Mood lighting and general fluorescent lighting can bring a great atmosphere to a room, but the awareness of the superior qualities of LEDs has many wondering if it’s worth the effort to replace them. So can you replace old lighting under a cabinet with LEDs?
Replacement cabinet LEDs can be used to be swapped in from fluorescent bulbs without much adjustment. If there is a ballast installed, you’ll need to remove it or get ballast-compliant LED bulbs.
We’ll go through the specifications of lighting and LEDs and what to look for to do a stress-free swap. We’ll consider some dos and don’ts and what bulbs to get to perfectly replace your current lighting.
Can I Convert Fluorescent Undercabinet Lighting to LEDs?
Conversion of fluorescent lights to LEDs can be done in several ways based upon what type of setup you have right now.
You will have to install a LED driver to transform the mains AC to 12V DC, suitable for LED power supply. The NIYIPXL LED Driver 60 Watts will work with RGB dimmers and can handle a combined total of 60 watts from a single or collection of LED strips.
When dealing with fluorescent lighting, you will have to first verify if you’re dealing with ballasts.
A ballast controls the current running to the bulb. When the lamp is switched on, the ballast supplies high voltage power to power up the bulb, then reduces this voltage to stop overheating.
You will very likely have seen the impact of a deteriorating ballast. The light will flicker and make sounds, looking like a strobe effect. This is not limited to industrial-sized bulbs only.
However, it also causes the issue of not being compatible with many other different LED types.
So make sure you get either ballast compatible or ballast bypass style of LEDs.
To remove the ballast, it is vital to turn off the main power supply as you will be cutting through live wires. Locate the ballast and snip live and neutral wires. The live wires are normally denoted with a black casing whereas neutral is white.
After that, you can remove the ballast if you need the room, and then go in with the replacement bulb. You will need to rewire and connect directly to the housing.
Hybrids or Dual Technology
One great option is to look at a hybrid bulb. These can run as a sort of plug-and-play to connect easily to where fluorescent tubes are without having to remove the ballast. If the ballast ever fails in the future, you can still wire it directly to the power source.
Can I Replace Old Lighting Under Cabinets With LEDs?
One great way to replace old lighting is to look into replacement bulbs that are in LED-style.
Amazon stocks the Bonlux LED Under Cabinet Light which can fit into a downlight or puck lighting socket. It takes 110V or 120V input directly, with 7 watts power consumption. Specifically made for cabinet, showcase, exhibition, shop, and showroom lighting.
It’s important to realize that LEDs have many advantages over old undercabinet lighting. One of the best is you can control the brightness level, including dimming and linking it up to a smart home setup.
Smart home means you can control the lights remotely or have them on a timer.
How To Open Undercabinet Light Fixtures?
For acrylic fixtures, they tend to be nestled into a frame. The frame will usually use a lip or interlocking mechanism to keep the cover on. You can either try and rotate the cover anti-clockwise to loosen it, or use a bit of tape as a handle.
Put a short length of tape on the cover, then double over a short part of tape, then stick the remaining part onto the other side. Done correctly, it will result in a piece of tape that looks like the letter “T”, and you can grab the tab hanging down to get more grip.
Sometimes you’ll find wraparound fixtures on kitchen cabinets, it is a long cover with a U-shape. In order to access the sides, look to where the sides of the U-shape fold over at the top. Push up on one of the long sides to get the cover off of the lip.
Once you have done this on both sides, you’ll have complete access to the light fitting.
How Do You Change Fluorescent Lights Under Cabinets to LEDs?
LEDs offer longer lifespans, are more energy-efficient, and offer better light quality and lumen output, having a lower unit cost and don’t use any mercury.
First, like for any electrical work, turn off power at the source. Go to your breaker box and find the main power switch, including the light circuits, and turn it off.
LED replacement tubes can fit perfectly into the space your old fluorescents occupied. Measure the exact diameter of your fluorescents or check the label at the end of the tube to find the dimensions.
Common symbols are also important to notice. For example, a “T” means the fluorescent fixture comes in a tubular shape. The number next to it is the length in inches.
Common variations include T4, T8, and T12. The diameter only goes up in very small increments, with T4 generally around half an inch, whereas T12 is 1.5 inches diameter.
In the end, LED bulbs can be used in place of fluorescents used vice versa so long as they share the same bi-pin connections on the base and have the power supply requirements.
The JEVCLED T8 T10 T12 LEDs will fit into many different types of under cabinet fittings. No ballast is needed and if there is one already connected, it will have to be disconnected.