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Converting a Fluorescent Light to Energy Efficient LED

How to Convert a Fluorescent Light Fixture from a Ballast with T12 Lamps or T8 Lamps to Energy Efficient Lighting, Light Color Options, Procedure to Convert the Light Fixture Ballast and Lamps.


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Upgrading to a Energy Saving 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 a Ballast with T12 Lamps or T8 Lamps to Energy Efficient Lighting

Converting a Fluorescent Light Fixture to be Energy Efficient will only require 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!

See More about Home Lighting

recessed lighting

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Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

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Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

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Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Converting a Fluorescent Light to Energy Efficient LED”
  1. 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,

  2. 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?