How to Convert A Fluorescent Light Tube to LED

If you have decided to retrofit your fluorescent light fixture to use energy-efficient LED light tubes, here in this blog we are going to show you what you will need for the project and how to get the job done without hiring an electrician.

WHAT ARE NEEDED:
T8 LED Light Tubes, Non-Shunted T8 Holders (Tombstones), a Screwdriver, a Wire Stripper (Cutter), an Electrical Tester, Wire Connectors, Duct Tape, Zip Ties

There are 4 main types of LED light tubes: Type A, Type B, Type A+B, and Type C. Here we recommend beginners to choose the single-ended Type B LED light tubes, as they are the cheapest and easiest type to install.


Also, there are two main types of T8/T12 non-shunted holders (also called tombstones), but they technically serve the same electrical function: to connect pins on one end of the light tube to the live and neutral wire. The reason why they come in different shapes is that they are designed for fixtures of 2 different types.

The push-in T8/T12 holders work for fixtures with a rectangular hole for the holders. They are pushed in from the backside and the tabs on both sides keep them in place.


The slide-in T8/T12 holders work for fixtures with pre-cut edges that go right in the holders’ slots on both sides. Some fixtures of this type also have a screw hole to fasten the holders with screws.
JACKYLED Non-Shunted Turn-Type T8 Lamp Holder


RETROFITTING STEPS

1.Cut OFF the Power.
The first step of all wiring jobs is to cut off the power supply. It is necessary to cut off the power from both the circuit breaker and the light switch in case the circuit breaker is accidentally turned on before the wiring is completed.

2.Uninstall the Fluorescent Tube
Some fixtures may have louvers to control the fluorescent tubes’ light and prevent them from falling off, so you need to remove the louvers before you uninstall the light tubes. Hold the fluorescent light tube and take it down by twisting 90°, be careful not to drop it as there is mercury inside the tube, which is toxic and environmentally hazardous. Please dispose of the replaced fluorescent tubes properly according to local environmental protection regulations.

3.Remove the Cover and the Ballast
Use an electrical tester to make sure there is no electricity going through the wires, then take off the cover plate on the wires and the ballast. The ballast will serve no electrical purposes, so it is better to cut all the wires on the ballast and unscrew it from the fixture.

4.Replace the T8/T12 Holders
The old T8/T12 holders are shunted, meaning the two contacts are connected inside, so they need to be replaced with new non-shunted T8/T12 holders. For single-ended LED light tubes, only one end needs to be powered, so you can keep the T8/T12 holders on the other end that serves no electrical purposes by cutting short the wires and tape them separately.

We recommend you choose non-shunted T8/T12 holders (tombstones) with wires because they will make wiring much easier. After replacing the old tombstones with these, you can connect all the white wires to the neutral wire and all the black wires to the live wire with wire connectors. Leave the ground wire connecting to the light fixture as it was.

After all the wiring is completed, reapply the cover plate.

Here are two videos from Youtube that demonstrate how to replace two types of T8/T12 holders.

Push-in T8/T12 Connectors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCWoI0X4jw0

Slide-in T8/T12 Connectors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjw2UXVJaS0


5.Install the LED Light Tubes
Take off the protective plastic covers (if any) on both ends of the LED light tubes, and find the end that needs power input. Often there will be a sticker that says “input” or has an arrow pointing to this end, which needs to be inserted into the T8/T12 holder connected to the power supply. If the single-ended light tube is installed reversed, it will not light up.

6.Turn ON the Power
Turn the circuit breaker back on and flip the light switch to see if all the LED light tubes light up. If one of the light tubes doesn’t light up, please check if it has the right side connected to the power supply. If all of them work properly, reinstall the louvers.


CONCLUSION
The LED light tubes are perfect replacements for fluorescent ones, if you didn’t know how to retrofit an old fluorescent fixture, now you know! In Aracky, we have a technical team on standby to answer any questions you may have on this project, please leave a comment below or send an email to ervice@jackyled.net to get hassle-free support.