LED Tube Lights
LED Tubes are replacement lighting for fluorescent tubes. Fluorescent's have been the main stay in office and commercial lighting for decades, but companies who retrofit their fluorescent lighting to LED are realizing the savings and benefits. Here are several reasons to consider converting over to LED Tube Lights:
1. Reduced energy consumption. Converting over from 4ft T8 32W fluorescents to a 18W LED Tube saves you around 50% on your lighting bills. Keep in mind that fluorescent tubes need a ballast to operate, and they consume and extra 15% (approximate) extra on top of what the fluorescent tube consumes.
2. Reduced maintenance costs. All of our LED Tubes are rated for 50,000 hours and warrantied for 5 years. If your office runs lights 12 hours a day and average 20 working days a month, your tubes will work for over 10 years before you would have to replace them. Compare that with fluorescent tubes that would have to be replaced every few years, not including replacement of ballasts.
3. Reduced HVAC Load. LED Tubes run cooler than fluorescent tubes. This means you will require less cooling to offset the heat generated by your lights. This adds up to additional savings in warm climates.
4. They are the perfect replacement for expensive shatterproof fluorescent tubes. Our LED Tubes do not contain glass and will not shatter if dropped. You no longer have to worry about all the cost and expense that is associated with shatterproof fluorescent tubes when you convert over to LEDs.
5. Flicker Free Lighting. Fluorescent tubes flicker. This flickering has many health issues associated with it, including:
- seizures (epilepsy)
Flickering is caused because fluorescents run on AC power, and AC power cycles at 60 hz in North America (50 hz in Europe). That means it cycles on and off 60 times a second. LED runs off DC power, and direct current does not cycle, therefore, no flickering.
6. Mercury Free / PCB Free. Most fluorescent tubes contain mercury, and fluorescent ballasts contain PCBs. We have customers who convert to LED predominantly to remove mercury out of their buildings, and others who have strict policies on how they handle ballasts because of the PCBs. Imagine for a minute that most of our office buildings, hospitals and schools run fluorescent tubes. With LED, no mercury, no PCBs.
Internal vs. External driven tubes
All LED bulbs use drivers that power the LEDs. They perform the function of converting AC power from the utility company into DC power. LED Lights run on DC power. Some LED Tube manufacturers incorporate the drivers inside the tubes. Some decide to use an external driver outside of the tube. There are some subtle and maybe not so obvious differences between the two designs.
1. Retrofitting to tubes with internal drivers involves removing the ballast and wiring the wires that provide energy to the tube holders to the line source (Note: follow the instructions included by the manufacturer when retro fitting your existing fixtures with LED Lights. This discussion is not meant to replace the installation manual). Retrofitting external driver tubes also involves removing the ballast but the line source is now wired into the LED driver and the output of the driver is connected to the tube. No power is sent down the wires to the end tube holders.
2. The external drivers are larger than internal drivers. External drivers are not limited by the physical size of the tube.
3. External driven tubes may have a longer life span than internal driven tubes (Note: this is based on the tubes we currently sell. Our external driven tubes are rated for 60,000 hours and our internal driven tubes are rated for 50,000 hours). By removing the driver from the heat source, this may extend the life of the driver.
LED Tubes that run on existing ballasts
More and more, we get asked about tubes that you can just pop into existing fixtures without removing or bypassing the existing ballast. While it is true the installation of these tubes are simple, here are some points you should consider:
- these tubes are compatible with most ballasts, and not all ballasts. Check with the supplier to make sure they will run with your fluorescent ballasts
- the fluorescent ballast is still a point of failure. At some time in the future, they will fail, so you will have to deal with it. So even though you may think you are going to save on installation using these tubes, they will eventually force you to replace or bypass the ballast
- they still consume energy. You will get the benefit of using less power with the LED tube, but, the ballast still consumes power (ballast draw), so your savings won't be as great
Single Ended Power vs. Dual Ended Power
Internal driven tubes are powered via the electricity that is supplied through it pins. Two options are available, single ended power and dual end power. A single ended power tube receives power to only 1 end of the tube - positive to 1 pin and neutral to the other. No power is sent to the other end of the tube. A dual ended power tube receives power to both ends of the tube, positive to one end and neutral to the other.
Clear vs Frosted
Led Tubes come in several cover options, the 2 most common are clear vs frosted. When we are asked which is more popular, we typically answer clear, but it is a personal preference more than anything else. Frosted tubes are less bright than clear tubes, as the coating cuts back on the lumen output. However, if you are in a environment where looking at the lights are common (dentist office, laying back in chair), frosted tubes are probably the better choice.
How many Lumens do I need?
This is a question we are asked a lot. A 32W 4ft fluorescent tube can easily be replaced by a 18W 1800 lumen led tube. However we also have a 18W 1800 lumen and DLC Compliant 18W 1950 lumen LED tubes that can outperform all T8 32W 4 ft fluorescent tube. Why would you want to use the higher lumen tube? These are more for special needs where extra light is required. For example, the 22W 2300 lumen tube is very bright and much more than what you need in a typical office environment. However, it is an excellent choice in laboratories, factories, and data centers where clean powerful light is required.
USA Made LED Tubes - ARRA Compliant
We have ETL Listed US Made LED Tube Lights that are available as an internal driver or external driver. All our USA Made tubes are warrantied for 5 year and are available in lengths of 2, 3 and 4 feet lengths. Available color temperatures are: 3,500K - Warm White, 4,300K Neutral White and 5,500K Day White. CRI is 80, L70 life expectancy is 50,000 hours and the tubes are backed by a 5 year OEM warranty.
DesignLights Consortium LED Tubes
DesignLights Consortium has qualified LED tubes and MyLEDLightingGuide offers both internal and external driven tubes that are DLC listed in both 18 and 22W.
All our tubes are UL or ETL listed, and all adhere to the strict UL1598C standard, which is crucial when converting over fluorescent tubes and fixtures over to LED lights. For more information, please contact us.