4 Ways to Convert Fluorescent Light to LED

Are you thinking of changing fluorescent lights to LED? Converting fluorescent light to LED sounds complicated. Also, it can be challenging if you don’t know how it works.

But there are quick and easy ways to replace your T8 fluorescent light with T8 LED light. Continue reading to learn more!

Look for LED bulbs for ballast compatibility or bypass

Type A LED Tube (Ballast-Compatible)

fluorescent conversion to led

Type A LED tubes have internal drivers, and they run on programmed start ballasts. These types are the easiest to install.

You don’t need electrical or structural modifications to the existing fluorescent ballast. Simply remove fluorescent light, then replace it with a Type A LED tube.

However, Type A LED tube lifespan depends on the lifespan of the fluorescent ballast. Also, you won’t enjoy the full features of the LED light.

The existing ballast will limit its dimming and controllability. If you want to make adjustments, you have to spend additional maintenance. Type A LED Tube works on T5, T8, and T12 ballasts.

Type B LED Tube (Ballast Bypass)

converting fluorescent to led

Type B LED tubes have internal drivers. However, their power comes from the main voltage supplied to the fluorescent fixture. It happens after bypassing the ballast.

Bypassing the ballast solves all compatibility issues. Aside from that, there is no need to spend on maintenance costs.

Type B LED Tube is less costly than other tubes, but its installation can be dangerous. An electrical modification is required to connect the wires to the main voltage.

Type C LED Tube (External Driver)

convert fluorescent to led

Type C performs best of all the tubes because of its external driver. However, it is also the least popular because of its price. Minimal electrical modification is required. It is easy since the output wires are connected to the sockets and not to the main voltage.

Because of the external driver, it is efficient in its dimming capabilities. Also, it includes programmable outputs, a longer lifespan, and excellent control functionality.

Type A + B Tube (Ballast Bypass and Compatible)

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Type A+B Tube, formerly known as Type D, can be helpful in ballast bypass and compatibility. These types can work with or without existing ballasts.

The advantage of having combo tubes is that it offers flexibility in its application. It is both applicable for ballast compatible operation and ballast bypass operation.

Convert the fluorescent fixture to LED

Suppose you want to save money, converting the fluorescent fixture to LED costs less. However, there are considerations that you must know before doing the process.

Non-shunted or shunted sockets of fluorescent lighting fixtures

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You must have suitable sockets when you convert your fluorescent fixture to LED. Using the wrong one may lead to electrical short, or it can lead to an early burnout to the bulb. So what’s the difference between non-shunted or shunted sockets?

Although the two sockets may look alike, they differ in the flow of electricity. The current on a shunted socket flows in a single path. In contrast, the current on a non-shunted socket flows through multiple pathways.

Most LED bulbs operate in non-shunted sockets. Determine first if the fluorescent lighting fixtures have shunted or non-shunted sockets.

A shunted socket has two holes most of the time, while a non-shunted socket has four holes. But to be sure, use a voltage meter to test the continuity of the current flow.

If there is continuity, it is a shunted socket, but if there’s none, it’s a non-shunted socket. Depending on the model of your voltage meter, it will beep or ring if continuity is present.

Single-ended or double-ended ballast bypass

changing fluorescent lights to led

If conducting a ballast bypass, determine what type of connection you need to perform. Is it a single-ended or a double-ended ballast bypass?

A single-ended connection will only work on non-shunted sockets. The line and the neutral pins are only located on one side of the tube.

In installing it, connect the line voltage to the one live end of the ballast. The other non-energized pin helps secure the tubes in place.

On the other hand, a double-ended connection requires shunted sockets. The pins on both sides of the tubes must be energized.

In performing this installation, you only need to connect the live wires to one end of the tube. After that, place the neutral wires on the other side.

Using a retrofit kit

Retrofitting is adding accessories or technology to an existing one for its improvement. It helps you enjoy the features offered by an LED light.

As we know, the existing ballast may limit the performance of your LED light. Some of these affected LED features include its lifespan, dimness, and controllability.

If you want to cut the cost of labor expenses, then you can use a retrofit kit to do the installation by yourself. Retrofit kits include all the items you will need for the installation. It contains the drivers, screws, brackets, sockets, and fasteners.

Install the LED retrofit kit make sure that the power is turned off. Installment is straightforward. But you will need to perform minor wiring alterations and modifications.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to call an electrician. Also, contact an installation company to ask about the best retrofitting kit for you.

Watch this video to learn how to perform the retrofit kit installation.

Replace the whole lighting fixture

fluorescent - light fixtures

You can replace the whole lighting fixture. This method is ideal if your fixture is too old, so getting rid of it won’t matter that much. But take note, it is more costly since you will have to buy a new fixture that can house your LED light. You also have to pay for its installation.

Different LED fixtures are available if you want to replace the whole fixture. One of them is an LED-ready T8 fixture. The good thing about this fixture is that you don’t have to go through rewiring.

Simply place any LED tube then you are good to go! It also has a modern design that will improve the look of your workplace or your house.

Another option is replacing your fluorescent fixture with a regular LED fixture. This fixture can be mounted on the surface, or the wires can be suspended.

Compared to your fluorescent fixture, it can provide more light in the room. Also, most LED fixtures have a sleek profile. They also include dust and waterproof protection.

If you want to brighten your room and have an overall upgrade, you can choose LED panel lights or troffers. It is ideal for mounting these panel lights on either suspended grid or flat ceilings.

You can use this to replace a 2-tube 2×4 fixture or a 4-tube 2×4 fixture. Aside from its 7,800 lumens, the panel lights have a lifespan that can last for 50,000 hours.

Is LED Light better than fluorescent light?

replacing fluorescent light fixture

Fluorescent lights have been used as lighting devices for more than 100 years. But LEDs are surpassing the performance of fluorescent lights. Because of this, more homes are replacing their lights with LEDs.

LED bulbs can generate the entire spectrum of visible light colors. You don’t need to use the traditional filters. Aside from that, the light doesn’t have flickering issues. Fluorescent lights also have color temperatures, but they have flickering problems.

Additionally, dimming LED lights are accessible. You only need to adjust the forward current or control the pulse duration. In contrast, older fluorescents cannot be dimmed.

If you want to, it will be expensive. If you are using a newer model of fluorescent light, you will need a ballast that is suitable for dimming.

One of the significant deficiencies of fluorescent lights is their multi-directional lighting. Since the light is distributed at 360 degrees, you will need accessories.

These accessories will straighten the luminous output of the bulb. LEDs, on the other hand, emit light directionally. If you need a focused light in your room, you won’t need accessories.

LED lights are 30% more efficient than fluorescent lights when it comes to efficiency. They convert most of the electricity into light, creating less power wastage. These wastes are emitted in the form of infrared radiation. Aside from being efficient, using LED lights cost less.

Compared to traditional fluorescent lights, LED lights are more durable. An LED light can illuminate a room for 30,000 hours to 50,000 hours. Older fluorescent lights can only last for 10,000 hours. Also, frequently switching them on and off makes them age quickly.

If you want to be more eco-friendly, converting your light to LED is a good idea.


You don’t need to be a professional electrician to replace your fluorescent light with an LED light. Changing fluorescent lights to LED seems confusing.

But you can install one once you understand how it works. They’re also easy methods to convert your fluorescent light to LED without spending too much.

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