If you’re looking to retrofit from linear fluorescent to more modern, linear LED lighting, there are four replacement options to take into consideration.

In this guide you will learn more about:

Plug and Play aka Replacement Tubes (Type A)

Plug-and-play tubes, also known as direct-fit tubes, are exactly as they sound. These are simple tubes that you exchange your fluorescent tube for without renewing your ballast, as they work directly with existing fluorescent ballasts. No wiring or costly electrical work is involved with Type A tubes. You still need to make sure that your ballast is compatible. If your LED tube does not work with your existing ballast, most single-ended tubes will work directly to the mains.

Ballast Bypass (Type B)

Ballast bypass linear LED tubes, also known as direct-wire LEDs or line-voltage LEDs, are a bit less convenient than plug-and-play models, as they operate straight off the voltage that’s flowing into the sockets directly. In other words, to utilize ballast bypass tubes, you’ll have to remove the standard fluorescent ballast you have. However, you can forget all about ballast maintenance.

Lamp and Driver (Type C)

LED lamps and driver tubes are very similar to ballast bypass tubes in the sense that they require an entire ballast change. The main difference between the two variants, however, is that instead of replacing the ballast with a different ballast, you’ll be replacing it with an LED driver. Then, it’s time to replace your existing fluorescent lamps with linear LED lamps and you’re good to go.

Hybrid LED (Type A & B)

As you might have guessed from the name, hybrid linear LEDs are tubes that combine both the technologies of Type A and Type B tubes. In other words, these units can work as plug-and-play tubes with your existing ballast, which is pretty convenient, or they can work off of your line voltage, which can also be extremely convenient in the event of your ballast petering out and dying. 


Browse our full range of LED Tubes

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