8 foot led tubes single pin review

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by inwo, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. inwo

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    For anyone who still has old 8ft T12 lighting.
    They are no longer supported in USA.

    A few weeks ago I ordered some sample 8ft led tubes.

    I'm very happy with them.:D

    Soooo much easier than changing the fixtures.
    Snip out the ballast and connect hot to one end and neut to the other.
    8ft are nice as disconnect sockets allow wiring "hot".

    Put the samples in my sisters hardware store. She was so excited that she wanted 100 8ft and 100 4ft tubes. Which came in today.

    Her only real load is lighting. Lots of 8ft T12 and a bunch of T8 and T12 4ft. About $300 a month.

    220 Epistar smd 2835 leds 40watt (110 in the 4ft) 50,000 hrs

    Actually you can see a small dark band where the two 4ft circuit boards meet.

    4ft must be the largest in normal production.

    Cold white 6000k

    Even with milky lenses, almost too bright to look at.
    I would not recommend the clear lens if they are not well above eye level.

    Today I put in 10 of the 4ft tubes. A dingy 2ft X 4ft ceiling fixture with 4 tubes went from sick yellow to brand new looking.

    Thought the lens yellowed with age, but it's bright and clear now.:D

    The 8 tubes in foreground are led. Picture doesn't show much. :(
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    Metalmann and elec_mech like this.
  2. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    Awesome! It won't be long before people start whining about having to use these, even though they are clearly superior.
  3. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008

    Thanks for posting. :)
  4. bwilliams60

    Active Member

    Nov 18, 2012
    LED lighting is superior in so many ways. Problem is that once the electric companies see that we are not using as much power, our hydro bills will suddenly go up again. Hard to get ahead. :(
  5. inwo

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    Needed a ballast changed every few weeks. Even some of the newer 4ft T8 fixtures.

    If these fall short of the 50,000 hr life, at least it will just be a lamp swap.:)

    I was willing to do a few at a time, but she's too excited, wants them all done in a couple weeks.

    Too big a job moving ladder thru her jungle for an old guy.
    Her "hardware" is a 150 year old general store. Sideling room only.:D
    I did the original fluorescents 40 years ago. (probably in a couple days)

    Prices are all over the place on 8ft tubes. Don't know why.:confused:
    These were about 40% more than ballast/relamp.

    Used an AliExpress vender.
    Would never have trusted the site without feedback from AAC members.

    So without going back to those threads and looking, thanks to all!
  6. elec_mech

    Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2008
    Wow, I didn't know they made replacement T12 LED bulbs. We have a 20k square foot shop filled with 4' and 8' fixtures, likely from '78 when the building was constructed. We looked at "upgrading" to more efficient fluorescent fixtures and bulbs, but that would have cost close to $20k.

    So inwo, you recommend AliExpress for these bulbs? I'll definitely take a look at them.

    If you wouldn't mind, could you post a quick comparison of the electric bill (one month of fluorescent bulbs vs. one month of LED bulbs) once all the LED bulbs have been installed and running for a spell? I'd love to see what the savings the LED bulbs yields.

    Thanks for the great post!
  7. inwo

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    It may take a few weeks. She said that I could do a few at a time. (and take my time) Rather than hiring paid help. Lucky me.:eek:

    The 8ft tubes are T8 size. Fit in 8ft T12 type fixtures.

    I'll only get help moving ladder and inventory.

    Worked a 1/2 hr twice today. (days work for me) Did 20 4' tubes.
    Getting easier now that I know she's scrapping ballasts. Cut the wires long enough to reach.;)

    I'll pm you with some info that may be good or bad.

    IMO get the 4ft where power is supplied from each end.
    The ones powered from a single end require socket changing in some cases. (a pain)
    Once done, a wrong bulb will cause a short.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  8. MikeML

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 2, 2009
    What sort of current-limiting circuit is used in the LED string?
    How much RFI do they generate?
  9. snav

    Active Member

    Aug 1, 2011
    I would want to know the heat load. So far LED seems to be primarily a longevity play.
  10. inwo

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    Not quite so excited today. Had two doa in first 50.:( (8ft)
    First 50 4ft tubes were 100%

    One had a bad led.

    One had bad solder, board to fuse.

    On the plus side, I'll find out if company is helpful or awol.:)
  11. inwo

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    Not bad. One bad led out of 33,000.

    One bad solder joint in 200 tubes.

    Company is still returning emails.
    Thankful for the feedback. Will replace bad parts on next order. (so they say)

    Now to see if they last. I really jumped in with both feet.:eek:

    Next time I have one apart I'll study the circuit further.

