How To Replace Your T12 Fluorescent Light With A T8 Model

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When your supply of T12 bulbs for your fluorescent light runs out, you should consider switching to a shop light that uses T8 bulbs.

Although they are smaller in diameter, they use less energy and last longer than T12 bulbs, which offsets their slightly higher price. 

Can't you just change the ballasts in your current light fixture?

While changing the ballasts would appear to be a cheaper and easier solution, it's less expensive to buy a new T8 light fixture than purchasing the new ballasts for your old fixture. 

Which type of T8 fixture is preferable?

The fixture that you buy will depend on your needs and how much you want to spend on the light and the bulbs. If your current two bulb light isn't bright enough, you can switch to a four bulb model. Of course, you will incur additional expense for the light fixture itself and the purchase and replacement costs of four bulbs instead of two.

You should consider shopping for a fixture that uses single pin T8 bulbs rather than the traditional double pin bulbs that need to be twisted into place to be connected. You might pay more for this convenience, but you'll thank yourself when it's time to change a bulb and you just pop the single pin bulb into place.

What you will need to change light fixtures

Flat head screwdriver

Electrical tape and wire nuts

Removing the old fixture

You will begin by turning off the circuit breaker that controls power to the light fixture, then remove the bulbs.

You will then remove the cover plates that hide and protect the wiring. Use your screwdriver to pry out the metal clips on one end of each cover. The other end should slide out of the slots at each end of the fixture.

When the wiring is exposed, use your screwdriver to loosen the green grounding screw near the center of the light, and pull the green grounding wire free.

Separate the connected black wires and white wires by removing any electrical tape and twisting the wire nuts counterclockwise, then pulling the wires apart.

Use a screwdriver to detach the light from the ceiling. It would be helpful to have someone to hold the light in place, but if no one is available, hold the light fixture with one hand as close to the center as possible. Lower the fixture to the floor.

Installing the T8 fixture

Check the fixture to be sure that the center hole for wiring is punched out, then screw it into place after pulling the three ceiling wires through the center hole.

When the light is secured to the ceiling, hook the green wire under the green grounding screw and tighten it securely.

Twist the two black wires together and then twist a wire nut onto the wires on a clockwise direction until it is tight, then wrap electrical tape around the opening of the wire nut. Repeat the procedure with the two white wires.

Attach the cover plates with the supplied clips, and install the bulbs. Turn on the breaker and let there be energy efficient light. To learn more, contact a company like RDS Electric

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12 January 2016

adding electric lights to your yard

How well is the outside of your home lighted? Do you have several areas around your home that become pitch black after the sun has fallen for the day? If you live in an area that does not get very much sunlight during the day, you probably have the same amount of success as I have had trying to use solar powered lights to light those dark areas. I finally broke down and contacted an electrician to help me run some power to the dark areas and install some much needed lights. He was able to give me a few suggestions that would not only brighten up my dark yard, but also look very nice from the street.