Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fun & Games With LED Replacements for Fluorescent Fixtures

There are a number of variants of fluorescent light fixtures.  Ours had two ballasts, and where the wiring diagram that came with the bulbs showed two yellow wires into each ballast, ours had one.  Finally, we gave up and bought a replacement fixture with LEDs built in.  Still a hassle to install.

First, the salesman at Home Depot gave us some wrong information.  Coming out of the socket were six wires: two black, two white and two grounds.  "You only need one white and one black.  Wire nut the other white and black wires."  Did as he said, and now the other light fixtures in the garage stopped working as well as outlets in the kitchen, which are on a different circuit.  It turns out the pairs were not two different power sources but everything in series.  The second pair of wires transfers power to the next fixture and so on, and apparently to the next circuit.  Not at all what I would expect.

Adding to the fun, we're doing this about 10 feet off the ground, getting a chance to use muscles that do not get enough use, and I can feel it today. (The last time I was doing anything with repairing these fixtures, it was awful, but I was 10 years younger.)   Everything now works, except the light diffuser sheet in the fixture is so stiff that we can't bend it enough to go back in place.  A battle that next time I will hire someone to do.

Not sure how meaningful these comparisons are with the diffuser cover out, because while it broadens the light distribution, it also reduces it a bit.



1 comment:

Will said...

Perhaps consider the LED shop lights from Costco. Normal power cord to hook up or plug in, as needed. Has motion sensor system internal.