T12 fluorescent tubes are difficult to find, but that doesn’t mean they’re extinct. If you still have T12s in your sockets and want to save money on lighting in the coming year, there are a few options for retrofitting to LED or a more efficient fluorescent option.

  • Install a linear LED lamp with a ballast bypass.

Ballast-bypass LEDs operate with direct line voltage flowing directly to the sockets, necessitating the removal of the original fluorescent ballast. This solution may be more expensive in terms of labor and sockets, but it will save you money on energy.

  • Install magnetic linear LEDs

This could be your best bet if you want the simplest and easiest solution for switching from T12 to LED. These are distinctive because they are compatible with the current magnetic ballast, most likely powering the T12 tubes. When the magnetic ballast fails, replace it with a new electronic ballast, and the LED tube will continue to operate.

  • Install new electronic ballast

Avoid mercury and use long-lasting lighting. Current electronic ballast-compatible LED tubes provide great flexibility, savings, and a solution that should be kept from being touched for years.

  • Install remote driver in the fixture

Because no ballast draw is involved in powering the lamp, remote-driver LEDs are the most energy-efficient option on this list. The best places to use a remote driver LED require high-performance lighting.

  • LED retrofit kit setup

This solution falls between an LED tube with a remote driver and a complete LED fixture replacement. This could be a great option if you want to update the look of your fixtures but don’t want to open the ceiling or remove old fixtures.

  • Install a new LED light fixture

This option will provide you with the most energy savings and a significant visual upgrade. Often, the cost of a new LED fixture versus a new fluorescent fixture is relatively inexpensive. These also have the most extended lifespan of any option, but installation will be the most challenging and expensive if you go this route.

T12 retrofit is basically a lamp swap. Newer, lower-wattage energy-saver lamps have made their way to the market over the last several years in an effort for traditional manufacturers to compete with highly energy-efficient products. This is the path of least resistance, requiring little effort and not a lot of money. T12 retrofit kits are also available in the market.

T12 Retrofit Kit