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Topic Title: LED replacements for flourescent tubes
Topic Summary: Any one used them?
Created On: 18 March 2013 03:27 PM
Status: Post and Reply
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 18 March 2013 03:27 PM
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BrucieBonus

Posts: 666
Joined: 20 February 2007

I've just had a call from an older customer who would like me to replace 6 tubes in his kitchen with LED (not been to the job but it must be a pretty huge kitchen and/or like Blackpool Illuminations!)

His rational is that he's too old to get up on a ladder and change the tubes. I think some one's put the idea in his head and I'm not convinced that the cost would justify it. Would LED's last longer than florescent? I might be mined just to re lamp the whole lot....

I'm also guessing that his fittings are quite old too, so not sure if LED's can be retro fitted into all old lights.

Any experiences would be most welcome before I go and check out the job next week

Thanks

BB
 18 March 2013 03:36 PM
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bartonp

Posts: 49
Joined: 28 September 2009

With 6 tubes he's never going to be in the dark - you could point out that for the price of the LEDs he could get you out to change the tubes/starters as required for the next 50 years....
 18 March 2013 03:42 PM
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Richard64

Posts: 231
Joined: 15 October 2009

I don't think the LED replacements for fluorescent tubes are that good at the moment.
And it's more of a directional light, so you don't get the 'flood', as you would with fluorescents.
It may be worth changing the fittings to HF and posssibly T5 lamps. That should reduce the energy consumption and life of the lamps.

Having said that, the LED - 2D, Halogen and GLS replacements are, in my opinion, superb.
 18 March 2013 03:47 PM
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BrucieBonus

Posts: 666
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Thanks for speedy replies, guys

Tee, hee - bartonp - I might just use that line on him! (although I'm not THAT cheap!)
Richard - thanks for that info about the LED's. Depending on the age of the exsiting lights perhaps suggest a move to HF fittiings
 18 March 2013 03:47 PM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 11349
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Have a read of the "ESC investigates the safety of LED replacement lamps for fluorescent tubes" article here: http://www.esc.org.uk/fileadmi...chedOn-25-Locked_2.pdf - while it highlights some of the potential safety problems it also talks about the different connections/conversion approaches.
- Andy.
 18 March 2013 03:48 PM
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alancapon

Posts: 5759
Joined: 27 December 2005

I know it is a bit old now, but this post and the article that I referenced are worth a read, regarding the safety aspects of fitting "led replacements" in fluorescent fittings..

Edit: forgot to include the link! http://www.theiet.org/forums/f...ht_key=y&keyword1=led

I guess that's what comes of having to work a whole week near Blackpool!

Regards,

Alan.

Edited: 19 March 2013 at 02:11 PM by alancapon
 19 March 2013 11:59 AM
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BrucieBonus

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thanks again folks - interesting reading!

I think my mind is made up
 19 March 2013 11:21 PM
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baldelectrician

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If a client has older fittings I suggest new tubes, changing of any damaged fittings and install of electronic starters with standard control gear.

With the electronic starters they fairly extend the life of the tubes (such as BG ESF600)

I have seen a few electronic ballasts go faulty over recent times

-------------------------
baldelectrician.com
 20 March 2013 12:11 AM
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M.Joshi

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Joined: 10 January 2003

The old fluorescent fittings may have dirty/yellow diffusers which may be reducing the light output? Might be worth considering replacing with same-size fluorescent fittings with an electronic ballast or 2-D fittings as mentioned above.

If you do replace the fittings with electronic ballast ones, choose a reliable well-known brand otherwise, the customer will be having to replace them more often!

-------------------------
M.I.E.T - Forfeited this due to The I.E.T's ridiculous membership rules!
 20 March 2013 10:40 AM
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broadgage

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If the existing flourescent fittings are in good working order and suitable for T8 lamps then I would simply replace all the lamps together and fit electronic starters.
Lamps of reputable make should last at least 10 years of heavy domestic use. Paying someone for another bulk re lamp in 10 years, or when one lamp fails should be affordabe.

If the existing fittings are in poor condition or unsuitable for T8 lamps, then I would recomend new flourescent light fittings with electronic ballasts OF REPUTABLE MAKE and Philips ultra long life lamps, these are essientialy fit and forget for domestic use.
 20 March 2013 11:33 AM
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AlanKay

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There's an interesting article on this topic on page 63 of the March LUX magazine. You can read the magazine online here;
http://luxmagazine.co.uk/#!/issue/10

-------------------------
Alan Kay, CEng MIEE
 20 March 2013 08:38 PM
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BrucieBonus

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Hi everyone

Thanks again for taking time to reply.

AL the links were very informative and I think are steering me away from modification of the existing fittings to make the LED's work.

Couple of Q's - sorry if they are a bit dumb....

T5 and T8 tubes - is the only difference in the 'thickness' of them? The pins are the same at each end? If so - why are there two sizes?

Electronic Ballast - is this the same as high frequency?

I tend to buy from TLC and their HF fittings are Viper - are these reliable?

You can tell I'm not florescent conversant!

Thanks BB
 20 March 2013 09:10 PM
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broadgage

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T8 lamps and T12 lamps have the same pin spacing and are often interchangeable, though not always

T5 lamps have a smaller pin spacing and different electrical characteristics and are not interchangeable with other sorts.

Electronic ballasts and high frequency ballasts are for all practical purposes the same thing. There may be some subtle difference in theory but in practice the terms are used interchangeably.
 20 March 2013 09:19 PM
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BrucieBonus

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thanks broadgage

Just done some more googling... T12 is the older style and T8 the newer. Hence I see why the suggestion to swap to T8's.
T5 - is slimline + more efficient + longer lasting (but more expensive)
 21 March 2013 10:31 AM
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OMS

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Brucie - I wouldn't use retrofit LED "tubes" - they are abominal things in terms of distribution - basically thay do not in any way replicate the light output of a conventional low pressure mercury (MCF) fluorescent lamp

Just for reference, The "T" number reflects the lamp diameter in 1/8 of an inch steps - so a T12 is 12/8 ths of an inch - ie 1 1/2" diameter - T8 is an inch dead and T5 is 5/8th of an inch.

Be wary of the longevity claims of LED's - they are often quoted uunder lab conditions - in the field they will be much less. We did a trial for a client a few years back - a good quality T5 lamp running on electronic gear is outperforming retrofit LED's in every case.

Either thoroughly clean the existing and relamp - or swap out the luminaires with T5 and high frequency gear - you'll have a much happier client

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 21 March 2013 02:21 PM
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BrucieBonus

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Many thanks - I'm always learning - defo no LED's!
 21 March 2013 04:10 PM
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bartonp

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