02 Dec 2012

LED T8 vs Fluorescent T8

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LED T8 vs Fluorescent T8 – LED T8 Comparison

LED T8 is getting very popular these days. But many users are still wondering the main difference between LED T8 vs Fluorescent T8. In this article, Envi-Plus Co., Limited will carefully tell you details about characteristics, features and comparison of these two light source. We also divide LED T8 into two categories – internal T8 and external T8.

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In this led t8 vs fluorescent t8 comparison article, all number given below are done using example of Envi-Plus 1200mm (4 ft) LED T8 and fluorescent T8. The LED T8 is powered by 168 pieces of 3014 SMD.  There are different grades for fluorescent T8 too. Fluorescent T8 is choosing a normal fluorescent T8 from the market. These ones are around 40 – 44w for 1.2meter. 

Note: Power factor is another main factor that affects the actual power comsuption of LED T8. It is a very complex topic. We will discuss it in another article.

View Envi-Plus 3014 SMD LED T8 tube Series.

LED T8 vs Fluorescent T8 Main Characteristics and Specifications

Specifications LED T8 Fluorescent T8
Internal Driver External Driver Normal Ones Good Ones
Power on Light Source 16.8w 16.8w 40w 34w
Power Factor* 0.85 – 0.88 0.88 – 0.92 0.85 – 0.92 0.91 – 0.93
Actual Power Comsumption 18 – 20w 18 – 19w 42 – 44w 35 – 36w
Power Type* non-isolated driver / isolated driver isolated driver n/a n/a
Safety normal very well normal normal
Lifespan (hour)* 15000 – 30000 30000 – 40000 4000 – 6000 7000 – 8000
Easy Maintainence* possible but requires work very easy impossible impossible
Easy Installation very easy normal very easy very easy
Heat Dissipating* bad very well n/a n/a
Defective Rate(based on 1000 pieces after 1000 hours) 2 – 3% <1% unknown unknown
instant Start yes yes no no
Environmentally Friendly yes yes Mercury Mercury
  • Power Factor is a main factor that decides how much actual power consumption on the LED light. See here for full explanation.
  • Power Type includes isolated driver and non-isolated driver. According to our experience, isolated driver is not only safe but also the only driver that is able to pass EMC test and also getting all the certifications. Isolated driver also works very well on both AC 220v and AC 110V. For non-isolated driver, you may hear a little buzzing sound coming when you use the tube on AC 110v.
  • Lifespan – LED T8 with internal driver is impossible to last longer than 30000 hours even though many manufacturers state so. Because of heat problem and luminous output degradation rate, LED T8 with internal driver normally lasts 15000 – 30000 hours in average depending how users use the tubes.
  • Easy maintenance - LED T8 with internal driver and external drivers are both fixable. But one with internal driver will require a little bit of work. For ones with external driver, you will just need simply replace the external driver with connectors.

LED T8 vs Fluorescent T8 Cost Vs Payback

Using an example of an office where needs 100 pieces of 1200mm LED T8 LED T8 Fluorescent T8
Internal Driver External Driver normal ones Good ones (branded)
quantity needed 100 pieces 100 pieces 100 pieces 100 pieces
Actual Power 18w 18w 42w 36w
Cost (isolated driver) $22.00 $25.00 $5.00 $10.00
Lifespan (hour)* 15000 – 30000 25000 – 35000 4000 – 6000 6000 – 8000
Total Hours used for 1 day 12 hours
Total Hours used for 1 year 3960 hours
Total Hours used for 8 years 31680 hours
Quantities of tubes needed for 8 years 200 pieces 100 pieces 800 pieces 500 pieces
Total Cost for 100 tubes for 8 years $4,400.00 $2,500.00 $4,000.00 $5,000.00
Energy Used for 100 tubes for 8 years 57024KWH 57024KWH 133056KWH 114048KWH
Cost of total Energy for 100 tubes for 8 years ($0.1USD per KWH) $5,702.00 $5,702.00 $13,306.00 $11,405.00
Enregy Cost Saved (Comparing to Fluorescent t8) $7,604.00 $5,703.00 0 $1,901.00
Total Cost for 100 tubes for 8 years $4,400.00 $2,500.00 $4,000.00 $5,000.00
Final Number $3,204.00 $3,203.00 -$4,000.00 -$3,099.00

led t8 vs fluorescentBased on an example of using 100 pieces for a small office lighting, it is very clear to see that after 8 years of use, LED t8s does lots of enregy and generate income from the investment.

Please also note that chart above is just a reference. The actual outcome derives depending on different countries and different working environments. And also if a project with over thousands of T8 tubes, customers might also want to consider labor cost on installation and maintainence.

LED T8 vs Fluorescent T8 New Installation and Maintenance Work

Type of work LED T8 Fluorescent T8
Internal Driver External Driver
New Installation Same Same Same
Fluorescent T8 modifications to LED simple complicated no work
Maintainence Work very easy very easy very easy
Repairing Work difficult very easy very easy

For new installation project, it should be pretty much the same

For modifications from fluorescent t8 base to LED tubes, it requires a little bit of work if changing to LED tubes with internal driver. users have to take off ballast and starter which should not bey very difficult. But if changing to tubes with external driver, users have to do a little bit work on modifying the wires, which is recommended to be completed by electrician.

LED T8 vs Fluorescent T8 Conclusion

So what is the result of led t8 vs fluorescent t8?overall, it is clear that LED t8s are absolutely the right choice for a long term,especially for projects with large quantities of tubes needed. The more tubes you change to T8 and the more expensive the energy cost in your country, the more you get at the end.

For more information for led t8 vs fluorescent t8, please mail: envi-plus@vip.163.com

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