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5 Cost Effective Ways To Switch Fluorescent Lights to LED

5 Cost Effective Ways To Switch Fluorescent Lights to LED

Did you know that LED lights can cut down your utility bills by half? Lighting your home or office can take up a major part of your electricity bills. This can change, if you switch your fluorescent lights with LED lighting.

You can do the switch in two ways. You can change your current fixtures to make them work for LEDs. Or, you can replace the fixtures completely.

These two are just a broader choice of what you can do. There are several other options. Factors such as location and the type of fixtures present control the selection you make. Your budget and lighting needs also influence the choice.

Regardless of the option you select, LEDs offer good benefits. You will find your energy usage has come down along with operating expenses. And, lamp life is also prolonged.

In this blog, we discuss how you can use LEDs and reduce your utility bills.

1. LED Retrofitting – replacing fluorescent tubes with LED Tubes

Use LED retrofit tubes to replace your existing fluorescent tubes. You need not replace the entire fixture. So, this is not expensive. But you have to do some rewiring work. This is because you have to bypass the ballast in the fixture. You wire the mains directly to electric sockets.

Pros of Retrofitting

This process is energy saving as the ballast uses about 10% of energy used by the fixture. Another benefit with this method is you can avoid failures of ballast. There will be no annoying dimness or flickering. You can find retrofit tubes in standard models and models with high efficiency.

The brightness doubles when you replace a fixture of 4 foot with 4 fluorescent tubes with four LED tubes. The brightness can increase based on the lumen rating of the LED tube you use.

Electricity usage is also very efficient. LEDs use around 80W for the 4 lamps and 4-foot LED fixture as against 172W in case of fluorescent tubes. This is for the standard models. The savings is more for the high efficiency models. A single ultra-high LED light can replace 2 fluorescent lights. That is, 40 W power consumption against 128W.

Another advantage is rebates from utility provider. This is for the energy saving upgrades you do to your lighting. You can avail this, if you buy an LED with DLC listing. You can also get LEDs without DLC listing.

Lamp life is also prolonged. You can expect 50,000 hours on an average for an LED. With fluorescent lamps, the life expectancy is around 30,000 hours.

T8LED Tubes

2 ft, 4ft and 8ft LED Tubes

2. Use Magnetic LED Strips In Place Of Fluorescent Lights

Upgrade your fluorescent lights with magnetic LED strips. This method has the advantage of hassle free set up.

Pros of Magnetic LED Strips

Being magnetic, the LED driver and strips fix easily to metal fixtures. Both use magnets and can quickly attach themselves to a metallic fixture. Wiring of power to sockets is not needed. You can connect the driver to the power source and link the driver to strips using the included quick connects. The LED Driver replaces the old ballast and the strips replace the bulbs. Frosted covers are included for fixtures that do not have a frosted cover, providing a ‘fluorescent’ look.

Brightness is higher for the ultra-high LED strips when compared to the Lumen LED tubes mentioned above. The strips use around 30W for two 4 ft strips  fixtures and 60W for four 4ft strips. Lumens are 2100 lumens per strip. Strips are available in 1, 2, 3 and 4 per set. One driver is all you need for each set.

LED Magnetic Strip Retrofit Kits

2, 3 and 4 Strip Magnetic Strips

3. Replace Fluorescent Fixture with LED Fixture

Replace the entire fluorescent fixture with LED fixture and LED tubes. The LED ready models we have work with all models of LED tubes.

Pros of LED Fixtures

No rewiring is needed, other than the wiring that is required to replace the fixture. The main advantage is you will be able to take advantage of many of the new features of LED – light distribution, color temperatures and better light levels. Plus if your fixtures are old or the lenses are yellowed of faded, this upgrade will immediately fix those issues.

LED Wrap Around

2ft & 4ft LED Wraparound

4. Replace with LED Panels

The panel light model is for surface mounting or drop ceilings. This panel light keeps the troffer look intact in spite of the trendy look. This type of LED fitting is perfect for use in suspended grid ceilings. For flat ceilings, you can surface mount it.

Pros of LED Fixtures

Lighting is evenly spread and distributed without any dim spots. Lighting in the panel looks even and pleasing. It provides brightest option for replacement of a 2×4 fixture with 2 tubes. For a 2×4 fixture, it offers 5000 lumens and uses 40W. The average lamp life is 100,000 hours. DLC listed panels are available for getting rebate on utility bill.

