When I replace a Fluorescent/LED Tube Light,

(a) When removing the tube light, Which way should I turn, toward me or away from me?

(b) And when Reinstalling, which way should I turn tube light, away or towards me? Or does it matter?

All these websites are giving different directions. Just want to be sure.



  • 2
    How can we possibly know? We're not in your shoes with our eyes directly looking at your tombstones (lamp sockets). Can you shoot a pic of one of your tombstones and edit it in? They're not all the same... Nov 5 '20 at 0:05
  • 2
    Which way should I turn, toward me or away from me? ... do you not realize that the direction reverses if you stand on the other side?
    – jsotola
    Nov 5 '20 at 0:09
  • 4
    @Harper-ReinstateMonica Every tombstone i have dealt with has had the option to turn the bulb in either direction, Are there tombstones that are one way only?
    – Alaska Man
    Nov 5 '20 at 0:13
  • 1
    @AlaskaMan some drop straight down. Some require only about a 60 degree turn then slide out. Some require a 90 degree turn but they are caged, so it's possible to wind up with the cage turned so you can't put the bulb in! It varies, you have to remove the first one by braille and then look at the tombstone once able. Nov 5 '20 at 0:19
  • 1
    @alansmith4785 If you got "any way/doesn't matter" from what I said and didn't get "post a picture/follow up", the answer for you is "hire someone" lol. Nov 5 '20 at 22:11

I have replaced tubes on easily 20 different kinds of fixtures with a wide variety of tombstones (that's the lamp socket the tubes go into). It's a dog's breakfast.

  • Many of them rotate 90 degrees. Some have channels or cages that require exact 90 degree rotation.
  • Some of them only allow about 60 degree rotation.
  • Some of them pull straight out/down, although 60 degrees of rotation will likely make one end pop out.

The upshot is you really have to "go by feel" - remember you are holding onto a glass thing, force hard enough but not too hard.

For what it's worth, the tube ends will have a "dimple" perpendicular to the pins, so when it's square into the socket, the dimple is lined up with the socket.

Once the first tube is out, stop and take a close look at the tombstone, and see how it is designed to work.

Unfortunately I'm not at my site, so I can't give you a rogue's gallery of different tombstone pin paths. Suffice it to say, there are many.

Most LED tubes are aligned so the light shoots out the way the tombstones come out. If you want to get rid of the infamous LED eyeball-burning glare, at the expense of less light, install them "upside down".

  • Harper the op asked both install and removal and both videos showed bi pins not singles. After more than a few years as a licensed electrician I can say over 95% of all tombstones in T5,T8 and T12 are 90 degree turn. With a very few being spring loaded on the ends and other unique methods for U tubes. He is asking about LED’s and how to orient them when installing. You did not cover that at all.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 5 '20 at 22:29

You can turn it either way but you want the LED’s to be facing out so it depends which orientation you install the tube.

I usually remove the fixtures to require them and have them face up on my work bench. I pull the tube out of the foam or box remove any pin protectors and then look to see which way is the front if the front is away from me I rotate the lamp towards me , if the front Is pointing at me I roll them away. In both cases 90 degrees until they snap in place or lock.

Some lamps are frosted on these I have found the heat sink is usually attached on the back side and can be seen just reverse the above directions so the heat sink goes to the fixture side.

Turn it on if you have one backwards it will be obvious, turn off rotate the bulb 180 degrees and you are good to go.

Most my lamps are universal hybrid (with ballast, single or double ended without ballast) but rotation doesn't matter what matters is the LED’s facing forward and if a single ended lamp that can only be powered by 1 end you get that right then rotate the tube until the LED’s face forward.

I can say I have done much more than a thousand T5, T8 & T12 lamps conversions to led and never had a problem unless I was not paying attention then I just had to rotate the lamp 180.

  • I think OP is struggling with how to remove the tubes initially. Indeed, different tombstones are different. They're not all "twist 90 degrees". Nov 5 '20 at 22:12

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