Electricians Now Have LED Tube Alternative To Fluorescent
By Dean Ernst
We all grew up with incandescent light bulbs. When they burned out the light was gone and we replaced them. No problem! Fluorescent lamps on the other hand are quite different. They actually need to be replaced before they quit working entirely, but people seem to forget that, which further adds to the problem.
The fluorescent lamp was invented in the 1930’s and the magnetic ballast associated, has been around for quite some time. Eventually, a much lighter and more efficient electronic ballast replaced the magnetic ballast. However, another problem has become very apparent; fluorescent linear tubes contain mercury and must be disposed of as hazardous materials. Many businesses and homeowners simply don’t know that the common practice of throwing out old tubes in the garbage can no longer be done. Even the EPA clearly has outlined the proper disposal procedures for fluorescent tubes yet most ends up in landfills along with toxic mercury.
Fluorescent technology is really very simple. First of all, the fluorescent lamp has to match the installed ballast. This means for example that you should not install 40-watt fluorescent lamps in a fixture running a ballast meant for 34-watt lamps. Secondly, the lamps actually have a life expectancy. The standard fluorescent lamp manufactured today is designed to last approximately 5,000 hours. Based on use of 8 hours per day, 5 days a week, they are designed to perform for about 6 months, at which time; a burnout occurs called cathode evaporation. This shows up as browning on the ends of the lamps and the visual lumens emitted by the lamp drops by 40% – 50%. The lamp then needs to be changed or it will begin to stress and eventually ruin the ballast. When you see a lamp that is black on the ends, it is well past its useful life. You may think you are saving money by not purchasing new lamps, but in reality, it will cost more money if they are left in place to ruin the ballast as well.
Today there is an LED tube alternative to the fluorescent tubes of old and the best part of all, it can be used in the same fixture, using the same ballast and running along side the same fluorescent tubes. Say hello to the new Philips LED T8 InstantFit lamp. This is not only a revolutionary product it is truly a ‘Game Changer’ in the industry.
The Philips InstantFit LED 4’ T8 tube operates at only 14.5-watts and saves on average 41% in energy when compared to traditional T8 fluorescent tubes. InstantFit eliminates the need for removal or rewiring of the electronic ballast, which maintains the original UL compliance of the fixture. The InstantFit T8 LED tube lasts an average of 40,000 hours and contains no mercury. This means no more hazardous disposal issues and pollution of our landfills.