best LED T8 bulbs?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by GeorgeC, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    My garage has six fixtures with two T8 bulbs apiece. I think one fixture has a failed ballast, as the bulbs won't light and changing the bulbs has no effect. Is bypassing the ballast and going LED worth it at this point?

    Generally, I have been underwhelmed by the lifespan of LED bulbs that I have deployed in incandescent fixtures. Upward-facing fixtures have fared better than downward-facing cans, presumably due to better cooling.
     
  2. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    48" LED fixtures are getting pretty cheap. I'd just replace the whole thing, dead units first and the others when they also die or start to bother you.
     
  3. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Costco has 48" led shop lights for $20/each. Hard to beat.
     
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  4. wrbix

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    I’m slowly replacing all my fluorescent T8’s w LED. Been impressed w HYPERIKON brand - there are others cheaper, but 5yr warranty speaks for something, .....I guess.
    Really like not hearing that subliminal hum, and I’m sick of ballasts going TU.

    Off topic - what’s everyone do w their burned out fluorescents ?....nobody seems to take them at recycling centers.
     
  5. biplanebob

    biplanebob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There are two types of led T-8 tubes. There is a "plug and play" type that is a direct replacement if you have a working electronic ballast, and
    There is a "direct wire" type that requires removal of the ballast, rewiring the fixture and may require new "tombstone" sockets. There are many videos on youtube showing the conversion.
     
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  6. Tango Golf Sierra

    Tango Golf Sierra Filing Flight Plan

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    Worth it. I have been buying Keystone lamps for around $8. Dont know if they are the best but havent had any problems.
     
  7. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sam's Club also has a wide variety, especially online. The selection in the clubs tends to be smaller.

    Rich
     
  8. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In my county they're "officially" accepted at the county waste / recycling facility several times a year; but if you only have a few of them, they'll usually accept them any time and set them aside until the next "official" collection day.

    Rich
     
  9. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've yet to have an LED replacement for an incandescent bulb fail. I did have one that never worked at all; but none that have ever worked have ever failed.

    Rich
     
  10. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll second the Hyperikon endorsement if you're shopping brands. I bought a 4-pack about 3 years ago and cut the ballasts out of a couple fixtures in my shop. They're bright like stadium lights and come on full bright right away even when the shop its 10 degrees in the shop. After my experience with them I decided to convert all the remaining dozen fixtures in my shop a few months back. I didn't use the Hyperikon this time, just bought whatever brand Menards had that was suitable for ballast bypass.

    Since I was converting everything anyway, I even removed the electronic ballasts from the few newer fixtures I had. I did this partly because I saw no point in having a ballast in there sucking power when its not needed. But mostly I did it because those electronic ballasts (at least the ones I had) make a lot of noise. With all the dinosaur ballasts gone and those fixtures now silent, I wasn't going to leave those electronic ballasts in there buzzing away like a broken door bell, so out they came. Shop lights are dead silent now. I can't comment on the long term durability of the Menards bulbs since I only did the conversion a few months back. But so far, they seem no different from the Hyperikons. Nice and bright even in the cold, and silent.
     
  11. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks. I pulled the ballast last night and ordered the hyperikons.
     
  12. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    One thing to keep in mind. How you wire the fixture after you pull the ballast out depends on the bulbs you put back in. Some bulbs need the hot wire to both posts on one end and the negative to both posts on the other. Other bulbs need the hot wire to one post and negative to the post next to it and nothing to the posts on the other end.
     
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  13. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    I got the dual-ended bulbs. In retrospect, the single-ended ones would have needed shorter wire runs. That said, rewiring the "tombstones" was trivially easy.
     
  14. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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  15. rsleeds

    rsleeds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We reworked 3 2-tube and 1 4-tube fixtures by removing the ballasts and replacing the tombstones on one end of each. Kits for the tombstone replacements and 10 LED tubes less than $80 at the electric supply house and about an hour's work. Even if the tubes last half advertised, money ahead real quick.
     
  16. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    Two fixtures done. Very nice, great success.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 9:42 PM
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