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In this video, electrician Scott Caron shows new technologies and applications for LED lighting.

Facts About LED Lights

  • Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are commonly used in flashlights and Christmas tree lights.
  • LEDs are long-lasting, super-bright, and energy-efficient.
  • A standard Christmas tree light consumes seven watts of electricity per bulb. An entire string of LED lights uses just three watts.
  • Replace old incandescent bulbs with retrofit LEDs, which screw into standard lamp sockets.
  • Reflective-style LEDs come with various bases and often simply plug into the socket.
  • Recessed LEDs combine the light bulb and trim kit into one compact unit.
  • Flush mount LEDs can be connected to an existing recessed fixture or hard-wired to a ceiling-mounted electrical box.
  • Color-changing LED rope lighting can be installed inside or along the tops of cabinets and wall units.
  • New LEDs can be controlled wirelessly through a smartphone or tablet, allowing you to adjust the intensity (brightness) or color of the light.
  • Illuminate kitchen counters with slim LED fixtures that are designed for under-cabinet installation.
  • Exterior-rated LED lights are available for installation outdoors over a patio, driveway, or deck.

Replacing Fluorescent Light Fixtures with LEDs

Q: I want to change out the fluorescent tube lighting in my basement for dimmable LEDs. What’s the best way to do that?

A: You can buy T8, Type A LEDs that are the same length and have the same pins as your fluorescent tubes, but the ballasts that power old fluorescents prevent the LEDs from being dimmed. The better solution would be to replace the ballast, and other internal parts of the fixture, with an LED strip light.

Lithonia Lighting offers a UFITR Retrofit Kit can be easily installed in an existing 4- or 8-foot fluorescent-lamp housing using only a drill/driver. The strip’s brightness is adjusted with an LED-compatible dimmer that meets the 0-10-volt dimming standard. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever need to replace these lamps; they’re rated to last at least 60,000 hours.

—TOH master electrician Heath Eastman