T8 LED Tube Lights Explained

Quiet possibly the biggest single light source in use today is the 4 foot fluorescent tube light energized by an electronic ballast housed in a 4 ft x 2 ft troffer, with either an acrylic style prismatic diffuser or a parabolic lens.

These light fixtures represent the bulk of lighting in offices, schools, public building and hospitals to name a few and considering the standard fluorescent T8 tube is rated at 32 watts, energy savings  and light improvements can be made by upgrading to LED T8 tube lights.

These tubes represent a retrofit application and should be done in accordance with UL 1598 listing. Unfortunately there are many options to chose from making the uninformed purchaser at risk of buying the wrong tube for their application. This article will aim to make the process easier to understand by informing of the main differences each tube style offers.

Plug & Play tubes

This style is the easiest to retrofit requiring no wiring adjustments just a simple removal of the existing fluorescent tube and replace with the LED T8 tube. The cons to this ease of installation is the existing ballast has to remain part of the system at all times, it cannot be removed even when it eventually ceases to work. Also the ballast will consume energy, making this solution the least energy efficient. Some styles of plug and play tube will conform to UL 1598 listing should you wish to eliminate the ballast, but only if you rewire the fixture  in accordance with UL requirements to a single side power arrangement. This usually requires a new non shunted tombstone to be installed and wiring modifications adding further expenditure.

Type A Tubes

This style of LED tube requires the complete removal of the existing ballast and rewiring of the fixture to a single end power arrangement, again possibly needing a non shunted tombstone to be installed. This initial retrofit is the most expensive with this style of LED tube.

Type B Tubes

This style requires no rewiring or replacement of the tombstones, just a simple ballast bypass and one side of the fixture receiving “Hot” and the other side “neutral” overall the best solution for installation and long term energy savings.

Americas Best LED carries a full range of all styles of T8 tube lights and are always available to offer advice and recommend the best Led T8 tube for you’re needs. Call us on 727314 8656

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