How Can We Help?
Home / Support Center / Knowledge Base / LED Drivers / Choosing between T8 LED Tube and LED Strips for an Existing Electrical Boxes
Choosing between T8 LED Tube and LED Strips for an Existing Electrical Boxes
I'm trying to choose between tube and strip lights and I need info on how I can hook it into my existing ceiling outlet box.
While each installation can differ, we generally recommend using our LED tube lights if there is an existing 4-ft fixture already in place. Our LED tube lights can be used without a ballast and therefore can be used without any additional electronic components.
LED strip lights, on the other hand, can provide you with some additional versatility and installation options. This approach, however, will require additional wiring and configuration, including power supply units and LED strip assembly.
I have six separate track lights on separate dimmer switches. The reasons they interest me are that they look to be very low profile and you have a 99 CRI strip light but only 95 CRI tube lights. Are there any other advantages or disadvantages I should be aware of for strips vs ubes? If I go with the strip light option, what do I need to do? How does it connect to the end feed and will the extra transformer fit inside the end feed? Will I need new dimmer switches? I currently use these(Lutron CTELV-303P-WH Skylark Contour 300W Electronic Low Voltage Single Pole / 3-Way).
Since you don't have a fluorescent fixture at all, the LED strip light option is definitely worth considering.
The challenge with installing an LED strip light in a location like this is that the existing track systems operate at a completely different voltage type and level. Typically, they are 120 volts or 12 volts AC, while the LED strip lights require 12 volts DC.
As such, the electrical wiring and systems inside the track lights will not be useful here and will need to be bypassed completely.
Below is a configuration diagram for a simple LED strip setup:
You will see the TRIAC dimmable power supply, which is the key component here that you will want to determine where you can fit this in your current installation. It is a somewhat bulky device and you will want to ensure it is installed in a location compliant to local electrical code. (Most frequently, it is installed inside of a junction box mounted inside of the wall).
The TRIAC power supply appears to be 9 inches, so it won't fit in the current electrical box in the ceiling. Could I just purchase your junction box and attach it to the ceiling? Do you sell it in white? Alternatively, I could install the TRIAC in the attic near the switches, but then it would need to feed into the current wires that run to the ceiling position. I'm thinking that those standard wires must be different than the ones needed for the DC, is that right? If so, I guess the TRIAC has to go right next to the strip lights.
We are not sure about the electrical code requirements and considerations of mounting the junction box on the ceiling, so that is something you will want to confirm before going down that path. The junction box is unfortunately not available in any other colors.
The concern with installing the TRIAC dimmable power supply far from the LED strip lights is that large distances between the power supply and LED strip lights can result in voltage drop, whereby the brightness of the LED strips become diminished by the reduction in voltage supply. Generally, we recommend keeping the LED strip sections within 32 feet of the power supply unit to reduce the impact of voltage drop.
My understanding is that your tube lights are not dimmable, is that correct?
That is correct. We agree that the LED strips would be the best option for a dimmable + flicker-free lighting solution.
Do you sell L pieces for the aluminum channel so I can turn corners with the flex strips?
Unfortunately we do not sell any "L" shaped corner pieces. The best way to accomplish this would be to solder wires directly between the LED strip segments that meet at the corner. The aluminum channels can also be cut at 45-degree angles to create a gapless 90-degree turn.
Do I need the centric series power supply rather than the triac to get flicker free?
The most recent batch of TRIAC dimmable power supplies is also now rated flicker-free. Therefore, you will be able to use the TRIAC dimmable power supply and achieve flicker-free and dimmable light output.
Do you sell a junction box that covers the centric?
We do not sell a junction box for the CENTRIC SERIES power supply. We would recommend going with the TRIAC dimmable power supply since it also provides flicker-free light output.
Can I connect two separate 8 foot strips to one power supply?
Yes, they can be connected "in parallel" - please see the blog post below:
I'm just about ready to order the absolute strip. I'm still trying to decide on whether to go with 6500k or 5000k. What connector will I need for that?
Both the 5000K and 6500K should be good options for you. Here is an article, in case you haven't had a chance to yet see it, that might help you make a more informed decision one way or another:
Once the LED strip is cut, it cannot be re-joined using the pre-mounted female DC cables. They can be re-joined using the PN 3071 accessory that you have correctly identified.
Question posted under:
LED power suppliesLED strip lightsT8 LED tube lightsCeiling FixturesLED dimmersLED Drivers