Tuesday, February 14, 2017

LED Retro Kit

After my last post, I was asked about the LED Retro Kit I used to turn my fluorescent shop lights into LED units with no ballast.  Actually, it is a relatively simple process and the difference between the two is absolutely amazing.

You start by turning off the electrical supply to the lights at the breaker box.  Just turning off the switch isn't enough because there could be something else on the system with power even with the light switch off.
Next you need to remove the fluorescent bulbs and locate the two screws at each end of the unit that holds the wiring cover on.  Remove them and set the cover aside.
The wiring and ballast are exposed in the picture above.

Next you need to cut all of the wires, close to the ballast.  Leave the black and white wires attached to the wires that come from the house electrical system and strip back the insulation about a half an inch.

Next you need to replace the holders for the bulbs with the new ones included with the retro kit.  Make a loop of a white and black wire and connect the two end pieces.  I forgot to take a picture of the wired end so I found the picture below on the internet.  It shows a loop for a four bulb system but it is the same for two.
Install the other two bulb holders at the opposite end of the fixture.  No wiring is required for these two as they are dummies who's only purpose is hold the new LED bulbs in place.

Reinstall the wiring cover and install the new bulbs and be sure that the power side (next to the label) is on the side with the wires attached.  When you are done, you'll need to dispose of the bulbs and the ballasts.  Check your local recycling regulations for disposal instructions.

All in all a very simple process.  Except now my arms feel like rubber.

Hope all is well.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


A few months back one of the fluorescent light units that light up my shop and garage decided to start smoking.  Over the years, I have seen this several times.  The ballast that pushes the fluorescent to work get really hot and over the course of time, break down and start to smoke.  I have never seen one catch fire but I don't think I want to wait around to find out.  Luckily, I was in the garage at the time and was able to shut off the power and disconnect the lamp.

I went looking for a better idea since I have five more of these units in the shop.  I found a retro kit made by Commercial Electric that removes the ballast and turns a 4' shop light into an LED fixture with no ballast.  Couldn't be simpler to install and gives off much bright and better lighting and cost less to use.  I just finished two lamps and ordered two more retro kits to do the remainder of the garage.


Two done
So I had a couple of more Root Beers.  Bedford's Root Beer was a spirited drink.  It comes in an old fashion bottle and is very tasty.  Developed and bottled just west of Seattle in Port Angeles, Washington it is more of a dessert drink with more of a licorice scent.

Next up, Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer.  Not sure where it is bottled, but this is a Root Beer that comes with an energy drink in the form of Brazilian Guarana.  I really enjoyed this drink but I did drink it late enough in the day to be left Sleepless in Seattle.

Hope all is well.