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Buying “the Wrong” LED Tube Lamps can be Expensive

When making purchasing decision on energy efficient lighting, it is not uncommon to choose LED tubes lights on price alone. With conventional fluorescent lamps where all things are “Relatively Equal”, the per-lamp price is a reasonable yardstick. However, with LED T8 lamps all things are everything but equal. Per-lamp price alone is inadequate to reflect the real cost of a retrofit project. Experienced lighting professionals are now considering these factors when estimating the true cost of a retrofit project:

*Per-lamp price

*Per-lamp installation labor cost (50% labor saving is a lot)

*Per-lamp accessories cost (for new base, wiring, or an external driver)

*Per-lamp rebate (available only for qualified LED products listed with LDL or DCL)

*Per-lamp incentive (for it has strict requirements and expiration date)

*Per-lamp brightness difference (18W LED T8 have 30-40% less brightness compare to 20W LED T8.)

*Warranty (Rebate lists routinely call for 5-year warranty, thus a 3-year warranty is no longer acceptable.)

*UL label (IFAR 1598C will be the standard in Feb, 2013, and many LED T8 will loose their listing.)


With this holistic view for your retrofit project, buying a “cheaper” LED T8 will be the choice. Saving money by using a less bright LED tube that only carries a 1-3-year warranty will not give you that rebate. Also, you will need to use twice the number of tube LED, which will increase your cost. Lastly, change-out time is greater since the fixture will increase the electrician labor time. Now, how much did you really save with the “lesser” LED tube with that 1-3 year warranty, the additional 2-watt higher on power consumption and without any rebate qualification, no UL1598C classification and requiring 50% more labor time on replacing fixture tombstone? You actually end up paying a lot more on a project basis with this “lesser” LED tube even though its per-lamp cost is cheaper.


The SoLED Energy, Inc. Tube LED T8 is designed to be intuitive with minimal labor cost and can be used with both non-shunted & shunted tombstones. A 5-year warranty, UL1598C classification, and rebate-ready LED T8 lamp will in fact be the better investment/ROI. These 20w LED Tubes are driven more effectively with better drivers to achieve the 30% more brightness.  In most existing fixtures, 1 of our high output LED Tube has the same brightness as 2 normal fluorescent bulbs.  This is why it is fast becoming the preferred choice by decision makers and qualified electricians.  Give us a call at 408-657-3332 to learn how you too can get a much better value/ROI on your energy efficient project.