How to Rewire T12 or T8 Fluorescent Fixtures for T8 LED Lamps

How to Rewire T12 or T8 Fluorescent Fixtures for T8 LED Lamps
4-Foot T8 LED Lamp

Click to purchase a case of (25) four-foot 17-watt, 2,200-lumen, T8 LED lamps.

T8 bulbs, also known as T8 lamps or T8 TLEDs, are energy-efficient, lumen-boosting replacements for T8 or T12 fluorescent lamps. If you are ready to upgrade your fluorescent lighting to LEDs, T8 TLEDs are a fantastic alternative to buying full LED fixtures. Because LED and fluorescent technologies are so unique, there are a few steps you’ll have to take, but don’t panic: Rewiring a T12 fluorescent luminaire or T8 fluorescent luminaire is simpler than you think. Most locations require the work to be completed by a licensed electrician, and Access Fixtures will always recommend the same, so be sure to check with local regulations to determine the safest way to proceed. For those of you who like to DIY, follow this guide to rewire a T12 or T8 fluorescent luminaire for T8 LED lamps and bypass the existing ballast.

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T8 LED Installation Instructions

T8 LED lamp

Click to purchase a case of (25) four-foot 13-watt, 1,800-lumen T8 LED lamps.

  1. Confirm that the power source to the luminaire is between 120v and 277v.
  2. Shut off the power going to the light fixture.
  3. Make sure the switch that controls the power to the luminaire does not have a dimmer.
  4. Disconnect the power supply to the fluorescent ballast.
  5. Remove the ballast and starter, if applicable, from the existing fixture.
  6. Remove the existing lamp holders or sockets (these are also commonly known as tombstones).
  7. Install the non-shunted lamp holders in place of the existing, shunted lamp holders. (Non-shunted means that there is no connection between the contacts at the socket. See this photo for how your lamp holders should and should not look.) Using shunted tombstones can fry the sockets and damage the LED lamps, so it is important to identify the differences and use the correct components.
  8. Mark the LIVE END of the fixture using either a permanent marker or a sticker. Note that the lamp holders on the other end will not be wired to anything.
  9. Wire the positive lead to one of the leads on the side marked “LIVE END.”
  10. Wire the negative lead to the other lead on the LIVE END lamp holder.
  11. Be sure to secure all connections with wire nuts.
  12. Once all the new, non-shunted lamp holders are wired on the LIVE END, reconnect the luminaire to the power source.
  13. Install the new T8 LED lamps, matching the end of the lamp marked “L” to the LIVE END.
  14. Affix a cautionary Lamping Replacement label to the luminaire surface where it is visible during future re-lamping.
  15. Turn the power back on. Your T8 LED lamps should light up!

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Once a fixture is wired for T8 LED, you can no longer put fluorescent lamps back into the luminaire. This isn’t an issue, however, because the long-life, energy-efficiency, and reliability of LED lighting makes it the most sensible replacement option.

Speak to an Access Fixtures Lighting Specialist about Choosing the Right Fixture

Are you looking to rewire your fluorescent fixtures for T8 LED lamps? Unsure of what options or lamps to choose? No problem. We’re always happy to help. Speak to an Access Fixtures lighting specialist to discuss some options, or if you need help placing an order, call us at 800-468-9925. Our customer service team is located in Worcester, MA, and is ready to get you the fixtures and lamps you need.