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Old 09-17-2016, 04:36 PM   #1
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Replacing florescent lights with LED'S

I've used all my spare florescent tubes and think this may be the right time to convert to LED's.

I understand that there are basically two options, to use LED tubes in the existing fixture and remove the ballasts, or remove the "guts" of the fixture and install LED strips. Which is the better choice?

Finally, what source have you found to have the highest quality LED's at the most reasonable price? I've looked at M4 Products, which I understand are high quality, but the LED tubes are about $17 each, meaning $34 per fixture. Are there others out there that have proven, reliable products at less cost?

As always, your opinions are appreciated!
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Old 09-17-2016, 04:46 PM   #2
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Replacing florescent lights with LED'S

I've used both methods. I found the led strips were not as bright, even after installing 3-4 strips in the old fluorescent case. I like the led tubes and have found I can get by with one tube where there was two fluorescent tubes. I'll go see if I can find the link to the one I've used.

Brian

Edit Starlights T8-18 they are more expensive than your first choice.

https://www.amazon.com/Starlights-T8...arlights+t8-18
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:23 PM   #3
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I have 4 strips in my Florescent fixtures. They give off more light than original tubes.
All my strips came from EBAY.
In case you never saw this thread. Inexpensive Fluorescent to LED Upgrade
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:51 AM   #4
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I got tired of replacing the fluorescent lights so converted all my lights to LED ~5 years ago.

This is my suggestions for your rig as it is probably like mine.

I bought all my supplies off Ebay, a huge choice of LED strip lighting, they come in ~15' rolls, I believe I used 3 rolls. Buy some of the connector or pig tails that attach to LED strip, I used 3 per light fixture. The ones I purchased were snap lock type and worked good, only had one come loose in the last 6 years. I also bought small button type switches, I installed 1 per light fixture.

The LED strips should be marked for + & -, make sure you note which side is which, once you do one you'll figure out how to distinguish quickly.

Start with the light above the kitchen area, the one with the decorative cover. There is a grouping of 3 separate lights. Take all 3 lights out, measure the dimensions is there and buy a piece of Plexi-glass and cut to fit. Cut 6-8 strips of LED ribbon light, attach pig tails and mount to Plexi-glass. Mount the Plexi-glass in place of the original fixtures and wire them up, test before you put the cover up.

You now have 3 fixtures to convert to LED. I found it better to do 3 at a time as it was more efficient.

I completely stripped the fixtures and cleaned them all good with soapy water first, drying, and then wiping down with mineral spirits or equivalent. By doing this you'll make sure the LED strips adhere better. I mounted the small button switch on the same end as the original switches. I put 3 strips in each fixture, wiring the outer 2 to the original switch and the middle one to the new switch. By doing this you have 4 settings for each light, Off, 1 strip, 2 strips, or all 3 strips lite. This provides a lot of flexibility for lighting. Test each light before you install.

I then removed 3 of the fluorescent lights. I took the time to seal each of the light fixture recesses. Monaco drilled large holes for the power wires all the fixtures were really dirty. Now I know where all the dirt came in from when we were driving the AK Highway. Hopefully by sealing the holes it will prevent this from happening again.

I spent less then $100 to do all the lights, by doing the "assembly line" method you could probably do them all in a day.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:13 AM   #5
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I used the M4 LED tubes in three fixtures. I am very happy with the end result. Good instructions and quite easy to make the change. the first fixture took 40 minutes, but the next two were 15 minutes. I got the Natural tubes.


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Old 09-18-2016, 10:42 AM   #6
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Joe I went with these lights here,they are really bright,I removed my ballast cover and mounted three strips on it,one on each side and one down the middle,then I replaced the switch with a three way switch,on-off-on,now I can use them either way if I wanted.
10pcs Super Bright 12V 25cm 5630 18LEDS Rigid Hard Strip Shop Bar Light | eBay
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:17 AM   #7
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Joe-

Here's a link to my post on a similar iRV2 thread.

I hope it turns out well!
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:18 PM   #8
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I bit the bullet and went with the M4 tubes and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. The wiring instructions are well written and easy to follow. In fact, I replaced all of the lighting in my MH with M4 products two years ago and have not had a single problem, knock on wood.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:01 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone! I'll be studying your suggestion!
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:21 PM   #10
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I've done it both ways. Simplest is Green Life bulbs from Amazon at about $17 each ... work fine and takes about 10 minutes. Far more complex is to make your own from a roll of LEDS.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I didn't use connectors. I soldered wires to the strips. I also used 3M Molding Tape (Advance Auto/Autozone/etc.) to attach strips to housing ... the double sided tape on LEDs is junk. You can do a bunch of fixtures pretty cheap but it is time consuming.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjhall View Post
I have 4 strips in my Florescent fixtures. They give off more light than original tubes.
All my strips came from EBAY.
In case you never saw this thread. Inexpensive Fluorescent to LED Upgrade

Do these get very hot with three strips on? I've heard that some LED strips get really hot!
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjhall View Post
I have 4 strips in my Florescent fixtures. They give off more light than original tubes.
All my strips came from EBAY.
In case you never saw this thread. Inexpensive Fluorescent to LED Upgrade

Your pics show only 3 strips in each fixture?
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Do these get very hot with three strips on? I've heard that some LED strips get really hot!

Wow ... not mine! Never heard of hot LEDs .... barely warm to the touch.

As a matter of fact, I can turn on every ceiling puck (over 30) and all the LED florescents (8) and not notice a temperature change.
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceisla View Post
Wow ... not mine! Never heard of hot LEDs .... barely warm to the touch.

As a matter of fact, I can turn on every ceiling puck (over 30) and all the LED florescents (8) and not notice a temperature change.

Thanks!
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