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LED tube lights: Everything you need to know

[ecis2016.org] Here is all you need to know about LED tube lights, to help you make the right choice for your home

Tube lights are common in Indian homes and can be found in bedrooms, drawing rooms, kitchens, and work spaces, as well as in commercial installations. Tube lights are available in various sizes and brightness levels, making their purchase choice confusing. Tube lights are available as LED tube light and fluorescent tube light. Both have varieties, in terms of brightness, length, utility, etc.

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Type of tube light bulbs

  • There are several types of LED and fluorescent tube lights. The most common are T5, T8, and T12. T means tubular, while the number represents the diameter in eighths of an inches. For example, T8 represents 8/8th of an inch. Thus, T8 means it has a diameter of 1 inch. The other diameters are measured accordingly.
  • Another factor for tube lights is the power in wattage. Different tube lights have different wattage.
  • The amount of light given out by a tube light is measured in lumen output.
  • The CRI or colour rendering index represents the quality of light output with 100 CRI being equivalent to natural sunlight.

Some factors of tube lights

  • T12

  1. T12 lights have a regular width compared to the other lights.
  2. They have a diameter of 1.5 inches.
  3. For a lumen output of 2,500, the energy required is 40 watts.
  4. The length of the tube is 48 inches.
  5. CRI is 62.
  6. Durability of the light is 10,000 hours at maximum power output.

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  • T8

  1. T8 lights have a thin width compared to other lights.
  2. They have a diameter of 1.0 inches.
  3. For a lumen output of 2,500, the energy required is 36 watts.
  4. The length of the tube is 48 inches.
  5. CRI is 85.
  6. Durability of the light is 10,000 hours at maximum power output.

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  • T5

  1. T8 lights have an ultra-thin width compared to other lights.
  2. They have a diameter of 0.62 inches.
  3. For a lumen output of 2,500, the energy required is 28 watts.
  4. The length of the tube is 45.2 inches.
  5. CRI is 85.
  6. Durability of the light is 10,000 hours at maximum power output.

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Fluorescent vs LED tube lights

  • Fluorescent tube lights are low-pressure mercury vapour gas discharge lamps that use the principle of fluorescence to produce visible light. The flow of electricity or electrons through these fluorescent lamps is regulated by an electric ballast.
  • LED tube lights operate on the principle of light emitting diodes to provide illumination. Owing to their low power usage, it is increasingly being used to replace fluorescent tube lights to provide illumination.
  • LED tubes last longer, are highly energy-efficient, and use no mercury. However, they would need an electronic component in the form of an LED driver to regulate the electrical flow within the tube to eliminate the use of a ballast.

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Making a switch from fluorescent to LED tube lights

What are the challenges that are prompting a switch from fluorescent to LED tube lights?

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LED tube lights are energy efficient. Along with this, the components of fluorescent tube lights like bulbs and ballasts of T12 and T5 are becoming constantly rare and at the same rate, the electronic ballasts and T8 bulbs might become scarce in near future.

However, not all fluorescent tube lights can be replaced with LED tube light variants. Different LED tube lights have different requirements for replacing fluorescent tube lights.

  • ‘Direct fit’ or ‘Plug and Play’ LED tube light variants can be directly swapped out in place of fluorescent variants and no additional readjustments are required. Although the installation part is easy, constant ballast maintenance is required.
  • There are also ballast-bypass LED tube lights that must be retrofitted by removing the original fluorescent ballast. Although this option requires less energy, there is a requirement of rewiring the fixtures.
  • ‘LED lamp and driver’ tube lights require to be retrofitted by replacing the ballast with an LED driver. Although there is greater energy savings and reduced maintenance, the initial labour costs are quite high.

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Fluorescent lamps had replaced incandescent and CFL bulbs in many applications, and similarly the fluorescents are being replaced by LED tube light variants. The initial short-term costs are high, but an LED tube light give great energy savings over time, thus, reducing the power bills over time.

Source: https://ecis2016.org/.
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Source: https://ecis2016.org
Category: Rent

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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