How to convert fluorescent tubes to LEDs using ballast bypass (Part 2)

Today at the House of Hacks, we're going togo from this to this.

[Intro] Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-yourselfers.

Harley here.

In a previous video, I explained how to convert8' long fluorescent fixtures from fluorescent tubes to LED lights in a very quick and easyway.

However, this way was pretty expensive.

It involved just getting some ready-made 8'LED lights and those things are really pricey.

For some reason, the 8' LED tube replacementsare a whole lot more expensive than 2 4' LED replacement tubes.

The 8' tube replacement are $60 each whereasI picked up a 4 pack of 4' ones for $24.

I have no idea why.

And they've been this way for quite a while.

I picked up two pair last year I think itwas, and they were $60 and I just picked up two pair yesterday and they're still $60.

Same price.

It hasn't moved at all.

And it's pretty much the same price whetheryou buy it online or retail like I did.

There's usually a few dollars off buying onlinebut of course you have shipping and handling costs added to it so it ends up being a wash.

It's a real quick way to do it because youdon't need to replace ballast, you don't need to rewire anything, you just plug them inin replacement of the existing bulbs.

So, it's really quick.

It's more expensive getting the bulbs thatare designed for ballast.

However, in the 4' market you can buy tubesthat work either with ballast or without ballast.

And I have a fixture that needs some workon it.

The ballast is making noise and the tubesare flickering and so I wanted to replace them with LEDs.

But because the ballast is making noise, Iwant to do a ballast bypass and remove the ballast altogether.

And so I'm going to be demonstrating thatin today's video.

It is a little bit more work because you haveto take the ballast out and rewire things a little bit, but it's not a whole lot morework and you do remove one more component that could possibly fail on you.

So let's get started.

First remove the old bulbs.

It'd probably be a good idea to turn off thepower before doing this.

Yeah, do as I say, not as I do.

Now take the fixture down.

This will vary depending on how it's installed.

In my case, it's just sitting between thejoists on some 2x4s.

Next disconnect the mains power.

Be sure to have the power turned off.

You don't want to be working with live powerat this point.

On the bench, the fixture needs to be openedup.

This will vary depending on the type of lampyou have.

In my case, it's just a matter of removingtwo nuts.

And then the case just opens up.

Here we see where the sockets are connectedto the ballast.

Since we're removing the ballast, all theseconnectors get taken apart.

We need to do this on both sides of the fixture.

And we need to remove the mains wire fromthe ballast input.

Once all the electrial connections are separated, we can physically remove the ballast.

In this case, there are two screws with nutson them.

Other designs may have a single sheet metalscrew on one side and a slot on the other.

Now we need a short piece of wire to run fromthe center where the mains are connected to one end of the fixture.

I'm using some scrap 14/2 TPS cable I hadin the parts bin.

If you have to buy some, 3 feet should beplenty.

Now I prepare all the ends by stripping offabout 3/4" of insulation from each wire and twisting the strands so they don't fray aseasily.

I also strip the insulation from the 14/2cable.

Now comes the most technical part of thisproject.

Here we see each socket has two wires comingout of it.

On one end of the fixture, we want to connectone wire from each socket to the white wire and the other one to the black wire.

It's probably easiest to see this in a pictoraldiagram.

Hit pause on the video if you need to studythis.

Because I have four sockets on this fixture, I used some pigtails to keep from having a huge number of wires all in one wire nut.

When it's all put together, it looks likethis.

The sockets on the other end of the fixturedon't need any connection.

I just put wire nuts over the ends of thewires to keep them from potentially shorting anything out.

And then zip tied them together to keep themneat and tidy.

Finally I stripped the insulation back fromthe other end of the 14/2 cable.

We can see here, I'm not using the copperground from the new cable, but the existing ground that goes to the fixture.

And now it's a matter of reassembling thefixture.

And reconnecting the mains.

Again, make sure the power is off before doingthis! Reinstall the fixture.

In my case it's just a matter of droppingit back into place between the joists.

Finally, install the bulbs.

These particular bulbs have only one end thatconnects to the sockets with power, so if they don't work the first time, turn the bulbsaround end for end.

Turn on the power and enjoy your new lights! So give me a thumbs up if you found that helpful.

I really appreciate it.

And I really thank you for joining me on thiscontinuing creative journey that we're on.

Until next time, go make something.

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!.

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