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Converting fluorescent light fixtures to LED

Discussion in 'Equipment & DIY Ideas' started by chriscoli, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. chriscoli

    chriscoli Board of Directors
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    The Habitat for Humanity Re-Store near Cherry Hill road by me has a few pallets of what I think are 3 or 4 ft. fluorescent light fixtures available. fixtures are between $5 and $10 each depending. I know that there are some people here who have removed ballasts and converted such fixtures to be able to run LED lights.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Cautions? Success stories?
     
  2. chriscoli

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    A few photos:

    89DE62C5-4F41-46AD-8AEE-366AE5385DC5.jpeg B1255387-821E-4621-9917-7D7975D037C4.jpeg A61AE811-B6F1-42B7-BDAD-D35679056393.jpeg 976A28E2-3B79-4CFB-BA9C-E5EAF3071524.jpeg
     
  3. Becca

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  4. FishEggs

    FishEggs Well-Known Member
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    #4 FishEggs, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
    I saw some 4ft t8 led replacement bulbs clearanced out at Lowes recently. Cant remember the price off hand but some were listed as daylight i think 6500k.
    Also if you are looking to make them plug in instead of hardwired i can get ya a bunch of computer power cords to use.
     
  5. zendog

    zendog Active Member

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    I put some into a 2 bulb shop light fixture as a test. I used these bulbs:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C9CMBDK/

    They supposedly will work in some fixtures without removing the ballast, but that reduces their life and maybe uses more electricity. It was a pain to get the shop light I had apart, but once I got the ballast out and rewired per their diagram, they made a very nice light. I have it running over a group of 4 15 gallon tanks I have on end on a shelf. I don't have a lot of high light plants, but java moss, anubius and crypts seem pretty happy.

    This was partially a test to see how it would work since I have a bunch of shop lights I use for starting seedlings and the bulbs are old and weak, so instead of getting new bulbs I was hoping these would be a better option. More expensive to start, but I think it works great and I'll be converting the rest before starting my tomatoes and peppers next year.

    I've also started to use the LED flood lights over tanks as well and really like the more directional light and a bit of shimmer they give you. While it isn't the broad flat light illuminating the whole tank most fluorescent lights and a lot of aquarium LEDs provide, the more directional light lets me have some darker corners for the fish that prefer to keep out of the limelight. I just put these over a 40 breeder and think they work quite well, especially for the cost:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073J98R8Z/
     
  6. JLW

    JLW CCA Members

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    The LED bulbs that run in fluorescent lights are, to me, prohibitively expensive.

    Personally, I would buy LED pucks or similar, rather than rewire and hack a light fixture, especially one used over water, and especially in my fishroom where spills, drips, splashes, etc are a fact of life. :) I don't know how much you'll save hacking the light vs buying a bunch of LED pucks, but I can't imagine it'll be much.
     
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  7. FishEggs

    FishEggs Well-Known Member
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    From what I've seen, Christine's fish room doesn't get spills, drips or splashes. lol
     
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  8. chriscoli

    chriscoli Board of Directors
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    uuuuuh, riiiight...
     
  9. Leffler817

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    Bob Bock @Sonny Disposition@Sonny Disposition knows how to do this and I think, has posted ‘how to’ videos on YouTube.
     
  10. Sonny Disposition

    Sonny Disposition Active Member

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    It's no big deal to bypass the ballast over an old fluorescent light fixture. I've redone all my old fishroom lights and the room lights, too. If you buy them four at a time on Amazon, they aren't too expensive. (Get 5000 K or above, to simulate daylight.) Unlike traditional fluorescents, they don't diminish in intensity after 6 months and are marketed as lasting for five years. You also half the wattage, so you cut your electric bill.
     
  11. Marzo

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    Sounds like a straightforward job, remove the bulbs > remove the ballast > some rewiring > install new LEDs, but what if the tombstone openings are parallel to the floor? then your new LED lights won't be facing down, right? they'll be facing sideways instead.

    There are a bunch of videos on YouTube too, here's one:

     
  12. zendog

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    I bought an old style double bulb fixture at the auction last weekwand rewired it for the LED bulbs. It is much brighter than the Satellite Pro plus light we had on the 55 gallon tank before, which, between the floating plants and tannins, we really needed. You can actually see into the jungle now.

    View attachment IMG_20180617_184640532.jpg
     
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