LED lighting systems have proved efficient and money-saving. Some choose to switch by buying a whole new LED fixture and bulb sets, installing them from scratch instead of the old system. It might be costly and time consuming, but there’s another way out.
If you want to converse your fluorescent lighting to LED, do it using a conversion kit. It’s a set of LED strips or tubes and other elements for an easy, cost-efficient, and speedy switch. We’ve chosen 3 best kits with different power consumption and brightness for you to choose from. There’s a Buyer’s Guide after the reviews where you can find useful information about changing your lighting.
Our Best Fluorescent to LED Conversion Kit
1.ORILIS 4 Light Fluorescent to LED Retrofit Conversion Kit – The Most Power
This is a more sophisticated and powerful fluorescent to LED conversion kit. It includes T8 LED tubes unlike other kits where light strips are the source. You can also find non-shunted lamp holders, wire nuts, and copper loop and connecting wires there. The lamps are not dimmable yet can work with dimmers as switches.
Using 0.2W per a LED chip, these lamps will save 50%-80% of the electricity you used with fluorescent lamps of the same brightness. Besides, there’s a wide range of color temperature choices available. Don’t forget to specify your choice in the order.
Here are important features of the product:
- Average lifespan is 50,000 hours, that’s an optimal maximum modern widely available LED lamps can offer. You can count on this statement given you use this kit according to the instructions and maintain it properly;
- Wattage used is 96W, which is impressive considering 12,000lm of brightness this conversion kit gives as a result. That’s 24W/3,000lm per bulb;
- 4 color temperature choices are available for this kit: 3,000K (warm/soft white), 3,500K (soft/cool white), 4,500K (cool white), and 6,500 (cold white). Your choice should depend on the purpose of usage. If you need to illuminate a warehouse or garage, 6,500K is the best option. In case you need these for home, basement, etc. – opt for warmer types.
Materials safety for the environment and energy efficiency of this product are backed up by DLC (DesignLights Consortium) and UL (UL LLC, a global safety organization). If used according to the instruction and maintained properly, the kit doesn’t pose any threat.
This kit is efficient in terms of energy, very bright, and the variety of colors is nice. There are 4 tubes in the package, each 3,000lm, so even one bulb is more than enough for a room. We give this one 5 out of 5 and recommend such lighting for warehouses, large offices, and other buildings where bright light is needed. As a home solution, you can get this package for all rooms due to the lamps’ power.
Despite all wires and tubes, this conversion kit is easy to use even for beginners. We recommend that you study user’s manual before doing anything with its contents, though.
2.4FT Magnetic LED Troffer Retrofit Kit – Easy to Install
This is an easier-to-install option – a magnetic linear conversion kit. All important elements have magnets attached to them, so you’ll spend more time on removing the fluorescent lamps than installing LEDs. These aren’t bulbs but strips with powerful LED chips on them. The kit includes two such strips and a driver, all on magnets for easy installation.
Dimmable LEDs allow adjusting lights’ brightness to your mood and occasion. Before purchasing, make sure you dimmer is LED compatible. Unfortunately, not all models are supported by this conversion kit, so make sure to find out if yours will work. Contact the company directly if unsure.
Here are key qualities of this kit:
- 50,000+ hours of lifespan equals to over 20 years of everyday use, 6 hours per day. Even if you need illumination for 12 hours a day, there will still be a decade of use ahead. The kit will serve you well in case the installation and maintenance are proper.
- Energy efficiency is obvious – this LED pack emits 150 lumens per watt. As a result, you get 5,400 lm for only 36W, saving 80% on the lighting part of your electricity bills.
- With CRI of 83+, you’ll see colors very close to natural. Higher index (up until 100) means better color rendering.
- Polycarbonate and aluminum used to create this kit improve heat dissipation, so there’s no fire hazard related to overheating.
Usage Safety and Installation Guidelines
If installed and used properly, the kit doesn’t pose threat to your safety.
You don’t need additional instruments to install the strips, and the process itself takes 5-10 minutes.
Here’s what to do:
- Turn off the power and remove all fluorescent elements;
- Install the driver and strips using magnets, attach them to the fixture;
- Connect the driver to the power line;
- Install the cover, close it, and turn the power back on.
You’ll find a manual inside your package and have access to the company’s customer support. If something’s not working or you’re not sure about the steps in your manual, contact their team asap.
We recommend this option because it’s very easy to install and the feature set has everything you need. Magnetic kits are beginner-friendly, and you only need to take 4 steps to finish the job. High CRI and efficient lumen to watt ratio add value to this option, as well as the fact that it’s dimmable and works a lot of modern dimmers that support LED technology.
3.Hyperikon Magnetic Mount – USA-Made Product
This is a slightly less powerful option, but not worse at all, providing almost as much savings in electricity. Hyperikon conversion kit offers lighting alternatives for hospitals and schools, offices and conference halls, restaurants and stores, basements and garages, and more. This isn’t the best option for home lights, and the company honestly states that major goal of their product is commercial lighting.
Let’s see some of the key features of this product:
- A 5-year warranty for every kit is an impressive commitment. If something goes wrong, you can apply for a replacement or refund. Make sure the package and receipt are saved until the warranty ends. Otherwise, you may not be eligible for a replacement.
- For a lot of people, the company’s country origin is important. This one is from the USA, a respectable brand with high-quality products.
