Introduction: How to Replace a Fluorescent Tube With an ETL Approved LED Tube

Picture of How to Replace a Fluorescent Tube With an ETL Approved LED Tube

Although an LED tube light and a fluorescent tube work in different ways theoretically, an LED tube light is produced to replace a fluorescent tube under the similar shape and measurements. In normal practice, inductive ballast or electronic ballast is required to drive a fluorescent tube; while an LED tube does not need such kinds of ballasts. For example the T8 LED tube light and the T12 LED tube light. In other words, they have different wiring methods.

The circuit structure of the LED tube light requires rewiring the fixture in a practice to replace the fluorescent, which will be very expensive. Very luckily, although the LED light does not need the ballast, it is compatible with the inductive ballast. To follow the safety requirement, almost all ETL approved LED tube products are made the input at the two pins on one end-cap, just like the OvalTube do. By adding a correct LED shorter, these ETL approved tubes can replace the fluorescent tubes in inductive-ballast-based fixtures without rewiring.

In the following sections, an instruction will be introduced to replace a fluorescent tube with an ETL approved LED tube light in an inductive-ballast-based fixture.

Step 1:

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 The following steps must be done by a qualified electrician.
 Risk of fire. Before the replacement, the users must confirm that the LED tube light is suitable for the current fixture. Any wrong practice may cause a fire hazard.
 Risk of electric shock. The input rating of the LED tube lights is usually between 100 and 240 Vac. Keep the power off during the replacement.

Needed tools:
 The safety goggles
 The safety gloves
 The screwdrivers

Step 2:

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 Read the following steps thoroughly before actions.
 Use the safety goggles and gloves for protection purpose.
 Only act for the fluorescent tube that works in an inductive-ballast-based fixture.

A starter in the wiring of the fixture can tell whether it is a type of the ballast. If there is a starter, it may be an inductive-ballast-based fixture. Otherwise, it probably is an electronic-ballast-based one. In this case, do not follow the steps below. The following wiring diagram explains how the input power is connected in a fixture of a fluorescent tube.

Step 3:

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1. Switch off the power to make sure no risk of the electric shock.

2. Remove the applicable diffuser or cover, and take the fluorescent tube from the fixture.

Step 4:

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3. Find the starter and replace it with the affiliated LED shorter.

Step 5:

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4. Install the new LED tube, the LED light,  following the wiring diagram in the fixture as below.

Step 6:

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5. Switch on power to see whether the LED tube light works correctly.

6. Switch off power and examine the wiring of the fixture again if the LED tube light does not work. Call for technical supports if needed.


matthew.riba.1 (author)2014-08-29

I work for a manufacturer of T8 LED tubes that are direct replacement and fitting these really is as simple as replacing the starter and then changing the tube. It takes about 20 seconds I do it day in and day out. It really is an awesome solution for anyone wanting to cut lighting costs in half.

can a normal tube be directly replace by a LED tube. In the same holder.? If not what are the processes???

DaveW81 (author)matthew.riba.12016-02-06

matthew - it isn't as simple as you make out. I have just bought a brand new (Knightsbridge) fitting with diffuser ... the LED tube just doesn't work. The new fitting does not have one of those bayonet-fitting "starters".

JackC89 (author)2016-03-19

We also have LED tube light,any interesting visit our website or contact our sales team via email for more details.

About This Instructable




Bio: Herman Lik, Director PR of the, has been promoting news on LED lighting products for many years. His main interests are in LED ... More »
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