How to Bypass a Ballast ?

We know that you want your house to look amazing, and we are here for all of the steps in getting it done. One warning on our website stands out though - "Ballast bypass installation required." If someone doesn't have experience with electrical work or installing lights like LEDs then they should absolutely talk to an Electrician before starting their reconstruction project!

Understand that the ballast is responsible for providing a fluorescent lamp with an initial spike of high voltage. 

Why should You Bypass the ballast?

There are three types of T8 LED tubes:

Type A: These are also known as ‘Plug and Play’ tube lights. They are compatible with linear fluorescent tube ballasts. Thus, when buying a Type A T8 LED tube, do not forget to ask for a ballast compatibility sheet.

Type B: These tubes are also known as ‘Ballast Bypass’ or ‘Direct wire’ T8 LED tubes. Installing them means you will have to remove an existing fluorescent tube ballast.

Type A+B: Also known as ‘Hybrid’ T8 LED tubes, Type A+B tubes work with or without a ballast.

To Shunt Or Not To Shunt!

You must also know that most T8 LED tubes need non-shunted tombstones (sockets). (Meaning that the tombstone should not show electrical Continuity.) If the existing fluorescent tube fixture you want to replace has a non-shunted tombstone, you can proceed with the ballast bypass procedure.

On the surface, performing a ballast bypass seems simple:

Remove the ballast and wave it goodbye. Then, fix the new T8 fluorescent tube light, and that’s all.

Turn Off the Mains Power

Turning off the Mains Power supply will ensure that you won’t get an electric shock during the process. 

Locate The Ballast On The fluorescent Light Fixture

Now, locate the ballast on the existing fluorescent fixture. Most T8 tubes will have a hidden ballast, covered with a casing and resting behind the tube light.

Cut The Hot And Neutral wires

Once you remove the tube and expose the ballast, cut the hot and neutral wires that supply input power.

Cut Socket Wires

After cutting the wires providing input to the ballast, cut the neutral and hot wires that go out on the other side of the socket.

Remove The Ballast

Now, you must take out the ballast by unscrewing it.

Reconnect The Wires

Now, strip out the colored insulation covering of the remaining wires. Ensure to strip about 1 inch of the wires.