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LED Tube Light/LED Fluorescent Replacement | FAQ & Answers

Headshot of Peter Kohlert
Professionally Reviewed by:
Peter Kohlert, PE
Professional Engineer

The goal of is to inform readers about the various benefits associated with using high quality commercial-grade lighting products. Our team of experienced lighting specialists and professional engineers are dedicated to providing high quality informative content. The information on this page and other areas of the website is routinely updated, fact checked, and approved by our team of professional editors and engineers. If you find any errors, let us know and we will review the information immediately.

Welcome to our LED tube light FAQ page. This page answers some of the most common LED tube light / led fluorescent replacement questions that we see and hear as commercial LED lighting experts with years of experience.

It’s important to note that information within this page can help guide someone in the right direction; however, this is not a substitute for professional advice. If you have questions relating to LED tube lighting, such as how to buy the right bulbs or how to wire them within your facility, it’s important to speak with an LED lighting engineer or certified electrician.

LED tube lights are energy-efficient replacements for traditional fluorescent tube lights. They fit into the same fixtures but use LEDs to produce light, which makes them more energy-efficient, longer-lasting, and environmentally friendly due to their lack of toxic materials like mercury. LED tubes provide bright, high-quality light and are available in various color temperatures, making them suitable for a range of settings from offices to industrial environments.

LED fluorescent replacements are lighting solutions designed to replace traditional fluorescent tubes with LED technology. These replacements are highly energy-efficient and provide longer lifespans than fluorescent tubes. They can directly fit into existing fluorescent fixtures and are available in different forms, such as plug-and-play models that work with existing ballasts, or ballast-bypass models that require simple rewiring during installation. These LED replacements emit less heat, use less energy, and do not contain hazardous materials like mercury, making them a more environmentally friendly option.

Disposing of LED tube lights is generally easier and safer than disposing of fluorescent tubes, which contain mercury. However, proper disposal is still important to minimize environmental impact and adhere to local regulations. To dispose of LED tube lights, check your local regulations and consider taking them to an electronic waste recycling facility, as they often accept LEDs. Many areas have specific guidelines for disposing of electronics to ensure environmentally safe handling and recycling of materials.

To install LED tube lights on the ceiling, first ensure the power is off for safety. If you are retrofitting an existing fixture, remove any fluorescent tubes and bypass the ballast if needed, especially for direct wire LED tubes. Secure the compatible LED fixture to the ceiling, connect the wiring according to the tube type (single-ended or double-ended), and insert the LED tubes into the fixture. Once everything is set up, turn the power back on and test the lights to ensure they work correctly.

Wiring LED tube lights involves either a direct wire setup or using a compatible electronic ballast. For a direct wire setup, first, remove the existing fluorescent ballast from the light fixture, then connect the live (hot) wire to one end and the neutral wire to the other end of the fixture, adhering to your LED’s wiring configuration—either single-ended or double-ended. Ensure all connections are secure and that no wires are exposed before testing the light to confirm it works correctly.

LED tube lights typically last between 30,000 to 50,000 hours. This long lifespan is significantly greater than traditional fluorescent tubes, largely due to LEDs’ efficiency and lower operating temperatures, which reduce wear on the components. The actual lifespan of an LED tube can vary depending on usage patterns and the quality of the fixture.

LED tube lights come in various types, each each designed to meet specific installation requirements and preferences. The main types of LED tube lights include: type A (plug and play), Type B ((Direct Wire or Ballast Bypass), Type A+B (Hybrid or Universal). We’ll go into further detail for each type within the next several questions.

Type A tube lights, also known as ballast-compatible or plug-and-play LED tubes, are designed to directly replace fluorescent tubes in existing fixtures that use a fluorescent ballast. These LED tubes are engineered to work with the electronic ballasts already installed in the lighting fixture, making them one of the easiest types of LED retrofits.

Type B tube lights, also known as ballast bypass or direct wire LED tubes, require the removal or bypass of the existing fluorescent ballast in the lighting fixture. This type of LED tube is wired directly into the power source, eliminating the need for a ballast. This conversion is slightly more complex than installing Type A tubes. In Type B tube light installations, the fluorescent ballast is removed or bypassed, and the fixture is rewired so that the mains voltage is directly applied to the tube’s connections.

Single-ended power: Requires non-shunted tombstones at one end of the fixture. Only this end will be connected to the power supply (live and neutral).

Double-ended power: Can use either shunted or non-shunted tombstones and requires live and neutral connections at both ends of the tube, making it slightly easier and safer to install.

Type A+B tube lights, also known as universal or hybrid LED tubes, offer a highly versatile lighting solution. These tubes are designed to be compatible with both existing fluorescent ballasts (Type A operation) and direct line voltage (Type B operation). This dual-mode functionality allows for flexibility in installation and use, making them a convenient choice for various lighting environments.

Type C LED tube lights, which utilize an external driver, represent a significant advancement in lighting technology. Unlike Type A and Type B LED tubes that work with internal drivers or directly from the main voltage, Type C tubes are powered by an external driver that replaces the traditional fluorescent ballast. This external driver handles the power conversion outside of the tube itself, providing enhanced control and efficiency.

The explosion proof lighting fixtures at our store range from $435 up to $1,436 depending on the style, power, and environment where the fixture needs to operate in.

