I had replaced the two T8 Philips fluorescent tubes with two Utilitech YGA05A32-T8-18W-840-T LED tubes quite some time back. I did not change any of the ballast wiring and all worked fine. A few days ago the circuit breaker tripped (bad switch I believe) and after resetting this fixture did not seem to work. I tried the tubes in another fixture and they worked fine, I also tried good T8 fluorescent tubes and they did not work either. So my assumption is that the ballast went bad during the circuit interruption. Most all of the online help seems to suggest that I do not need to replace the ballast and I have tried direct wiring as posted online in many places. That didn't work in my case. I've noticed these LED tube end pins look identical to a fluorescent tube pins. Both ends look exactly the same and there is no markings to indicate L or N on either end....maybe I have an older style? Can anyone tell me if there is something different about these LED tubes that requires a replacement ballast or is there a different wiring scheme needed with these tubes which are at least a year old and maybe an older model than that? TKS!


The breaker trip was the ballast dying. It is done.

You can replace the ballast if you like. EBay is flush with T8 ballasts at sane cost; many are pulls from fixtures converted to direct-wire LED. Pay very close attention to the number of wires going to each lampholder (tombstone). If each gets 2 wires, replace with preferably a rapid-start or programmed-start ballast, though an instant-start will do. If each tombstone gets only 1 wire, only an instant start ballast will wire up. This ballast change will allow you to use the absolutely superb 90 CRI tubes now readily available (those utilitechs were junk) or will allow you to use "plug-n-play" LED tubes.

If your ultimate plan is LED, do not use any ballast at all. Obtain direct-wire LED "tubes" that accept power from opposite ends of the tube. This is safer and plays well with all fixtures including instant-start (LEDs with same-end power do not like 1-wire tombstones).


If the ballast is bad then it will have to be replaced, but if you are going to have to spend money you might as well get direct wire bulbs and stop needlessly powering a ballast.

Direct wire LED lights are not the same as those designed to work with a ballast. I would never use the kind that work with a ballast because i see no point in Powering a ballast that serves no purpose, just wasting electricity/money. I use direct wire and change the tombstones to un-shunted tombstones.

  • I have some wonderfull t8 direct wire lamps that are ballast compatible, single ended or double ended. These are DLC listed and I have installed cases of these. DLC listing requires 5 year warranty.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 14 '18 at 19:32
  • 1
    Ok, but there still no point in powering a ballast for an LED florescent tube when there is a greener alternative. The main reason for having LED lights is to reduce energy costs for the consumer and reduce energy production that can contribute negative consequences for the environment. If all LED tubes were required to be ballast free than we could eliminate the negative affects of the production of them ( heavy metals and the energy to manufacture them ) and the problem of them contributing to landfills.
    – Alaska Man
    Dec 14 '18 at 22:23
  • 1
    With 1 exception I fully agree. The exception is I have lamps start flickering in the offices, I will slap a couple of these tubes in then at a time when the office staff is not there I rewire. I have had this happen several times so it is convenient to have that ability especially in the middle of payroll processing.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 14 '18 at 22:40

I tried looking these tubes up there were several comments that said they were not direct wire compatible. There was a similar model that showed single ended wiring this information is usually on a sticker on the lamp. All the single ended direct wire lamps I have installed have a sticker that shows the input or hot end the other end won't light the lamp. The tombstones can not be shunted with single ended lamps, but if you connected your hot and neutral to a single ended shunted tombstone it would have tripped the breaker. As far as the ballast failure it could have been what tripped the breaker to start all this. But from what I have found this is a ballast only lamp.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.