The sizes, light colors, and wattage of fluorescent tubes vary significantly. The most common attribute of fluorescent lighting is that the lamps themselves are mounted within a fixture, often containing between 1-8 lamps, with the fixtures themselves mounted in, or hanging from a building’s ceiling.
There are several issues that users of fluorescent lights endure. Although the cost of the lamps themselves is very low, maintenance and performance issues often arise over time. Fluorescent lighting is designed to operate for a certain amount of time, each time it is turned on, and thus fluorescent tubes tend to have shorter lifetimes. The more frequently they are activated, the shorter the lifetime of the lamp. Fluorescent lamps are also susceptible to temperature fluctuations and under-perform in colder temperatures.
For a 4ft fluorescent light, tube wattage typically ranges from 28 watts to 40 watts, and a 8ft lamp typically operates at 96 watts. It is common for fluorescent light fixture applications to utilize between 2 to 4 lamps per fixture, total approximately 160 watts to 112 watts for 4ft lamp fixtures and 192 watts for 8ft lamp fixtures. Operating these types of lamps can easily cost up to $200 in electricity costs alone, per fixture per year.
For fluorescent fixtures, lighting maintenance is very dependent on the operational use of the lamps and fixtures. When operated in cold environments, or operating in a scenario where the lamps are turned on and off frequently, lamp life and performance can degrade drastically in a short period of time. Every time a fluorescent light is tuned on, it degrades the cathodes (the fluorescent lamp ignition system), resulting in a shorter operational life of the lamp. Lifetimes range from 10,000 to 30,000 hours for typical fluorescent tube, and it can easily cost up to $1,545 over the course of 3 years to maintain the lighting in a space utilizing fluorescent light fixtures.
LED replacements for fluorescent tubes, also described as LED tubes, T8 LED, or LED Linear Lamps, provide a range of benefits over conventional fluorescent lighting. As we discussed previously, the way LED’s operate provides inherent advantages over fluorescent light fixtures. The quality of LED Fluorescent tube replacements has increased dramatically over the past few years and as a result, LED T8s are adaptable to a wide range of existing fluorescent lighting applications. This adaptability is a key benefit of LED tubes. Often the biggest question when it comes to LED fluorescent replacements is whether to utilize a LED tube within an existing fixture, or to install a new integrated LED fixture. Ultimately that decision is driven by the customer, and their expectations and constraints as they pertain to budget and desired performance.
4ft LED tube wattage typically ranges from 12 watts to 20 watts, resulting in a 40%-60% percent reduction in energy consumption. The LED Lamp wattage range is so dramatic due to the need to adapt to the many different applications of fluorescent lighting. It is common for indoor LED fluorescent lamp applications utilize between 2 to 4 lamps per fixture. By using LED Fluorescent Tube replacements in these fixtures, it is possible to save up to $2,692 per year for a room currently using fluorescent light fixtures.