LED vs Fluorescent Lighting

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  #1  
Old 02-10-18, 02:56 PM
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Question LED vs Fluorescent Lighting

Re: Lumen Output

It appears that the lumen output (lumen = a unit of lighting output) for LED fixtures or lamps is generally lower than than comparable fluorescent products. For example a 20" Circline (kitchen) fixture (with plastic lens) with one 32 watt fluorescent lamp and one 40 watt fluorescent lamp has a total output of 4300 lumens, whereas the comparable LED fixture has an output of 2200 lumens. This means that there appears to be an output difference of 2100 fewer lumens in the LED fixture. Therefore, am I to assume that the LED lighting fixture will then give off about one half (1/2) the lighting output of the comparable fluorescent lighting fixture?

I have also notice that the same reduction in lumen output is also true for 48" T8 LED replacement lamps as compared to the original 48" T8 fluorescent lamps.

I am basing my observations on the manufacturers information printed on the boxes and packaging.
Would sincerely appreciate all comments on my observations,...........looking for some direction.
Thanks Bob
 
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Old 02-10-18, 03:44 PM
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You provided fluorescents of a specific wattage but don't mention any specs of the LED. So, I'll consider that as comparing apples and oranges like comparing the light output of a 60w incandescent to a 100w. Fixtures come in all sorts of sizes and powers. It's not a good comparison to compare a lower powered item to a higher powered one. More accurate might be to compare the lumens per watt that the fixture outputs.

An easier example is comparing 48" long fluorescent like bulbs. A old school fluorescent is between 2'000 and 2'600 lumens. Most LED replacements are around 2'200-2'500. So far I have tried four different LED bulbs the replace fluorescents and every one has appeared noticeably brighter than the old fluorescent. I've also tried two different brands of 96" bulbs and they too have been noticeably brighter than their olde school fluorescent.

One website I like is SuperBrightLEDs mainly because they have the most comprehensive specs for the products they sell. Whether or not the specs are accurate... I can only guess but I've bought from them several times with good luck. I've bought most of my LEDs from Amazon with good results and I tend to buy fixtures and bulbs with the highest lumen output. This can be a negative occasionally though as I found in our master bath. I swapped out all the old bulbs for new, efficient LED's and when you flip on the switch it was like striking the arc on a welder. First thing in the morning it would almost give you a heart attack so you've got to be careful and not over do it.
 
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Old 02-10-18, 04:25 PM
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If the LED tube when turned on looks much like the original fluorescent tube, uniformly lit with light going off in all directions then lumen ratings about the same for each should yield about the same brightness for each.

If the LED tube has almost all of the light shining down (and a way to orient the tube with the dark side aimed away) then fewer lumens for the LED tube can give about the same brightness in the room compared with the fluorescent tube.

In a typical fluorescent fixture the reflector above or behind the tube(s) is not that great and also the tube itself shadows some of the light coming back down off of the reflector.
 
  #4  
Old 02-10-18, 04:58 PM
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LED vs FLUORESCENT LIGHTING

Pilot Dane..............thank you for the quick response. It was exactly what I was looking for. In the beginning I wasn't even sure how to phrase my questions, but after reading your response I am starting to fill in the blanks in terms of how to compare apples and apples and not apples and oranges. I will be going back to my big box store and will get all the relevant data necessary for a true comparison between LED and Fluorescents. As a side note I too had a problem with my bathroom............i really didn't have a handle on color temperature and purchased fluorescent lamps rated at Arctic White at 6500 degrees Kelvin............the color for a bathroom was hideous...........needless to say they were replaced quickly with warmer temperature lamps.

Thanks again for the help...........I will be back to let you know how i make out after comparing apples with apples.
Thanks also for the tip on the SuperBrightLED website for comprehensive specs and the fact that I can purchase through Amazon
Great forum...!
Bob
 
  #5  
Old 02-10-18, 05:24 PM
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AllanJ...........I am off to my big box store to get the balance of the LED specifications that i missed with my first pass through. Once i am comfortable with all the information and have processed it to the best of my ability I will try to make an educated purchase. Once I have installed the fixture and LED replacement lamps I will then take your practical approach to analyzing the light / lamp output. I am looking forward to doing some experimenting with the new LEDs.............I am also looking forward to their long life at lower cost of operation and cold weather start up.

Thanks for your response...........appreciate it..!
I will be back to let you know how i made out.
bob
 
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Old 02-11-18, 04:46 AM
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If you want to do some experimenting stop by the garden center and see if they have a light meter. With that you can take some informal light measurements to compare before and after you switch lights.
 
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Old 02-11-18, 05:53 AM
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Even if there are some slight differences in light output florescent fixtures are old tech and I would never buy or recommend one over a LED bulb.

Few years ago price was a restriction but that is negligible today. Ive been upgrading/replacing all my garage and basement lights and just purchased 10 new 8' 48W "V" shaped bulbs to replace the 10 year old florescent for the garage that barley put out any light during the winter.

I can not wait to get rid of those krappy bulbs!!
 
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Old 02-11-18, 07:13 AM
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Short answer...Regardless of wattage, type of bulb, shape or color (Kelvin temp), lumens is lumens.

I try to explain to my customers to 1st look at lumens and equate that to the their old incandescent bulb (I keep a wattage vs lumens chart at the bulb section) . Then look at the kelvin color and the room or work area that they want to use it in.

