Friday, 16 March 2018

How To Install LED Tube Lights

For the LED tube light installation to be simple, you will have to make some simple modifications to the fixture to properly install the bulbs. Then you can enjoy better lighting using approximately half the electricity and lasting as long as 50,000 hours or more

You will have to make some simple modifications to the fixture to properly install the bulbs. The good news is that installing LED tube lights in an existing fluorescent fixture is relatively simple. 

In addition, you should be able to buy fixtures especially designed for these lights in the near future, and they should actually be cheaper than the equivalent fluorescent fixtures.

Fluorescent fixtures are designed to support a specific types and size of fluorescent tube. A fluorescent tube is incorporated into a fluorescent lighting system which consists of two or three main components of the fluorescent lamp (fluorescent bulb or tube), the ballast, and of course the starter system. 

Additionally, the system for a tube lamp includes a lamp holder and a switch. Depending on the particular fluorescent lighting system, the starter may be a replaceable component, a starter may not be required, or the starter function may be integrated into the ballast. 

The starting function may also rely on the physical design of the fixture. To retrofit a fluorescent light fixture to support a LED tube light, the ballast must be disconnected.

Once the old traditional bulbs are removed from the lamp holders and the electricity to the fixture is turned off, you will probably have to remove the reflector that is located behind the bulbs and provides a housing for the wiring and ballast that lie behind it. 

Typically, it is fairly simple to remove the reflector or cover, but if it is not clear how to do this, you should consult the documentation from the fixture manufacturer.

If the fixture has an electronic ballast, you only need to remove that and then wire the power directly to the lamp holders, completing one circuit for each bulb. 

This is fairly simple, and typically you can use the existing wire in the fixture and then just add some wire nuts. If you have an older fixture with a magnetic ballast and starter, you will have to remove or open the starter and remove or short the magnetic ballast.

Depending on how much wire you have to work with, it is a good idea to leave long enough wires leading out of the ballast to be able to reconnect the ballast with wire nuts, if you should ever want to convert the fixture back to use for fluorescent bulbs or want to use the ballast somewhere else. 

Typically, the ballast will have two screws or bolts holding it in place in the fixture, and these can be removed using a screwdriver or pair of pliers, as appropriate. You have to dispose the ballast according to the local regulations as should the old fluorescent bulbs. Because the fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of highly-toxic mercury, they should be treated as hazardous waste and disposed of accordingly.

Once the ballast (and starter, if one was present) have been removed and the wires reconnected to complete a circuit for each bulb, replace the reflector or cover over the wiring and the area where the ballast was located, and the LED tube light can be inserted in the end sockets. 

Unlike traditional bulbs which do not have a top or bottom, LED tube lights will have an obvious top and bottom, with metallic heat sink located on the backside of the tube and the LEDs visible under a lens on the side that will be aimed towards the area which is to be illuminated. Turn on the switch and if you have done everything properly, now you should have as good or better lighting using approximately half the electricity and lasting as long as 50,000 hours or more.

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