Aside from saving money on your electricity bill and extended bulb life there are additional benefits when converting HID bulbs and fluorescent bulbs to LED bulbs. You can expect to eliminate operational delays caused by warm-ups, re-strike times, and ballast failures. You can also eliminate inconsistent light output due to dimming or burned out light bulbs. However all LED replacement bulbs are not the same and a brief understanding of lumen basics might help you with your decision making process.
One term that is often associated with commercial LED light bulbs is the word efficacy or the ability to produce a desired result. Lumens per watt (lm/W) and lumen depreciation (L70) are ratings that should be considered when determining the efficacy of LED products.
Lumens per watt (lm/W)
Lumens per watt (lm/W) refers to the energy efficiency of lighting: how many lumens are produced per 1 watt of electricity. When choosing commercial LED products the higher the number the better and it is suggested that lumens per watt should be 120 or greater.
Lumen depreciation (L70)
Lumen depreciation (L70) measures the time it takes for a light source to degrade to 70% of its original output. This measurement lets you know how long you can depend on an LED product to provide an acceptable level of lighting intensity throughout its lifespan. For example, an LED light bulb with a lifespan of 50,000 hours, should continue to produce at least 70% of its initial output from the time it’s installed until the end of its stated life.
Power Types A/B/C
LED T8’s and T5’s are powered by drivers just like fluorescent T8’s and T5’s are powered by ballasts. When switching from fluorescent to LED tubes there are three different ‘Types’ or ways to power T8’s and T5’s. Type A tubes have internal drivers and can work with existing electronic ballasts. Type B tubes also have internal drivers and operate by bypassing the ballast and will run directly off of line power and Type C tubes use external drivers.
Type A is a ‘plug and play’ option and the easiest to install. Type B requires some light electrical work to bypass the ballast and Type C is the most labor intensive and is the best solution if multiple lighting devices are being used in sequence.
LED Tubes/ Strips/ Bulbs
LED T8 Tubes
In commercial applications T8’s are widely used and LED T8’s are a great choice to replace fluorescent T8’s. LED T8’s are available in the same lengths and the same pin configurations as fluorescent T8’s and are manufactured in all three power types.
They are also available in the same colors as fluorescent tubes with clear or frosted lens covers, dimmable and non-dimmable options, and have directional light output which means more light is focused on objects as opposed to losing light to the ceiling and surrounding areas. That is why LED tubes are the perfect replacement for fluorescent tubes that are energy-inefficient and filled with mercury.
LED T5 Tubes
LED T5’s are energy-efficient alternatives for fluorescent T5’s that are used in strip fixtures, troffers, or shop lights. LED T5’s are currently available in Type A and Type B power configurations, operate on a fraction of the wattage of fluorescent T5’s, last up to 50,000 hours, and come in various colors ranging from 3000 Kelvins to 6500 Kelvins.
LED Magnetic Strips
LED magnetic strips and magnetic drivers are a quick and easy way to convert 2ft and 4ft fluorescent troffers, wraparounds or strip fixtures to LED while eliminating the need for tombstones and ballasts. Both LED magnetic strips and drivers can be mounted on virtually any magnetic surface or in the case of non-magnetic surfaces they can be attached to fixtures with Tek screws. LED magnetic strips have additional benefits because they are manufactured with narrow beam angles and without covers which will concentrate more light on the intended area. However they can be installed with clear or frosted covers in case the fixtures do not have lens covers.
LED Corn Cob Bulbs
LED corn cob bulbs are designed to replace traditional 70 to 1000 watt metal halide or high pressure sodium light bulbs. In addition to being more energy efficient, LED corn cob bulbs maintain their lumen intensity significantly longer than standard metal halide bulbs which means that LED Corn Cob bulbs will not experience lumen loss over time and that will help LED Corn Cob bulbs maintain a bright light throughout their lifespan.
LED High Bays
LED high bays are designed to replace metal halide, 4-lamp high output T5’s or 6-lamp T8 fluorescent fixtures within commercial buildings such as gyms, warehouses, and factories. The benefits are instant on, higher lumen counts, lower wattages, lower lumen depreciation, and lower electricity costs.