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  1. #1
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    LED replacement bulbs - 48" fluorescent fixtures

    Anyone here replaced their 48" fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs? (LED bulbs in existing fixtures with fluorescent ballasts). Likes, dislikes, recommendations for what I should look for?

    I have 11 ceiling fixtures in the garage, each with two 48" fluorescent bulbs. LEDs would save a lot of electricity, but the bulbs aren't cheap.
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  2. #2
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    My bud thatís an electrician told me to replace the fixtures.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Anyone here replaced their 48" fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs? (LED bulbs in existing fixtures with fluorescent ballasts). Likes, dislikes, recommendations for what I should look for?

    I have 11 ceiling fixtures in the garage, each with two 48" fluorescent bulbs. LEDs would save a lot of electricity, but the bulbs aren't cheap.
    I did it in my laundry room with whatever was on the shelf at Home Depot. It was fine, but it was only two fixtures. Quick and easy. No different from swapping out the tube.

    For a room that size and that kind of financial outlay, it's worth considering rewiring the ballasts or replacing the fixtures altogether. LED strips are cheap online and at some point the cost of a sparky's time is no more than what you're spending on all the faux LED bulbs. But how much time do you spend out in the garage with all the lights on? YMMV.

    Bypassing the wiring on the ballast myself in my laundry room didn't seem like a good use of my time, but I also have fluorescent tubes in the rumpus room in my basement. I think I will do it right and get my electrician buddy to help wire proper, low-voltage dimmable LEDs for that one when I get around to it.

  4. #4
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    Is $4 per LED light that will work in the ballast too high? Im seeing 10 packs for $40
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  5. #5
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    I removed the ballasts and rewired the reflectors. Works well.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mofro261 View Post
    Is $4 per LED light that will work in the ballast too high? Im seeing 10 packs for $40
    That's not bad at all.

    What's the advantage of getting rid of the ballasts and wiring in new LED fixtures, vs. just installing fluorescent fixture compatible LED bulbs?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    That's not bad at all.

    What's the advantage of getting rid of the ballasts and wiring in new LED fixtures, vs. just installing fluorescent fixture compatible LED bulbs?
    IIRC, it is more energy efficient to dump the fluorescent ballasts.

  8. #8
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    I rewired some in my shop to remove the ballast. It was a while ago, but I don't recall it being a big deal. LEDs have been good since, and they're far less temperature affected than the fluorescents, which matters in a room that's pretty cold for half the year.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    LEDs have been good since, and they're far less temperature affected than the fluorescents, which matters in a room that's pretty cold for half the year.
    Old florescents in my garage when I moved in last year. For whatever reason, the florescent fixture was *really* temperature finicky. Like way more than seems normal for moderate CA temps. Just not working constantly.

    I ended up buying a multipack of bulbs and was outside the return window before I realized that they weren't compatible without bypassing the ballast. Looked at the time vs new fixture cost and decided to go new fixture with four bulbs instead of two. Really like the increased brightness. And also fixed the series wiring to the next fixture (previously non-functional) that some old owner screwed up. So that florescent works now too. Will get around to swapping that one at some point too.
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  10. #10
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    Costco has dual-tube 4' LED shop lights for $20 each ($40 for a 2-pack). I got 4 for the garage to replace the shitty old 8' shop lights that were in there (and the ballasts were already starting to shit the bed). Very happy with the results. Brighter, instant-on even when it's really cold, etc.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    That's not bad at all.

    What's the advantage of getting rid of the ballasts and wiring in new LED fixtures, vs. just installing fluorescent fixture compatible LED bulbs?
    covered here- https://www.premierltg.com/should-yo...8-led-tubes-2/

    saw the cheap LED bulbs here https://www.superiorlighting.com/uni...IaAudsEALw_wcB
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mofro261 View Post
    Thanks - good info.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

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    Practical advantage is lower profile hanging fixtures, ime. color spectrum can be nicer as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    Practical advantage is lower profile hanging fixtures, ime. color spectrum can be nicer as well.
    The fluorescent fixtures in my garage are all mounted straight to the ceiling - not hanging down on chains - and wired together, all to one wall switch. The fixtures are not flush mounted (recessed), so accessing wiring wouldn't be that tough.

