March 23, 2016

6 Things To Know About LED Tubes

What are the different types of LED tubes?

  • Direct Wiring (or Retrofit) – These LED tubes have their own driver built into the tube and require rewiring prior to installation. They are contained in simple retrofit kits that include the tube, installation instructions, and labels. LED tubes of this type bypass the existing fluorescent ballast, using mains voltage wired to the lamp holder. Since the fluorescent ballast is bypassed, the total energy consumed is that of the LED tube, which results in substantial energy savings.
  • Ballast Compatible (or Direct Replacement) – These LED tubes serve as a replacement for the fluorescent tubes and are powered by the fluorescent ballast. Since the fluorescent ballast is still operating, the total energy consumed is the sum of that consumed by the fluorescent ballast and that consumed by the LED tube. Since these LED tubes take less power from the ballast compared to their fluorescent counterparts, they will extend the life of the ballast. When the fluorescent ballast fails, it will need to be replaced, or the lighting system will not work.

​What is the difference between T5 and T8 LED tubes?

“T” stands for “tubular” or “tube”. The figure behind T indicates the tube’s diameter. One “T” equals the length of 1/8 inch, which means the diameter of a T8 LED tube is one inch, and the diameter of a T5 LED tube is 5/8 inch.

How long do LED tubes last?

LED tubes are known for their energy efficiency. Depending on the design and the components used, the LED tubes have a life expectancy of between 20,000-50,000 hours.

Are LED tubes dimmable?

Direct Wiring (retrofit) tubes are not dimmable.
Ballast Compatible (direct replacement) tubes are only dimmable if the existing fluorescent ballast is a dimming ballast.

Doesn’t rewiring void the UL listing of the luminaire?

Rewiring the luminaire does not void the UL listing of the luminaire. UL 1598C Section 15.1 states, “Installation of the retrofit kit on the intended luminaire – when conducted in accordance with the installation instructions provided with the retrofit kit and using components and materials provided with the kit – shall facilitate continued compliance of the retrofitted luminaire with the requirements in the Standard for Luminaires, UL 1598.”

Contractors and other customers are asking about the “DLC”. What is it?

The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) is a project of Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). NEEP is a regional nonprofit organization that promotes the adoption of high-performing energy efficient commercial sector lighting solutions through collaboration among its federal, regional, state, utility, and energy efficiency program members, luminaire manufacturers, lighting designers, and other industry stakeholders throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The DLC serves efficiency programs by maintaining a public list of leading high quality, high efficiency LED products for the commercial sector called the DLC “Qualified Products List” (QPL). Efficiency programs use the QPL as a basis for establishing rebate or incentive programs.