I’m having a problem replacing fluorescent tubes with LEDs

I bought 2 four foot LED’s that are “plug and play”, no re-wiring required. Not of the new tunes light up when I install them or twist them during troubleshooting. When I turn the switch off and back on, only one tube lights and it’s the same light every time. I can twist with tube and they’ll both light up again and I flip the switch again.

Any suggestions?

Yeah, I tried those once and they didn’t work. They are supposed to work without removing the ballast from the fixture. From what I read online at the time, they are really hit and miss - and mostly miss. The recommendation I kept getting was to remove the ballast from the fixture, or just replace the flourescent fixture with an LED one. That’s what I wound up doing.

I looked at these and saw bad reports. I also found that a fitting plus tube cost very little more than the tube on its own. They are also slimmer and neater and don’t do that flickering thing when you switch them on.

Win Win

I have some that work off 110v without the ballast.

If your fixtures are standard basement/garage fixtures, then I highly recommend going with the ones that don’t require a ballast. Look up YouTube videos for your specific brand to show exactly how to remove the ballast–it’s not too difficult.

The problem with the “works as a drop-in replacement” ones is, as others have mentioned, they are finicky. And when the ballast dies your fancy bulbs will no longer work. Get rid of the ballast from the beginning and everything will work nicely.

(Yes, I replaced every one of my bulbs with the drop-in-replacement kind, and then ended up replacing them all again in three years when the ballast went on one. Now that I have the ballast-free kind, I wish I never had wasted time with the others).

Don’t twist tunes when you turn them on. I did once and my favourite Satanic Death Metal band started playing Christian Soft Rock.

That’s our experience too; it’s much simpler to just replace the entire fixture. Another benefit is the new “bulbs” can be wired together.

My wife was so impressed with replacing the first fluorescent fixture that we had to go to the store and buy replacements for the rest.

About 8 years ago I replaced the fluorescent tubes in three fixtures with the LED replacements. At the time all that was available required removal of the ballast. Easy job.

The newer replacement tubes can be used with the ballast, but the ballast is both a failure point and, in some cases a noise maker, depending on the age of the fixture.

Remove the ballast.

Yeah, when replacing fluorescent tubes with LEDs, the ballast is just weighing you down.

I missed this whole revolution!

Are these dimmable?

And why do they generate EMI? How bad is it?

It takes about 5 minutes to remove the ballast. Or rather, leave the ballast but bypass it. Wire strippers and wire nuts are all that’s required.

I have some LED tubes that theoretically work with the ballast, but I didn’t even bother trying since the ballast reduces efficiency and is an extra failure point.


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