5 Myths about LED Tubes Exposed

LED Tubes have come a long way since I began supplying them into the South Africa market back in 2009. Back then, they were insanely expensive, gimmicky even, and because the technology was still very much in its infancy, LED tubes were really a hard sell. Not so anymore.

In 2015 alone, we have sold over 30,000 units and expect 2016 to see that number treble. There are a lot of myths about LED tubes that many people still perceive to be true which I’d like to debunk or at the very least clarify so that you can make some solid decisions towards getting rid of those energy hungry fluorescents and start saving loads with LED tubes. Watch this video now or read on for more:

Myth 1: LED Tubes are too expensive
A relative statement that is made mostly by people that are not willing to make the investment in the first place. LED tube pricing, since we started supplying LED tubes back in 2009, have come down by about 400%… Back in 2009 they were expensive and notoriously difficult to sell. Now, 4 foot led tubes can be purchased by resellers for between R90 and R240 depending of course on the quality of the LED tube you want to buy, its light output, warranty, certification level etc.

But what is expensive? Well, a good way to ascertain whether something is expensive or not is to understand its ROI (return on investment) which is a calculation of its capital cost of purchase, operation, maintenance and replacement. Most of our resellers selling LED tubes to clients experience an attractive payback period of between 9 and 16 months and thereafter, because LED tubes last for so long and require no maintenance, the savings just keep rolling in.

What’s expensive is running those energy hungry T8 fluorescents and not switching to LED tubes. With all the maintenance and replacement required, including crushing of dead tubes, while operating them at over twice the power consumption, LED tubes are really a no brainer but are going to require you make a committed investment.

Myth 2: LED Tubes aren’t as bright as T8 Fluorescents.
This depends on what angle you look at this question from – and you’ll excuse the pun later please. T8 Fluorescent tubes push out their light in a 360 degree angle, basically in every direction. In many fittings, even ones with reflectors, a lot of this light is pointing in the wrong direction and is basically lost. What’s more, fluorescent tubes loose a significant portion of the light intensity within the first few hours of being on and degrade quite quickly to a point where they noticeably have to be replaced after about 8,000 hours having dropped by as much as 40% in their light output.

Good quality LED tubes on the other hand are directional emitting their light usually between 120 and 140 degrees. This means that all of the light they generate is being pushed in the right direction. What’s more, a good quality LED tubes light depreciation at 8,000 hours, when a fluorescent is basically done, is less than 2%.

Most of our customers experience the LED tube as a direct replacement for fluorescents often reporting that they enjoy the light colour and output more than the fluorescents that were installed before.

Myth 3: LED Tubes don’t last very long
This of course will depend on the quality of the LED tube you buy. If you by crap then you get limited usage, but if you buy quality – having asked the right questions when buying your led tubes – then you can enjoy 50,000 hours of use at the very least as opposed to the 8,000 hours that the average T8 fluorescent lasts.

Thus, LED tubes last 5-6 times longer than the average T8 fluorescents they replace and as far as I’m concerned, 50,000 hrs is a long time – equivalent to about 17 years if the LED tube is on 8 hours a day every day.

But only if you buy a quality LED tube. If you don’t the answer to this question can depressingly be a yes.

Myth 4: LED Tubes can’t be installed into my existing fluorescent fittings
Mostly untrue, but this will depends on your fittings. If you have a standard T8 Fittings that uses T8 Fluorescents tubes, then any LED tubes that have rotatable end caps, will fit into that fitting without any issues. There are requirements for fitment, such as bypassing the ballast and starter etc – see installing you led tubes – but otherwise you can hold onto your existing investment and installation of your current fittings.

Myth 5: LED Tubes can’t be fixed and their life extended
Again this is going to depend on whether you are buying a cheap import or a quality LED tube manufactured in South Africa. If it is a cheap import then this is absolutely true for a number of obvious reasons mostly because they are cheap are ain’t worth fix’n. Your import supplier will simply shrug and say “just buy another one”. If you can get a quality LED tube manufactured in South Africa, then there are post warranty repair options and services available that will allow you to replace old drivers and / or led chip sets at a very affordable rate. This can extend the life of your LED tube well beyond its rated years. Check out more good reasons to buy your LED tubes locally.

So bottom line, if you are going to buy cheap, imported and ultimately shitty led tubes, a lot of the myths above are going to become real world fact. Ask the right questions when buying your led tubes so you invest in a good quality product to ensure you are one of those people that can confidently debunk the above myths about a technology that is proving itself to be one of the best investments you can make with energy efficient lighting in South Africa.

Get a LED Tubes wholesale quotation today!