To replace my old fluorescent tube lamp I bought a LED tube. The old fixture was one with an electrical ballast and without an additional starter as shown below.

enter image description here

I read that I was supposed to bypass the ballast completely, as LED tubes don't need them any more. Regardless, I wanted to test whether the tube would work without removing the ballast first and put it in, but nothing happened when I turned it on. Later I tried the tube again in a different fixture with a LED starter and to my surprise it didn't turn on in that fixture either, while it had turned on just fine earlier. Did I break the LED tube by not removing the ballast first or was it impossible to begin with?

4 Answers 4


The packaging of your LED tube should specifically state whether or not it is supposed to use a ballast. If you connected a no-ballast tube to a ballasted socket, yes, it is possible that you fried the circuits.

See also the answer to https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/95491/is-it-more-energy-efficient-to-remove-the-ballast-by-using-led-tube

  • 1
    It was indeed posted on the box, but at that time I wasn't informed enough and misinterpreted the box. Apparently the tube works well with a magnetic ballast, but not with an electronic ballast... Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 0:06
  • 3
    As a conclusion to the story; I removed the electric ballast and the tube lived happily ever after. It wasn't fried after all :3 Moral of the story: Read the packaging. Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 10:58

There are LED retrofit tubes that do not require ballast removal. Here is an example: http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/iif/2013/12/philips-delivers-led-based-t8-tubes-that-work-with-existing-ballasts.html

If you installed an LED tube that requires ballast removal into a fixture with the ballast still wired in you almost certainly did kill the LED tube. Ballasts can typically put out 300-600 volts on the secondary side, so something deigned to run on 120V will not last long.

  • We have 220V here, so not sure if that was the reason or if another safety mechanism is in place of the tube, but it didn't kill the tube after all. It was just fine, luckily, and is working perfectly now after I removed the ballast. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 15:10

As my experience in lighting specially LED , you can connect the LED tube light with the fixture and the ballast is connected no problems at all .enter image description here

  • Were they magnetic or electrical ballasts, because from my experience magnetic ballast (+ LED starter) seemed to work, but electrical ballasts didn't. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 15:06

I put LED bulbs into a fixture with magnetic ballast and they were extremely bright like a laboratory. One time I discovered the light went out on its own.....Another time it happened, the ballast was over heating and almost caught fire!

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