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Transitioning From CFL's To LED's

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  • #46
    i thought i would share what i have learned about tubes in the past few days (and correct me if im wrong).

    a regular tube obviously has two poles with gas between them. each pole has two pins. you conect L to one pole and N to the other. you need to use a "ballast" which is a choke limiting the current, otherwise the tube would self destruct. across the other two pins you connect an "ignitor" which produces a spark to start the tube of.

    now the led. basicallly a strip of diodes with electronics to make them work on the mains voltage. it needs no choke or ignitor. it will work through a regular (magnetic) ballast. makes sense, ballast was for lets say 36W so it will not choke 14W. an electronic ballast will not work, so you have to connect the tube directly, L and N to each pole as before, so you have to rewire the fixture.

    now, in both cases you have to short the other two pins of each pole. the replacement starter that comes with the led tubes just shorts the two wires. i have rewired the fixture and shorted them. it works.

    but i have no idea why thats needed. i even have no idea how that works, because it doesnt matter which way you put in the tube. obviously the pins are not connected, otherwise there would be a short. so the tube electronics at work, probably. does anybody know how it is?

    and, yes, there seems to be really anything around, as to price, angle (120°-240°), material of tube, internal reflector etc.

    edit: there are led tubes for ellectronic ballasts, but they start at double the price. and one for a conventional ballast will definitely not work on the original electronic ballast. i just tried it because the stupid specialist on the phone said it would work. the 36w ballast kills the 14w tube instantly. apparently the protection costs as much as the tube? probably a marketing trick, as everybody has electonic ballasts and wants a simple way to replace the tubes.
    Last edited by dian; 06-05-2018, 09:48 AM.

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    • #47
      lol. You need to import a truck load of tubes (ok, so your mains voltage is different ) Phillips electronic ballast drop-in led replacements are $5 in the USA, ballast bypass for $8 (includes two new tombstones if you need them) ... at retail stores. These prices are "today" from my local Home Depot, and not "on sale" or power company subsidized.
      Last edited by lakeside53; 06-05-2018, 11:33 AM.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by dian View Post
        i thought i would share what i have learned about tubes in the past few days (and correct me if im wrong).

        a regular tube obviously has two poles with gas between them. each pole has two pins. you conect L to one pole and N to the other. you need to use a "ballast" which is a choke limiting the current, otherwise the tube would self destruct. across the other two pins you connect an "ignitor" which produces a spark to start the tube of.

        now the led. basicallly a strip of diodes with electronics to make them work on the mains voltage. it needs no choke or ignitor. it will work through a regular (magnetic) ballast. makes sense, ballast was for lets say 36W so it will not choke 14W. an electronic ballast will not work, so you have to connect the tube directly, L and N to each pole as before, so you have to rewire the fixture.

        now, in both cases you have to short the other two pins of each pole. the replacement starter that comes with the led tubes just shorts the two wires. i have rewired the fixture and shorted them. it works.

        but i have no idea why thats needed. i even have no idea how that works, because it doesnt matter which way you put in the tube. obviously the pins are not connected, otherwise there would be a short. so the tube electronics at work, probably. does anybody know how it is?

        and, yes, there seems to be really anything around, as to price, angle (120°-240°), material of tube, internal reflector etc.

        edit: there are led tubes for ellectronic ballasts, but they start at double the price. and one for a conventional ballast will definitely not work on the original electronic ballast. i just tried it because the stupid specialist on the phone said it would work. the 36w ballast kills the 14w tube instantly. apparently the protection costs as much as the tube? probably a marketing trick, as everybody has electonic ballasts and wants a simple way to replace the tubes.
        The four pin, two pole description applies to smaller fluorescent bulbs like These F40T12, while F72T12 and longer bulbs like These only have a single pin per end.
        The starter for the four-pin versions allows current to flow momentarily through the internal electrodes at each end, heating them and allowing electrons to leave and jump the gas gap at a low voltage; the higher bulbs require circuitry in the ballast which provides a very high voltage to initiate starting.

        The LED's just need low voltage, fairly low DC current passing through them; ones designed to replace Fluorescent bulbs have whatever electronics is needed to rectify and regulate the power for the specific situation.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
          The "good" LEDs seem to cost 4 to 5 times what the ones I see out in use cost. The ones I mentioned seeing in the Rural King store were strips of individual LEDs in a form to fit a fixture. In fact the bulk of all I have seen out in the real world are of that type.
          Not going to argue with Jerry. Common sense says that the only ones you will notice are the odd ones like the ones described in the quote. You would never notice the type that Costco sells because they look so normal. That would lead one to think that only crappy ones are available.

          A 4 pack of the Fiet brand that replace T-8 bulbs without altering the fixture are available today from Costco and other places for around $40. Give them a try when your existing bulbs finally become too dim, noisy or slow to warm up for you to bear. At 4100K color temperature there is a good chance that you will like them. Oddly, you can buy the whole fixture with two integrated bulbs for only $20.

          Dan
          Last edited by danlb; 06-05-2018, 12:12 PM.
          At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

          Location: SF East Bay.

