Retrofit LED Tubes into Existing T8 Fluorescent Fittings?

The LED Tube market is mostly a retrofit market because there are millions of exiting fluorescent fittings running fluorescent tubes – and the vast majority of them are still in good condition. The idea here, and in most cases this is an immediate benefit, you can electrically alter your existing fittings and then plonk in your LED tubes without much electrical work required – see our previous article on quick installation guidelines for LED tubes for more.  However, there are a few things you need to make sure of before you commit to retrofitting as you may consider installing new led tube fittings instead. Check out this video or read on for more:

Keep your fluorescent fittings if you can

First off – I always recommend that if your T8 fluorescent fittings are in good nick that you keep them. They are already installed in your ceilings as current assets so to buy and install new led tube fittings is going to cost you double in terms of capital and installation fees. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Old fluorescent fittings are the only ones you should consider replacing

This is probably the most important factor. If your fluorescent fittings are very old – like the bulky magnetic fittings that still have chokes / starters operating above and beyond the ballast – you may consider removing them altogether. Electronic fittings have been the norm these days for quite some time for most T8 and all T5 fluorescents, so a magnetic fitting is likely to be quite old and of the T10 / T12 variety. The older the fittings are the more likely they will be to have damaged connector blocks (where you plug in your tubes) and/or the fitting may have undergone wear and tear or just not be presentable anymore. If this is the case, then installing new led fittings might be a good idea.

Dimensions of a new LED fitting is an important consideration

This is so often overlooked if you are opting to install a new led fitting to replace an existing fluorescent fitting so you can install your new led tubes and recycle the fluorescents. In most cases, the new led tube fitting is not going to be the same size as the fluorescent fitting; actually, in most cases they are going to be smaller as LED fittings don’t require any internal components as it acts simply as a big, fancy plug for your LED tubes that will link directly up to your 220V AC power. Most ceilings are painted white, and much of the time contractors will have painted around the fitting when it was first installed to save time and money – so when you remove the original fitting the ceiling underneath is going to be a different colour or not have a lick of paint on it at all. The extra paint work will cost mostly time adding on to your expenses. So check size of the new led fitting and see what the panting work required will be first.

LED fittings are ideal for new installations

In 95% of the cases where we do sell an LED fitting, whether it be an open channel or closed channel IP65 vapour proof fitting, it’s going into a new development or installation. It’s quite rare that fluorescent fittings need to be replaced. The great thing about a new LED fitting is that it should be very affordable (far cheaper than any fluorescent fitting counterpart), light in weight and prewired to fit your LED tubes so it is a simple matter of plug and play.

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