Safety Tips for LED Tube Retrofitting

LED lights are on the rise and are replacing all commercial fluorescent bulbs. With LED bulbs having many benefits, who wouldn’t want to start retrofitting? Some of these benefits include:

  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Less wattage required than the standard HID, CFL, and incandescent lights
  • LED’s have built-in dimmers and are made to be turned on and off.
  • LED’s are well suited for the outdoor and indoor environments
  • Cost is cheaper in the long run

Type of Lighting:

Incandescent Light Bulb

Compact Fluorescents(CFL)

LED Bulbs


60 watts traditional

15 watts

12 watts


1,000 hours

10,000 hours

25,000 hours

Cost per day:




Safety tips while retrofitting your LED’s

LED Retrofitting

Step #1: With any retrofitting there is always the danger of electrocution, so be sure to check that the power is disconnected before you start. If it’s not, simply turn off the power from the breaker before installation. 

*If your wiring is more than 50 years old, or you are inexperienced with retrofitting and/or rewiring, we recommend contacting an experienced professional first*


Exposed wires in light fixture

Step #2: Lamps have been found to have exposed and accessible live parts during a retrofitting. Even LED’s have been known to have exposed live wires and can electrocute you. This is why it is very important to be careful when handling LED light fixtures.

This danger can easily be avoided by choosing lamp parts, for the faceplate, that are covered in insulating material.

Insulation Material:

  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Teflon

Another option to avoid this danger would be to have a lamp that has an integral lens in front of the component parts.


Step #3: Retrofitting can force you to deal with rewiring. Most fluorescent bulbs have incorporated the wire round design and can be altered to allow easy usage with a retrofit LED starter. To achieve this, you must bypass the electronic ballast and wire directly to the lamp.

Bring the Right Tools:

You need to remember that the original manufacturer of the fluorescent bulbs is no longer responsible for their safety unless specifically stated.

 Step #4:    If you come across a fluorescent that’s been accidentally installed in a luminaire and converted for use with LED lamps, be careful. These have the possibility of violently rupturing any cathodes at the tube’s end, especially at the moment of insertion. This rupture could cause a surprise reaction that could ultimately result in injury. To avoid this it is advised that a label be affixed in a position visible to persons retrofitting. The label should state which types of bulbs are suitable for use.

Safety Supplies You Will Need:

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Will Owen
Will Owen

B.A. in English from Kennesaw State University. Will takes what he's learned and writes about all sorts of things from artists to electrical supplies and LED light systems. You name it and he can probably write about it.

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