Spot the difference between Magnetic and Electronic ballasts with A photo
Replacing your existing T8 Tube Lights with LEDs can be a fiddle, especially if you don't know exactly what you're installing them in to.
If you aren't sure, there are expensive ways of deciphering whether you have a magnetic or electronic ballast within your fitting, or you can find out with just your phone!
All you've got to do is point your phone at the tube light and take a picture! It's that simple!
If the image of your tubes looks very similar to the one below, it is being powered by a magnetic ballast. The reason that this effect occurs is due to the low frequency that the ballast 'drives' the tube at. If you imagine a long wave on a graph, that is what is happening here.
Retrofitting an LED tube into a T8 fitting with a magnetic ballast is a fairly simple process. The simple guide below helps take you through the change, step-by-step. If at any point you do not feel 100% confident, please consult an electrician.
The other ballast you may have is an electronic ballast. Unlike a magnetic ballast, a picture of tube lights with a electronic ballast will not have the visible 'lines' across them, like the image below. These electronic ballasts work in an opposite way as the magnetic ones. With electronic ballasts you'll need to image a short, sharp wave length driving the tube.
Unlike retrofitting a T8 LED Tube into a fitting that houses a magnetic ballast, there is no need for a starter. For an electronic ballast just simply change the tubes over and you'll be good to go.
So there you have it, a simple and cheap way to see how you'll need to change your tubes over to LED ones!