LED Retrofitting: How to Convert Fluorescent to LED
Time Required: 2-4 hours
Fluorescent light fixtures are a mainstay in many homes and businesses. Converting your old fluorescent fixtures to work with LED bulbs is a smart choice. This guide will explain how to convert fluorescent light fixtures to LED to optimize energy efficiency. Read on to learn how LED retrofitting is a simple DIY project.
Tip: Some LED retrofitting kits include LED troffers for commercial applications.
- LED retrofitting can be dangerous since you’re working with electricity. If you’ve never performed electrical tasks before, consider working with a knowledgeable partner throughout this process.
- Homeowners who are ready to start replacing fluorescent light fixtures should work slowly and take the necessary precautions indicated to get the job done safely and correctly.
- Use a multimeter to check that the power source to your luminaire is between 120v and 277v depending on your location.
- Turn the power that goes to that light fixture off before moving ahead with this process.
- Disconnect the power supply that connects to the fluorescent fixture ballast.
- Remove the ballast and the starter if applicable on your particular fixture.
- Take the existing shunted lamp holders or tombstones out of the fluorescent lighting fixtures you want to upgrade.
- Replace the shunted lamp holders or tombstones with a non-shunted variety.
Safety note: Using shunted lamp holders or tombstones when LED retrofitting can damage the bulbs or the fixture itself. Purchase the correct amount of non-shunted lamp holders before you begin the process of converting fluorescent to LED.
- Mark the live end of the lighting fixture with a permanent marker so it’s easy to identify. Leave the lamp holders on the other end of the fixture unwired.
- Begin wiring by connecting the positive lead to one of the leads on the marked live end.
- Wire the negative lead to the open lead on the live end side of the lamp holder.
- Take a few minutes to properly secure your connections with wire nuts.
- Reconnect the luminaire to power.
- Double check your connections at this point.
- Start installing your new LED lamps. Make sure that the end of the LED lamps marked with an “L” connect to the live end of your fixture.
- Consider attaching a cautionary lighting replacement sticker to the inside of the fixture. This will remind you – or anyone doing future work – that the fluorescent fixtures have been re-wired to accept LED bulbs.
- LED retrofitting around your home or in the garage can save you money and give you brighter, better looking light for all sorts of tasks.
- By retrofitting LED lights, you’ll also be future-proofing your home and saving money replacing bulbs. Quality LED bulbs last 10 to 15 times longer than those old fluorescent styles on average.
- New LED bulbs are also safer since broken fluorescent bulbs can expose you to mercury.
- LED retrofitting is generally a smart choice for virtually any space, and the project only takes a few hours.