Switching from older fluorescent T12 tube lighting to the newer generation of the T8 LEDs seems like a daunting task but if you follow these simple steps your installation will be a breeze.
Before you purchase and install the new bulbs please check the compatibility of your ballast with your new tube lighting. The T8 LEDs offered on the Consumers Energy Small Business Marketplace are compatible with the model numbers listed on the compatibility list which can be downloaded here or shown in the dropdown of the product’s page.
You can locate your ballast’s model number on the top of
your ballast, usually printed on the label.
Some ballasts may be located under a cover in the fixture or located on top of the fixture.
STEP 1: SAFETY FIRST!
- Make sure that the power to the fixture is turned off at the circuit breaker before you begin to remove the bulb.
- After you are certain that the power to the fixture is off you can begin to remove the bulbs.
- If your fixture has a light diffuser to cover the bulbs, remove it to access the bulbs and ballast.
- Before you purchase and install the new bulbs please check the compatibility of your ballast with your new tube lighting. The T8 LEDs offered on the Consumers Energy Small Business Marketplace are compatible with the model numbers listed on the compatibility list which can be downloaded here or shown in the dropdown of the product’s page.
- Your ballast can remain intact within the fixture. This will not affect the performance of the fixture or your T8 LEDs tubes. The ballast, however, will still continue to draw a small amount of power. If you want your fixtures run more efficient the ballast may be removed or disconnected. A licensed electrician is strongly recommended to disconnect the ballasts.
Note: Removing or disconnecting the ballast will save you additional energy beyond what a standard LED tube lighting replacement will save. If you choose to upgrade your tube lighting to energy-efficient LEDs and leave the ballast intact, you will still see significant energy savings.
STEP 2: REMOVE THE OLD BULBS
- Delicately remove fluorescent bulbs from the fixture.
- If a fluorescent bulb breaks, follow the mercury clean up protocol below.
Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulb or Fluorescent Tube Light Bulb Disposal
Fluorescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. When a fluorescent bulb breaks, some of this mercury is released as mercury vapor. The broken bulb can continue to release mercury vapor until it is cleaned up and removed. To minimize exposure to mercury vapor, the following cleanup and disposal steps need to be followed. This cleanup guidance represents the minimum actions recommended to clean up a broken CFL by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
1. Have people and pets leave the room.
2. Open a window or door to the outdoor environment to air out room.
3. Shut off the central forced air heating/airconditioning system, if applicable.
4. Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb:
- Stiff paper or cardboard;
- Sticky tape or lint roller;
- Damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces);
- A glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag; and
- Proper personal protective equipment: protective gloves and dust mask
- Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place debris and paper/cardboard in a sealable plastic bag.
- Use sticky tape or lint roller to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the sealable plastic bag.
- Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels in the sealable plastic bag.
- DO NOT VACUUM or SWEEP.
Vacuuming/Sweeping is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
- Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
- Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.
- Promptly remove all bulb debris and cleanup materials from the job site in the sealed container.
- Sealed bulb debris should be transported back to your local office in an approved container and placed into a designated CFL recycle bin at the office.
- If possible, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.
STEP 3: INSTALL THE NEW T8 LEDS
- Install the T8 LEDs by inserting them into the existing bulb connectors. No rewiring or disconnection of the existing, working ballast is necessary.
- The lumens (light output) of your new bulbs may be brighter than your older fluorescent bulbs. If you have replaced all the fluorescents tubes with your new T8 LEDs and they appear too bright for your liking, you may try to remove one of the T8 bulbs to adjust the fixtures overall lumen output.
- Turn off the power again to remove the bulb.