LED Vs Fluorescent Tube: What's The Difference?

Whether you're choosing new lighting for your home or a commercial setting, you must decide carefully. And if you don't work in the lighting industry, it might be challenging to navigate between all the different kinds of light. When purchasing a tubular light, you might need to choose between LED and fluorescent lighting.

Before making any purchase, you should take the time to understand your options. You will see that there are many points where the two types of light differ.

Our guide will help you to understand all the most significant dissimilarities between LED and fluorescent lights. In the end, you might be able to determine which option offers more benefits to your project.

What Is A Fluorescent Light?

Fluorescent lights have been trendy in the past, and you might have these lights connected mainly with older offices and other commercial spaces. Some of the common types you might see are linear fluorescent lights and compact fluorescent lights. Fluorescent light bulbs are often made of metal, plastic, glass and mercury.

But how do the standard fluorescent tubes work? It is because of fluorescence that a fluorescent lamp can emit light. The electricity sets off the mercury gas, and the ultraviolet light from the process makes the phosphor coating inside the tube glow and create visible light. Because of the gas discharge principle, these lights are also known as high-intensity discharge.

One of the main reasons why people prefer LED lighting is that the mercury gas can be hazardous to your health if the light breaks. And with many fluorescent lights made of glass, the possibility of breaking is relatively high.

Longevity Of Fluorescent Lighting

To make the fluorescent light work properly, you need an electronic ballast. That can manage the flow of energy throughout the light fixture. And if the ballast is in good condition, the fluorescent tube might stay functional for 3 to 5 years. But if the ballast fails, so will the lighting.

Sometimes, fluorescent lighting might become blackened or begin to flicker. When that happens, it might bring health issues to the people in the room.

The flickering light might cause people to struggle with headaches or eye strain. Ultimately, it can be dangerous, especially for individuals with photo-sensitive epilepsy.

Energy Efficiency Of Fluorescent Lights

Unlike LED lights, fluorescent lights can produce only 50-100 lumens per watt (lm/w). But what makes fluorescent lighting so inefficient compared to LED tube lights is that most of the energy goes into the warm-up period when the light's temperature rises rather than emitting light.

Of course, fluorescent lighting is much more energy efficient than some of the older types, like incandescent bulbs. In this case, fluorescent tube lights can function about 13 times longer.

But when you compare fluorescent lights to LED technology, you might notice its shortcomings and choose the more energy-efficient option.

The Quality Of Light Generated By Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent lights work with much fewer colours than LED lights. Therefore, their light can often seem cold. Using such a light might also become unpleasant when you need to focus on your work.

These lights don't have the power to reminisce a natural light. So, you might experience some headaches, and your eyes might get tired quickly. With the lack of sunlight, you might even become more inclined to depression.

After all, seasonal affective disorder impacts around 2 million Brits during the darker months. Fluorescent lighting might have a similar effect as winter blues and make it more difficult for you to focus.

Installation Of Fluorescent Tube Lights

Fluorescent tubes have a much shorter lifespan than LED lights. Because they are omni-directional lights, they require more parts to optimise their luminous output. As a result, fluorescent light requires much more maintenance. And to make them function well, you need to install an electronic ballast.

Besides the lights, you also need to look after the ballast. If something goes wrong with the ballast, your maintenance costs might increase with the amount of wasted light, as you should get in touch with an electrician who can replace it.

When you're handling the fluorescent bulb, remember to be careful. If the light gets broken, you might struggle with health problems that could be caused by mercury gas.

Recycling Fluorescent Bulbs

One of the main setbacks you might experience when working with fluorescent lights is that they can't go to the landfill and are not recyclable. The reason is the toxic materials these lights are made of.

Mercury can be extremely harmful to those who come in contact with them. So, anything that would come in contact with the substance wouldn't be suitable for further use in the future.

To get rid of fluorescent lamps without any issues, you need to contact a company specialising in their safe disposal. However, you will need to pay for the service, which might increase your maintenance costs.

What Is LED Lighting?

LED lights have been rising in popularity for the last few years. While there might have been doubts about their quality before, technological developments increased the quality and reliability of these light fittings. But what exactly are LED lights?

LED tube lights are long linear lights designed to fit into the original fluorescent fixtures. The acronym LED stands for light-emitting diodes. Then the electricity flows through the two electrodes the diodes consist of. Some of the critical parts of a LED tube are a polycarbonate lens, aluminium backbone and electrical components.

Unlike fluorescent lights, LED lights don't contain hazardous materials such as mercury or lead. Therefore, a LED bulb is safe to use by everyone, even if it gets broken at any point. To make the best choice for your project, explore LED lights and their benefits further.

Lifespan Of LED Lights

Another significant difference between fluorescent and LED lighting is the lifespan of the fixtures. Technology has made tremendous progress throughout the last several years. So, the current LED tube lights have gone through around 100,000 hours of testing. On average, you shouldn't need to change your LED light for about 14 years if you use the lighting for 10 hours a day.

