Lighting recommendation to replace 4 foot fluorescent tubes

I have a four foot two tube fluorescent in a finished basement room with a failed ballast. At least, I think so. I put new tubes in, they glowed ora nge at the end for a second but never lit.
It's an old T12 fixture with a very old ballast.
I could:
1. replace the T12 ballast with a modern electronic one
2. replace the fixture with T8 or T5
3. replace the tubes or the fixture with LED tubes. They would have to be the kind that don't use the existing ballast.
4. something else I haven't thought of
My goals are lots of light (this is my music and DIY projects room), and lo ng life (I'm old enough to think about jobs I won't have to do again.) I d on't care much about energy efficiency as all the solutions are reasonable.
Any suggestions?
These are tube fluorescents, not CFLs, but the short life of CFLs has me a little worried about LEDs. It's always the electronic driver that fails, n ot the light source itself. We've found at work that with some energy savi ngs projects, when they do fail you rip them out and start over, because af ter a couple of years the company is out of business and you can't get part s.
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On 6/9/2017 8:46 AM, TimR wrote:

Guess it depends on replacing fixture.
I had to replace one over kitchen sink but it was only 2 feet long but I wanted similar length fixture to replace as I would have to patch textured ceiling which is difficult. So I replaced with similar incandescent bulb fixture. When bulbs go I have LED replacements.
I find short life of CFL's due to switching on and off frequently. They are no good in a bathroom where you are in and out for short periods as thermal shock apparently wears them out. Not sure this would be as bad in LED's but if lights left on for long periods you will get optimum lifetime for them.
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I replaced one fixture with an LED. When the others go, they will be LED also. So far, I've had good luck with LED every place I put it.
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On 6/9/2017 9:44 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Just don't know how much recycle on and off they will take and still use incandescents on bathrooms. Have enough CFL's and LED's to last me a lifetime.
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On 6/9/2017 12:42 PM, Frank wrote:

Each of our bathrooms has 3 60W equivalent bulbs. Four years now, they are still good.
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On 6/9/2017 2:33 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Good to know.
Might mention in thread, I wanted to replace funny based halogen bulbs in range hood but noted there would be a color difference and wife might object. I had bought some CFL's years ago that light was too white for indoors and they now reside outside as porch lights. I also noticed a lot of CFL's emit an annoying hum.
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Update:
Direct wire (no ballast) LED T8s were on sale half price, for $15 I got two .
Rewiring was a 5 minute job because the T12s were Rapid Start so the tombst ones already had unshunted contacts. (I didn't know that until I took them apart and looked, and checked each one with a meter, so it took longer tha n 5 minutes, but it COULD have been a 5 minute job).
The new lights look fine and they are much quieter, no annoying buzz.
How long they will last is another story, I'm skeptical, but they claim a 5 year warranty.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

To me it would depend on how you want it to look. In my basement I replaced with some shop lights that were the LED kind from Home Depot at about $ 35 each. They were what appeared to be single tube LED type and the ones that were replaced were 2 tube T12.
In a room that I did not want to replace the whole fixture, I went to the electronic ballast and the smaller T8 (think that is the number) tubes. The LEDs seem to expensive at this time to replace just the old tubes. I have started going to the LED bulbs to replace the common 40 and 60 watt bulbs. The CFLs did not seem to hold up to near the advertised life.
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I have a four foot two tube fluorescent in a finished basement room with a failed ballast. At least, I think so. I put new tubes in, they glowed orange at the end for a second but never lit.
It's an old T12 fixture with a very old ballast.
I could:
2. replace the fixture with T8
Fluorescents work. LEDs? Maybe but not in my experience...installed three, two were flickering within 4-6 months, third in less than a year. They are now gone. Maybe a bad lot but I won't be trying them again. Fluorescents work
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On 6/9/2017 11:20 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Brand name plays a key role. Many cheaper LEDs use cheaper drivers and thus, they will not last long. Brands such as Cree and Philips use better drivers and can last to their advertised life span or longer. Far too many people simply think and LED is the same as any other LED and that's not the case. When they buy a cheaper brand and it doesn't last, they fail to believe the hype about them.
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The 4 LED tubes I installed aren't flickering they are working great. Got them Jan 11, installed them right away and they are still perfect. So, 6 months, no issues. Florescent bulbs were never so trouble free. Can't say anything about other brands, these Jasoren are fine. I always read the Amazon reviews. No one else reported any other problems.
One interesting thing for me, flourescent tubes are powered by running electricity from one end of the tube to the other. The LED tubes only need power at one end. My fixture had one tube holder that wasn't in good shape, I considered replacing the holder but then I thought, all it has to do is hold the tube in, it doesn't have to make any electrical contact. So, just avoided using the one holder that was dodgy for power. Worked fine.
--
Dan Espen

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LEDs are not CFLs. Not the same technology, color, or lifetime.
I recently got tired of my 4 foot fluorescents dieing every 5 years or so, so I bought these:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Very happy with the result. I did the rewire myself, but some of the less DIY types leaving reviews brought in a repairman. Seemed dirt simple to me, and I'm happy with the color of the light too.
I think you will find the LED tubes ideal. I did.
--
Dan Espen

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On 6/9/2017 8:46 AM, TimR wrote:

Regardless what you do, I suggest ridding of the T12s.
I'm a advocate for LEDs and that would be my final suggestion. THere are a greater selection of light outputs and color with LEDs allowing you to choose what you like for your basement. You can easily purchase 4 foot LED lamps, remove the ballast and hardwire directly to power and be done. Some LEDs now offer a direct plug and play with T8 ballasts but they cost a bit more and in your case, you'd need a T8 ballast but that would defeat the purpose.
You may be able to find cheaper LED fixtures but you'll get what you paid for. Cheaper LEDs mean cheaper parts and mainly, the drive which is the heart of the LED. Therefore, it is easiest to insert LED lamps in existing fixture and remove ballast.
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TimR wrote:

LED shop lights, tons of light for 42watts about $35 each at your favorite big box store.
we replaced several old (almost 20yrs out of them) CFL shop lights that we use for reflected light off the white painted ceiling. very nice and bright (don't look directly at them).
songbird
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