There is help for small, inadequately lit rooms limited by size to using 2′ square fluorescent fixtures. LED substitutes are available that provide brighter, better quality light, use far less energy, and can allow reuse of the existing fixtures. Replacing fluorescent lighting with LED tube lighting offers a wide variety of advantages, but several factors should be taken into consideration in choosing the best LED bulb for the job. A good example bulb is the Nature’s Electric neiLite® 2′ U-Tube LED Replacement Light available through Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EPDY9KA.
Like fluorescent tube bulbs, LED tubes are available in a variety of sizes and formats. 2′ U shaped LED bulbs, like the neiLite® model referenced, are made to replace similarly sized fluorescent bulbs. The U shape of LED bulbs is typically rectangular, with a short straight end connecting straight arms versus a rounded end for fluorescents (|_| vs U). The short end typically does not light in LED replacements, but this is a construction issue and does not effect the light provided by the bulb. Note that LED bulb diameters may be slightly smaller than typical fluorescents, but either diameter works with standard fluorescent fixture connectors. Due to these slight differences in bulb shape, the fixture clamp holding the U end of the bulb may need slight adjustment.
While fluorescent and LED tube are shaped similarly, LED tubes typically have a solid back, mounted towards the fixture, and emit LED light downward through a transparent or diffuse cover, providing light over 180 degrees instead of a full 360. Since most of the light directed upwards by fluorescent bulbs is wasteful, LED tubes with lower lumen ratings often provide brighter lighting than a higher listed fluorescent, by directing the light to where it is needed. The front cover construction is also important. Diffuse covers, like that on the neiLite®, help scatter the bulb light to fill the room. Clear tube covers can make light too directional, making the individual LEDs visible, and result in shadowed areas.
LED replacement tubes typically require modest rewiring of the fixture to bypass the ballast, and run line power (commonly 120 VAC) directly to the connections. Rewiring is usually not difficult, but be sure to consult the manufacturer’s wiring instructions. Some bulbs accept wider voltage levels than others. The neiLite® LED U-tube can be power from 85 to 277 VAC, allowing it to be used directly where only 240 VAC is available.
Perceived brightness can also be affected by the color temperature of an LED bulb. High color temperature values, such as the 6000-6500K CCT provided by the neiLite® 2′ U-Tube LED Replacement Light at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EPDY9KA provide a bluer, more intense light, that provides crisp detail that is especially useful in small bathrooms, utility rooms, kitchens, storage, and other small spaces. Lower value alternatives provide a more yellow, warm light, that may be more desirable for relaxed home living areas.
LED tubes have a number of advantages over fluorescents. They use much less power to provide the same level of lighting, and do not generate uncomfortable waste heat. This can be especially important in small rooms. Like most bulbs, watt ratings on LED tubes vary, and while wattage does not directly specify light level, higher wattage LED bulbs, such as the 22W neiLite® U-tube, are typically brighter than their counterparts.
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Whatever your application, there is likely a readily available LED tube light that can replace existing fluorescent lighting at lower operating cost and using less energy, often while providing a more satisfying result than the older lighting. Please review Nature’s Electric’s LED tubes and other LED lighting solutions available through Amazon at http://www.neilite.com.