Of course, all of that depends on how often and for how long you're using the light. However, that doesn't change the fact that an LED lamp can last significantly longer than its predecessor.

The lifespan of your LED lighting might also depend on the manufacturer of the light. To make the fixture last for as long as possible, try to use the lights wisely. But even if you need to use them for an extended period of time, the lights should keep working for quite a few years to come.

Energy Savings Of LED Tube Lights

LED lighting is particularly popular with people looking to reduce their energy usage and save money on electricity bills. In fact, this lighting is significantly more energy-efficient than a compact fluorescent light.

Compared to fluorescent coating lights, LED lighting doesn't require any warm-up time or cool-down period. That way, a LED tube light can provide strong and consistent output. You can also expect full illumination immediately. And because LED lamps can offer you the same amount of light while using less energy, you might be able to decrease your energy consumption.

While fluorescent tube lights have been seen as a more energy-efficient option than incandescent lighting, it all pales compared to LED lighting. A light-emitting diode can produce the same lumen output as a fluorescent lamp or incandescent bulb but with less energy. Additionally, LED lights don't generate much excess heat, so that you might have more finances left for heating or air conditioning. In the end, you might be able to lower your energy bills and get your maintenance costs under control again.

The Standard Of Light Emitted By LED Bulbs

Unlike fluorescent tube lights, LED lighting can emit brighter light than the previous models. At the same time, it has become a popular choice in domestic and commercial settings because it can resemble natural light rather effectively. That might help you to feel happier throughout the day and allow you to focus on your everyday tasks better.

Another advantage a light-emitting diode has over incandescent bulbs and fluorescent bulbs is that some designs can be dimmable and work with more brightness levels without sacrificing the light quality. That way, the light output should be sufficient for your daily needs.

LED lighting can replicate colours seamlessly and might bring improvements into your life. You might be able to notice an increase in your levels of productivity, health and overall well-being.

Installation Process Of LED Lamps

Replacing fluorescent bulbs with LED tube lights might seem somewhat intimidating. However, it doesn't need to be complicated. There are models of LED lighting that can be installed with minimal effort.

Most LED lights don't require a ballast to function correctly. But you need a new led starter to allow the fixture to emit light correctly. When you need to retrofit the LED lighting into the room, you can use some of the kits available on the market.

If you're unsure about anything that has to do with changing your current tube lights for LED lighting, you might want to get in touch with an experienced professional who should be able to help.

Impact Of A LED Tube Light On The Environment

LED lighting is long-lasting, energy-efficient and doesn't require much maintenance. Therefore, LED tube lights are a fantastic option for those who want to make their household more sustainable.

When the time comes for you to replace the LED lighting, you can safely dispose of them in a recycling bin because they don't contain any toxic materials. But LED bulbs consist of some parts that might be used again. To ensure they are used well, bring them to the recycler in the area.

And as a LED tube light needs less energy to produce visible light than fluorescent or incandescent lighting, you might be able to reduce your carbon footprint. That way, you can take a step to do your bit in efforts to combat climate change.

Best Areas For The Use Of A Tube Lights

Tube lights have been popular for decades, mainly within the commercial sector. However, you can easily include this lighting in your home as well. For instance, LED lighting can be adequate in spaces like a kitchen or a garage. You'll be able to get plenty of light and finish your daily tasks safely.

To make your time in the kitchen even more pleasant, you can use LED tubes as lighting under your cupboards. With a good source of light, you might be able to increase your safety when cutting ingredients and elevate your cooking skills.

In other settings, you can also use LED bulbs for directional lighting. Use the fixture to eliminate the area where you need the light the most and improve your daily experience.

LED V Fluorescent Tube: Which One Is Better?

When it comes to the LED vs fluorescent lighting debate, you can see the clear winner. While fluorescent lights might be better than the models before, they still have many flaws. With toxic substances like mercury, fluorescent tubes can be dangerous if they break. It is also why they can't be recycled and need to be handled by a specialist company.

On the other hand, LED lights can flood your home with light close to natural sunlight. They don't need any warm-up period and can light up the interior instantly. These fittings also require less power than other light bulbs and can illuminate the room just as well or even better than other tube lights. In the end, you might be able to reduce your energy usage and save some money on the bills.

When buying the best tube light for your project, remember to check how bright the light is and what colour temperature you might expect. Then, you'll be assured that you made the right choice.

Fluorescent Tube Ban

While its nice to compare these different lighting technologies, the fluorescent tube has lost the war. Its getting fully banned from 2023 so you won't have a choice other than to use LED. While fluorescent was a successful lighting option for many years it contains mercury which is a hazardous substance and bad for the environment. Your best off fitting a brand new, integrated LED light fitting which will be brighter, longer lasting and better for the environment.