T8 hybrid LED tube replacement tested

oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
My old T8 lamps in my garage and shed where looking a little week and I was considering replacing them.
The I found out that Lowes had utilitech 2,000lumen 18w single pack hybrid T8 LEDs on clearance for $4 each.
So I got some to replace my aging 35w and 40w T8 tubes.
Stated off by just plugging the T8 into the ballast powered fixture. That reduced consumption from 35w to 21 watts. Not bad.
Next I unwired the ballast and tried powering them up straight from 120v power.
That dropped consumption to 17 watts per tube.
So, on regular T8 tubes my 6 light T8 fixture used 2.1 amps, then on 120v powered LED it dropped to 0.85 amps.
Also the LEDs are brighter than what they replaced.

Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

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  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15 #2
    There are various configurations of linear LED T8 replacement tubes, some are designed to work by directly wiring line voltage to the tombstones, and others, Sylvania, Phillips and perhaps others, designed to work with electronic ballasts. The rational for the difference is to comply with luminarie certification, UL, CSA etcetera. Wiring line voltage directly would void the certification, requiring recertification because there is a modification to the fixtures, the laboratories who issue certification would not do so because having line current available at the ends of the tube presented a potential danger to the installer of replacement, or non compatable tubes. Sylvania and Phillips introduced the ballast compatable tubes to accommodate this without modification to the fixture, thereby retaining it's certification. 

    These findings were discovered in a large scale multi site industrial application, where the move to LED was brought up by sales representatives, as electrical forman at the time I had to exercise due diligence and research the pros and cons of such a change, hense the research regarding certification. The issues of insurance and fire hazard also were brought up, which complicated issues further because of the wide range of fixture manufacturers, ballast types and so forth. In the end it was determined that the best alternative was to update each site with factory made flat panel LED drop in replacements for T bar ceilings, removing all fluorescent fixtures to eliminate the possibility of both life safety and insurance complications, should something go wrong.

    Just a little random information FWIW.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    May not be ideal for commercial applications.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If I could find them for $4, I'd consider relamping my shop lights.

    Do you know how they do in the cold? Newer LEDs seem okay, but when I looked into it a few years ago I was told they had problems with cold. There are a couple of LED street lights out of maybe a dozen on my street in the city that pulse on at a rate of about once per second when it gets cold (<0°F). Really annoying. I have some LED tape light around the carport which works fine though.

    Interesting about the certification issue. There may be a legitimate issue with direct wire, but sometimes these things are really politically or commercially driven.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25 #5
    LED have always done great in the cold.
    It gets down to 0°F here. Some of my LED flood lights are 4 years old and have been through 2 sub zero or near 0 winters.
    I actually pulled them and moved them from my last house to my current home.
    My LED lights are on a timer switch so they weren't' being left on all night. Just as needed up to 30 min.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Anybody know if these bulbs may still be available? Lowe's is a couple hundred miles away but I will be in the area next week.

    LED's are significantly more efficient that fluorescent. I don't know why they are marketed as about the same in efficiency. I.E.- a 10 watt LED will produce more light than a 10 watt fluorescent in spite of similarities in marketing claims. Perhaps they didn't want people to toss their fluorescents en masse?

    I consider the affordable LED light to be one of the greatest products of modern life. One could also argue for affordable solar panels.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25 #7
    It seems that my local Lowes here sold out of them pretty quick when they went on clearance.
    They had almost 60, I took 10, went back a week later to get a spare tube and they were all gone.

    No LED are not always more efficient than florescent.
    LEDs are more efficient than T12 and usually more efficient than T8.
    But led does not surpass T5.
    In fact it doesn't even come close to standard T5 efficiency.
    My most efficient LED in use at my house is rated for 76 lumen per volt-amp.
    I checked them all my LED floods are a lot worse, between 60 and 70 lumen per volt-amp.

    My less efficient high output T5 lamps, my prized industrial wash down fixtures are 92 lumen per volt-amp.
    My standard T5 fixtures are 107 lumen per volt-amp.
    Most of my florescent lights are going to be T5 high output.
    The most efficient T5 I can find are GE 24 inch T5 lamps, they do 111 lumens per watt.

    Now some the industrial T5 fixtures I got for free some have bad ballasts, I could repower them with standard T5 ballasts and be more efficient, but these lights are out side and I need the -0°F starting ability the high output ballasts have.
    I can tell that standard T5 really don' like starting much below +20°F, while the high output T5 fixtures don't even notice when it's 20°F.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    We seem to have evolved into a preference for parsing minutia and searching frantically for the exception then posting elaborately about these findings. 

    The standard light bulb that fits into a standard light bulb fitting is what most think of when the word light bulb is used. LED light bulbs are significantly more efficient than comparable CFL light bulbs.

