Can LED lights replace fluorescents?
LED lights are seen by many as the next big thing when it comes to lighting. But do they live up to their promise?
Over the last few months we have been researching and testing LED tubes. These tubes are the same shape as a fluorescent tube, and have hundreds of LEDs on them. To summarise our research results:
- The performance of LED tubes has improved greatly over the last 12 months, particularly in terms of total light output.
- Quality of manufacture is still of concern (one of the LED tubes in the photo has partially failed).
- Many tubes now have a very good “daylight” light colour, although some of the ones we tested were quite blue.
- We are not yet at the point where a LED tube can substitute a 36 watt tri-phosphor fluorescent, but if the technology continues to advance as it has the performance may match fluorescent tubes within the next three years, but with much lower power input.
- Pricing is still high, but as lighting performance improves the range of applications where LEDs can be used will increase. This should lead to economies of scale and price reductions.
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