    Each 4ft section seems to be 5 parallel strings of 22 SMD2835 leds.

    Supply is thru bridge protected with fuse, mov, and line cap. No choke.:(

    Unknown (at this time) ic and output transformer.

    About 66vdc to each 4ft section. Didn't check led current yet.

    At 121 vac:
    PF .96

    Compare~ 32W 4ft T8
    ~40W 4ft T12
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
    Metalmann likes this.
  12. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    That will depend a huge amount on how hot that driver PCB gets.

    If you can ventilate it better, or even glue a little heatsink "hat" on the SMPS driver IC (or switching semis) etc that will greatly improve the lifetime.

    The other thing is mains spikes. Putting a filter on the mains before the lights will save them from over-voltage spikes on the AC mains.

    I've been watching this thread because I would like to do similar in my workshop, ie add a few hundred watts of white LED tubes. If so, I will definitely add mains filtering.

    Or I might just buy low voltage LED strips and connect a heap in series ready to be run from the mains, and make my own heavy-duty current limiter in a box on the floor with cooling fan and mains filter etc. I REALLY hate fixing lights all the time!
  13. inwo

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    Just started posting and got "the call". 4 of the 8ft didn't come on this morning. :(

    They were all on the end of rows, where the end caps were pushed out a little.:)

    It seems that pretty good tension is needed on the spring sockets for reliable operation.

    I white duct taped the fixture end plates (socket holders) for now, they may need a better repair.

    The drivers are in a plastic sleeve and stuffed into the ends of aluminum tube.

    The led strips are in an extruded channel in the same aluminum backbone.

    Problem returned on one.
    Socket discolored and brass, black from arcing. Last 50 years have not been kind to some sockets.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
    Metalmann likes this.
  14. inwo

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013

    No more failures.:) 200 bulbs running every day.
    A few of the 8ft had touchy sockets that needed more support to the sheet metal.

    Ordered some of these.

    Similar design. 90 X 2835leds rather than 110 as in the 4ft tubes.
    The 2835s seem to be the hot set up (cool):)

    I put two over computer desk and three in garage.
    The desk is super bright, with the 2 X 18 watt leds, compared to 4 X 10 watt cfls before. I'd guess 4 times as bright.

    The garage, not so much. Replaced 3 X 300 W incand. with 3 X 18 W led.
    Yet, it puts the light were I want it. Needed more light over work areas before the change.

    The 18W fixtures are less than $20 delivered.
    I ordered some of the same type in square. That way I can make a 36W by putting two side by side. ;)

    Put some in kitchens and dining areas for friends. Awesome lights!

    Don't know why pictures look dark??? Must be the camera looking into the light. Old fixtures left foreground.
    Used "normal white" above desk, "cold white" in garage.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  15. #12


    Nov 30, 2010

    The end sockets are called, "tombstones". I buy them at Home Depot or an electricians supply house.
  16. inwo

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    I'm really getting into leds. That's why I haven't been on much.

    Ordered a hundred more 4ft and 8ft, and some that have built in motion sensor. They come on at 3W and motion turns them on for a preset time.
    Don't have a lot of hope for them as it was a special price.

    Also ordered 30,40, and 50W led bulbs for church fixtures.
    At one time they had 500W incand. mogul base, and 3 X 100-300W. Not sure what.

    Someone decided to save juice and they have only one 42W cfl in each.
    Lots of complaints about low light level.

    Rather than the plan to get a consultant, and spend thousands in new fixtures, will try a 50W and 3 X 30W led in each.

    If it doesn't work out, my sister will bail me out, and sell them as 300W replacements in pole barns.:D
    Metalmann likes this.
  17. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    ps, I use the $30 "whole house" surge arrestors from Home Depot or Lowes, or an electricians supply house.

    Everybody knows nothing can survive a direct hit, but these have been successful at my house. I quit losing electronics as soon as I installed one...then replaced it every ten years whether it needed replacing or not.
  18. ScottWang


    Aug 23, 2012
    Although the LED could reducing the power consumption and save the money, have you guys ever heard the white LED light will hurt our eyes, and what do you think about it?
  19. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012

    Yes, I've been temporarily blinded while working with the high power white LEDs.

    Especially the 50-100 watters.

    Even the 2-10 watters, will do the same, if directly viewed.
  20. ScottWang


    Aug 23, 2012
    I aslo had the temporarily blinded too.

    How are the situations as the picture show from inwo on #1?

    I want to using the similar way, but concerned the bad news so i still didn't use it.