Fluorescent lights have been around for a while. They’re usually cheap, have a decent lifespan, but they do have many drawbacks: fluorescent tubes are very fragile (not shatterproof), they emit light in all directions (which isn’t very efficient) and consume a lot of electricity compared to modern LED technology.
In this article we’ll tell you how to replace your legacy fluorescent lights with brand new T8 LED tubes.
Do you need to replace your fluorescent fixtures when switching to LED lights?
You might have considered switching to LED lighting but you have all of those fluorescent fixtures hanging everywhere in the office and you don’t want to throw them away, that would be such a waste (and a lot of money to place new fixtures). The good news is that you can swap fluorescent tubes for their identical LED counterparts: T8 LED tubes, available in different lengths. You will find a tube size which will match your existing fixtures.
These LED tubes fit perfectly in the ballasts of your old fluorescent lights. They feature an internal driver which makes them compatible with your legacy system.
These LED tubes are more expensive upfront than the old school fluorescent lights but they’re far more energy efficient and have plenty of other advantages:
- they can be dimmed (it’s not that easy with fluorescent lights)
- they are much more efficient, some of them consuming 80% less electricity than their fluorescent counterparts. That’s a huge difference!
- they don’t flicker and are available in multiple colors
- their average lifespan is 45,000 to 50,000 hours (vs maximum 30,000 hours for the latest T8 LFL brought to market)
- they provide directional lighting (fluorescent lights lose a lot of the emitted light inside the fixture)
- they are mercury-free
You can find T8 LED tubes on Amazon. A pack of twelve daylight white LED tubes will cost you less than $100.
As mentioned by the seller, an average lifespan of 45,000 hours means that if you let the tubes glow for 3 hours a day you can keep them for 20+ years! You may have to replace the fixtures, move to another office location or even retire before you need to replace the bulbs 😉
Can you find black light T8 LED tubes?
We have found a few T8 Black Light LED tubes on Amazon, sold with their own fixture which you can easily attach anywhere (using screws or adhesive tape).
These UV lights are perfect for any glow in the dark party (Halloween, birthday, rave,…). You can also use them to check the authenticity of bank notes.
Here’s one of those very efficient UV LED tubes.