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Converting a Fluorescent Light to Energy Efficient

How to Convert a Fluorescent Light Fixture from Magnetic Ballast and T12 Lamps to Electronic Ballast and T8 Lamps: Electronic Ballast, Replacement Lamps, Lamp Sockets, Fluorescent Light Color Options, Procedure to Convert the Light Fixture Ballast and Lamps.

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Upgrading to a Energy Saving Fluorescent Light Fixture
Electrical Question: My workplace has light fixtures that are presently have four 4 foot T12’s with 2 magnetic ballasts.

This electrical wiring question came from: Glenn, a Handyman in Illinois.

Additional Comments: Great Resource.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Glenn.

Converting to Energy Efficient Lighting


How to Convert a Fluorescent Light Fixture from Magnetic Ballast and T12 Lamps to Electronic Ballast and T8 Lamps

Converting a Magnetic Fluorescent Light Fixture to be Energy Efficient will require a New Ballast and New Lamps:

Once you have the replacement ballast and lamps here is the procedure to convert the light fixture:

Procedure to Convert the Light Fixture Ballast and Lamps

  1. Identify and turn OFF the lighting circuit.
  2. Remove the old T12 Lamps and the fixture cover to gain access to the old ballast.
  3. Note the wiring to the ballast and the Wiring Diagram that is on the label of the ballast. The line voltage is typically a black and white wire, the remaining wires connect to the lamp sockets.
  4. Cut the wires fairly close to the ballast.
  5. Remove the old Magnetic Ballast.
  6. Install the New Energy Efficient Electronic Ballast.
  7. Notice and follow the Wiring Diagram on the label of the new ballast to make the appropriate wire connections using good wire stripping methods and wire connectors.
  8. Strip about 1/2 inch of insulation off each wire and joining the wire connections with small orange wire nuts.
  9. The existing light sockets will be used.
  10. Replace the fixture cover.
  11. Install the new T8 Energy Efficient Lamps.
  12. Restore the power to the circuit.

Flip the switch and Enjoy Great Lighting from the existing light fixture while Saving Energy!

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Converting a Fluorescent Light to Energy Efficient”
  1. Kevin says:

    I have a homeowner with several new lighting fixtures on the outside of their house. They are using standard screw-in incandescent light bulbs. We need to change to high efficiency lighting but do not want to change the fixtures. This is a building code and their getting inspected. Is there a way to change the light bulb sockets to now use LED bulbs? Or is there anything that can be put into the existing sockets that will accommodate LED’s and pass code?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Kevin,
    There are several LED light bulbs that are compatible with the standard sockets, including the A-Base light socket. These LED lamps should be acceptable to meet the building code for high efficiency lighting. Make sure the LED replacement lamp you choose is rated for outdoor use. Keep in mind that there are also LED retrofit kits available for recessed lighting as well.
    I hope this helps,