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> T8 Fluorescent LED Tube Light replacement, Retrofitting LED tube to existing casing

mot88
post Jan 18 2017, 09:42 PM, updated 10 months ago

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There are lots of question on retro-fitting or modification needed to fit existing T8 tubes that normal household used. I have decided to conduct some research as most electrical or lighting shops unable to explain properly.

The normal fluorescent light fitted in household is T8, also known as "Lampu Kalimantang". The colour is usually white in colour. The colour code is also known as 'cool daylight' or 6500k

Before we start, we need to determine what type of ballast is being used. There are 2 types being magnetic or electronic.

Magnetic ballast
Majority household is using magnetic ballast. It the casing has a starter, then it would be this type. To verify the tube would not instantly start-up but flicker a few moments.

Electronic ballast
Newer type of ballast which uses no starter and the tube will light up almost instantly.


How to replace the existing fluorescent light for magnetic ballast

Type A : Applicable for most Malaysian made and China made LED such as FSL/RealMagic etc.. (exclude Philips or GE). This type of tube rely 1 side to supply Live (L) and the other side Neutral (N) to power the led tube.

Method 1:
• Remove the starter. Yes, you only need to remove the starter and it will work.
Pros: anyone could do it and backward compatible if one decide to use back the standard fluro tube.
Cons: magnetic ballast consume 6-8 watt in additional to led tube wattage. I am not sure if the life of the tube is shorter using this method but the function of ballast is only limiting the current flow. LED need less current than normal tube.

Method 2:
• Remove or bypass the magnetic ballast and remove the starter. Usually the 'Live' wire from ceiling/wall goes into ballast and and wire from ballast into a terminal of the tube pin.
Pros: no wastage of power consumed by ballast.
Cons: need to re-wire and difficult to do if you plan to do it while at the ceiling without taking down the casing.

Refer to diagram below:
user posted image

Type B : Applicable for Philips/ GE type of Led tube . This type of tube rely only 1 side of the tube to supply 'L' and 'N'. The other side of pins (2 in total) is dummy terminal. To clarify, T8 tube has 4 pins, with 2 pins on each side.
user posted image

Method 1 (most popular)
Tube such as Philips Ecofit supplied with EMP starter. This EMP starter is actually a dummy starter. There is no capacitor but just a wire loop to connect 2 side of the starter. A normal starter has capacitor inside it. Without the EMP or dummy starter, the tube will not work.

Pros: same pros as Type A -Method 1
Cons: same cons as Type A- Method 1


How to replace the existing fluorescent light for electronic ballast
Bypass or remove the electronic ballast and there is no other way or short cut.

This post has been edited by mot88: Jan 18 2017, 11:29 PM


Attached File(s)
Attached File  t8_tube_wiring.pdf ( 190.61k ) Number of downloads: 902
mot88
post Jan 18 2017, 10:14 PM

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In summary for majority of household, one could just remove the starter to fit in a T8 LED tube without additional modification.

A normal fluorescent tube is around RM 6 to RM 8 and a decent quality LED tube is around RM 15 to RM 25. Do look for 2000 lumens type if you having high ceiling. Typical a normal LED tube is only 1600 lumens. 2000 lumens led tube is on par or exceed the brightness of normal T8 Philips Bright boost tube (green end cap model)

It is worthwhile to replace your normal T8 if the tube is blown or you are using it very often. Other than savings money, LED tube is longer lifespan and instant start, without the annoying blinking moment. Also useful if you frequently switch on and off the light, eg in kitchen or bathroom.

matrix88
post Jan 18 2017, 10:22 PM

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sure it is brighter than philips bright boost? if yes i am interested to replace
mot88
post Jan 18 2017, 10:59 PM

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Yes, on par or exceed for the 2000 lumens model. I have a 5 year old Bright boost (BB) and a new 2000 lumens led tube, comparing side by side, led definitely brighter. The comparison conducted on an aged normal tube with new led. If compare new BB to new 2000 led, it would be at least on par or exceed BB.

This post has been edited by mot88: Jan 18 2017, 11:01 PM
idoblu
post Jan 19 2017, 05:01 AM

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The 2000 lumens uses how many watt? Thanks
mot88
post Jan 19 2017, 08:43 AM

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2000 lumens led tube typically uses 22 to 23w for Malaysian and China brand. Philips one more efficient using 18w (mid top range) and 20w (mid). However, price for Philips Master series 20w 2100 lumens would be 3x pricier to Malaysian /China brand.

