Both residential and commercial customers have developed a big interest in the LED technology. However, many often get discouraged and confused by the sheer number of available options in terms of both products and the methods of installation.
Choosing the Correct LED Tube
Perhaps the first and most vital step towards selecting the correct LED tubes for your needs is to establish the method of installation you would want to employ. This will largely depend on the existing type of fixture that you already got: T8 or T12.
The way to figure out the current installation, remove bulb and read the markings that are etched on the end for they normally indicate the bulb type. If there are no visible markings, the easiest method of establishing what you have currently is by taking the size in tube diameter.
Ballast Replacement Options
In general, the T8 tubes utilise electronic ballasts while the T12 types use the magnetic ones. Opening the tube fixture and having a look at the ballast is what will give you the best answer as to the ballast type you currently have. Generally, the older your fixture is, the higher the chances that what you’ve got is magnetic ballast.
1. Hybrid (Electronic/Magnetic)
This is the latest in the market, the most expensive but the easiest when it comes to installing. These LED tubes literally will work with whatever technology you currently have, whether T8 or T12.
2. Electronic Ballast Compatible
The electronic ballast compatible tubes are also a comparatively new option. As suggested by their name, they are designed to work well with installations that are electronic ballast based, and may not function well with the magnetic ballasts.
3. Ballast Bypass
The least expensive and oldest as well as the most commonly installed LED tube option is the ballast bypass. This is also referred to as direct wire LED fluorescent tube. This option avoids expensive wiring and instead allows you to completely bypass the ballast and to directly run off of the voltage line at the installation.
The ballast bypass tubes, despite their additionally complex requirements for installation have bigger advantages over the other types. Their unit cost is the lowest in comparison to all the other options.