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The Basics Of Ballast Bypass and Plug And Play LED Tube Lights

The Basics Of Ballast Bypass and Plug And Play LED Tube Lights
The Basics Of Ballast Bypass and Plug And Play LED Tube Lights
The Basics Of Ballast Bypass and Plug And Play LED Tube Lights
The Basics Of Ballast Bypass and Plug And Play LED Tube Lights

Earlier, the ballast was an integral device that was used in lights as it ensured safety as the prime concern. However, now lights have been modified and shifted towards the ballast bypass approach. The ballast bypass can efficiently let the LED lights perform without disrupting the system. Moving forward, you’ll learn about the basics of ballast bypass and plug and play LED Tubes, including the benefits and drawbacks of keeping or removing the ballast.

What is a ballast?

Ballast is an element that is typically used in a fluorescent light fixture. The device helps in securing the light by controlling the current’s flow. Since fluorescent lights are unable to manage current on their own, a ballast can help control the flow by not occupying too much power. However, this can reduce the light life and might be a red flag from a safety standpoint.

Do LED lights need a ballast?

It is not necessary for LED lights to include a ballast as a driver is already inserted in them. This element helps in managing the power flow, i.e., the current flowing in the light.

What are plug and play LED Tube lights?

The plug and play LED lights looks and are used like any ordinary fluorescent tube. Replacing a fluorescent tube with plug and play LED Tube lights is easy as they can be used without a ballast. It does not need any additional modification and is simple to install, like any incandescent or LED tube lights.

What is ballast bypass?

When you remove the ballast device from the light fixture, it is called a ballast bypass. The ballast is used to flow current through the fixture appropriately. However, removing it from the fixture will affect the wire and current flow. So, you must ensure how to do that prior to performing ballast bypass.

Is it necessary to remove the ballast to use an LED light?

Depending on the light, the need for ballast may change as some require a ballast, and some can work efficiently without them. Although, some commercial fixtures like a T8 4ft LED tube or warehouse lighting fixtures can directly be connected to the wire. The flexibility of the LED tube lights allows them to run smoothly with or without a ballast.

Plug and play LED Tube lights

plug ang play led tube

Why keeping a ballast is good?

Keeping a ballast might benefit you in several ways:

  • It does not require maintaining a chaotic wiring system.
  • You have a choice to switch to fluorescent bulbs.
  • As a medium of safety, keeping a ballast will ensure that concern for you.

Why keeping a ballast can be bad?

Keeping a ballast may be bad because:

  • Ballast has a certain life. So, you will need to change it sooner or later.
  • As a matter of fact, keeping a ballast is not necessary, and some would say that removing the ballast from the LED lights is the right thing to do to ensure the light’s better performance.

Ballast Bypass LED Tube Lights

ballast bypass led tubes

Why removing a ballast is good?

Removing a ballast is beneficial because:

  • The fixture will not be overcrowded as there will be fewer additions.
  • It is believed that the performance of LED tube lights stays uninterrupted when it runs without a ballast.

Why removing a ballast can be bad?

Removing a ballast might be bad because:

  • It requires rewiring.
  • Once you remove the ballast, there is no going back to fluorescent lights.
  • The safety is compromised when the ballast is removed.
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Thanks for the info.
I have used the plug and play led
Bulbs. And the ballast is bad now. Can I still put the plug and play bulbs with bypass ballast-no replacement new ballast?


Seong You

I have rewired all 30 of my shop 8 foot lights for LED by bypassing the ballast. It is easy and I get about twice the light for less electricity. I left the ballast in place as I would of had to pay to dispose of them. Just cut the wires at each end of the ballast and wire around them. Very easy, about 10 min each.

Chuck Marsh

thanks for the info as I was wondering if I could leave the ballast in and just insert the led bulb as I purchased the plug and play bulbs.
tks Marlyn

Marlyn Hippen

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