What if we told you there was a brighter, more efficient, energy conservative and eco-friendly way of lighting up your space? You will jump at it won’t you, we bet you would. Well, that’s what LED tube light offers you, and that’s what we will be focusing on in this article.
LED Tube Lights – What are they?
LED tube lights are not only widely known, but are also a versatile way of lighting up your space. They are ideal for installation and application environment where there is a need for a flexible variety of clean, modern lighting in rooms and other indoor spaces.
Also, there can be assemblies of larger LED tube lights used on a broader and more open space where more lights are required. Examples include laboratories, commercial displays, garages, workshops, hallways, kitchens, factory floors, foyers, car parks, gymnasiums, and other multipurpose or communal areas. Similarly, smaller LED tube lights are also available for lighting workbenches, underneath cabinets and other smaller areas.
In recent times, most civic facilities, commercial premises and homes are switching from the more traditional, old fluorescent/CFL tube lighting and adopting LED versions to replace them. This is owing to several reasons ranging from longer lifespan to cost efficiency of LED tube lamps when compared to its fluorescent equivalent.
T8 and T5 Tubes
LED tube lights are categorized into different sessions with the most common being the tube length and bulb size.
The lamp size is generally given as a ‘T’ measurement with a wide range of sizes such as T12, T8 and T5. The higher the T rating, the thicker the lamp’s diameter. T is given as 1/8 of an inch, while the number after the T represents how many eight of an inch-wide the bulb is. Therefore, T8 is given as 8/8ths or one inch.
This method can be used to calculate the diameter of different sizes of LED tube lights. Hence, T5 tubes at 1-inch (15.9mm or 5/8 inch) have a smaller diameter than T8 tubes (25.4mm), but T8 tubes are not as wide as T12 lamps (38.1mm or 1.5inches)
Generally, for fluorescent tubes; the smaller the diameter, the better the efficiency. For example, a T5 bulb will require less energy to produce the same amount of light as that of a T8 lamp while a T12 tube will consume 45% more electricity to produce the same output as a T5.
However, note that there are different tube sizes for different sockets or lamp bases. While T8 and T12 tunes are installed to bi-pin G13 bases, T5 are mounted to a bi-pin G5 socket. This is to say that the tube light can be compared to that of a standard bulb cap.
Mounting a LED Tube Light
Mounting a LED tube light is simple and straightforward regardless of whether it’s a retrofit for an old fluorescent lamp set up or a new fixture. However, not everyone has fully embraced more modern and efficient technology. Hence, it’s common to see new LED bulbs in old fluorescent tube fixtures. Therefore, our focus in this session of the article is on how to perform a retrofit process, since the new LED housing fixtures are easy and self-explanatory.
How to perform a retrofit
Below are the simple steps to performing a retrofit.
- Wire strippers
- Screwdriver (Philips and flathead screwdrivers)
- Push-in wire splices
- Work light
Steps to Take:
- Disconnect the fixture from the power source
- Gently detach the old fluorescent tube.
- Remove any covering panels to expose the light fittings.
- Remove any electronic ballast found in any of the fixtures. To do this, cut the wires attached to the ballast, then unclip it from the fixture.
- For fixtures with a magnetic and a starter ballast, remove the ballast.
- If you are retrofitting into a fixture that formerly had a fluorescent starter, you will need to fit in a new LED starter.
- Reattach the cut wires, ensuring everything is securely connected and well insulated.
- Fit the appropriate size of the LED lamp into the socket. Note that one end is a neutral connection and the other is life, hence ensure your wiring matches the configuration else you will short circuit through the bulb.
- Reconnect the fixture to a power source
- Turn on to test. It should work fine.
Advantages of LED Tube Lights Over Fluorescent Lights
LED tube lights are not only better; they outperform fluorescent lights in almost all aspect. Some of the advantages of LED tube lights include:
- LED tubes are generally more eco-friendly. They use less energy, do not contain mercury and have an environmentally friendly manufacturing process.
- They are more directional (they do not bounce light in 360o, unlike fluorescent light), thereby eliminating waste.
- LED bulbs can be easily dimmed with the right set up, unlike fluorescent bulbs which are either on or off.
- LED versions come in a variety of colour temperature; this ranges from warm white to daylight models.
- LED tubes are made of rugged plastic; hence they are less fragile than fluorescent, which is mostly made of thin glass.
With the advancement in technology, there is a need to switch from old models to newer versions as they are generally designed to be better. LED Tube lights are more efficient, energy conservative and will illuminate your space, whether it’s a big space or just a tiny corner. Do well to visit https://www.lepro.com/led-tube-light or lepro.com for more insightful information.
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