Switching to Ballast Bypass Bulbs

Aug 21, 2018Fixes, Home Repair and Remodel0 comments

In my garage, and most of the closets in my house, I have florescent lights that are driven by a ballast (or 2). If you have ever had these types of lights, then you probably are in the same camp as me and absolutely HATE them. Don’t get me wrong, I love the amount of light that they produce. The problem I have is with the ballasts. They are notorious for dying a slow painful death.

No doubt, you have had issues with your fluorescent lights not coming on. Or maybe they have a weird humm and only partially light up. Maybe you can flick the switch on and off and they eventually come up. It absolutely drives me nuts.

When the ballasts fail, you’re basically left with 3 options:

  1. Replace the ballast with a new one. You have to remove the bulbs, open the panel, disconnect the ballast and remove it, then wire in a new identical ballast.  Ugh.
  2. Replace the ballast with a new one, and replace the bulbs with LED bulbs (that still require a ballast). Ugh.
  3. Completely remove the ballast and replace the bulbs with ballast bypass LED bulbs.** Ding ding ding, my favorite choice.

The problem with option 3 is that most of the large home improvement stores do not carry ballast bypass bulbs.** I know this, because I tried to find some. The Lowes rep told me that they no longer carry any ballast bypass bulbs** nationwide. Why?! The only thing I can think of is that they don’t want to lose the revenue of selling ballasts.

Home Depot had exactly 1 type of ballast bypass bulb** available, but it was ridiculously expensive. Both big box stores carried T8 and T12 LED bulbs, but they all required a ballast to operate. What is the point of that? Why would I replace an old bulb with a new led bulb that still requires those crappy ballasts to be replace all the time.

What I did, and what I suggest you do is go to amazon and purchase a ballast bypass bulb from there. It will save you a ton of money, and a ton of aggravation. I will be replacing some more of by tube lights with some ballast bypass bulbs, so keep an eye out for an upcoming video.

**Affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links, but it will not affect your price

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