Converting fluorescent tube light to LED tube light

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by GAVLAD, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. GAVLAD

    GAVLAD Funster

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    Hi

    I've been reading through the many past posts relating to swapping out MR11 halogen bulbs for LED's and SMD type bulbs and wondered whether anyone has changed their fluorescent tube/strip light for an LED tube light?
    (This isn't the LED strip light type of lighting which you cut down to length. It's the T5 fitting tube with the two prongs on each end - looks very similar to the tube currently fitted).

    I've come across these tubes in some online stores (bedazzled lighting for instance) and although expensive, they last a lot longer and use less juice - apparently.
    What it does say is that you have to remove or bypass the high voltage driver/ballast unit. Has anyone any experience of doing this?
    Or has anyone changed their standard fit tube lights for LED tubes?
     
  2. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    They look good to me. The original tube driver is easily removed leaving a simple 12v & earth feed to the unit. The instructions with the tube will explain how to connect the feed & earth to the tube.
     
  3. Bobby22

    Bobby22 Funster

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    Should soon be on ebay at a fraction of the cost...............might be worth waiting.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  4. gozomike

    gozomike Funster Life Member Life Member

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    That is correct, you just need the 12 volts connected to the ends of the tube ( plus to one end neg to the other). On the one I have it does not matter which way round.
     
  5. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    Yes, have done it.
    As stated, use the 12v supply by bypassing the circuitry there. Straightforward really, and every little helps when saving the amps.
     
  6. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    why use an expensive tube when you can just use the self adhesive strips mine are four years old now and going strong each fitting cost less than a fiver to convert and took 15 minutes to do if you anywhere near me i could help you do one
     
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  7. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    I have changed all my lights to LED, strips, downlights, etc, Its easy with 12 v supply. This with solar panels means you dont need hookup at all.
    Phil
     
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  8. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    Exactly,
    That's what I used in the tube fittings.
     
  9. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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  10. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    As above..
    I cannot see any benefit to buying tubes if they are a lot more expensive and you need to mess about disconnecting the Inverter.
    If they are under cupboards you dont even see them.
    On my previous van I removed the tubes, Found the 12v supply before it entered the ballast / inverter on the strip light.
    Fitted adhesive LED strip under the cupboard and connected to the 12v.. Simple, effective, power saving etc..
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
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  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Agree with other re led tubes.
    if the light has a cover its far cheaper to replace with a flexy led strip.

    Bypassing the ballast is simple.
    Make sure the 12v is turned off.....
    cut both v+ and v- where they connect to the circuit board and connect to v+ and v- on the led strip.
    remove the old board if needed.

    All mine where twin tube with the board in the centre so i left mine in situ in case i ever had to revert to fluorescent tubes.
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Florescents are pretty efficient. Maybe do nothing.
     
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  13. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Agree the power saving will be minimal at best may even be worse, also florescent's give a more even spread of light with softer shadows.
     
  14. GAVLAD

    GAVLAD Funster

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    Great advice everyone and thank you all.
    It's given me food for thought.
    I'm in the process of changing the MR11 bulbs, so will have a look at the tube situation next.
    Thanks again.
     
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    An average 12" 12v strip light (flourecent) is 11watts......an LED strip of the same output is around 2watts.

    an 80% saving.

    I replaced 9 x twin tube for single led strips
    all 18 tubes together consumed around around 16amps...i can run all 9 leds for the same as one twin tube light.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
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  16. andreWander

    andreWander Funster

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    Ditto. remove tube and disconnect feed. Wire led strip instead. I had two lights on same switch. great saving. IMG_3228.JPG IMG_3232.JPG
     
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  17. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Does depend on the LED you use and if you have that amount of tubes worthwhile, but most vans usually only have one tube above the hob. Well that's in all the vans I've seen and it's only on for a short time while cooking, that was my reasoning.
     
  18. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    ours were quite short and we wanted them for reading so we went up and down the fitting four timesstuck down along the straight runs and just curved of the surface at each ends
     
  19. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Agreed....just one or two may not be worth the money and time.

    I didnt change the twin tube light in the toilet for obvious reasons....you're only in there a couple of minutes whereas all the others are hab lights.
     
  20. Eddystone

    Eddystone Funster

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    How stable does the voltage need to be for these strips?
    On another thread it was suggested that LED's need to be capable of several volts variation or will blow. I think it needs to be 10v - 14v to allow for use when on charge from mains hook-up.
     
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