Monthly Archives: March 2020

  • How Coronavirus COVID-19 is disrupting the Lighting Product Supply Chain

    VirusMany of our customers have asked how the Coronavirus / COVID-19 virus is affecting our lighting supply chain.

    They are concerned about stock running out on many of our lighting products such as track lighting, recessed lighting, LED T8 retrofit conversion lighting, LED low voltage outdoor landscape lighting and lighting parts, accessories and LED light bulbs that are almost all manufactured in China. They have large projects underway and the lighting must be installed at a specific point in time or the project is put on hold as the finish work can not be completed without it in place.

    In November, our primary factory told us to order for the annual Chinese New Year closure and  include one more month after, to ensure that the factory can have time to gear up after the holiday season. We did so and increased our order 30% just to be safe. This all took place before the Coronavirus took center stage in China and world. Then the virus hit and the factory remained closed and did not restart production.

    Container Ship SunsetWe purchased enough product to cover us until the end of March. 

    We expected that the factory would be back to work on a limited basis by the first week of February and we would have new product on the water (i.e. in a container ship heading our way to the United States) by the middle of the month. Unfortunately, this did not happen. We are now at the second week of March and there is very limited product in production and the shipping and delivery dates are still not guaranteed. We have some products expected by the end of March and the rest will arrive sometime later. You will see on our website that some items that are out of stock do not have an expected delivery date as they are not in production yet.

    We have had large delays before, the last big delay was back during the last dock worker union port strike in Los Angeles. It was very disruptive and it went on much longer than expected.

    Warehouse Full ShelvesIf you have a project that has a construction time-line, please contact us so we can ensure you have product in hand or on the move to avoid costly delays and pricey air shipping expenses.

    We do our best to help you from going over budget and get your project delivered on or before it is needed.  All of our orders ship complete unless you tell us to do otherwise. Incomplete shipping can create greater confusion, frustration and disruption that you simply don’t need added to your project. We want to avoid this at all costs.

    Communication is the most important factor in guaranteeing success.  Feel free to contact us. We are here to help.

    Shipping ContainersFor now, check your project schedule, wash your hands with soap and shut off CNN. We like websites like John Hopkins University, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) website for real facts on the virus, not “news” reporters running around like chicken little.

    Thank you for reading our update and feel free to contact us with questions and project schedules. Again, we are here to help :)



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  • We retrofitted our 5,000 square foot Office Space from Fluorescent to LED T8 in 4 hrs - Find out How!

    Converted Fluorescent to LED T8 5,000 sqft Warehouse Building

    fluorescent t8 tube removalWe have been doing fluorescent T8 and T12 LED retrofits for many years.  Maybe longer than any Ecommerce website out there.  In this blog we will tell you about the process we used to convert our 5,000 sqft office space on Saturday morning that only took us 4 hrs.

    We started with a simple plan.  Here is how we did it.  First we got all of the supplies together which included: LED T8 Double End Powered Tubes, Easy Push-In Wire Connectors, Extra #18 Gauge Solid Copper Wire in Black & White, Retrofit Labels, ladders, headlamps, tools and lots of helping hands. I have listed at the end of this article all the tools we used. All of our fixtures were exactly the same, so we knew if we used one as a sample to see what was needed all the rest would require the same conversion process. This helped in reducing the time to retrofit.

    We had one electrician on the team and the rest of the team was completely inexperienced. They were a bunch of teenagers that wanted to make some quick money on an early Saturday morning.  We paid them very well and they were very surprised. Anyway, we had both young men and women and they all did a great job.

    We broke down the duties in an assembly line fashion.  Here is how it worked:

    1) Two of the teenagers were in charge of opening the fixture, (we showed them how) they released the two clips and let the lens swing down on its hinge so they could get at the tubes.

    florescent to led t8 ballast removalI have to note here, everyone was required to wear safety glasses and the power was turned off. In rooms that were dark, (some had no windows) everyone had “headlamps” we got at Harbor Freight and when the project was finished we gave them to the kids. 

    Once the fixture was open, one helper removed the fluorescent tubes and handed each down to the other helper on the floor that placed them in a temporary container.  The helper still on the ladder then removed the cover where the ballast was located and handed it down.  Once the ballast cover was down, a helper put on a sticker we sell that tells people that this fixture has been converted from fluorescent to LED.

    2) The next team removed the ballast by cutting the wires close to the ballast and removing the ballast mounting screw.  We had just the right size nut driver to release the one screw holding in the ballast to the fluorescent tubelight making it a very fast and efficient removal. We had a box ready to receive the ballasts for proper disposal latter.

    3) At this point our electrician came in and cleaned up the wiring, cut and stripped where needed and used our 5 port push-in wire connector to make the proper wire connections.  Clean and simple.

    4) The next team came up, aligned the wires in the center of the fluorescent fixture and put back the cover where the ballast once was. They also installed the LED T8 Double End Powered lamps. Once all theLED lamps were installed in all the fluorescent fixtures in the room, and before the covers were closed, the power was turned back on and we checked to make sure everything was working properly.

    florescent to led t8 rewiring5) The last guy came along to close the fixture. This was the most difficult part of the retrofit process due to the fixtures being in a drop ceiling. You had to get the hang of it as the fixtures were prone to move when you pressed the lens cover up against it.  We found that you had to get the lens cover lined up and quickly hit it with your hand to “shock” it in place (not hard, just quick). However, your fluorescent T8 or T12 fixtures may be different so get familiar with its workings to help quicken the retrofit process. But for us, this was the most difficult part for inexperienced helpers.  Have your electrician show your crew how to do this to make for a fast and quick fluorescent to LED conversion.