This post has been edited by mot88: Jan 19 2017, 09:25 AM
irwan6179
post Jan 19 2017, 12:05 PM

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I use Mr DIY T5 LED, RM17 and comes with the base.. quite okay for replacing the old fluorescent. Really like the instant on of LED. the oldest one is over a year already. No problem yet.
mot88
post Jan 20 2017, 02:52 PM

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All Malaysian and China T5 led tube came integrated with base and small clip to install on ceiling or wall. Mr DIY stuff are not bad and easily available.

The all in one T5 (tube & integrated base) need to be discarded when the led or tube is spoilt.

To clarify on misconception that T5 is shorter than T8, thats not true. The "T" designation is only referring to diameter of the tube.
T8 is 1 inch diameter (standard tube)
T5 is 5/8 inch diameter (slimmer tube)

The normal lenght for Malaysian household used tube is 4 feet and the short one is 2 feet. Both 2 and 4 feet tubes are available in T5 and T8.

idoblu
post Jan 20 2017, 03:44 PM

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QUOTE(mot88 @ Jan 20 2017, 02:52 PM)
All  Malaysian and China T5 led tube came integrated with base and small clip to install on ceiling or wall. Mr DIY stuff are not bad and easily available.

The all in one T5  (tube & integrated base) need to be discarded when the led or tube is spoilt.

To clarify on misconception that T5 is shorter than T8, thats not true. The "T" designation is only referring to diameter of the tube.
T8 is 1 inch diameter (standard tube)
T5 is 5/8 inch diameter (slimmer tube)

The normal lenght for Malaysian household used tube is 4 feet and the short one is 2 feet. Both 2 and 4 feet tubes are available in T5 and T8.
*
in your research, which is better? T5 or T8 (both also LED)
compare energy usage and lumens
mot88
post Jan 20 2017, 05:08 PM

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There is no clear advantage between each type as the tube is basically a cover /housing with inbuilt driver. However, some may find t8 is slightly better as with bigger housing, the lesser heat in it. Led will perform poorly if there is too much heat.

On summary, T5 for confined space and T8 for otherwise.
aeiou228
post Jan 20 2017, 11:28 PM

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Type A, method 1.
Why the ballast still consuming 6 -8 watts after starter removed and lamp replaced to LED ?
mot88
post Jan 21 2017, 09:28 AM

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QUOTE(aeiou228 @ Jan 20 2017, 11:28 PM)
Type A, method 1.
Why the ballast still consuming 6 -8 watts after starter removed and lamp replaced to LED ?
*
If you open the fluorescent casing, 'L' wire goes into directly into magnetic ballast (from your main source/ DB) and out of it then to the pin socket under normal fluorescent wiring. Removing the starter is only breaking up the other loop from left side pin to right side.

Function of ballast is limiting the current flow. The current flow after magnetic ballast is more than sufficient for LED. LED could be wired directly to 'L' and 'N'.
Think of magnetic ballast in this case as a 'middleman / agent'. Instead of getting your goods from whole seller, one choose to still continue the tradition to get from agent (which more expensive -lah). With or without magnetic ballast the LED still works but consume more electricity.

I am sharing the knowledge as the info is scattered everywhere in the forum and the lighting shop is not much help either. The purpose of this thread is to consolidate the info and adding my experience in changing the normal fluorescent to LED tubes

For better understanding on the fluorescent light wiring (the foundation), this link with pic is quite good biggrin.gif
http://www.louyeh.com/how-to-wire-up-a-sim...orescent-light/
aeiou228
post Jan 21 2017, 11:55 AM

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QUOTE(mot88 @ Jan 21 2017, 09:28 AM)
If you open the fluorescent casing, 'L' wire goes into directly into magnetic ballast (from your main source/ DB) and out of it then to the pin socket under normal fluorescent wiring. Removing the starter is only breaking up the other loop from left side pin to right side.