    T5's? They were hardly around until a bit over a decade ago. There were a big "splash" in the aquarium scene for awhile....probably due to stated efficiency (when new). My own experience was of truly miserable longevity. Exceptions? Yea.....exceptions always exist. You found some "high output" T5 fixtures that helped you realize your personal lebensraum. 

    High output fluorescents are infamous for short longevity. I have used hundreds, replacement after six months was quite common. Their output decreases with each passing day. The same is true of standard fluorescents....to a lesser degree.

    Has this evolved into yet another Ingsoc hangout? 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 31 #9
    T5 are used where I work. The tubes last for years running non stop.

    I also tested old tubes, turns out as they age, yes they put off less light, but also use less power.
    After 6 months of near non stop use 90 to 95% of the high output tubes are still like new.
    The decline isn't liner, they probably put out 20% less light is my guess and use 10% less power (measured) after 1 to 2 years of opperation.

    I didn't search frantically for any of this, I stumbled upon this by dumb luck, you could even say it found me. When I was given free high end T5 HO fixtures that are only 3 years old. Then I was told I "should get rid of those inefficient florescent lights".
    Then instead of just blindly flowing what everyone else is doing I actually looked into the matter.

    I think a lot of people are but hurt they have been lied to and that there is "out dated" technology that predates most if not all of the LEDs in use today that far exceeds current LEDs.

    If all you have is an Edison or candle base fixture for indoor or out door light and only need some light sure LED are great.
    But if you need a lot of light over a wide area all of a sudden LED are not so great. Their high price and inefficiency begins to stand out.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,155 admin
    I noticed the other day a Costco near us has replaced their metal halide warehouse fixtures with led array fixtures.

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    Where I work they replaced a lot of metal halide with LED on the production floor and installed hundreds of T5 fixtures in the cooled warehouses.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Agreed, the high output T5 exceed the lumen watt output of most LED as well as being currently more cost effective, T5 have improved since their introduction in 1999, LED have improved dramatically as well, but in less time. Will LED technology continue to improve to the point where they surpass T5? my guess is that they will. One advantage LED has over all fluorescent lighting, is the environmental concerns of mercury used in fluorescent tubes, sooner or later there will be costs attached to the price which tips the ballance in LED favour, this is already the case in some locations in the guise of recycling levies, strangely enough the same levies apply to LED, at least in British Columbia Canada, tax grab perhaps? During an incentive to reduce energy consumption by BC Hydro  in 2013/2014 I was involved in the upgrade of 50 commercial sites, electrical engineering consultants determined the cost effective choice was to use high output T5 to replace high bay applications such as workshops and gymnasiums and LED in work areas with lower ceilings where T5 were not suitable. Another consideration for the use of LED over 23W T8, which also rivals LED in terms of lumen watts, was the maintenance costs involved in ballast replacement, the component most likely to fail, wether a LED driver would be any more reliable, perhaps so, since it's basically a simple power supply, whereas a ballast is more complex in design. Took early retirement so will never know how things worked out, attached pdf is some reading material on T5, should one be interested.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    In theory anything that could improve a LED power supply efficiency could also be used to improve a ballast. Such as "smart diodes" that have almost 0 voltage drop or igbgt switching circuitry.
    Any improvements will have to be in the actual LED tech it's self.

    There is an environmental concern. By law you are supposed to recycle Hg tubes, LEDs just get tossed in a land fill.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    I bought some 120v powered T5 led replacements.
    But have some concerns, turns out they aren't good for hot environments. Well that's most of new Mexico, for a large portion of the year.
    So can't use them in the shed, I'm expecting it to hit 120°F in the day. And I probably shouldn't mix LED and T5 florescent in an enclosed fixture due to heat.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,117 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 1 #15
    Now Lowes lists similar ones at 114 lumens/w for US $3.12 each.

    We see 111-118 w/l in post #1.  Looks like current LEDs have already surpassed even T5 fluorescents for most applications.

  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    Got an item number on those?
    For $3 idk what the efficiency is.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,117 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 1 #17
    Item # 852826 Model # T81620F4-50.  $2.50 each in larger quantities.
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    I was looking at those, they appear to be for use with electric ballasts.
    Which will drop efficiency by around 20 to 25% compared to direct 120v power.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    LEDs are much better than CFLs.
    I had a "65w replacement" burn out the other day, it makes 34 lumens per volt-amp.
    My larger 300w replacement does about 30 lumen per volt amp.
    Which is far better than my worst LED, which makes 55 lumens per volt amp.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    Nope scratch that, my worst LEDs are 50 lumen per volt amp.
    Got some new ones from lows the other day.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

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