    6)  We further packed all the fluorescent tubes in the boxes that the new EZ Double End Powered LED tubes came in. Fortunately for us, all the fluorescent lamps were working when we took them out, so we wrote a Craigslist ad titled somewhat like this, Free 4-foot T8 Fluorescent Tubes In Working Order. Someone snatched them up right away and were all gone in 3 hours. The people that picked them up were very happy to have them, and we were happy to see them go where they will be used until the end of their normal life span.

    We found that in our office space, we increased the light foot candles by three times. I forgot to mention that we used the EZ Double End Powered 4000K Frosted LED Tubes due to the nature of the use of the spaces. When everyone came in the following Monday for work they were greatly impressed with a brighter work place and the natural look and feel the new LED light provided.

    In conclusion, here are the results we found after converting 100 fluorescent t8 3-lamp 4-foot fixtures. Each fluorescent troffer had 3 x 32watt fluorescent T8 tubes and 1 x 12watt fluorescent ballast. To find the total wattage used by these fixtures we multiply 3 times 32watts and add 12watts for the ballast to equal a total of 108watts per light. We then multiply 108watts by the 100 fluorescent tube lights being used in the office complex. It's a whopping 10,800watts of electricity. Wow! Now lets calculate how much wattage the office complex is consuming after the conversion to the double end powered LED T8 tubes. Each LED T8 tube is rated at 18watts. Multiply 18watts by 3 and we have 54watts. We take the 54watts, multiply it by 100 and we are left with 5,400watts. That's half the power of the fluorescent lamps. That is a significant reduction in power being used. Think of the energy savings we will now enjoy moving forward!

    Now lets calculate the monetary value of our LED retrofit. We installed 300 double end powered LED lamps at $6.14 each as of the writing of this article. This large quantity gave us a significant quantity discount (see pricing on our website here). 200 5-port push-in wire connectors at $0.75 each and 100 LED retrofit labels at $0.14 each. You can purchase all these items securely from our website here. which includes free access to all our videos including our popular "5 minute or less fluorescent tube light to LED T8 conversion with our EZ Kit" video.

    Material Costs
    Qty Price Cost
    LED Tubes 300 x $6.14 $1,842
    Wire Connectors 200 x $0.75 $150
    Labels 100 x $0.14 $14
    TOTAL $2006

    Lets calculate the electricity cost savings.
    Local commercial electricity rate = $0.102/kWh
    Work hours = 9 hours
    Days in a year = 365

    Old Fluorescent Setup
    Electricity Consumption 10,800watts = 10.8kW
    Electricity Cost per Kilowatt $0.102 x 10.8kW = $1.1016
    9-hour Work Day Electricity Cost  $1.1016 x 9hr = $9.9144
    Yearly Work Day Electricity Cost $9.9144 x 365 = $3618.756


    New LED retrofit
    Electricity Consumption 5,400watts = 5.4kW
    Electricity Cost per Kilowatt $0.102 x 5.4kW = $0.5508
    9-hour Work Day Electricity Cost $0.5508 x 9hr = $4.9572
    Yearly Work Day Electricity Cost $4.9572 x 365 = $1,809.378


    Fluorescent T8 vs LED T8
    Fluorescent Yearly Electricity Cost LED Yearly Electricity Cost
    $3,216.672 $1,809.378


    Total LED Yearly Savings over Fluorescent


    In less than two years our LED conversion will have paid for itself in energy savings and we will begin seeing the benefits of increased light and deeper energy savings for years to come!

    Doing a retrofit with dual end powered LED bulbs is the quickest and most easy ballast bypass retrofit you will ever do.  We offer a number of videos on changing your fluorescent t8 or T12 tubelight to LED T8 that will work for almost every fixture type.  However, you should open and inspect your fixture so you do not have surprises in the field. Watch out for emergency fixtures, fixtures that have dual ballasts, old fixtures with bad tombstones, weird wiring and other oddball configurations. Ready to convert your building filled with old energy sucking fluorescent T8 or T12 4foot fixtures to LED T8? Simply fill out this form, send us a photo if your unsure and we will help you get your project on the fast track!

    florescent to led t8 rewiring=led tube installHere is what we had on hand for the LED retrofit:

    • Ladders,  many of them
    • Tubes, we used the dual end,  4000K frosted as our fixtures did not have lenses but an open grid style. Our fixtures had three lamps
    • Headlamps
    • Safety Glasses
    • Stickers for the fixtures (we have these on our web site)
    • Push-In Quick Wire Connectors (also on our web site)
    • Tool for removing the screw or nut on the ballast, only needed one, it is quick
    • Wire snips for the wires on the ballast,  cut the wires close, see the video
    • Electrician had his quick wire stripper and his own snips, we gave him his own helper
    • We also had on hand, but did not need, extra shunted tombstones incase we found bad ones, extra solid core #18 wire in both Black and White.
    • Vacuum, to clean up after we finished
    • Water and snacks, it's always good to keep your crew hydrated and nourished :)


    convert fluorescent to led t8 hallwayHope this gives you an idea on what to expect for a larger scale project like a church, office complex or warehouse. Your plan may vary somewhat due to ceiling height, use of space or other factors unique to your location.  We have also supplied a large project with a very similar setup in a warehouse where they used two scissor lifts, less people and more skilled help, condensing the process down even further saving more time and money.

    Thanks for reading.  Please checkout our Fluorescent to LED T8 Quick Tool to see all the options available to you.  It's a great starting point to help fast track your project. We have also made this easy to use page for large projects, allowing you to buy each LED retrofit component in bulk for significant savings.

    Thanks for considering Total Lighting Supply for your project.

    Build out your bulk project here and save on your LED T8 Conversion

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    Tags: fluorescent T8, Fluorescent to LED T8, Tubelight, Fluorescent T12, LED Retrofit

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