Optionally, we have color changing and dimming panels. If you’re unsure what color temperature to choose, worry no longer. By simply using the supplied remote, you can easily change color temperature and light levels to suit any requirement

LED Panels

2×2 & 2×4 Color Changing

5. Replace With Linear LED Fixtures

This is an all in one linear LED light fixture. It is very slim and sleek. The integrated LED lights are similar in size to a fluorescent tube. You can suspend them from wires or surface mount them. These lights are very popular replacement in shops.

Pros of LED Linear Fixtures

Brightness level is higher than fixtures with tubes. It gives longer lamp life, saving expense of frequent replacements. Protection from water and dust is present with this integrated design. Other options include vapor tight and water-proof. We can easily replace fluorescent lighting with these models providing you with a bright and evenly lit work area.


LED Shop Lights

4 ft – 8 ft – Hardwired LED Shop Lights

LED Shop Lights vs Fluorescent

LED Shop Lights vs Fluorescent

If you own a shop, you may have installed fluorescent lighting. Prior to LED Lighting, fluorescent lighting was a good option. They provided adequate lighting in a replaceable tube solution. When the tubes quit working, a shop owner could replace the tubes with new tubes.

So why would you consider changing your lighting from fluorescent to LED shop lights? Here are 6 points to consider.


LED Lights will reduce your lighting bill by 50% or more.

We all know LED lighting reduces your lighting bill. But how much does this translate when you convert from fluorescent lighting?

A T8 fluorescent tube consumes 32W (typically). Add in 15% ballast draw, total watts consumed is approximately 37 watts per tube.

A T5 High Output fluorescent tube consumes 54W (typically). Add in 15% ballast draw, total watts consumed is approximately 62 watts per tube.

LED efficiency, or lumens per watt, has improved over the past years. It is not hard to find led solutions 150 to 180 lumens per watt. You can easily replace a 2 tube fluorescent T8 shop light with 2 x 12W led tubes. Or you can replace the fixture with a 24 watt LED Shop Light.

So 2 tube fluorescents consume a total of 74 watts per fixture Converting to LED is roughly a 66% savings. If you have 10’s or 100’s of fixture, this is a significant energy savings.


LED Lights will reduce your maintenance costs.

The expected lifespan of a fluorescent tube is 7,000 to 15,000 hours. This should not be confused with usable lifespan. Just because the light turns on does not mean its light output is effective. All to often shop owners leave tubes installed that are dim, yellowed or even worst strobing.

LED Lighting is rated in terms of L70. L70 is a measurement of the amount of time it takes a lighting product to reach 70% of initial lumens. It is very common to see L70 times for LED to be in the 50,000 to 100,000 hour range.

For purpose of this discussion, let’s assume the L70 for the product is only 50,000 hours. That means that in this time, you would be on your 4th set of tubes. If the shop owner decides to replace the fluorescent tubes at a point where they are not useful, this could mean they could be on their 6th set of tubes.

And during this period of switching out fluorescent tubes, your LED light will be working perfectly well.


LED Lights do not flicker or strobe

Fluorescent ballast operate on AC current. In North America, AC cycles at 60 Hz. This means that every second, the current cycles 60 times (turns on and off). This happens so fast, it is hardly detectable. Yet people who work under fluorescent lighting sometime complain about eye strain and headaches.

At end of life, the strobing is more pronounced.

LEDs use a LED driver to convert AC to DC power. DC does not cycle, it is a constant supply of energy. Therefore, LED lights do not flicker at the 60 Hz cycle, even though their drivers consume AC power.

There are times when LEDs flicker, but this is due to a failed driver. Replacing the driver will fix this issue.


Fluorescent tubes contain mercury

Fluorescent tubes contain mercury dust. It is a necessary part of a fluorescent tube. Mercury is a known carcinogen. It must be handled carefully. Many states have strict disposal rules and regulations. They cannot be tossed into a garbage bin and take to a landfill.

Worst yet, these tube are glass. And if dropped, they will break, releasing the mercury. This creates a potential health issue for employees who are working near the area of the broken tube.


LEDs work with occupancy sensors

A great way to improve efficiency in your shop area is to install occupancy or motion sensors. This ensures that light is on in areas where someone is present.

Unfortunately, adding motion sensors to fluorescents can effect the life the bulbs. Each time you turn on fluorescent tubes, a tiny amount of mercury dust is burned off. Once that’a gone, the tube stops working.

On the other hand, turning on and off a LED light does not affect its life.


LEDs are dimmable

Dimming lights makes sense when attached to motion sensors or occupancy sensors. Or maybe maybe an area is too bright.

Dimming reduces your lighting bill. 

Most fluorescent lights can only be turned ON and OFF. Its full power or off.  Some fluorescent tubes are dimmable with a special ballast. But these tubes are expensive, along with the dimmable fluorescent ballast.

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