Function of ballast is limiting the current flow. The current flow after magnetic ballast is more than sufficient for LED. LED could be wired directly to 'L' and 'N'.
Think of magnetic ballast in this case as a 'middleman / agent'.  Instead of getting your goods from whole seller, one choose to still continue the tradition to get from agent (which more expensive -lah). With or without magnetic ballast the LED still works but consume more electricity.

I am sharing the knowledge as the info is scattered everywhere in the forum and the lighting shop is not much help either. The purpose of this thread is to consolidate the info and adding my experience in changing the normal fluorescent to LED tubes

For better understanding on the fluorescent light wiring (the foundation), this link with pic is quite good  biggrin.gif 
http://www.louyeh.com/how-to-wire-up-a-sim...orescent-light/
*
I actually replaced quite a few T8 LEDs using the existing fixtures. I re-wired to bypass ballast some of them but some times when I lazy to do the re-wire, I just removed the starter without ballast bypass.
I always have this doubt in mind that if I don't bypass the ballast, will the ballast consume electricity?
I hear various opinions, some said it will not, coz no starter and no fluorescent lamp, the ballast will not 'function' as it should and it merely acted as a conductor to let the current flow thru. Some said it will consume a tiny bit of wattage and the now you said it will consume 6 - 8 watts.
Let's summon sifu Richard and hear what's his opinion about this.
Richard
post Jan 21 2017, 01:51 PM

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QUOTE(aeiou228 @ Jan 21 2017, 11:55 AM)
I actually replaced quite a few T8 LEDs using the existing fixtures. I re-wired to bypass ballast some of them but some times when I lazy to do the re-wire, I just removed the starter without ballast bypass.
I always have this doubt in mind that if I don't bypass the ballast, will the ballast consume electricity?
I hear various opinions, some said it will not, coz no starter and no fluorescent lamp, the ballast will not 'function' as it should and it merely acted as a conductor to let the current flow thru. Some said it will consume a tiny bit of wattage and the now you said it will consume 6 - 8 watts.
Let's summon sifu Richard and hear what's his opinion about this.
*
ahem.. sifu here.. (actually its master sifu since i have technical certificate..)

In a standard fluorescent fitting..

The ballast acts as inductor to limit the current and increases voltage (by the fluctuating magnetic field in its coil) so as to make the tube fluoresce via the starter (bimetallic contact)..

hmm..

anyway because it is an alternating current (sinusoidal voltage) there is a power factor where some heating happens within the inductor (ballast) which is the reason for the reactive power loss..

Hell .. I can't explain technical things in a simple way but if you run an ac current through a coil there will be some heating ..

This heat translates as a loss in efficiency of the load..

Edit * Of course in an LED where the current is in the mA it will be negligible thus you can leave it in circuit and it won't matter..

technically there will be some power loss but not in the magnitude of 6-8 Watts (milliwatts in direct proportional to the current) ..

This post has been edited by Richard: Jan 21 2017, 02:05 PM
mot88
post Jan 21 2017, 02:03 PM

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Thanks Richard for chipping in. Btw, the starter has no function after the tube is lighted in normal fluorescent tube. One can try and unplug the starter after the fluorescent tube lighted. it will continue to work. Therefore, the myth that once the starter is removed, the function of ballast is not needed is inaccurate. The moment the ballast is functioning, it consume small amount of electricity.

It is good to clear doubt as there is too many misinterpretation especially when seeking clarification from lighting shop.



This post has been edited by mot88: Jan 21 2017, 02:34 PM
Richard
post Jan 21 2017, 02:07 PM

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QUOTE(mot88 @ Jan 21 2017, 02:03 PM)
Thanks Richard for chipping in. Btw, the starter has no function after the tube is lighted in normal fluorescent tube. One can try and unplug the starter after the fluorescent tube lighted. it will continue to work. Therefore, the myth that once the starter is removed, the function of ballast is not needed is inaccurate. The moment the ballast is functioning, it consume small amount of electricity.

It is good to clear doubt as there is too many misinterpretation especially when seeking clarification from lighting shop.
*
yes..

Edit * the fluorescent needs the ballasts to work or it will burn out the filaments ends..

This post has been edited by Richard: Jan 21 2017, 02:11 PM
aeiou228
post Jan 21 2017, 02:34 PM

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QUOTE(Richard @ Jan 21 2017, 01:51 PM)
ahem..  sifu here.. (actually its master sifu since i have technical certificate..)

