As more people embrace the use of LEDs in their homes, scientists have taken up an interest in the effect of these lights. For example, studies show that using LEDs in workspaces has been proven to increase awareness and productivity. Employees in spaces such as warehouses, garages and even offices greatly benefit from this boost. Not only can they work better, but they are also safer as a result due to the lowered risk of work accidents.
LED lights have also been a source of interest in altering sleep patterns. People with poor sleep habits have benefited from using lower blue light wavelength lights more suitable for relaxing spaces. It becomes easier to fall asleep in such light as opposed to higher blue light wavelengths. Besides, LED lights have also worked in relieving the symptoms of depression and other psychological disorders. They do so by altering serotonin levels similarly to prescription medicines that do the same.
LED tubular lights have thus become even more commonplace as people seek their overall positive mood effects.
What are T8 Bulbs?
What comes to your mind when you hear the T before the 8? This T stands for tubular, a term that describes the glass casing in T8 bulbs. The number 8, on the other hand, refers to the dimensions of the bulb. You divide this number by 8 and get to know how wide the bulb is. For example, a T8 bulb is (8/8=1) one inch. A T12 bulb is (12/8=1.5) one and a half inches. Then there is the T5 bulb which is (5/8=0.625) five-eighths of an inch.
Therefore, the main difference between LED T8 bulbs and T15 and T12 bulbs is the diameter of the tube. While it may not seem like a big deal, this disparity affects quite a lot. It plays into the colour rendering index, the lumens per watt, and the overall quality of light. T12 bulbs are the most energy inefficient and have slowly been replaced with T5 and T12 bulbs. For example, LED T8 type A tubes enable you to direct fit the bulbs into existing fluorescent ballasts. This ease of installation and high compatibility have made it easier for people to transition to energy-saving options.
T8 Bulb Options
You have the following options:
- Type A bulbs come with integrated drivers and can work on existing fluorescent ballasts. They are also known as direct fits and instant fits.
- Type B bulbs, also known as internal drivers and bypasses, work by bypassing existing fluorescent ballasts.
- Type C bulbs have external drivers to power the LEDs. They are also known as remote drivers.
- Type D (Type A/Type B) bulbs can work like type A or type B bulbs.
Advantages of T8 LED bulbs
As T12s got phased out in the wake of the new regulations, people had to find an alternative. T8s soon became popular, and when people realized that these bulbs could afford them up to 40% in energy savings, they could not get enough of them. So it was only a matter of time before T8 LED lights hit the scene, and the energy savings quadrupled. Now, most people want to replace their traditional bulbs with LED options. But before you do so, are T8 bulbs your best choice? If so, why?
- No toxic chemicals: A significant downside to traditional lighting options is the presence of toxic materials. Fluorescents especially contain mercury which has adverse effects on people and the environment. The fact that LED T8s do not contain such chemicals makes them a better choice.
- Control features: Most LEDs come with dimming features, making it easy to use them in various situations. For example, if you want to turn down the light and relax or have it on maximum, you can easily do so. Some options on the market even allow you to enjoy wireless control. In contrast, traditional lights are costly to control. Furthermore, their dimming features are not the best and hardly meet the LED standards. If anything, using controls on the lights can make them burn out faster.
- Uniformity: Traditional lights emit light in multiple directions. It increases the chances of spotting as the light wavers after a given distance and grows weak. To get uniform lighting, people often need to install several lights in one room with short spacing between the lights. LEDs have an intense uniform light that moves in a specified direction. This feature makes them ideal for ambient, task, and accent lighting. The light maintains its intensity to the target if you use the right bulb for your space.
- Energy efficiency: There is no denying that LEDs on their own are highly energy-efficient compared to traditional bulbs. If you want even more energy efficiency, you can get T8s that boast at least 30% more energy efficiency than traditional T8s. Keep in mind that T8s will generally have energy savings of up to 40% compared to T12s. Now, suppose you are using T12 bulbs and spending $100 on them. Using the averages above, moving to T8s would help you save (40% of $100), and you would spend $60. Suppose you get LEDs instead of traditional T8s, you would save an extra 30% on average, bringing you to ($60-(30% of $60)) $42.
- Better light quality: LED T8s have another outstanding feature- colour temperature variation. Rather than sticking you with one option, you can choose a colour temperature based on the ambience you want in a room. Warmer colours, i.e., lower than 4000k, often work for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining areas. Cooler temperatures, e.g., higher than 4000k, work for home offices, retail stores, bathrooms, and other spaces where visibility and attention are critical.
- Longevity: T8s by themselves last a long time. However, LEDs always have a longer life span compared to their traditional counterparts. They last an average of 50,000 hours which is 20,000 more hours than what you would get from fluorescent equivalents.
Disadvantages of T8 LED Bulbs
These bulbs win on so many levels. However, their upfront costs can discourage some people from purchasing them. But before you close the chapter on upgrading to LEDs, here is an interesting point- they have a high ROI! Think about it this way. If you save as much as 40% compared to T12s and a further 30% compared to traditional T8s, you will end up with considerable cost savings.
Additionally, LEDs last way longer than other bulbs, and you will get high value for your money. Here is another point that may get you excited- some remodels are tax-deductible. You may want to talk to your accountant about what you can deduct from your returns after installing the LEDs.