The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Different "Types" of LED Tubes
Type A LED tubes (Plug and Play) - are ballast compatible, which means they can be installed in fixtures with an existing ballast. These tubes are often referred to as "plug-and-play" or "hybrid" lamps and can be easily installed without having to remove or replace the ballast. However, not every LED tube is compatible with all ballasts, so it's important to check the manufacturer's Ballast Compatibility PDF or specification sheet before making a purchase. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to a lighting expert for assistance.
Type B LED tubes (Ballast Bypass) - on the other hand, are not ballast compatible. They require the ballast to be disconnected and removed from the fixture before installation. These tubes are wired directly to line voltage and often require non-shunted sockets, which may need to be changed during installation. Double-ended LED tubes that are wired at both ends to utilize either non-shunted or shunted lamp holders are also available.
Type A/B LED tubes (Hybrid) - are a hybrid of the two. They are not compatible with all ballasts, but can also be used as direct-wire tubes. This makes them a flexible option, but it's important to check the manufacturer's Ballast Compatibility PDF or specification sheet to ensure compatibility with your existing ballast. If you choose to bypass the ballast, it's recommended to consult with a licensed electrician to ensure a proper installation.
Type C LED tubes - are the newest type, operating with an external LED driver instead of using the existing ballast. The LED driver must be purchased with the tubes to ensure compatibility and the ballast is bypassed during installation, eliminating compatibility issues and maintenance costs typically associated with ballasts. These tubes also have the added advantage of allowing for controllable dimming with any 0-10V dimmer once installed, giving you the ability to adjust the lumen output as needed.
Integrated LED tubes - are the most recent innovation in LED lighting technology, combining the LED lights, driver, and heat sink into a single, self-contained unit. These tubes are easy to install and do not require a separate driver or ballast, making them an ideal choice for many applications.
In conclusion, understanding the different types of LED tubes is important when choosing the right product for your lighting needs. Each type has its own unique features and compatibility requirements, so be sure to consider your specific needs before making a purchase.