LED's

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Old 04-06-18, 06:47 PM
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LED's

In my church Sunday School classroom there are several older type fluorescent lighting fixtures with 8' tubes. The light they give off is not bright at all. Could I replace those tubes with LED's and would that make a big difference in the brightness?

Thanks,
Rich
 
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Old 04-06-18, 10:42 PM
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Yes and yes. You can find them at HD (they have a $10 military discount, or if you have a tax free number, that helps) or an electrical supplier. 8ft bulbs are very pricy (as in $50 or so each!) and may need the tombstones (the connectors in the fixture) replaced.. They have LED replacements for T-8 and T-12 that will fit the old tombstones but they basically use 2 4' bulbs with a connector and are also very pricy.

You might investigate just replacing the fixtures with bulbs included to avoid any tombstone replacement or wiring issues. If you could convert to 4' fixtures it might be even cheaper.

Basically...the answers are still yes and yes...but how much do you want to spend?
 
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Old 04-06-18, 10:51 PM
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Old 04-06-18, 11:59 PM
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Oh I agree...but it depends on if you want to deal with an online supplier, no name brands, and wait for shipping. I mean, I'm the guy who ordered 550 board mount LEDs from China because they cost less than a pack of two from any US retailer I could find nearby. And I only needed 2! lol
 
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Old 04-07-18, 12:15 AM
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Old 04-07-18, 07:08 AM
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If the tubes in the old fixtures are spaced more than an inch from the fixture framework you will get a lot more light out by lining the fixture with aluminum foil and then cleaning the original tubes and putting them back in.

New LED replacement tubes that emit light in all directions and have the same lumen output will give you the same light output you are getting now, all other things being equal.

If you can get LED strips of the same or greater lumens and that output all of the light more or less in one direction and can orient them in the existing fixture to shine all the light downwards our outwards, you will get a lot more light.
 
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Old 04-07-18, 01:03 PM
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What Allan said is very true... I remember getting some old fixtures when we changed out an entire warehouse. They were very heavy duty 4 bolb fixtures and just about everyone got some for garages or workshops. Just cleaning the bulbs and reflectors made a big difference. I painted my reflectors with a bright white gloss spray paint and it made them even better than the single new one I had over my workbench.
 
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Old 04-07-18, 08:07 PM
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Besides dirt and fixture wear, there are several reasons why the tubes themselves may have diminished in output over time.

1. Most 8' T12 slimline lamps sold today are 60 watt, as opposed to the original 75 watt (there's also 110W high output, which use an RDC as opposed to a single pin socket, but I doubt you have those). In addition to a reduction in output due to the lower wattage, 60W lamps perform poorly in cold temperatures. Even a ceiling air conditioning vent can render these reduced-wattage nearly useless. Seek out 75W if it's chilly at all. Tube guards may also help.

2. Newer replacement ballasts often don't run lamps at full power (always check the ballast factor in the specs). This saves energy but also cuts back on lumens.

3. Older ballast may have failing capacitors or other components that result in a reduction in lamp power, decreasing light output and sometimes lamp life.

4. Fewer 8' T12 varieties are made today, and some of the highest lumen phosphors have been discontinued.

5. Tubes made today contain less mercury. While this might seem desirable from an environmental and disposal standpoint, sometimes they fade out early as a result of mercury absorption, and lack the excess needed for replenishment.

And of course, all fluorescent lamps (as well as LED lamps) diminish in output as they age. In short, installing new fluorescent or new LED retrofit lamps might indeed give your more light, depending on if and why your current setup is under-performing.
 
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