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So this actually happened.

So this actually happened.

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Yeah, I did it...I converted one of my own fixtures from 2x40 RS to LED tubes. These LED tubes are the 4' version of the ones I installed in those signs a while back. I was so impressed with those that I asked for a pair of these for my birthday to try out at home. This fixture is in our laundry room and sees a lot of use, so I figured it would make a good real-life testing scenario. Initial impressions are good. The LEDs are (understandably) a little dimmer than the old Spec 35 T12s on the full-power ballast, but the room was very brightly lit before so I don't consider it a problem. The light levels now are certainly adequate. Also, going from ~90 watts to 30 is a big help.

Also, for those of you concerned that I'm going to ditch all my vintage magnetic fluorescents for LEDs, don't worry. Not gonna happen. I'm not saying I'll never buy any more LED tubes, but they won't be going in vintage fixtures.

Another note...these are direct-wire tubes. I hate the ones that run on IS fluorescent ballasts. I'd only buy a few to mess around with if the price was really good.

2016-12-11_18_50_40.jpg 2016-12-11_18_51_15.jpg led_t8.jpg 2016-12-09_23_52_57.jpg

Light Information

Light Information

Manufacturer:LifeBulb
Lamp
Lamp Type:LED retrofit tube
Base:G13
Shape/Finish:T8 linear
Electrical
Wattage:15
Voltage:120-277
Optical
Color Temperature:3500K
Physical/Production
Factory Location:China

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Date added:Dec 10, 2016
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ace100w120v
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Dec 10, 2016 at 01:59 AM Author: ace100w120v
OH MY GOD...OH MY GOD...We gotta get Nick to therapy! Just kidding! Looks good. Was this full power ballast/fixture original to the house? I thought your place was newer than that...

Being directional, they must be OK in a troffer, though? What's the brand/make of these? I would admittedly consider them for fixtures where ballasts have failed or aren't very good anyway.
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Dec 10, 2016 at 02:39 AM Author: nicksfans
The fixture isn't original to the house (though it's about the same age), and the ballast wasn't original to the fixture. The original fixture in this location was a single FC8T9 RS fixture. Not nearly bright enough, especially with the plastic diffuser. When the lamp went EOL, I replaced the entire fixture with this one which we've had since I was little, but it had been sitting unused for a while before I installed it here. As a result, I had harvested the original ballast (Advance Mark III) from it and installed it in one of the troffers in my basement where it's still in regular service. When I installed this fixture here, I first had a Lumi-Kon/Motorola magnetic NPF shoplight ballast in it. Then, when I got a Universal 446 from John, I replaced the Lumi-Kon with it, and that Universal stayed there until tonight. So yeah, this fixture has been through a lot. Still does the job, though!

These tubes are actually much less directional than most. They're basically a frosted plastic tube with a strip of LEDs glued to the top (from the inside). I'm curious to see how well they do in regular use with no real heatsink. They're LifeBulb brand, bought from Amazon but sold by 1000Bulbs so I imagine they're a notch above the eBay stuff. I really like the 3500K color temperature, though I haven't tried any of the other color temperatures they offer. Here is the link to the exact ones I have if you're interested. I imagine they'd do fine on generator/MSW power being 120-277V.

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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ace100w120v
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Dec 10, 2016 at 02:46 AM Author: ace100w120v
Not bad, might get a pair to try this summer if they're still available, might do well in a couple places where there's no equipment ground and my HPF RS ballasts won't always start when it's humid without me touching the bulbs. The flicker with dirty power is my main reason for not liking the LED tubes, to be honest. If they were totally flicker free I'd almost retrofit them into my HPF-ballasted fixtures which still flicker somewhat with my dirty power.
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Dec 10, 2016 at 02:58 AM Author: nicksfans
These do have a 120 Hz strobe effect, but it's really only noticeable if you wave your hand back and forth quickly. It's barely worse than magnetic fluorescent. I just have a feeling that the switch-mode power supplies in these will be better at regulating dirty power than a magnetic ballast.

Also, to help RS fixtures start in humid conditions, I've discovered that it helps a lot to wrap a thin, bare wire around each lamp and connect the wires to ground, like a screw on the fixture housing (if the fixture itself is grounded). Works wonders!

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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Dec 10, 2016 at 05:59 AM Author: Ash
Notice how the reflector panel behind th tubes is brightly lit (indistinguishable from tube brightness on the near edge) with the FL, and way dimmer with the LEDs. The LEDs emit half the light (vs Halo tubes) or less (vs Tri tubes), but it is directed down
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Dec 10, 2016 at 05:45 PM Author: Powergroove
Not impressed

Keep government out of the lighting industry.

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Dec 10, 2016 at 05:57 PM Author: freekster0722
Nice saving $$$
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Dec 11, 2016 at 01:52 PM Author: streetlight98
I want to see a pair of LED tubes installed upside-down in a shoplight fixture. I'd imagine the effect would be similar to a silverbowl incandescent lol.

Please check out my newly-updated website! McCann Lighting Company is where my street light collection is displayed in detail.

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Dec 11, 2016 at 01:58 PM Author: Ash
With most "full tubes" it is not, it is more like the back of a LED strip attached to the inside of the frost tube
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Dec 11, 2016 at 08:49 PM Author: ace100w120v
That'd be unique actually!
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Dec 11, 2016 at 11:14 PM Author: RyanF40T12
You asked for some LED Tubes for your birthday? Son, we need to have a talk.

