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Thread: LED light conversions

  1. #1
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    Pierre, SD
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    LED light conversions

    Menards has plug and play LED bulbs. Does ballast condition affect these bulbs? I know my ballast are week in cold weather. I'm debating conversion or new fixtures.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2013
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    Wayland, MA
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    Can't answer your question for sure, but I popped a couple of these into a really nasty, ancient ('60's vintage) fixture a few weeks ago and they worked perfectly. No rewiring, just popped them in and done. I was impressed.

    62498348074__889663DD-A0A4-425B-B89F-E56FAD7C1BAF.jpg

  3. #3
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    I’ll be following closely. I have 8 4ft/4bulb florescent fixtures in my shop ceiling that I’d love to switch out to led. I’ve switched everything else in the shop.
    Please help support the Creek.

    When I was a kid I wanted to be older...this is not what I expected.

    ---

  4. #4
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    I'm thinking that at the worst I'll just have to remove the ballast and rewire the tombstones.....

  5. #5
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    I've used a few of the conversion "tubes" in my shop as well as a closet in the house where the beasts were no up to snuff for fluorescent tubes but worked perfectly well for the LED replacements. (That particular fixture installed by. the previous owner was poorly designed and changing out or removing the ballasts would have been a royal pain).
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    I used a couple of the LED bulbs that are direct replacements. They work very well. I had some ballasts go out and did the direct wire led bulbs. Thatís what I do now. Once you do one, itís pretty easy to make the wiring changes and get rid of the ballast.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2013
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    Waterford, PA
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    I converted my whole shop to LED 2 years ago. I removed the ballasts and rewired the fixtures. I wasn't difficult and only took an afternoon. As a bonus, getting rid of the ballasts greatly improved my radio reception.

  8. #8
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    The tombstones are easy to change, and cheap, if your fixtures are old enough to have a size you'd rather pass, like T12's. You can get them off Amazon. On the ones I've changed, there is just one screw, with a 1/4" hex head holding in the piece of sheet metal that the tombstones snap into. You don't even need any tools to change them. You can do it with your fingers.

    I don't know of a good reason to keep an old ballast, or replace with new ones. There may be, but I don't know what that would be.

    There's plenty of wire in the fixture to do any rewiring you need. The wires just push in the tombstones after you strip the ends. Really, the only tools you need are typically a 1/4" nut driver, wire cutters, and strippers for the small wires. You probably won't find those strippers where the other electrial tools are in the box stores, but you will find them where the phone, and TV wiring stuff is.

    If you decide to do the direct wire tubes, there is no good reason to even leave the old ballast in the fixture. There is only one screw holding it in, and the other end slides under a little keeper. I cut the small wires off close to the ballast, and it leaves more than enough wires to do the conversion.

  9. #9
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    The direct wire bulbs I bought came with new tombstones but I didnít have to replace mine. I have a pair of the blue handled Klein strippers and they worked for the wires. I also use the Ideal wire connectors and that makes it quick and easy too. I think Iíve done 8 or 10 now throughout the house and part of the shop.

  10. #10
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    I switched my shop to LED direct-wire bulbs when I built it. I used Hyperikon bulbs, as they have >90 CRI and am extremely happy with them. Rewiring each fixture (removing the ballasts) just took a few minutes, and I'll never have to worry about ballasts going bad on my 17' high ceiling. There was no need to remove tombstones on mine. Couldn't be easier (although 17' up in the air).
    - When God closes a door, he opens a window. Our heating bill is outrageous & six raccoons got in last night. Please God, this has to stop!
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  11. #11
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    Dec 2012
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    Personally, I would not consider using plug and play LED tubes. When the ballast fails the light will no longer work. I just installed 9 ballast bypass tubes. It took about 5 minutes each including changing out the tombstones. No worries about the ballast failing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael W. Clark View Post
    The direct wire bulbs I bought came with new tombstones but I didn’t have to replace mine. I have a pair of the blue handled Klein strippers and they worked for the wires. I also use the Ideal wire connectors and that makes it quick and easy too. I think I’ve done 8 or 10 now throughout the house and part of the shop.
    The blue handled Kleins were the ones I used also. The ones for house wiring typically don't go smaller than for no.14's.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2003
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    Doylestown, PA
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    Wire Stripper

    I have this wire stripper:

    https://www.amazon.com/Neiko-01924A-...s%2C145&sr=8-4

    It works well and covers all wire sizes ( 10 - 24) that I'm likely to encounter. As far as tubes, I did direct wire also, no benefit to having ballasts beyond not having to remove them from fluorescent fixtures. The tubes I bought from a few different sources are all powered on one end. It's simpler than replacing a ballast, fewer wires. I just did little jumpers from one tombstone to another. The tombstones on the unpowered end of the tube simply hold that end of the tube in place. The LED tubes came with a sticker to install on the fixture saying that the fixture had been modified and fluorescent tubes would no longer work.
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 01-11-2021 at 11:11 AM.

  14. #14
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    Sep 2016
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    Good idea to mark inside fixture how LED bulb is wired. Some are power from one end only others are power from both ends. I think that there will eventually be only one way in the future but I have no idea which way. Kinda like VHS and Beta. Beta was a better system but VHS way outsold it until DVDs killed both.
    Bill D

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Good idea to mark inside fixture how LED bulb is wired. Some are power from one end only others are power from both ends. I think that there will eventually be only one way in the future but I have no idea which way. Kinda like VHS and Beta. Beta was a better system but VHS way outsold it until DVDs killed both.
    Bill D
    Honestly, it will be interesting to see if the "tube" format even continues long-term with LED fixtures.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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