What is a Ballast?

A ballast is a device that sits between your power source and your fluorescent light fixture. Its job is to protect the fluorescent bulbs by controlling the flow of electrical current into the fixture. Since fluorescent bulbs cannot regulate current on their own, without a ballast, the bulbs can draw too much power and burn out. In addition to significantly shortening the lifespan of the bulb, this can create a safety hazard.

  • Do LED Lights Need Ballasts? An LED light does not require a ballast because it uses a component called a “driver” to regulate the power going into the bulb.
  • Do I Have to Remove Ballasts to Use LED Bulbs? This depends on the bulbs. Some LED bulbs may require you to remove the ballasts. However, a high-quality plug and play LED tube - like Warehouse Lighting’s Triple-Fit 4’ T8 LED – can be used in direct wire fixtures as well as traditional fluorescent fixtures with ballasts. In other words, thanks to its flexibility, you use a plug and play led without ballasts or with.

What are Plug and Play LED Tubes?

Plug and play LED tubes are shaped just like fluorescent bulbs and connect to the fixture the same way. Since plug and play LEDs are compatible with ballasts, you can simply remove a fluorescent bulb and replace it with an LED. Since no additional modification or wiring is required, it’s as easy as replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs in your home.

  • What is a Ballast Bypass? A ballast bypass is when you remove a ballast from the electrical circuit that goes to your light fixture. Since the ballast sits between your power source and the light fixture, this means either removing the ballast completely or simply disconnecting the ballast and wiring the light fixture straight into the power source. You can learn how to bypass a ballast here.
  • Do I Have to Remove Ballasts to Use LED Bulbs? This depends on the bulbs. Some LED bulbs may require you to remove the ballasts. However, a high-quality plug and play LED tube - like Warehouse Lighting’s Triple-Fit 4’ T8 LED – can be used in direct wire fixtures as well as traditional fluorescent fixtures with ballasts. In other words, thanks to its flexibility, you use a plug and play led without ballasts or with.

Pros and Cons of Keeping the Ballasts (Plug and Play)

PROS

  • It’s the easiest solution (no wiring or modification is required).
  • You still have the option to use fluorescent bulbs.
  • The ballasts, while not technically necessary, may provide an additional level of protection to the light fixtures.

CONS

  • The ballasts will eventually wear out and need removal or replacement.
  • Some lighting experts believe LEDs provide better light and are more efficient when the ballasts are removed.

Pros and Cons of Removing the Ballasts (Ballast Bypass)

PROS

  • There are fewer components to wear out and require replacement.
  • Some lighting experts believe LEDs provide better light and are more efficient when the ballasts are removed.

CONS

  • Rewiring of the fixtures is required.
  • You can no longer use fluorescent bulbs in the fixtures.
  • You have to be careful fluorescent bulbs are not used, as this can pose a safety issue.
  • The ballasts, while not technically necessary, may provide an additional level of protection to the light fixtures.

Shop Warehouse-Lighting.com for T8 LED Plug and Play Lamps

Warehouse Lighting offers the perfect durable, long-lasting, and energy-efficient upgrade from fluorescent T8 bulbs They come in multiple wattages, are shatterproof, and you can use them with ballasts or without. Contact us with any questions you may have about LED upgrades or any other products from Warehouse-Lighting.com.

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