Installing electronic ballasts when replacing T8’s with LED
Hi, I have an old building where I’m replacing fluorescent T8s with LEDs, putting Type A into the existing mounts. I quickly found that because the ballasts are old magnetic, I also need to swap in new electronic ballasts. So, of course using Type B (ballast bypass) LEDs would be the smart way to go. However, on cost basis, not so… because here in Maine, a utility-bill funded group Efficiency Maine rebates Type A LEDs but not Type B. Their price is ¢50 each. I also found a supply of new GE electronic ballasts for $1 each. Not bad, yes? So I’m willing to do the extra work at that price.
The new LEDs and electronic ballasts are working very nicely. I tried different warmths and settled on 3000K bulbs. These are mostly 4 bulb fixtures. Power wise, I am replacing four 37 watt bulbs with four 13 watt bulbs, ie., 148 – 52 = 96 watts reduced load. In addition to saving energy, the load diminution figures into my electrical question below.
Here’s my question: (in advance, could I request that any responder focus on my electrical question and not branch out into admonitions, warnings, etc…) The new ballasts come with 3 pairs of output wires – red, blue and yellow. The wiring diagram indicates connecting yellows to one end of the lamps, and red&blue to the other ends. The existing mounts have gazillion colored wires coming out, but in the end, each wire just goes to one or more tombstone connections at each end. Rather than parse out each color (which wouldn’t work anyway), I’ve been bundling all the blue&red wires with all the wires at one end, and the two yellow wires with all the wires at the other end. Ie., using only two red wire nuts to connect about 8 18 gauge wires each. It works fine without any flicker or dim lights, but am I unduly stressing the electronic ballast? It may be that only the electrical engineers who designed the ballasts can really know the answer.
Thanks for any electrical answers, richard