Single-ended LED tube lights are designed to receive power from one end of the tube. All electrical connections, including live and neutral wires, are made at one end, requiring non-shunted sockets. This setup often simplifies wiring but requires more caution during installation to ensure the correct end is powered.

Double-ended LED tube lights receive power from both ends, with one end connecting to the live wire and the other to the neutral. This arrangement is generally considered safer and easier to install, especially when retrofitting existing fluorescent fixtures, as it aligns with the wiring setup of many traditional fluorescent fixtures.

The main difference between single-ended and double-ended LED tube lights lies in their wiring requirements and installation safety. Double-ended tubes are typically easier to install and considered safer, as they distribute the electrical load across two ends of the tube, whereas single-ended tubes centralize all electrical connections at one end, which can pose a higher risk during installation if not handled properly.

Long light bulbs, especially those used in commercial and industrial settings, are typically called tube lights. The most common types are fluorescent tube lights, which are often referred to by their diameter and length, such as T8 or T12 bulbs.

Yes, LED tubes can work in fluorescent fixtures, but it depends on the type of LED tube light and the existing fixture’s configuration. When converting to LED, check the specific requirements and compatibility of the LED tubes with your existing fluorescent fixtures to ensure proper installation and operation.

LED tube lights offer several advantages over traditional fluorescent tubes. They are more energy-efficient, converting a higher percentage of energy into light rather than heat, which significantly reduces electricity consumption. LED tubes have a longer lifespan, often lasting up to 50,000 hours, reducing replacement and maintenance costs. They do not contain harmful mercury, making them safer for the environment and easier to dispose of. Additionally, LED lights provide better quality light with more accurate color rendering and instant full brightness without any flickering.

Yes, many LED tube lights are dimmable, but it depends on the specific model and setup. Dimmable LED tubes require compatible dimming systems, usually involving a specific type of driver and dimmer switch that can regulate the current flowing to the LEDs. It’s important to ensure that the LED tubes, the driver, and the dimmer switch are all compatible for effective dimming performance.

LED tube lights come in a range of color temperatures, measured in Kelvin (K), which affects the appearance of the light emitted. Common options include:

Warm White (2700K – 3000K): Provides a warm, cozy light with a yellowish hue, ideal for homes, restaurants, and other areas where a softer, more inviting light is desired.

Cool White (3500K – 4000K): A more neutral white light that is often used in office settings and retail locations as it’s bright and clear without being too harsh.

Daylight (5000K – 6500K): Mimics natural daylight and is used in areas requiring excellent visibility and contrast, such as workshops, garages, and art studios.

Converting fluorescent tubes to LED typically involves replacing your old fluorescent tubes with LED tubes and adjusting the fixture to suit the new lighting. This process often includes bypassing or removing the existing ballast since LED tubes generally do not require a ballast to function. After ensuring the power is off, you remove the fluorescent tubes, bypass or remove the ballast, and then rewire the fixture if necessary before installing the LED tubes. This conversion not only provides more energy-efficient lighting but also reduces maintenance needs.

Bypassing a ballast to install LED tubes follows a similar approach to direct-wiring, where you disconnect and remove the existing ballast and reroute the power supply wires directly to the lamp holders. This process makes sure that the electrical current flows directly into the LED tubes without passing through a ballast. It’s a straightforward process but requires attention to detail and a basic understanding of electrical wiring. If you’re not familiar with electrical work, it’s always advisable to consult with or hire a qualified electrician to ensure safety and proper installation.

To wire LED tube lights without a ballast (also known as a “ballast bypass” or “direct wire” setup), you need to remove the existing ballast and rewire the fixture to connect the LED tubes directly to the mains power. Here’s a simplified step-by-step process:

  1. Safety First: Turn off the power at the circuit breaker to ensure there is no electricity flowing to the light fixture.
  2. Access the Fixture: Remove the fixture cover and the fluorescent tubes. This will expose the ballast and the wiring.
  3. Remove the Ballast: Disconnect the wires connected to the ballast and remove the ballast from the fixture. You won’t need it for the LED tubes.
  4. Wiring the Fixture:
    • Identify the live (hot) and neutral wires coming from the power source. In North America, the live wire is usually black or red, and the neutral wire is white.
    • LED tubes will have markings at the ends indicating where the live and neutral should be connected. It’s important to check if your LED tubes are single-ended or double-ended:
      • Single-ended tubes receive both the live and neutral wires at one end.
      • Double-ended tubes receive live on one end and neutral on the other end.
  5. Connect the Wires:
    • For single-ended tubes: Connect the live wire to one end of the fixture (usually marked L or LINE) and the neutral wire to the other end (marked N or NEUTRAL).
    • For double-ended tubes: Connect the live wire to the live end of each socket and the neutral wire to the neutral end.
  6. Secure the Connections: Use wire nuts or appropriate connectors to securely connect the wires. Ensure all connections are tight and secure inside the fixture.
  7. Reassemble the Fixture: Insert the LED tubes into the fixture, ensuring they are properly aligned and secure. Replace the fixture cover if applicable.
  8. Restore Power: Turn the power back on at the circuit breaker and test the fixture to ensure the LED tubes light up properly.

This method bypasses the need for a ballast, directly wiring the tubes to the electrical supply for increased efficiency and reduced maintenance. Remember, if you are not comfortable with electrical work, it is advisable to hire a qualified electrician to perform these tasks to ensure safety and compliance with local electrical codes.