Our condo building switched over to LED tubes years ago from the florescent type and installed a special type of LED tube that bypassed the ballast, so I was told. In other words, it appears that these new LED tubes use 115 volts, and one end is marked "AC end" (not sure what that means). But to my surprise, when I went to change one of the new tubes with an LED tube I had of my own, it didn't work. How many different LED tubes are there on the market, so that I can order the right ones?
As you problably know, electricity flows in loops. It needs 2 wires/contacts/etc. to be effective.
You also may know most fluorescent tubes have 2 pins per end, or 4 total. That is more than is needed for LED.
There are 4 kinds:
- Ballast-Bypass (direct wire), single ended - this is where both of the 120V contacts are on the same end of the tube. These are a fraction of a penny cheaper to manufacture, but have 120V + neutral only 1/2" apart on those little pins. It also necessitates replacement of the lampholders in formerly instant-start fluorescent fixtures.
- Ballast-Bypass (direct wire), double ended - this is where the 120V contacts are on opposite ends of the tube. These are easy to wire into any fixture, even former instant-start types.
- Plug-and-Play - this is where the LED is designed to be used with the ballast still installed, and it "emulates" a fluorescent tube as far as the ballast is concerned. Upside: no rewiring, and you can roll back to real fluorescent once the 'charm' of LEDs has worn off. Downside: needs a working ballast.
- Universal - can do double-duty as both a Plug-and-Play type and a Ballast-Bypass double-ended type. Will work with the power it is provided. Always double-ended because ballasts expect double-ended tubes.
There is no such thing as a universal (single ended) type.
It sounds like your facility was wired with Ballast-Bypass, single-ended. You chose one of the other types of replacement.
You can either re-wire the fixture to use your type of tube, or get the other kind.
Note that if you have plug-n-play LEDs, this will require re-installing a fluorescent ballast. Any instant-start ballast will suffice, avoid rapid-start or programmed-start ballasts as they may require changing lampholders too.
There are at least 2 types of LED tubes: Those that work with a ballast and those that are direct connected. According to code, the interior of the fixture should have a sticker indicating it was a direct connect, if so. Also, I seriously doubt your LED tubes is using 115 watts...that's a lot for an LED...are you sure you don't mean volts? There's no way a LED tube intended for a ballast will work if it's direct connected (bypassing the ballast).