Budget friendly (dumb) T8 / T12 LED tubes

9 For those of you like me that have basement or workshop space they uses the old fashioned 48" T12 or T8 style fluorescent tubes and are looking to upgrade to LED tubes, I was in my local Walmart today and saw that they had their great value brand T12T8 direct replacement LED tubes, That swap directly in there is no bypassing of the ballast. They go for $8.98 a pair which is about $5 less then the next closest ones I could find at Costco.

Considering my garage workshop has 7 of these fixtures that additional difference in cost comes very close to funding the Z wave fan controller switch I need.

I have seen them out of the package and to be honest with you they have looked like the FEIT electronics ones from Costco in a different package.


Thanks. I’ll consider these. I have 12 48" tubes I want to replace. I like the Hyperikon brand and have used them to replace 24" tubes in some places. A 12-pack of the same brand at 48" is $138 so only $11.5 each but they do require you bypass the ballast.

EDIT: I missed the fact the price at Wally World was for a pair. Excellent deal.

I looked to see if they had 96" tubes. Didn’t show any. I have about 30 F96T12s I need to replace.

I bought 4 from amazon for $70.00, that was the best price I could find. On these you have to bypass the ballast. A big improvement over the florescents, but it is going to be expensive getting all these replaced.

Yeah, 8 footers are hard to come by…

If it were me, I’d replace the fixtures.

Im planning on putting a smart on/off switch (zooz @TheSmartestHouse) in my kitchen. We have those old school tube lights that kinda flickers when turned on. I was told that i shouldn’t use those switches for them. Would changing to these led tubes fix that issue?

While it would help I would not use the Zooz switches. Go to Amazon and order a non dimmable NuTone Zwave switch. Yes you will want to years led tube and not florescents.

I’ve used GE Z-Wave smart switches for years on regular fluorescent tubes without issue.

The big issue is make sure you’re using a switch that is not a dimmer sorry the ones I was familiar with from the mentioned the vendor are all the dimmer models. As long as the power rating is sufficient you should be fine with the non dimmer version.

I used the NuTone switches due to the load on my circuit…

1 Like

As long as the LED tubes are under 150 W, you can use the ZEN21 model which is probably the best for these type of lights (it’s a 15A relay, same as any other Z-Wave switch including NuTone with the difference that most NuTone seem to be the old 300 Z-Wave while all Zooz are Z-Wave Plus 500 series S2 secure). We don’t recommend using dimmers as they’ll get overloaded for sure.

1 Like

I have the Costco bulbs. One fixture with ballast draws 49 watts (reported by zig bee switch and may not be real power), two bulbs. You would do better to eliminate the ballast which would also increase reliability of the fixture.

I’ve tried eliminating the ballast and putting 120v to each bulb and it blew the power supply in the bulb. I would like to know if the bulbs can be wired in series, cutting the voltage in half, without the ballast.

Edit: real power is 43 watts measured with real power multimeter. Bulbs are 14 watts each, so ballast consumes 15 watts…

I will consider that type of tubes that which provide a good lighting effect to my room.

You must have older magnetic type ballasts. Electronic ballasts are supposed to consume no more than 10 watts. So either your ballast type is seriously outddates and probably ought to be bypassed, there is something wrong with your electronic ballasts, and again ought to be bypassed, or there is an error in your measurements.

I really can’t say, just posing the possibilities…

Your point is definately valid, ballasts DO consume electricity. I posted this link and info because even though ballasts do use electricity, there are those that may not want to get into the fixture and bypass the ballasts. Especially since it seems that the fixture wiring varies by bulb type and can be problematic should you need to replace bulbs… Some just wire one end of the fixture, some wire both… Future mainteinance is simpler should you decide to go with the drop in use the ballast and existing wiring type…

Here is an article on how ballasts impact energy usage in a flourescent fixture.

1 Like