Top 10 Reasons to convert to LED Tubes
Our LED Tube Lights are LED replacement bulbs for fluorescent fixtures. Fluorescent's have been the main stay in office and commercial lighting for decades, but companies use LED retrofit kits for fluorescent lights 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 32 watt fluorescent tube to a 15 watt LED Tube saves you around 50%+ on your lighting bills. Keep in mind that fluorescent tubes need a ballast to operate, and ballasts consume about 15% more than the rated power draw of the tube itself. (about 4 watts per tube)
2. Reduced maintenance costs. All of our LED Tubes are rated for 50,000 hours and warrantied for 5 years. If your office lights are on 12 hours a day and average 20 working days a month, your tubes will work for over 15 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 AC Load. LED Tubes run cooler than fluorescent tubes. This means you will require less HVAC cooling to offset the heat generated by your lights. This adds up to additional savings in warm climates.
4. Unbreakable - They are the perfect replacement for expensive shatterproof fluorescent tubes. Many of 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. (please note, we do sell glass LED Tubes - do not purchase these if you are looking for a shatter proof solution)
5. Flicker Free Lighting. Fluorescent tubes flicker. 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. A LED replacement for fluorescent tubes will remove all of those annoying flickering lights.
6. Mercury Free / PCB Free. Most fluorescent tubes contain mercury, and fluorescent ballasts contain PCBs. We have customers who convert to LED Tubes 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.
7. No humming. Fluorescent ballasts hum, the older they are, the more likely they are to hum. LED tubes do not and will never hum
8. Better work environment. How many times have you walked into an office and the lights are either turned off or the employees have pulled the tubes out of the fixtures. Fluorescent lighting is not a good source of light to have to work under. LED Tubes are a much better source of light.
9. De-lamping. Not only are LED Tubes a good 1 for 1 replacement for fluorescent, they are so good that you may even be able to delamp (the process of using less tubes per fixture). OK, now we are talking some serious energy savings!
10. Rebates at time of purchase. LED Tubes are DLC Qualified, which makes them eligible for utility rebates, which means the cost of purchase goes down and your payback period gets much shorter.
Type "B" LED Tubes (Internal Driver) vs. Type "C" LED Tubes (External Driver)
All LED Tube 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 retrofitting 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.
Type "A" LED Tubes (Ballast Compatible - Plug and Play)
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 light fixture, but, the ballast still consumes power (ballast draw), so your savings won't be as great
Hybrid LED Tubes
What is a hybrid LED tube? A Hybrid tube is one that has the ability to use or not use the existing fixtures ballast. So if you have a situation where you do a direct install with one of our hybrid LED tubes and it does not light up (probably because of ballast incompatibility, then you can always wire around the ballast and convert it into a double ended powered tube. In fact, our hybrid tube can run with the ballast, or without the ballast either as single ended power or double ended power.
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 12W 1800 lumen led tube light. Here is how. LED Light is directional. so all the lumens is being directed to where it is needed. And after years of experience and 1000's of tubes sold, 1800 lumens appears to be the proper amount providing, as our customers tell us, more light than the bulbs they replaced.
Now here comes the fun part. How many watts do you need? Well, that all depends on how efficient your LED tubes are. Unlike fluorescent tubes where you know the tubes is a 28W tube and a 32W tubes and each tube pretty well makes the same amount of light from product to product. With LED, you have to pay attention to the lumens per watt (efficiency) of the tube. A tube at 100 lumens per watt will need 18W to make 1800 lumens, a tube at 150 lumens per watt will only need 12 watts. So two things you need to pay attention to, the watts of the tube and the lumens it produces. Always buy a LED based on the lumens it produces, and then try to find the bulb that does it with the least amount of watts to produce the light. Never buy on watts.
The next big question is what color temperature should you consider getting. Here are some general rules we tell our customers. First, when vendors talk about day white or warm white, this is not a universal standard. Different manufacturers use different terms, one may call day white and it represents 3500K (to them) and another company may call it Day White and to them that represents 4200K. The only standard is Kelvin.
So what Kelvin should you consider? For offices, you shoud probably look at 4000K. 4000K is a 'white color' with a hint of warmth. For warehouses, factories, and garages, 5000K is a great choice. It is essentially a pure white, without being harsh. Harsh blue colored whites start to kick in around 6000K. Most of our customers who think they need 6000K typically return them for 5000K.
USA Made LED Tubes
We have ETL Listed US Made LED Tubes 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 warranty.
DesignLights Consortium Qualified 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.
UL1598C Retrofit Standard
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.