LEDs Require Less Power, Maintenance Than Fluorescents
Replacing your fluorescent bulbs with LED tubes or panels could pay for itself in as little as a year.
Light emitting diodes have for years been longer lasting and more efficient than fluorescent lights. Now, as manufacturers continue to improve their processes, the cost of LEDs has also become competitive, making the decision to switch a no-brainer.
One area where LEDs are particularly effective is as a retrofit for traditional tube and panel lighting fixtures. LED tubes and panels at their current cost save users enough on their electric bill to pay for themselves within as little as a year. And according to U.S. Department of Energy studies, the lights can last up to four times as long as most indoor fluorescent lights, which can fail within 2.5 years (see table) and lose color and intensity before the end of their usable life.
The Department of Energy indicates interior LED tubes last up to 50,000 hours while still maintaining 70% of their initial lumens. That’s equivalent to about 11.4 years if you turn on the lights 12 hours per day and about 17 years if use the lights eight hours a day.
In most applications, lighting engineers agree a one-to-one replacement of LED tubes to T8s is appropriate . Some applications, where the omnidirectional nature of fluorescents produces excessive lost light and light pollution, can be satisfied with a reduced number of LED bulbs, increasing the monthly energy savings dramatically.
Consider that in addition to these advantages, LED retrofits:
- Do not require an additional power source or ballast change.
- Do not affect the original UL listing for a T8 fixture.
- Increase warranty lengths.
- Are about 30% more efficient than fluorescents, producing more light while drawing less wattage.
- Produce less heat than fluorescent bulbs and can lower air conditioning bills.
- Maintain their intensity and color through the end of their life.
- Contain no environmentally harmful mercury and produce less landfill waste.
Fluorescent tubes, developed primarily for commercial and industrial buildings as a replacement for incandescent bulbs, were an improvement over their predecessors, using 65%-75% less energy and lasting about 10 times longer. LED lamps are the next progression for the forward-thinking company looking to stay ahead of the energy use curve.
Lighting manufacturers agree LED tubes almost universally yield at least a 30% energy savings, meaning even the lowest performing tubes pay for themselves within three years. They offer full driver compatibility with legacy fixtures, are dimmable and improve lighting color and quality. Now’s the time to flip the switch on your old fixtures.
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