Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 4
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by fastniky I'm impressed!
Ok, I know it's hard to believe, but these are truly amazing! The good, they are bright, look like the old kind and fit. The bad, they did not come with instructions and I wasted a lot of time finding out how to wire them up. ( Not HomeDepots fault! ) These were shipped to my door in a FedEx box with no instructions and no "kit". But thanks to an online search, instructions were found. Wiring was performed, and Light was radiating from these beautiful bulbs! One really nice feature is that the original ballast is removed. Also, they are instant on. A big plus if you use 4 foot bulbs in the cold! These are at least as bright as the regular bulbs.
February 2, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by CheesePatrol Bright enough for my garage
Replaced the fluorescent lights in my 20x20 garage with these and I'm happy so far. They put out slightly more light than the old lamps. The color temperature is a tad warmer than the old fluorescent tubes.
Wiring them in was straight forward. Just cut the power wires going to the ballast and insert them into the existing bi-pin sockets. I had to purchase 2 new bi-pin sockets as my old ones only had 2 wire openings and would not allow me to jump the connections from one socket to the other. The replacement sockets had 4 openings each - 2 for each pin.
One thing I noticed with these is that they have a bit more dark space at the ends of the tube than the other LED T8 lamps I have in my home. Not a deal breaker.
April 9, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Retired297 Bright
Received this LED linear light without retrofit instructions. Now I have other Philips Linear bulb's so you would not think this be a big problem. Think again, this bulb retrofit, direct wires to one end and the other end is free floating (not wired). Home Depot for the bulb had instructions key with the item, but they are not for this light, the other Philips Linear bulb were 4' 19w Day Lights and you wire them with the HOT on one end and the Common on the same pin on the other end. (set bulb so pins are up & down, HOT and Common on top pin) and you run a wire from the bottom pin on one end to the both on the other end (LOOP). This is what I started with, NO DID WORK, I tested everything twice, so after a few hours on the Net I found someone who had the same problem and a link for instructions which we did not need as he stated Hot and Common on same end the other free. NOTE: both type of bulbs do have one end marked with + and - . Now, after all that two things come to mind, 1st Home Depot has the wrong instructions for download for this item and Philips who shipped the bulb fail to send instructions to retrofit this bulb. I also could not find this bulb on the Philips site, and the series did not show this wiring. Keep in mind, retrofitting is very easy, rip the ballast out and directly wire the ends to 120v connection. The light it's self is great, very bright but with a softness to the light, I'm placing this on top of a wall China Cabinet 6'w x 7'h, the tops open so reflective light warms the room and down though the cabinet is well lighted now.
February 28, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by jred Requires rewiring, but easier install than some LED T8 tubes
Be aware that if you are changing from fluorescent tubes to these LED T8 tubes, you will need to rewire and bypass your ballast, so these are not "plug and play." That said, I found the rewiring easier with these tubes than some other LED T8s I have tried.
REWIRING - These LED tubes run directly off of 120V and do not use a ballast. Both hot and neutral connect to the same end of the tube, with the pins on the other end of the tube left floating. Thus to install them you have to: 1) Remove the old ballast and wiring; 2) Hook one pin on one end of each tube to the hot line; 3) Hook the other pin on the same end of each tube to neutral; 4) Leave the pins on the other end of the tube connected to nothing.
NO SINGLE LED WIRING STANDARD - So far I have seen at least two different wiring standards for T8 LED tubes that don't use ballasts (both from Philips), in addition to some T8 tubes that do operate with a ballast in place (much easier conversion, but less energy efficient--how much less depends in large part on how efficient your current ballast is). Thus if you rewire to install these, when you need to replace the tubes in the future, you have to make sure the new tubes use the same wiring scheme the existing tubes do (or do yet another rewiring job).
DIRECTIONAL - While standard fluorescent tubes emit light in all directions (360 degrees), these LED tubes emit light in one direction (the diffuser is 180 degrees wide). This means that your tombstones (connectors that hold your tubes in place) must be oriented to point in the direction you want the light. I suspect this is a non-issue in many installations, as typically the tombstones stick straight out from the fixture and you want the light pointing aiming straight down. However, one of my light fixtures was a "compact" fixture that had the tombstones at an angle. Thus I had to modify that fixture to re-aim the tombstones to a different angle.
POTENTIALLY LESS LIGHT - Lumens measure the total light put out in all directions by a bulb. What you really care about is the light that goes where you want it. These LED T8 bulbs are rated at 1600 lumens, but put out all their light in a 180 degree pattern or so. A typical cool-white fluorescent T8 puts out 2800-2850 lumens, but since half of that goes up, you only get about half of that directly. How much of the rest of the light you get depends on how efficient the reflector in your light fixture is.
In some cheap shop fixtures I've tried that didn't have great reflectors, I lost virtually no light compared to my fluorescent tubes despite the lumen difference. However, in a more expensive kitchen fixture with a better reflector, I found that I was getting 1/3 stop less light on my camera light meter (80-85% as much light). So depending on what fixture you are working with, you may or may not get as much light after your conversion is done.
PROTECTED PINS - Some earlier LED tubes I ordered had damaged pins on the end when they arrived. The tubes in this order now come with pin protectors on the ends (apparently from the manufacturer). So Philips has improved how they package their bulbs, but be aware when handling them that you need to be a little careful of the pins. (They may not be any more fragile than fluorescent pins, but one tends to be more careful when working with glass tubes, and these LED tubes weigh more, so setting them down hard on an end can damage the pins.)
CONCLUSION - If you are looking for an LED tube that bypasses the ballast and don't mind some rewiring work, I can recommend these tubes. If you aren't comfortable with a rewiring job, you may want to look for the tube that works with an existing ballast.
February 9, 2014