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Don't Replace Old fluorescent Tubes With LED Tubes!

posted Jul 1, 2015, 12:38 AM by Alvyn Long   [ updated Jul 1, 2015, 1:37 AM ]

Don't Replace Old Fluorescent Tubes With  LED Tubes!

It sounds like I’m shooting myself in the foot since I’m an owner of an LED company supplier to say that maybe replacing fluorescent tubes with LED tubes may not be the best way to get long term energy and maintenance savings.

Whats the Problem! When LED tubes came out it was recommended to remove the ballast and starters in the existing fluorescent fittings, the ballast effectively reduces the long life of the led tubes and they are more likely to get to their expected life span of 30-50,000 hours if the ballast are removed. So now you have an energy efficient product that you have to get a qualified electrician to remove ballast and rewire to direct power, and you have to pay for the higher cost of this replacement plus any warranty on the fitting from the manufacture  is now void.

Many LED tubes don't work with the different brands of ballast fittings especially with electronic ballast and since most fluorescent tubes being produced in the last few years are manly electronic ballast how do you know unless you have tested that they will work? Of course now LED tube manufactures are making electronic ballast compatible LED tubes and providing starters to change out from the older ones, Getting complicated now isn’t it! And an update now you can get both electronic and magnetic compatible LED tubes that work with some brands but not all brands of ballast, Ok this is making my life more complicated than it already is. Initially when these came out I thought this is great news! However!

The electronic and magnetic ballast compatible tubes don’t meet Australian and New Zealand SAA certification which makes them illegal to sell and voids insurance from damage cause by fire from these units and can make the electrician and seller open to lawsuits. Not a good idea or the best way to save money!

So you go to the trouble of testing and making sure the LED tubes work with your current ballast and they do and you think great! I have cut my lighting energy in half and I have no maintenance for a very long time as these led tubes will last from 30,000-5000 hours, Right! Well no! How old are the ballast in your fittings? If they have been operating for along time you might fine that in a few years the ballast start failing, you see this some times when you see that the fluorescent tubes start flicking and the tubes are not old, its because the ballast are failing causing power fluctuations which is not good for the fluorescent tubes and can’t be good for LED tubes either.

Problem for me then is when I have a client who relied on me to give him  the right advise to change to LEDs and he calls me up to complain about his LED lights are failing and then when I tell him that its not the LED tubes but their ballast are old and he needs to go out and buy new fluorescent fittings he will ask why I didn’t tell them that in the first place. Thats a very good question! More problem! If any of their failing ballast have damaged the LED tubes the warranty will be void. I hate to think how much of this is going to happen over the next several years!  Also one other problem with the old fluorescent fittings to changing to LED tubes, if they are old their connection on these old fittings will break off when you either take out the old fluo or put in the new LED tube this is because of the heat of the fluorescent light that makes the end connection very brittle over time. and you end up having to buy new ones anyway!

Solution! As a company that wants to look after our clients and make it a win win for them and us we are no longer going to sell LED tubes to our clients, we are pulling our LED tubes from our website. We know people will be thinking that this is mad as there are big sales to be had in selling LED tubes right now, but as far as we are concern there is far better Led technology that is cost effective and removes all these complicated issues and we can sell these with full confidence to our clients. We can supply our clients with a sleeker and lighter LED fitting that produces good light output and maximise energy savings and lower maintenance. So to us the old Fluorescent fittings are out! We are not going to retrofit a problematic fitting! So what can we replace with?

The ATLT8 batten is a sleek lower profile batten with more than half the hight of a traditional fluorescent fitting, its very light weight at only 2.5kg and lengths of 1.2m 36W or 1.5m 60W versions which is the standard lengths for fluorescent fitting. It can be connected to create a continuous line of light that looks great in spermarkets. They can be surface mounted or suspended and are very easy to install and replace old fluo fittings, and with a long life of up to 50,000 hours it will be a while before you have to change them. The price on these fitting are excellent as well especially for volume orders.
They are excellent for manufacturing facilities, stores, supermarkets, school, offices etc. If you want more information I can send you a brochure, just email me at or you can go to and click on T8 batten icon and down load direct.

Alvyn Long
ATL Lighting Systems

LED T8 Battens Lights

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