Your Options for a T12 LED Retrofit

by | Oct 23, 2019 | 0 comments |

T12 LED retrofits have become very popular in recent years. After the 2010 legislation to cease production of magnetic ballasts went into effect, followed closely by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended mandate to include the T12 lamps, t12 LED conversions became a necessity. While 1.5-inch diameter fluorescents can still be found, energy regulations and more energy-efficient lamps are curtailing the use of T12s. Combine this with the decrease in the manufacturing of T12s, and they are now facing extinction as suitable lighting. Unless you have a stockpile of T12s lying around, you are going to be searching for an affordable, energy-efficient LED replacement for t12 fluorescent tubes. In today’s article, we are going to look at your t12 LED replacement options. This is not the time to panic; it’s time to look on the bright side of an LED!

Your LED Replacement Options for T12 Fluorescent Tubes


Can You Perform a T12 LED Conversion without Changing the Ballast?

As of right now, you can NOT perform a t12 LED replacement without changing out the ballast. In 2016, Philips offered an LED tube that was compatible with the outmoded magnetic ballasts. Unfortunately, that product is no longer available and has been discontinued. Don’t become discouraged. Like we said above, we have several options for you to consider.

Want the pros and cons of Fluorescent Lamps? Check out our In-depth Look at Fluorescent Lighting, found in our Lighting and LED Product Education Center!

Ballast-Bypass for Linear LED Lamps 

A ballast-bypass is currently the top t12 LED replacement option for fluorescent tubes. While this T12 LED replacement typically costs more in installation and fixtures, it pays off in the energy savings department. This solution also comes with a few safety concerns. While you can install a ballast-bypass with a single-ended tube, this produces multiple safety hazards. Action Services Group recommends only using double-ended tubes. This t12 led conversion works directly off the line voltage flowing to the sockets and also requires the removal of the original fluorescent ballast. As with any direct wire solution, we strongly suggest only using a qualified electrician.

Want a more comprehensive view on a T12 LED conversion utilizing Linear LED Lamps? Read our eBook, Replacing Fluorescent Lamps with LED Fixtures or Linear LED Tubes.

T12 LED Replacement Tubes with Remote Drivers in the Fixtures

A T12 LED replacement with remote driver is the most energy-efficient T12 LED retrofit option on this list. This is mainly due to the fact that there is no ballast draw in powering the lamps. If you are looking for high-performance lighting while maximizing energy savings, this could be the option you are looking for. We do want organizations to be aware that this option initially costs a bit more than either an electronic ballast or a plug-and-play combo.

This customer saw a reduction of energy costs estimated at $1,300,000+ over 5 years due to a reduction of energy usage by 63%.

New Electronic Ballasts with Compatible Linear LEDs

This option generally has the smallest upfront cost and is a fantastic option for energy savings and a long lamp life. With an electronic ballast-compatible LED tube, you will have a solution you won’t have to touch for years and see significant savings. This is a fast and affordable solution for anyone! Please Note: We like to remind our customers that while the LED lamps lifespan is extensive, the ballasts expected lifespan is around 5 years.

Want a sneak peek at your potential savings? This National General Merchandise Chain saw more than 52% reduction in their energy consumption!


A Full T12 LED Retrofit with Fixtures

When comparing your options, don’t discount a full LED retrofit because you think the initial costs are too high. With this option, you will see maximum energy savings with a significant visual upgrade. Keeping this in mind, the cost of a full Led retrofit is comparable to a new fluorescent fixture.

Final Considerations in any LED Replacement for T12 Fluorescent Tubes

With any T12 LED retrofit option, energy savings, lighting performance, and maintenance costs will play a massive role in what solution you choose. At Action Services Group, we review your goals utilizing these three savings criteria and help you determine the most cost-effective solution for you. The first step in any LED lighting project should be to contact a lighting solutions provider or lighting company that is manufacturer and product-neutral. With neutrality comes a higher focus on your needs as opposed to the desire or limitation of selling a specific product. If you would like to review your potential savings with a T12 LED retrofit or have questions about our national LED Retrofit capabilities, call us at 610-558-9773, email [email protected] or schedule a call.


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