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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Google\YouTube has confused me. Certain types of fixtures need to be wired a certain way. "This works for this type, but UL will be wired differently" so I'm hesitating before just plowing forward...

I have old Fluorescent fixtures (2ft box with 2 bulbs). I'd say they were installed in the mid 90s. I know I need to bypass the ballast to switch to the LED (or do I?)

I can cut, strip, twist and wire nut with the best of them... But know what I'm doing exactly? Not so much... Anyone able to walk me through the proper steps for what I have\have to do?

I have two fluorescent tubes and associated tombstones
Left side:
Yellow wires running out from the ballast to both left side tombstones (two yellow to each left side).

Right side:
Blue wires running out from the ballast to one of the right side tombstones (two wires)

Red wires running out from the ballast to the other of the right side tombstones (two wires).
 

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Some LED are direct replacement and use a ballast. Others require the ballast to be bypassed. What instruction do the lamps have with them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some LED are direct replacement and use a ballast. Others require the ballast to be bypassed. What instruction do the lamps have with them?
It says they are universal and provides instructions to either remove the ballast or keep the ballast (plug&play) dependent on wiring and if its an electronic ballast.
 

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If you have the option to get rid of the ballast, do it. The ballast is just one more point of failure you don't need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Given those options, I will then remove the ballast.
But...cut out the ballast...but how do I wire the rest of it?
Call me confused.
 

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We need to know what kind of tubes you have... single ended or dual ended?

The package picture shows a single ended tube with bi-pins on it... and it implies that you are being supplied with 2 of those. Is that correct?

In their attempt to supply instructions for all possible applications, it makes for confusion.

If you have the single ended tubes, there will only be connector pins on one end and the other end will be have no electrical connectors at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We need to know what kind of tubes you have... single ended or dual ended?

The package picture shows a single ended tube with bi-pins on it... and it implies that you are being supplied with 2 of those. Is that correct?

In their attempt to supply instructions for all possible applications, it makes for confusion.

If you have the single ended tubes, there will only be connector pins on one end and the other end will be have no electrical connectors at all.
Crappy packaging. Possibly the supply house grabbed the closest empty box. Anyway, they are dual ended.

One end has the L/N AC Input w/ two pins and the other side has no markings with two pins.
 

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Those are single ended for purpose of electrical nomenclature. The pins on the dead end aren't connected but serve to hold the tube in the fixture only.

The wiring for those is very simple. Each tube must be supplied full 120 volts. Since you are supplying 2 tubes, you will connect them in parallel as illustrated on page 4 at the top left. I'll insert a picture below to assist.

When you cut the ballast wires, leave a couple 2" of wire on the ballast in case you may want to use it later. You should have plenty of wire left to connect the tombstones on one end for power. Remove the wires from the opposite ends. Then write the word "power" on the end where you connected the line conductors at some place that can be seen later so everyone will always know how to put in a replacement tube.
°
 

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Although your tubes have pins on both ends, you have a single ended tube, as indicated by the Line and Neutral markings. The other end has dummy pins that are there just to hold the tube in place .
 

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You may notice that the yellow wires existing are already wired to the tombstones the way you need them. Remove all other wiring and the ballast and connect the line wires to the yellows. Observe the polarity indicated on the tubes even though it likely doesn't matter.
 

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Cut the wires close to the ballast when you remove it. This will leave long wires from the tombstones that can used for your connections. Better to have them long and cut them then to have to extend them.
 

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Hopefully your tubes are at least 100mm (3.94") apart to comply with the manufacturers spec. given on the cut sheet. Apparently they don't play well when closer together for some odd reason. Perhaps they flicker if too close together due to the individual frequencies zero beating together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all for your help. Changed out 8 of 10 of the bulbs in 4 boxes.
Could not have done it without you.

I'll have to measure if they're at least 3.94 inches apart (that would be edge to edge not center to center right? Its going to be close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Actually, not close at all. 2" apart.
Guess I could take 1 of the tubes out, its bright enough w/ 1...

Should I really be proactive about something like this? Or only remove if something starts going wrong down the line?
 

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I'd go with one tube and see how hot the self contained driver (powered end) gets just to get an idea if the spacing might be related to heat buildup. I've never seen that requirement before on any other tubes so I'd advise to err on the safe side.

It may be like the disclaimer I see on the retrofit A-19 bulbs that say not to use them in enclosed fixtures. It gives the manufacturer a way out of honoring the warranty since most people will go ahead and install them anywhere they like.
 

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Cut the wires close to the ballast when you remove it. This will leave long wires from the tombstones that can used for your connections. Better to have them long and cut them then to have to extend them.
If they're defective or magnetic, I nip them right at the ballast to assure the ballast is never used again. If it's electronic, I'd say give it 3" as they're perfectly reusable. I still do real fluorescents; they've gotten fantastically good now near the end.

Extending those wires is no big if you have spare wire lying around. Just use the blue wire nuts. I go through those by the thousands.

Hopefully your tubes are at least 100mm (3.94") apart to comply with the manufacturers spec. given on the cut sheet. Apparently they don't play well when closer together for some odd reason. Perhaps they flicker if too close together due to the individual frequencies zero beating together.
Yeah that's my theory too. No reason for LEDs to flicker at all really, they should be driven internally on DC at constant current (or variable current if dimmed). Cheap.

Another option is to mix-n-match with, say, another brand that'll have a wildly different frequency if any. If it's even a problem, you never know.

Another reason I stick with real fluorescents. $20 GE programmed-start ballast, $2 Sylvania tubes, I know that's top shelf.
 

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I stick with real fluorescents. $20 GE programmed-start ballast, $2 Sylvania tubes, I know that's top shelf.
°
Me too... I don't like to do quality control tests for a manufacturer who doesn't do it before marketing a product.

I have a full box of f40t12cw's that'll last me until times get better. :biggrin2:
 
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