In a standard fluorescent fitting..

The ballast acts as inductor to limit the current and increases voltage (by the fluctuating magnetic field in its coil) so as to make the tube fluoresce via the starter (bimetallic contact)..

hmm..

anyway because it is an alternating current (sinusoidal voltage) there is a power factor where some heating happens within the inductor (ballast) which is the reason for the reactive power loss..

Hell .. I can't explain technical things in a simple way but if you run an ac current through a coil there will be some heating ..

This heat translates as a loss in efficiency of the load..

Edit * Of course in an LED where the current is in the mA it will be negligible thus you can leave it in circuit and it won't matter..

technically there will be some power loss but not in the magnitude of 6-8 Watts (milliwatts in direct proportional to the current) ..
*
Thank you sir.

Will the ballast power loss factor is much lesser in a LED fitting compare to fluorescent fitting?
mot88
post Jan 21 2017, 02:35 PM

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QUOTE(Richard @ Jan 21 2017, 01:51 PM)
ahem..  sifu here.. (actually its master sifu since i have technical certificate..)

In a standard fluorescent fitting..

The ballast acts as inductor to limit the current and increases voltage (by the fluctuating magnetic field in its coil) so as to make the tube fluoresce via the starter (bimetallic contact)..

hmm..

anyway because it is an alternating current (sinusoidal voltage) there is a power factor where some heating happens within the inductor (ballast) which is the reason for the reactive power loss..

Hell .. I can't explain technical things in a simple way but if you run an ac current through a coil there will be some heating ..

This heat translates as a loss in efficiency of the load..

Edit * Of course in an LED where the current is in the mA it will be negligible thus you can leave it in circuit and it won't matter..

technically there will be some power loss but not in the magnitude of 6-8 Watts (milliwatts in direct proportional to the current) ..
*
A trivia, if the power consumption of ballast is proportionate to the current of the tube, then logically it would still consume a few watts as LED at its best is consuming slightly less than half of normal fluorescent wattage, lowest being 16 watt (LED) as compare to 36w (normal tube). A normal magnetic ballast fitted with fluorescent tube consume approximately the amount mentioned.

*Edited to share more info as below biggrin.gif

Source 1
Energy efficient magnetic ballasts (required by law since 1988) are 10 to 12 percent more efficient than older- types because of the higher performance materials used in their manufacture. They have lower maintenance costs, longer life (three year warranty) and cooler operation than their predecessors. They operate the lamps at the nominal 430 ma. and allow the lamps to produce greater than 92.5% of rated lumens. They consume eight to 10 watts when operating with the lamp in the circuit. The ballast will consume about four watts when the lamps are removed although the ballast is still energized.

Further reading http://www.naturallighting.com

Source 2
Magnetic ballasts are "older" fluorescent technology. The electronic ballast was introduced in 1981 and produces significant energy and dollar savings over magnetic ballasts in nearly every application for full-sized fluorescent lamps. The electronic ballast is flicker-free and produces virtually no noise or hum. Electronic ballasts will generally reduce the overall load on a circuit by reducing energy demand; magnetic ballasts by comparison consume on the average 2-6 watts more energy that their electronic replacements.

Further reading http://www.ultraluxlight.com/fluorescent tube

This post has been edited by mot88: Jan 21 2017, 05:56 PM
mot88
post Feb 9 2017, 03:19 PM

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Let me share some info on T8 Fluro tube

Philips Ecofit 16w, 1600 lumens, 4 ft
Price: about RM 27- RM 32
Availability: Most lighting shop, Aeon Big

This is the only branded retrofit led t8 tube available locally. The brightness is average and nothing to shout about. I would rate around 75% to 80% brightness of normal aged t8 tube. Didn't have new normal t8 tube to compare with. Ecofit is supplied with EMP starter (actually just a dummy starter). Installation: just remove the existing starter and put in the supplied starter. I don't think it worth the money as currently there is no promo. Last time promo, price is RM 23.90 at Aeon Big.

Hope to hear from you if you would you have other t8 led tube experience.


duckaton
post Feb 14 2017, 09:09 PM

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advisable to bypass the ballast.
if fit led with just removing the starter, it will work.
until the ballast fail,

then scratch head whether led tube or ballast failed.

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