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Tube vs Panel Lighting: The Difference

LED Tubes and LED Panels become the best solution for the office workplace environment. They are cost effective lighting solutions, provide good lighting quality, last longer and contain or emit no harmful compounds while leaving an ecological footprint in each building. This article is going to explain the difference between tube fixtures and panel fixtures. They are both different, but often times get mixed up when talked about. Let's clarify any confusions you may have about the two fixtures...


LED Panels are installed in dropped paneled ceilings.

Conventional troffer fixtures contain fluorescent lamps. Typical sizes are 2ft x 2ft or 2ft x 4ft. These coincide with common recessed ceiling panel sizes. LED troffers can replace fluorescent tube light troffers. This is typically done by installing LED strips directly onto the aluminum troffer case. The aluminum troffer fixture acts as a natural heat sink thereby. By changing the number or density of the led strips, manufacturers can create numerous configurations of power and brightness (watts and lumens). A well designed LED troffer can replace a fluorescent fixture that consumes two times more energy.

An example: 3x T8 fluorescent tubes consume 108 Watts, the ballast draw included. A 40W LED Troffer can replace the same fixture. It is not unreasonable to achieve 40% savings on your utility bill and more when converting from fluorescent troffers to LED lighting at work and in offices.


Another possibility of going green is using LED Tubes that are replacing fluorescent tubes.

Fluorescent tubes have been an effective and good lighting quality solution for decades. Replacing fluorescent tubes by LED ones is connected to reduced energy consumption and maintenance costs. LED tubes do not only emit more light, they use less power. LED tubes of 15W replace 32W T8, T10 or T12 lamps, making the LED 50% more efficient.

LED tubes are the perfect replacement for expensive shatterproof fluorescent lamps. MyLEDLightingGuide LED tubes do not contain glass and will not shatter if dropped. Fluorescent tubes contain mercury, some projects decide for LED versions because they want to remove mercury out of the building.

All LED tubes use drivers that power the LEDs. The ballast is converting the AC power from the utility company into LED’s DC power. Some manufacturers incorporate the drivers in the LED tubes. Some decide to use an external driver outside of the tube. There are some subtle differences between the two designs. Retrofitting to LED tubes with internal drivers involves removing the ballast and rewiring the line source. Retrofitting external driver tubes involves removing the ballast, the line source gets wired to the external LED driver that is connected to the tubes.

More and more people ask for LED tubes that can be just installed as a plug and play version into existing fixtures without removing or rewiring the existing ballast. While the installation of these tubes is simple, they are compatible with most ballast, but not all ballasts.

Contact the lighting experts at to ensure the tubes will run properly.

Changing the light at work and in offices is easily done by LED tubes. They are readily set up and use considerably less power. LED tube light sources offer smooth, stable and clear lighting conditions.

Ask questions. Find out more.

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