- These guys offer a wide range of commercial lighting considering your preferences and needs. If you require more than a fluorescent to LED conversion kit, contact them for more information and further cooperation.
- Energy efficiency is about 85%. These LEDs use only 36W to produce 4,500 lumens.
Usage Safety and Installation Guidelines
This kit is UL listed and DLC certified, meaning its materials are of high-quality, eco-friendly, and help to save energy. All elements are shatterproof, which contributes to usage safety. These LED lights don’t emit IR or UV radiation and the construction doesn’t contain mercury or lead.
This kit is very easy to install – you don’t have to make any modifications to the original fixture other than removing all fluorescent elements. There are only 3 steps to make:
- Remove all internal components you won’t need;
- Fix the driver using a magnet attached to it;
- Fasten U-brackets and use magnets on the strips to attach them to the fixture.
Why It’s a Good Choice
This conversion kit is safe, backed up by UL and DLC, doesn’t emit radiation or exhaust eyes despite being quite powerful. We highly recommend this option for commercial lighting when you need cost-efficient and easy-to-install alternative for fluorescent lamps.
Buyer’s Guide: Basic Lighting Conversion Systems, Fluorescent Lighting Pros and Cons, Why Convert to LED
There are different methods of fluorescent to LED conversion. You have to know about all possible options before choosing one. We’ll cover several major ways to switch:
- Replacing fixtures. The easiest way to change your type of lighting is removing old fluorescent or incandescent fixtures and installing new LED ones. While it’s easy and relatively fast, it’s also the most expansive way. If you have enough finances and there’s no need to save, feel free to choose this option.
- Ballast bypass. This method needs some wiring, so make sure you know at least a little bit about that. Product instructions should have enough information, but if you’re a 100% beginner, gain some knowledge for your safety and integrity of the newly bought product. Such conversion kits allow connecting LEDs directly to the wires. So, you’re bypassing the ballast and don’t need it anymore.
- Ballast bypass tube conversion. You can also get a kit for converting the tubes, but you need a certain type of sockets then. This method is a little more troublesome and you might want to ask someone for help or choose another way.
- LED strip conversion. If tubes aren’t your thing, there’s an easier method to convert from fluorescent to LED. Install LED strips that come with magnets and don’t require a lot of rewiring. For that, you can get the 2nd or 3rd kit we have in the review section. They are very easy to use since you don’t need to modify the fixture in any way.
- Ballast-compatible conversion. Another method is finding an LED bulb that is compatible with your current fixture and ballast. The difficulty here is looking for the right option. Sometimes, such conversion takes a long time due to trial and failure. If you find a proper bulb, everything there’s to do is change it, removing the old one.
Fluorescent Lights Pros and Cons
While we’re all for LED illumination, it’s important to know what you’re switching from. Back in the day, fluorescent lighting was an innovation, an energy-saving option. Let’s see some pros and cons of this type of lighting that will lead to why LED conversion is a good idea.
- Developed in 1934, fluorescent lighting was a more durable option, meaning it would save money and maintenance;
- These lamps emitted more light and its quality was better than that of traditional lamps;
- According to the US Department of Energy, such lamps saved 25-35% of energy, compared to a traditional light bulb. A compact fluorescent light (CFL) would save up to 75%.
- Fluorescent lamps contain mercury which is harmful for humans. It’s there as a liquid when the lamp is off and as a vapor when it’s on. That’s how these bulbs produce light. While the amount is minimum, it may still be harmful.
- Higher costs compared to traditional bulbs were explained by such lamp’s longevity, energy efficiency, and quality.
- There are some limitations coming with CLFs. If you buy a non-dimmable lamp and use it with a dimmer, wait for a burn out in the first couple of days. You have to know for sure that the lamp is dimmable to be able to use it. LED lamps, on the other hand, work with dimmers no matter the characteristics. The one limitation there is that the dimmer has to be compatible with LED tech.
Fluorescent lamps were an innovation, a breakthrough in lighting technology back in the day. But with time, another tech has emerged and changed the world again. Besides, mercury contamination sounds pretty bad for our health, so this is one of three major reasons we think switching to LED lighting is better.
Why LED Lighting Is Better
There are 3 main reasons:
- No toxins. LED lighting doesn’t emit IR or UV radiation, materials don’t contain lead or mercury. So, there’s no threat associated with such bulbs or strips. There’s a fire and injury hazard only if you don’t turn electricity off before rewiring, install lamps poorly, or the currency is too unstable.
- Better color rendering. LEDs have high capacity for natural color rendering. You can find CRIs of 82, 85, and even 90Ra for your home. Some companies claim to offer 98Ra, which is very close to perfection. Obviously, technologies will improve with time, so LEDs may become all 100Ra one day.
- More energy efficiency. LED use only a fraction of wattage all other lighting systems use. Such lamps produce hundreds of lumens for several watts. Calculations differ from brand to brand, but 600 lumens for 6 watts’ ratio is quite common.
Technological development never ends, so LED world can bring us new breakthroughs in years to come. Its cost becomes lower, energy efficiency becomes better, helping us save at least a bit of money during this difficult time.
Fluorescent to LED Conversion Isn’t That Difficult with a Nice Kit
Your choice of a conversion kit is crucial for the result. Make sure you buy one from a reliable manufacturer, with sufficient instructions, and proper customer support. Unless you’re a professional electrician, follow the manual precisely. With correct installation and usage, your LED lighting will last long and shine as brightly as specified in the description.