Replacing your fluorescent tube lights with LED retrofits can be a confusing and daunting process. We've put together this guide to demystify all of the ins and outs of replacing your fluorescent tubes with LED tube lights.
1) Advantages of LED tubes over fluorescent tubes
The many advantages of LED tubes over fluorescents are covered quite extensively, so we won't go into depth, but the three primary advantages are:
Higher efficiency, energy savings (up to 30-50%)
Longer lifetimes (typically 50k hours)
2) Fluorescent tubes sizes and LED tube light retrofitting
Because fluorescent fixtures are often mounted into ceilings and connected directly to mains electricity, they are relatively expensive and difficult to replace completely.
As a result, it oftentimes makes the most economical sense to simply use the same fluorescent fixture, but replace the fluorescent tube with an LED tube light.
Therefore, it is important to understand the types of fluorescent tubes that were developed, so that the correct LED panel light can be retrofitted in place.
Over the years, fluorescent tube manufacturers developed many varieties of sizes and types.
T8 4-ft: Four-foot T8 fluorescent lamps are the most commonly used type today. They are 48 inches in length, and have a 1 inch lamp diameter.
T12 4-ft: Four-foot T12 fluorescent lamps are less efficient compared to T8 lamps. They are the same length as T8 lamps, but have a larger 1.5 inch lamp diameter.
T5 4-ft: Four-foot T5 fluorescent lamps are typically the most efficient, and some of the newest types of lamps introduced in the 2000's in the USA. They are commonly designated T5HO (high output) and provide more brightness than their T8 counterparts. They are slightly shorter than four feet (45.8 inches). T5 lamps come in a variety of lengths such as 1-ft, 2-ft and 3-ft versions and are commonly used in non-ceiling fixtures such as table lamps.
T8 and T12 tubes are also available in other lengths such as 8-ft tubes, but 4-ft lengths remain the most common types.
LED tube lights replicate the mechanical dimensions to ensure that they can be true retrofit replacements, and adopt the same form factor names (e.g. 4-foot T8 LED tube light).
T8 and T12 fixtures are generally the same length and use the same pins, so mechanically they are usually cross-compatible.
T5 fixtures are NOT cross-compatible with T8 and T12 lamps due to their different pin sizes and actual length.
3) Fluorescent ballasts and LED tri-proof light retrofitting
All fluorescent tube lights use a device called a ballast to regulate the lamp's brightness as it warms up. These devices are necessary for fluorescent lamps, and differ from incandescent lamps which can be connected directly to mains electrical circuits.
Fluorescent lamp fixtures typically house the ballast inside the fixture, and is not accessible without removing the fixture from the ceiling. Alterations to the fluorescent lamp ballast should be done only by those comfortable and knowledgeable with electrical work.
Today LED high bay lights deliver equal or better lighting performance with only a fraction of the energy consumption of the traditional fluorescent tube LED flood lights. LED tube is the newest product line in the tube family made up of white LED chip modules. Provided with the advantages of long life-span, radiation-free, energy saving, environmental friendly.
Once you learn about the benefits of LED tube lights, you will see and understand why they are a positive choice for anyone looking to improve the environment with their lighting choices. In this Article, we will be comparing LED linear Lighting and traditional Fluorescent Tube Light by following characteristics
What are LED Tube Lights? LED tube lights are among the most popular and versatile lighting solutions available today. They’re particularly well suited to applications and install environments where the goal is to achieve a flexible variety of modern, clean-looking indoor lighting in rooms and displays of all sizes.
You’ll often find assemblies of larger LED tube lights being used to provide bright, even lighting across many types of wider or more open spaces. Common examples might include commercial displays, workshops and laboratories, kitchens, hallways, foyers, factory floors, gymnasiums, car parks, and any other communal, multipurpose or high traffic areas.
Smaller LED tubes are also highly popular options for accent lighting in and under cabinets, worktops and other items of built-in or freestanding furniture, as well as in many different types of signage assemblies and other important display areas.
Today, a huge number of homes, business premises and civic facilities are transitioning away from the traditional, older style fluorescent/CFL tube lighting and installing LED alternatives in their place. There are several great reasons to do this, with the most compelling being the lower running costs and far longer lifespans of LED lamps vs fluorescent equivalents. This generally results in vastly improved efficiency throughout the working life of the light. In turn, this ultimately means that you can expect far better value over time, as well as considerably reduced environmental impact, by switching to LEDs.
In this introductory guide, we’ll find out a little more about the different types of LED tube lights you can buy online, as well as briefly looking at how to fit them. We’ll also compare LED tubes to other common types of tube and strip lights, and contrast the relative strengths and weaknesses of each kind.
T5 LED Tube light and T5 Tubes LED tube lights are usually categorised by various key designations. The most common of these are tube length (this can be stated in either imperial or metric measurements) and bulb or lamp size. Lamp size is typically given as a ‘T’ measurement, with widespread standard sizes including T5, T8 and T12.
If you’re wondering exactly what is the difference between T5, T8 and T12 lights, the main point to remember is that the higher the T rating, the thicker a lamp will be in diameter. T equals 1/8 of an inch and the number after the T denotes how many eighths of an inch wide the bulb is - hence T8 is exactly one inch or 8/8ths. You can use this to calculate the diameter of different sized LED tube lights. Therefore, T8 tubes at 1-inch (25.4mm) have a larger diameter than T5 tubes (5/8-inch or 15.9mm), but they are not as wide as T12 (1.5-inches or 38.1mm) lamps.
In standard fluorescent tubes, smaller diameters almost always mean better efficiency. A T5 bulb will use less energy to produce the same amount of light as a T8, while a T12 will run at about 45% higher electricity consumption to output the same amount of light as a T5. Being vastly more power-efficient across the board, newer LED equivalents don’t follow quite the same pattern in terms of percentages. However, the basic principle remains similar, even if the ratios between bulb diameter and energy usage stay far closer together as you move up the lamp sizing scale.
It's also worth noting that different tube sizes will tend to be associated with different lamp bases or sockets. T8 and T12 tubes are mounted to bi-pin G13 bases as standard, while T5 tubes are normally attached to a bi-pin G5 socket fitting. In simple terms, this is essentially the tube light equivalent of standard bulb cap styles and sizes.