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Things To Keep In Mind While Replacing Your Fluorescent Lighting With LED Tubes.

Let’s take a particular use-case, suppose you own an indoor riding arena. 

 It has old/conventional 8-foot fluorescent lamps in one row of the indoor riding arena, where fixtures/luminaires are installed over 15-16 feet above riding surface. If you consider replacing those with 8 foot LED lamps to facilitate lighting along the walls, you will see the benefits. 

 You would be surprised with the illumination that you get them, v/s the 2x wattage fluorescent lighting. 

If at all you need to show the true colors along with the illumination, T8 LED tubes are the best choices you could make today. 

Similar arrangements like garage lighting also require the same amount of lighting as the lighting arenas. They need the same wattage and at times, beamable light. 

Before you go out and buy your T8 LED tube lights, we want to make sure that you make the right choice. To help you decide what the best fit for your use-case is, we have curated these must-know tips while buying a T8 LED tube. 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LUMINAIRE AND LIGHTING FIXTURE 

There is not too much difference between lighting fixtures and Luminaire. It is just that many credible sources referto Luminaire as "a complete system or unit of lightning components that are designed to make the light occur throughout the area properly; and the components that protect the lighting components and to connect the lamps to the power input."

This definition of the term "luminaire" is drawn from the 2002 edition of the NEC handbook. 

There is a fine line between both the terms, that is to say, that Lighting fixture has no specific number of components as described in the definition of Luminaire. 

One should not get confused with the usage of the term "luminaire," but lighting fixture is a commonly used word. It is used even more frequently in different parts of the world. 

This term "light fixture" got its commonality like many other non standardized words, due to its high usage in the US than compared to other parts of the world. 

The term “Luminaire” is more famous in the UK, and when they use this word, it is clearly understood that there is a certain number of components in a particular lighting components such as LED tube light or T8 LED bulbs

The term “lighting fixture” is just for the general components, but it does not make it clear whether the lighting components such as the components are involved or not.

To simplify things for the general understanding, both of these words-"luminaire" and "lighting fixture" are used interchangeably. Now the problem is that even Wikipedia describes the definition as, and I quote.

“Alight fixture (US English),light fitting (UK English), orluminaire is an electrical device that contains an electric lamp that provides illumination.” 

There are some cases where the term "lighting fixture" is referred to as just lamps, for example, in portable lights. 

TAKE CARE OF THE CERTIFICATIONS

Replacing fluorescent is just not about swapping old with new ones. There are some standards with which they need to comply. You will find that most of the LEDs that do not support ballast configuration are ETL, CE, ROHS certified. 

Ones that are hybrid (support both ballasts or without ballasts) must be UL rated. There is an exception in there, too, that hybrid LED tubes are not compatible with all the ballasts.

Ballasts only 8ft LED tube are UL-CUL Listed, ROHS certified. 

There are some specifications in the certifications from country to country. 

DO NOT MEDDLE WITH FIXTURES

Avoid any meddling with your Luminaire or fixture if you can retrofit the fluorescent. Suppliers, in general, do not advice make any changes to your lighting fixture. If something goes wrong, for example, if the ballast gets damaged while making any reparations to the installation; you are responsible for that. 

Light suppliers do not owe you reparations of any kind. 

So be safe and avoid making any changes and consider retrofitting the lights.

No LED tube seller will ever advise you to go to alter the wiring or make changes to the fixture/luminaire.  

LED TUBES CAN NOT BE USED FOR EMERGENCY LIGHTING

LED tube bulbs have many features to become an emergency light. But there is one feature that they lack, which does not allow them to be used as emergency lighting, and that is dimmability. 

All the emergency lights need to be dimmable, but most LEDs lack that feature. So, one can not use T8 LED tubes in the application of emergency lights. Different values of intensities are required with varying signs of emergency to convey emergency signals.

LUMENS OVERPOWER CONSUMPTION

We know that most of the LED tubes in comparatively low wattage bandwidth. Their wattage bandwidth is much lower than that of a fluorescent tube. In the same range of wattage, one can get the intensity of light. 

The wisest decisions you can take while buying LED tubes, is to select the LED with high Lumens to wattage ratio. Choosing LED tubes with high efficiency not only saves you a couple of bucks;  they also avoid your expenses you would otherwise not be able to ignore. For example, using clear over frosted LED tubes gives you 40% more light on the same wattage. 

t8 led tubes

CLEAR V/S FROSTED

Both of these lights give different numbers of lumens, even with the same power input. This is because both of the LED tubes have coverings over them. 

Bright light is a transparent coating over lighting components, which is generally a series of LED lights. Since it has a transparent layer, the quantity of lumens spreads unfiltered. 

Clear LED tubes generally give out between 1040 lumens to 5760 lumens, which is eye-straining and is not usually suitable for office lighting.  It is only proper where high light output is required, such as tunnels and parking areas.

Frosted lights have a coating that screens the light, which reduces the amount of lumens by 40%. The amount of lumens is less, but it is not eye-straining at all. This feature makes these LED tubes suitable, where an ambient and relaxing amount of light as in office spaces. 

Conclusion

There are thousands of case studies published about LED tubes. Most of them show that users are happy when they made careful moves while choosing the best T8 or other LED possible for their needs. 

If you are into a business where you have significant lighting needs, the steps we described won't disappoint you. All the steps aim at educating you and equip you with all the knowledge you should have. 

You should not doubt while you upgrade from fluorescent to LED tube. There are numerous benefits LED tubes have over Fluorescent tubes, which also apply in the case of T8 LED lighting. 

LED tubes cost a fraction more than the fluorescent tubes, but they produce a far lesser amount of hazardous material. American government considers most of the conventional lighting as dangerous waste. LEDs are the present and the future of lighting. 

You think a little more carefully about reasons for not replacing fluorescents. We dare you. You will come up with no idea, and unfortunately, if you do, you need to introspect. 

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