    I need to do some Google research on reliable brands for LED bulbs.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  15. #15
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    Replaced them in my garage with type b.

    A bunch of the old fluorescents had bad ballasts anyway.

    Super easy. Wish I'd done it years ago.

    So bright I could use one tube in most of old double fittings.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    The fluorescent fixtures in my garage are all mounted straight to the ceiling - not hanging down on chains - and wired together, all to one wall switch. The fixtures are not flush mounted (recessed), so accessing wiring wouldn't be that tough.

    I need to do some Google research on reliable brands for LED bulbs.
    sorry to add irrelevant first person information that offended you, carryon the circlejerk.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    Costco has dual-tube 4' LED shop lights for $20 each ($40 for a 2-pack). I got 4 for the garage to replace the shitty old 8' shop lights that were in there (and the ballasts were already starting to shit the bed). Very happy with the results. Brighter, instant-on even when it's really cold, etc.
    Costco used to sell 4' LED fixtures that had an automatic shut off / turn on motion sensor. When we pull into the garage the fixtures turn on. They could be set to turn off after a specific time, 60 seconds, five minutes, ten minutes. Any movement resets the timer. Unfortunately I don't see them anymore, just pull chain fixtures.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    sorry to add irrelevant first person information that offended you, carryon the circlejerk.
    Not offended, just gathering information here. If I don't have to do any rewiring on 11 fixtures, standing on a ladder, that'd be nice. Still weighing pros and cons of the type A vs other bulbs.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Not offended, just gathering information here. If I don't have to do any rewiring on 11 fixtures, standing on a ladder, that'd be nice. Still weighing pros and cons of the type A vs other bulbs.
    It's hardly even "wiring" really straightforward to do. 2 minutes per fixture.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    sorry to add irrelevant first person information that offended you, carryon the circlejerk.
    Being a wee bit sensitive, dontcha think?

    Interesting thread, I wasn't even aware these LED replacements for tubes existed.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    It's hardly even "wiring" really straightforward to do. 2 minutes per fixture.
    Thanks. I assumed it would be more involved than that.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  22. #22
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    Can't recommend the simpleton version enough.

    I did 4 fixtures (8 bulbs) in the garage about 5 years ago using whatever was on the shelf at Costco (FEIT brand). Didn't touch any wires/ballasts/etc. -> just unscrew old/dying flourescents & screw in new LEDs.

    It's been awesome. Tons of better quality light, no flickering, they turn on much quicker, and all are still on/bright. Don't remember cost, but it was low enough that I was willing to try. Probably save energy, too.

    Cost savings in not managing flourescent tube inventory & spending time changing bulbs was well worth it (there was always at least 1 dead or dying) -> I would have replaced them all at least once by now if I didn't make the change.

    I say do it!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Thanks. I assumed it would be more involved than that.
    As I recall, I spent far more time standing around in the box store light bulb aisle trying to figure out which LEDs would work with ballast bypass fixtures than I did actually rewiring ther fixtures.

    iirc, the rewire is just cutting two wires, stripping them, and sticking them back together (around the ballast) with some wire nuts. Super quick.

  24. #24
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    Yes I have. Bought the bulbs at Costco. Works just fine on a regular switch. No dimmers, etc.
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  25. #25
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    Can confirm that rewiring fixtures is easy. We tested a few bulbs in our office, and re-wired the fixtures, took 10min for two fixtures. Definitely make sure they are frosted-style retrofit bulb.

    For some reason many electricians and electrical engineers recommend replacing the bulbs. However, the arguments have never stood up to muster to me. They seem to feel as though "it is just the right thing to do," and sometimes claim cost savings. In my opinion it is demonstrably cheaper to use the retrofit bulbs, and is more sustainable to re-use the metal fixture than to trash it for a newer one of the same. Especially for a garage application

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