It doesn't need to be that complicated. Work areas, like sewing area, work bench, garage, food preparation, attic, and cellar you would most likely want a color range between 4000K and 5700K. Nothing higher if you can even find it in a store. You want high contrast to see details.

Use a lower Kelvin in the range or 2500 to 3500 for areas such as dinning, bedroom, living room, and hall.

For a bedroom closet and/or a bathroom, if you can get a LED in the 3200K range is ideal. It will reflect color of clothes and skin tone that will provide the "look you want" in most places that you will most likely enter through out the day.

Stay clear of the high end K temps such as 6500K or higher. I can't even think of where the everyday person would need or want that color. Perhaps to light an outdoor area or event.
 
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Old 02-11-18, 12:19 PM
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Marq1............thanks for your response . I too am in the process of changing over some of my fixtures from fluorescent to LED. It's a learning experience for me with the new technology. It seems that about twice a year I am replacing the 48" T8 32w lamps in my shop lights It is my hope that the LED replacements will yield a longer operating life for the lamps and a little less hum from the circuit breaker that I get with the T8s and the cheap electronic ballasts.

By the way it's my understanding that I don't even need to remove the electronic ballasts from the shop lights when retrofitting from fluorescent to LEDs?............looking for a little guidance on this matter..!

I too am looking forward to better start up lighting in the garage in the winter time after converting those fluorescents to LEDs.
Thanks again for the response,
Bob
 
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Old 02-11-18, 12:54 PM
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It depends on the type of LED bulbs you purchase. Some work with the existing ballast and others require you to bypass or remove the ballast and run the LED bulb from 120VAC. I prefer to use bulbs powered by 120v as you remove the ballast which is wasting energy and will eventually fail

In winter you will love LED's. I still have a few fluorescent in my warehouse. On cold mornings, if they light, the fluorescents are much dimmer than that LED's until they warm up even then I still think the LED's are brighter.
 
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Old 02-11-18, 01:17 PM
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Hi Norm.............thank you for getting back to me on the new LED technology. Would it be possible for you to reference who produced the lighting chart that you use for customers so that I might be able to find it on the internet.............it sounds like the type of chart that I too could benefit from. Thanks also Norm for taking the time to shed some light on color temperature for me..........I do understand how this can be a significant problem depending on what activities are going on in a respective space or location.

My return trip to the big box store will be one of closer examination of the products available and what they are capable of doing. A little of this is going to be by trial and error on my part until I arrive at the proper solution for the locations in question.............but I am now confidant that i will find the proper solution.

Thanks again for providing meaningful direction regarding LEDs...........and a special thanks to this forum and it participants for the guidance they provide.
Bob
 
  #12  
Old 02-11-18, 01:38 PM
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Stay clear of the high end K temps such as 6500K or higher. I can't even think of where the everyday person would need or want that color.

OMG, seriously, that is what I use for replacement bulbs in the garage/workshop they are fantastic. I agree they are not for the home but the best for the garage!


By the way it's my understanding that I don't even need to remove the electronic ballasts from the shop lights when retrofitting from fluorescent to LEDs?............looking for a little guidance on this matter..!

They make replacement bulbs that work with or without ballast but again old tech, just rewire and get rid of the ballasts, no practical reason to have them!
 
  #13  
Old 02-11-18, 01:44 PM
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Thanks Pilot Dane for jumping into the conversation regarding my limited understanding of retrofitting shop lights and the best solution to handling existing ballasts...........you are definitely providing me with an education regarding LED technology and some of the practical applications and concerns when retrofitting fixtures. I will look carefully at the various types of LED replacement lamps available for the shop lights............and I am inclined to agree with you to either remove or bypass the existing ballasts for the reasons that you have given and run on 120v.

And yes, I too am looking forward to the garage lights coming on to full brilliance in the winter.
Thanks again Pilot Dane for your guidance,
Bob
 
  #14  
Old 02-11-18, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Marq1 View Post
OMG, seriously, that is what I use for replacement bulbs in the garage/workshop they are fantastic. I agree they are not for the home but the best for the garage!





They make replacement bulbs that work with or without ballast but again old tech, just rewire and get rid of the ballasts, no practical reason to have them!
Hey Marq1........thanks tooo for jumping in here to help me find the best solution and methods for retrofitting my shoplights. This has been a real learning experience for me and the new LED technology. I believe that removing the old ballasts as advised will be the best for the long term even with the extra work involved. I am also looking forward to converting the existing fluorescent fixtures and not having to re-ballast on occasion or re-lamp somewhat frequently.............and, having the lights in the garage come up to full brilliance immediately in the winter..........by the way we have been experiencing one of the coldest winters on record this year so the LEDs in the garage will be a welcome addition..!
Thanks again Mark1.
Bob
 
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Old 02-11-18, 06:16 PM
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I choose the highest color (k) temperature for my workshop and warehouse. They tend to be the brightest (most lumens) and the high color temperature is good for detail work. At home though I pay much more attention to color temperature and favor bulbs with a warmer tone (lower temp) even though they have lower lumens compared to high k temp bulbs.
 
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Old 02-12-18, 03:36 AM
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bdeck,

Just do a Google image search "wattage vs lumens comparison". There are literally hundreds of charts.

I will agree with those who use the very high end K temp color bulbs for a warehouse use or store application.
 
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