Who to ask? I want to swap main kitchen florescent to high CRI LED strips

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Who to ask? I want to swap main kitchen florescent to high CRI LED strips

I’ve been looking into swapping my main overhead kitchen lighting to LED strips or tubes. Willing to spend ~$300-750 but can spend more for much better results.

It is this recessed box style. 9× 4ft fixtures. 21-23,000 lumens @85-90 CRI, 6500k. Mix of GE & Philips higher quality tubes.

They are flickering; I am assuming some of the ballasts are bad. I want to replace them with a comparable or better LED setup.

I looked into it last year, and I think Waveform & Yuji were the recommendations. I am familiar with Virence here & e21a/optisolis. I know a bit about emitters & quality. I understand CRI & r9 numbers. I don’t 100% understand bbl graphs or d50/d65 ratings. I know tint/binning is very important & often not shared with consumers.

Any recommendations on where to ask this, or point to someone who has done this? I am not familiar with the types of florescent ballasts used, or how to swap from florescent fixtures to LED strips. I am assuming it is not too hard. I know Matthias Wandel & Big Clive on youtube have talked about & use them in smaller environments.

Any idea if heat is an issue? (If using strips in an enclosed space like the box lighting). They need to run at 100% for 4-8+ hours. I don’t know what kind of heat sinking would be necessary.

Any idea if tubes vs strips has pros/cons? Strips seem better – they are probably available in more variations, different emitter/m numbers, and it seems more logical to use a designed setup of ballast + strip rather than retrofitted adapter tube.

Thank you. Here are some old links I had bookmarked. Some apparently lead to optisolis/nichia/osram/sunlike flex strips.

pennzy's picture
Last seen: 3 hours 17 min ago
Joined: 12/10/2017 - 19:45
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Location: United States , Pa.

I can tell you what I did. I removed the ballasts and wired the sockets on one end per the wiring diagram. The sockets on the other side are out of the circuit with this style set up. Very easy to rewire. One side black, one side white. Push in connectors. I found tubes of various temperatures online. About $12 a piece if I remember correctly. Probably can find high CRI. I didn’t look. Very happy with the electric bill since converting the entire house to LED.

Vegas LED Fan
Last seen: 2 days 12 hours ago
Joined: 11/05/2017 - 14:51
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Location: Nevada

There sure is one hell of a premium on the price for high CRI LEDs. I never was much concerned about getting anything near perfect for the CRI. I’m much more of a fan of natural light rather than trying to mimic an incandescent bulb except in a bathroom.

I converted two ceiling lamps in my kitchen several years ago. I used LED strips in one that originally held four 8’ fluorescent bulbs. I converted them to 12V by using 12VDC strips and a 120VAC to 12VDC converter. With the strips separated by a couple of inches it never gets hot enough to be a concern. I mounted them on choroplast (corrugated plastic) for hanging in the fixture. This does not work on a circuit with a dimmer but I could have installed a remote controlled dimmer in the circuit if needed.

I used the same system but bar lamp strips for a smaller lamp that used two U-shaped fluorescent tubes. I don’t do photography in my kitchen so whatever CRI these are works for me. It probably cost me $25 for converting the larger light and under $20 for the smaller light.

Some of the products you showed come with an aluminum base that serves as a heat sink. The wider strips with the LEDs in the center line are never going to get hot enough to be a problem.

Last seen: 6 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 07/31/2020 - 15:09
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Location: USA

Bump, thanks for the idea about single-ended sockets for the tubes

Last seen: 2 days 16 hours ago
Joined: 12/04/2019 - 02:36
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I’m looking for the same thing.
I wanted high CRI but I can’t stand 120Hz flicker.

I tried Hyperikon. It is hardwire/ballast bypass.
CRI seem to be quite good, but I can’t stand the flicker.
Philips seem to not have release a 90+CRI version of the T8 LED yet.

Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 12/11/2018 - 14:15
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Location: France

I use auxma CRI95 strips from aliexpress, they’re awesome. CRI does not tell the whole story, you must look at the fine print and all the R numbers. For example, if the LEDs don’t output enough deep reds, you can have high CRI but low R9 rating and it will look bad. This is very common because getting good reds means lower lumen per watt, which means more cooling, which costs money, and money is expensive Cash

How much space have you got above the ceiling, in the plenum? Is it full of fiberglass, or can you get good airflow for cooling?

I assume you want to keep the fixtures and outside appearance? They look nice.

Do you want a single color temperature, or variable? Don’t just assume you don’t want it until you tried it, variable CCT is awesome, plus you wont feel any buyers remorse like “Mmmh I should have bought the 3000K instead of the 2700K really” — just turn the knob and adjust it!

How does the inside look like? Can you post more pics?

What kind of work are you prepared to do? Are you comfortable with cutting aluminium profile and building stuff or do you want it easier/ready-made?