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          • #50
            [QUOTE=wdtom44;1179551]
            Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
            My 2 x 4 drop in fixtures have a single ballast if I remember correctly. I don't want to have to change the tombstones or anything if I can avoid it.
            I'm not really worried about efficiency too much. Any LED would be more efficient than what is in there now, and the lights don't burn all day.

            I have installed some of the LED tubes in my 4 ft. fixtures. I wanted to eliminate the ballasts to get rid of other stuff that may fail, could reduce efficiency, and just to keep it simple. As I remember the LED tube has the hot and neutral connection on the same end so you need to modify the tombstone on that end for a hot and neutral if the two sockets in the tombstone are connected internally in the tombstone. I don't remember if I had to do this or if mine were that way but I have done it maybe to modify some that were internally connected to use in fixtures I was repairing that required they not be connected. The fiber or cardboard back of the tombstone can be carefully removed and the connection removed. I have found one tube is required to equal the light output of two fluorescents and use some fixtures with only tube now. Eighteen watt for one tube as opposed to 70-80. Also I have marked the fixtures in magic marker that they are now "120 volt LED" so when I or someone else removes the tubes someday the fixture will still l not be confused as being a fluorescent.
            Hi, lurker here...just wanted to chime in and say nowadays a lot of LED tubes have 3-in-1 compatibility (for example, see here), meaning they can be wired with or without a ballast (aka ballast bypass), and furthermore when bypassing the ballast they can be single or double ended - so essentially foolproof regardless of how it's connected (including shunted tombstones).

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            • #51
              Originally posted by danlb View Post
              .....
              A 4 pack of the Fiet brand that replace T-8 bulbs without altering the fixture are available today from Costco and other places for around $40. Give them a try when your existing bulbs finally become too dim, noisy or slow to warm up for you to bear. At 4100K color temperature there is a good chance that you will like them. Oddly, you can buy the whole fixture with two integrated bulbs for only $20.

              Dan
              I don;t give a rat's ass if you argue or not. If anything OTHER THAN the "Feit" brand is available, I will consider it, so long as it has some light distribution info.

              As for "Feit", my personal opinion is that they are the cheapest crappy brand purchasable outside of a dollar store.... I bought a bunch of their CFLs years ago. They lasted "ok", but then they started to fail.

              That's normal, but it was the WAY they failed that got to me..... my wife was reading the paper under one at the kitchen table when that one became the first one to fail... It blinked a couple times, then "fizzed" loudly (arc), and then shot a shower of red-hot particles out around the holes where the tube exited the base... just as the light went out. The holes had already melted away from the tube, opening the holes up. After that it calmed down and there were no more fireworks.

              Soon after, another one failed in pretty much the same way. I decided they were not trustworthy, that they showed promise of being an incendiary device. I took every stinking one of them (the failed ones did stink, BTW) failed or not, out and replaced them with Sylvania, which have also had a few that failed, but without the fireworks.

              I have pictures of the failed units. One melted a hole through the glass fluorescent tube. Most of them seem to have had a catastrophic failure of the little inverter inside the base. No, none were used in an enclosed fixture, there was no dimmer involved, and the failures were not during a lightning storm or at a time when any excessive transient voltage event was apparent.

              I assume the Feit products actually went, in china, through a form of UL testing, as the packaging suggests. My opinions beyond that are my own business, but I refuse to have any Feit product in the house now. Your opinions and experiences may vary, and are your own option.
              Last edited by J Tiers; 06-05-2018, 09:31 PM.
              CNC machines only go through the motions

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              • #52
                [QUOTE=rand;1179700]
                Originally posted by wdtom44 View Post

                Hi, lurker here...just wanted to chime in and say nowadays a lot of LED tubes have 3-in-1 compatibility (for example, see here), meaning they can be wired with or without a ballast (aka ballast bypass), and furthermore when bypassing the ballast they can be single or double ended - so essentially foolproof regardless of how it's connected (including shunted tombstones).
                sure, a lot of great stuff out there. i see them at exactly that price here. out of question, when i can get a 36w tube or a 100w halogen bulb for $2. who is spending that kind of money? then there is this:

                https://www.ebay.com/itm/Replace-LED...z0r5J2DJB-Zk8g

                it should be putting out over 20 000 lm and light the whole shop. i also bought twenty 10w led chips for $6 recently.

                can anybody comment on why my led tube died on the 36w electronic ballast when it was running on 230v berore?
                Last edited by dian; 06-05-2018, 11:50 PM.

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                • #53
                  Who buys? same guy that doesn't care if his faucet drips and his water bill is 20% higher for years.

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                  • #54
                    [QUOTE=dian;1179810]
                    Originally posted by rand View Post

                    can anybody comment on why my led tube died on the 36w electronic ballast when it was running on 230v berore?
                    There are thousands of electronic ballasts. There are a multitude of LED tubes. In order to proffer anything more than a guess, it would be best to get the make and model of all the components involved as well as any settings, wiring, etc.

                    If all you want is a guess; you may have overdriven a 110v tube by running it at 220, and it eventually burned out.
                    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                    Location: SF East Bay.

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                    • #55
                      there are no 110v tubes around here and it was running fine on direct 230v for quite a while. that little electronic devil destroed it in an instant.

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