The more you hate the LED movement, the stronger it becomes.

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GoL the.baus.of.all.bauses UCDl2EWWZc9h1IZXcfGU9OZA nicksfans
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Dec 11, 2016 at 11:24 PM Author: nicksfans
Hey, I also asked for (and got) VHO ballasts. Take it easy

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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Dec 11, 2016 at 11:34 PM Author: Ash
They can be used with each other to fulfill everyne's wishes
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T12


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Dec 12, 2016 at 05:02 AM Author: veryhighonoutput
You can tell there dimmer tisk. tisk. tisk.

T12/ t17 there's a reason they made heavy magnetic ballasts

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Dec 12, 2016 at 11:12 AM Author: nicksfans
The room is a little dimmer, but not by much. There's still plenty of light. It would be a concern if the previous setup had been barely adequate, but that wasn't the case.

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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Dec 12, 2016 at 11:54 AM Author: wattMaster
That's probably because of logarithmic illumination.

SLS! <click

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Dec 12, 2016 at 12:18 PM Author: DieselNut
Lawd Nick, have you got a fever or caught the LEDisease?

Preheat Fluorescents forever!
I love diesel engines, rural/farm life and vintage lighting!

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Dec 12, 2016 at 12:30 PM Author: veryhighonoutput
should of put a shunt tube in there.

T12/ t17 there's a reason they made heavy magnetic ballasts

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Dec 12, 2016 at 01:18 PM Author: nicksfans
As I said before, this is not a sign of things to come. I haven't lost interest in fluorescent and I won't be converting everything to LED. I've never had my own LED tubes so I figured I'd give them a try. I hate the ones that are that nasty 6500K "flashlight blue" color, especially with clear lenses, but these are significantly better than those. They still lack the character of good old magnetic fluorescent, which is the main reason they won't see widespread use at my place. I'm curious to see how long they last, though.

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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Dec 12, 2016 at 03:10 PM Author: Lightingguy1994
I have a sylvania T8 LED, its 17w and just uses the existing ballast to work, the tube does light all around like a normal fluorescent.
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Dec 12, 2016 at 04:05 PM Author: streetlight98
@ wattmaster: What the heck is logarithmic illumination?

@ Nick: I've admittedly wanted to try a apir of LED tube (preferably warm-tone like yours and not the coldish ones you see around) but I haven't found any at the same price as fluorescent tubes lol.

Please check out my newly-updated website! McCann Lighting Company is where my street light collection is displayed in detail.

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Dec 12, 2016 at 04:51 PM Author: Lumex120
TRAITOR!













Any machine is a smoke machine if you operate it wrong enough.

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Jun 26, 2019 at 07:01 PM Author: Alights
Back in 2016 Phillips came out with the instant fit LED bulbs for magnetic ballasts, no 3500k, when doing a lot of lights they were nice but sometimes you'd come across one with electronic ballasts and they won't work! Phillips must've picked up on that so they came out with universal fit LEDs and in more color temps they have a 3000K and 4100k but no 3500, I've noticed LEDs tend to flicker especially direct wire ones they have a crappy driver, if you have a good ballast you don't have to rely on a crappy led driver, plus ablity to go back to fluorescent so easy
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Jun 26, 2019 at 07:29 PM Author: nicksfans
The flicker is a downside of these, but it's not obvious. Also, these are still going 2.5 years later, so I'm still happy with them. I haven't converted any of my other fluorescents yet, though. I would, however, use them to retrofit someone else's fluorescents where collector appeal doesn't matter.

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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Jun 26, 2019 at 07:55 PM Author: Alights
Yeah and places with IS ballasts that aren't on very long LED makes more sense, though personally I'd do program start for my own stuff
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Jun 27, 2019 at 03:25 PM Author: streetlight98
I agree with both of you guys. Definitely keep the ballast when using LED tubes. Like Aaron said, helps with flicker. Plus, some moron will come across a forgotten fluorescent tube in a storage closet 20 years from now and stick it in a fixture converted to direct wire tubes and blow out the tube lol. I'd have no problem using these on side jobs either, though I have a big stash of F32T8s (used) from work removals that I'm currently using for side jobs. I tell the customer the tubes are used (and are being provided at no charge) and leave a few extra ones as spares in case they go EOL unexpectedly. I don't use lamps with obvious blackening though.

Please check out my newly-updated website! McCann Lighting Company is where my street light collection is displayed in detail.

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^homebuilt fixture


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Jun 27, 2019 at 08:06 PM Author: xmaslightguy
I also converted the laundry room fixture to LED awhile back...
Originally it was 2xF40 with a LPF RS ballast, the ballast started overheating & shutting down for no apparent reason. Maybe just worn out?
So I converted to F32 with a cheap no-name instant start ballast.
After 2 or 3 years something went wrong with that ballast - one lamp lit full brightness, the other would only dim glow if it lit.
I replaced it with a used Sylvania F32 instant start that my brother gave me. At that time I also decided to try out a pair of the LED tubes I'd gotten on clearance.
To me its a nice upgrade, and considering that light gets allot of on/off/short runs, its a good fit. (occasionally its left on for hours which was where the issue with the original RS ballast showed up)

Colored Fluorescent's such as F40T12 Red or  Green or Blue are awesome...

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