I'm replacing my bathroom compact, horizontal fluorescent light bulbs in my bathroom fan. It is a 4-pin light hooked up to a ballast.

I have purchased an LED replacement from Home Depot. Specifically, product PL26E/H/841/LED who's spec sheet is here. No where in the spec sheet or on the product packaging, does it mention anything about a ballast (bypass or not). And since the spec sheet doesn't mention amps, I'll mention here that the light unit has printed on it: 12W and 560mA

Based on my light replacement attempts, can you tell me where I'm going wrong? Is 120 volts too much for this LED?

First attempt

I simply took out the old bulb, put in the LED, and turned it on. Nothing happened, so I consulted the internet and found out I may need to bypass the ballast. Here is a diagram I made and believe to be accurate for the wiring with the ballast.

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Second attempt

I rewired the light and bypassed the ballast by following these instructions. Below are some pictures of the wiring now; yes, I need to cap off the exposed ballast wires circled at some point for safety. When plugging in a brand new light (not the same as attempt #1) and turning it on, it flashed at immediately shutoff. I believe I fried the light. Here is a recording I took when flipping the switch, https://1drv.ms/v/s!AqnRNsI_hCkxlIMzM1ujTclqgd66Ag.

Note, from the picture below, you will notice an extra white and red wire going into the lowest terminal/connector. These wires are for another small light bulb in my unit; this bulb works without issue.

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  • 1
    No need to cap the dead ballast wires since you cut every wire going into the ballast. Just remove the ballast from the fixture and throw it in the trash. Nov 20, 2017 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


The spec sheet specifies Plug and play. That means you do not replace the ballast. The opposite is "direct wire", which is where you do.

If it were a direct-wire unit, it would specify which pins to wire to.

The spec sheet also explains why it failed initially, in the upper right it says "Feit Electric". You can tell from the errors on the data sheet they're just an importer of goods they buy across the ocean.

Seriously, though, it needs the ballast to be working. I have a feeling the ballast was defective. Regardless, it's finished, now that you cut the wires so close. (I have to imagine you kinda knew it was defective). Toss it in the trash (it's electronic, no PCB). Save the screws/nuts that hold it down though. You may need them badly, and finding random matches at the hardware store is no fun.

At this point you have 4 options:

  • find a direct-wire LED that fits in that connector (good luck)
  • replace the ballast and get a plug-n-play LED or actual fluorescent tube
  • rework the fixture to use a different style of connector that is good for LEDs
  • replace the fixture

As for the probably-fried one, take it back to HD, tell them it's defective, get your money back, and stop shopping there. This kind of wild misapplication always traces back to big-box stores.

From now on, deal with real electrical and lighting supply houses. They sell to contractors who want the best price on products that won't generate service calls.

  • I actually tested the LED (not the one I fried) in my other bathroom, which has the same fixture and ballast. It did not work, so it's unlikely the ballast is the issue. It seems this LED product is just no good. I see many other 4-pin, direct wire LED on Amazon with a quick search, so I'm hopeful I can find a direct wire option that fits my connector. Either way, I'd like to take the ballast out of the equation since it's just a big question mark and go with direct wire. Thanks for the info!
    – Scott Lin
    Nov 20, 2017 at 6:02

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