light meter to give you an output reading. It really doesn't matter how accurate the reading is as you just use it to compare the outputs. I have 32 T8 bulbs in the shop and thought I would try some of the LED replacements. The output was 15% lower with the LED replacement bulbs. I also installed some new T8's for comparison to my 10 year old bulbs and found no output difference from old to new. I opted to replace with high output T5's in 2 locations to get better light. The T5's effectively doubled the output in these areas. I have an 11' ceiling and the light reading were all taken at working height. The LED tech is still evolving and effectively you have to replace the whole fixture when you have a failure, I'll stick with a time proven tech for now.

  12. #27
    I ended up going with Satco S9723. Here a link to the specs: https://www.satco.com/s9723.html One thing I noticed when looking at T8 LED bulbs, like many things, there are really cheap ones and then the not so cheap ones. And there are many, many bulb choices out there and as many places that sell them. I prefer to purchase from established manufactures, with that in mind, I had narrowed my search down to Keystone, Satco, and RAB.

    This is single end bypass ballast using 15 watts and putting out 1800 lumens. I went with the 5000k version. I have the old T12 40w bulbs so going to 15w will save me 62.5% on my light bill.

    I found a place that has this bulb on sale for $5.95 (normally $10.95), add in a 10% off coupon, reasonable shipping cost and it was an easy decision.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Monroe View Post
    I ended up going with Satco S9723. Here a link to the specs: https://www.satco.com/s9723.html One thing I noticed when looking at T8 LED bulbs, like many things, there are really cheap ones and then the not so cheap ones. And there are many, many bulb choices out there and as many places that sell them. I prefer to purchase from established manufactures, with that in mind, I had narrowed my search down to Keystone, Satco, and RAB.

    This is single end bypass ballast using 15 watts and putting out 1800 lumens. I went with the 5000k version. I have the old T12 40w bulbs so going to 15w will save me 62.5% on my light bill.

    I found a place that has this bulb on sale for $5.95 (normally $10.95), add in a 10% off coupon, reasonable shipping cost and it was an easy decision.
    RAB has tried to give me bulbs to try for free. It is such low end trash that we declined to even try them. Any lighting designer can look at the marketing garbage and see it is crap. With 996 T8 in one building, the scammers from RAB come by from time to time. They have a warehouse a few miles away. Satco and Keystone seem to be the same. Such low end junk that they don't even provide an .IES file, which any decent manufacturer would provide so that you can design a lighting layout. Established manufacturers? If there is no downloadable .IES file, keep looking.
    There is actual good product available at about $10.00. The normally $10.95 marked down to $5.95 or the crap peddled on ebay is just a scam. Start with Unvlt.com Universal Lighting, a division of Panasonic. If you've never heard of the company 20 years ago, it is crap.
    Last edited by Greg R Bradley; 04-22-2019 at 10:08 PM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Starr View Post
    I used Tom's info and purchased LED bulbs from greenlightdepot last weekend. They arrived during the week and my husband and I replaced all the T8's in both of our workshops yesterday. 60 bulbs in total. We chose to eliminate the ballasts, so it took a few minutes per fixture to re-wire, but the improvement is dramatic!

    A big thank you Tom.
    You are welcome, Lisa. Glad they worked out for you. There are many right answers here.

    I would like to add that LED T8/T12 replacements are not rocket science. Easy to manufacture. Easy to get good quality. So I say don't overpay for "name" brand. It's a mass produced LED purchased by everyone for every purpose.

  15. #30

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