Have You Heard? LED Tubes Fit Fluorescent Fixtures

fluorescent tube light

Do you want to lower your energy consumption and still get superior lighting? Are you thinking about replacing your outdated T12 or T8 tube lights? Then you should know that LED tubes fit fluorescent fixtures. The T-12 and T-8 tubes and ballasts are becoming harder to find.

T5’s are still readily available and at this point are not scheduled to be discontinued.

Updated Resources for Outdated Fluorescent Light Fixtures

So you have an option of replacing your outdated tubes with T5s. But you are going to have to replace the ballast for the upgrade. With the added expense of new lamps and ballast, you could opt for LED tube lights. The initial cost is about the same. And you will benefit from the energy efficiency and the long life that LEDs can offer.

LEDs can easily fit into any socket today for replacing an incandescent light bulb or replace your fluorescent tubes. Of course, replacing your fluorescent tube lighting does require a little more technical knowledge.

Not all fluorescent fixtures are of the same design. And because of that, there is quite a bit of confusion about converting to LED lighting. The reason is that when choosing your replacement LED lamp, you have to think about LEDs differently.
You must consider lumens in place of wattage. And Kelvins to color brightness. The best way to decide on your replacement light bulb or fluorescent tube is to refer to the information on the side of the box. Most manufacturers will tell you that the bulb or tube is an equivalent replacement.

For example, when you are looking for a 60-watt light bulb or a 32-watt fluorescent tube check the information located on the box for 60-watt or 32-watt equivalent. Then all you have to do is determine the kelvins or color temperature.



light bulb color temperature


The color temperature of a traditional incandescent is soft white, warm white (2700K). And the Kelvin of an office fluorescent bulb will range from (3000-3500K) or natural white, cool white. Or daylight white (4100-6500K). Bright white is exceptionally brilliant white.

Converting traditional light bulbs is simple. You choose the screw in base compatible with the light socket. And just twist it in.

Replacing your fluorescent fixtures is as easy as replacing the entire fixture with a LED fixture. But can set you back about a $100 per fixture. If you do not want to through the extra expense of replacing the fixture, you do have the option of using the existing fixture.

There are a variety of fluorescent light products specifically designed to use as direct replacements without the hassle of modifying the existing light fixture. These tubes are identified by the UL Type and sold as a plug and play, instant fit, and remote driver lamps.

And retrofitting it to accept the LED light. It will take a little work though, but it can be done.

This application is called the Ballast Bypass Conversion. The installation requires you to modify the existing light fixture to accept the UL Type B LED tube.

t-8 t-12 wiring schematic

You are going to rewire and bypass the ballast and wire it directly to the tombstone. You can leave the old ballast in place or remove it. And when you complete the task it is recommended that you identify or label the fixture to indicate use only UL Type B lamps.

The benefit of bypassing the ballast is that you will not have to replace another ballast. That alone will save you $30- 75 dollars per fixture. Just a note, be sure the new tubes you are buying supply the wiring schematic for the application.

UL Type B lights application installation will vary from wiring one- end of the tube or two-sided or two-ended tubes. Of course, the variances depend on the fixtures you have now.

Depending on the LED replacement bulbs you require depends on the amount of light output you desire. Bypass ballast bulbs can range from $15 to $40 ( 4,000-lumens) and up to $99. These prices also depend on the quality of the lamps.

High-end LED tube light bulbs that have 4500-lumens can be around $30 a bulb. And ultra bright LED tubes with 5,000-6,000K will be $50 plus. Comparing the expense of instant-fit LED light bulb replacements to Bypass Ballast LED light bulbs are about 25% less.


Before attempting to use either of these installations, please consult with an expert in the lighting industry to ensure that you have the best information to make the changes you want to do.

Get as much information off of the existing fixture to show your qualified supplier. It will help you achieve the best way to proceed with your upgrade. There are some reputable websites that you can get this information.

One site that I recommend is Philips, Philips provides philips.com/instafit that shows information about the different applications.
Always refer to a certified electrician that is licensed and bonded for your particular application.

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I hope you found this article illuminating!



Author: Kevin

I have worked in the maintenance and repair field for over 30 years. I was a traveling troubleshooter and service technician for a global industrial machine company. For the last eight years, I have worked for a BIG EAST University. I am retiring soon and decided to start my own business and share my knowledge and experience acquired over my career.

7 thoughts on “Have You Heard? LED Tubes Fit Fluorescent Fixtures”

  1. An informative website. The video on replacing an existing fluorescent fixture with LED tubes makes the seemingly daunting task actually quite simple for the layman.

  2. This is great information. I did not even realize that LED replacements are available for fluorescent bulbs! This could easily save a ton of money on electric usage in an office setting. I will let my boss know and he can decide if he wants to look into this. Thanks for the great information!

  3. I have been looking to replace the fluorescent tube lights in my garage with something more energy efficient. I think LED’s are the way to go. LED’s have been around for quite a while and I am glad to see that this is an option for me. I really prefer the more bluish color on the scale, more of a daylight color. You do have to be careful though, as you can make your space look like a clean room, with too much white light. I am not a big fan of the yellowish tint. I see you recommend Phillips, are they more high end, or do they fall somewhere in the middle? I am sure there are less expensive options, but I know Phillips is a good name. Thanks for sharing, you have a lot of very good technical information here.

    1. Hello, Steve, 

      When you are replacing your lights it is always good to go with a reputable brand. Phillips has been around a long time. And is recognized as a leader in the industry. Phillips is continually doing research to improve their products. It is becoming easier to convert old fluorescents to LED tubes. 

       I would also recommend Hyperkon. It is a U.S. company. And they offer a quality product.  You might check out my post on t8-t10-t12-light-bulbs/” target=”_blank”>T-8 T-10 T-12 replacement tubes. Hyperkon also has a great warranty.

      Thanks for taking your time to read and comment. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.


  4. Thanks for sharing this information. I’ve been wanting to update around the home but replacing the whole fixture is costly. This is one reason why I haven’t yet. Now that I know I don’t have to replace the fixtures, this will save me money. I will be able to do this much earlier now.
    Thanks again for sharing

    1. Hello, Brenda

      I’m happy you found the information in my post helpful. If I can be of further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me.


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