Choosing the right T8 LED tubes to replace your current Fluorescent tubes can be a bit confusing. As you navigate through the web, you read about ballast compatible, direct wire, and hybrid LED tubes. To make things even more confusing, you have to know if your linear fluorescent fixture is wired for single-end or dual-end, and if it is equipped with a shunted or un-shunted tombstone.
To simplify your decision making, we are going to break the T8 LED Tubes into three types for you to select from.
Hybrid LED Tubes
The Hybrid T8 LED Tubes are the newest, simplest and easiest tubes to choose from. They are the most versatile tubes. They can be configured to by-pass the ballast, or they can simply be installed into your current linear fluorescent fixtures with either electronic or magnetic ballast.
These LED tubes are the ideal solution for homeowners and small business owners which are looking to reduce their power consumption with minimal downtime or the need for an electrician to remove the ballast from the fixture.
The major downside is that the ballast is still liable to increase your power consumption by as much as 20% per fixture, and it could shorten the lifespan of the LED tube as it adds additional stress to the tubes. Lastly, the ballast is still a maintenance concern as it is still in play.
Where possible, we recommend that you remove the ballast to further reduce your power consumption and to eliminate the need to manage that aging ballast.
We have decided not to create a video on how to properly remove a ballast as they are many videos on YouTube on how to do so.
Direct Wire or Ballast Bypass LED Tubes
The ballast bypass LED tubes are the most efficient solution to replace your current T8 fluorescent tubes. These LED Tubes run directly off the line voltage, eliminating the need for a ballast to regulate power. Furthermore, you will have to also replace the current tombstone to a non-shunted rapid start version. Although, the rewiring is simple enough and can be done in 10 minutes per fixture, we highly recommended that you consult a master electrician to perform this task.
Electronic Ballast Compatible LED Fluorescent LED Tubes
These LED tubes require an electronic ballast to work. This is by far the simplest solution to retrofit your current T8 fluorescent fixture. It is as simple as swapping the new LED tube with your current fluorescent tube.
However, with the new hybrid LED tubes, there is no benefit and reason to lean toward this option. In our opinion, the hybrid tubes are by far the best of both worlds.
Voila! You do not need a PhD to upgrade your current T8 fluorescent tubes. We hope this guide has answered your LED fluorescent tube replacement questions.
If you are still not sure about upgrading to LED Tube, please read our LED Fluorescent Tube Replacement guide.
As always, please reach out to our LED lighting team if you have any other questions, or you simply want to brag about your energy efficient project!
Now that you have learned about T8 LED fluorescent tube replacement, where are you showcasing your new LED Tubes?