Converting Fluorescent Sockets

October, 2018 by

Converting Fluorescent Sockets

With the popularity of fluorescent lights in home renovations, it is important that homeowners understand how fluorescent lights work. Fluorescent lights last longer, use less electricity and generate less heat than incandescent lights. There are several types of fluorescent lighting and homeowners should know the correct socket when repairing or converting the units. A socket conversion for T8/T5 lamps for replacement lighting is essential.

There are 2-pins, 4-pins, T5, T8, T12, shunted and non-shunted tombstones. Then there are rapid starts, programmed starts, and dimming ballasts. Where do you even begin?

Let us start with the basics.

Converting older light fixtures to the newer sockets requires the correct socket converter. Finding the right replacement socket is important. Using a socket converter for your fluorescent lamp can help convert from an older size to a new, more energy efficient fluorescent socket. Up to 40%of energy savings can be reached in 15 months by converting to the newest socket. Installing an incorrect socket conversion adapter can cause significant damage such as melted wires, lamp damage, and fires.

The difference between shunted and non-shunted is how the electricity enters the fixture. Shunted sockets have one path for the electricity to travel. A non-shunted socket has two paths.

Rapid start, programmable start and dimming ballast use non-shunted sockets.

An instant start ballast requires a shunted socket.

A direct wire LED tube will require a non-shunted socket.

You should always double-check the lamp’s specifications to ensure you are using the correct conversion.

Commercial installations typically use T8 sockets. T8 sockets are used with linear fluorescent bulbs to attach the bulb to the ballast. The “T” in T8 stands “tubular,” and the “8” is the diameter of the lamp in 1/8″ increments.  A T8 lamp is a 1″ diameter lamp which requires a T8 size socket.
Knowing which socket converter to use is important for safety. Before replacing any socket make sure you follow all safety protocols.

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