7 Reasons to Upgrade From T12 Fluorescents to T8 LEDs

7 Reasons to Upgrade From T12 Fluorescents to T8 LEDs


Today, many property managers are asking themselves the same question: Should I swap out my flickering and buzzing fluorescent fixtures with more fluorescents or take the leap and upgrade to T8 LEDs? If the question sounds biased, it is. Fluorescent lighting is on its way out the door.


T8 LEDs, also known as TLEDs, represent a quick way to update 2’ and 4’ fluorescent lamps to 2’ and 4’ LEDs. The upgrade is as easy as eliminating the old fluorescent ballasts, changing the lamp holders, and installing new T8 LEDs. For more complete installation instructions, click here.

When this technology first arrived, it was painfully expensive—so expensive, in fact, that property managers wouldn’t even consider making the change. However, because of the continued demand for LEDs and the repeated failure of fluorescents, production has made LEDs more affordable than ever before. If the lights in consideration are being used for a reasonable period of time each day, T8 LEDs can deliver an especially worthwhile return on investment. In addition to lowering prices, T8 LEDs save a ton of energy—about 75% of it, actually. Not convinced? Keep reading.

1.) Save More with Superior Efficiency

Linear fluorescent lights were once the most efficient lighting option for large spaces like offices, retail venues, hospitals, and schools. T12 fluorescent lamps, introduced in the 1930s, were once a major innovation. They offered a lamp life of up to 10,000 hours and better energy efficiency than incandescents.

LED is essentially doing to fluorescents what fluorescents did to incandescents. T8 LEDs produce twice as many lumens per watt as a T12 lamp and ballast. It also generates 27% more light per tube than T12 and reduce energy use by about 40%. And it gets better! T8 LEDs emit the light in a 120° degree beam; T8 and T12 fluorescents throw light 360°, which often means wasted light. LEDs can direct your light only where you need it.

2.) Longer Life and Superior Operation

T8 LEDs last over three times as long as fluorescents. T8 LEDs will operate for about 50,000 hours, while T12 linear fluorescents burn out at around 15,000 hours. Depending on your needs, it might also be worth considering how fluorescents are affected by being turned on and off. The lifespan of a fluorescent lamp is significantly decreased if it is being repeatedly turned on and off. T8 LEDs, however, are much less affected by these on-off cycles. Fluorescent lights near the end of their lives are easy to spot. They emit less light and tend to flicker. The quality of the light emitted decreases for a long while before the lamp is officially “dead.” T8 LEDs continue to emit high-quality light until they reach the end of their operating life.

3.) No Toxic Materials

flickering LED lightsBy upgrading to T8 LED tube lamps, you are doing your part to help the planet, too. We’ve already talked about energy savings, but LEDs also reduce the toxic chemicals that are disposed of each year. LEDs do not contain mercury or other heavy metals, which makes them safer to use. They are also less fragile than linear fluorescent lamps, so they are less likely to break during replacements or everyday use.

4.) Higher-Quality Light

You’re probably familiar with the sallow, blue-white light of fluorescent fixtures; we doubt many people out there prefer that kind of light. Technically, this ghostly color is due to fluorescent lighting’s low color rendering. Fluorescent lights offer a CRI of about 62; LEDs offer a much-improved CRI of 80.




5.) Additional Savings with Approved Rebates

Now is a great time to switch to LED, particularly because of the extensive number of applicable federal and utility rebates. The number of available rebates increased by 220% over the last year alone. T8 LEDS are DLC listed and UL listed in the US and Canada. Eligibility and rebate savings vary depending on the type of fixture being replaced and the location of your project, but it is certainly worth investigating. While T8 LED lamps at Access Fixtures cost about $15, you could receive a rebate of up to $175 per fixture replaced. While rebates are set and paid by your local electric service provider and vary from place to place, scoring a nice rebate lowers the cost of your upgrade and accelerates your return on investment.

6.) No More Ballasts or Starters with T8 LEDs

Here’s a scenario: You walk into your office one morning and switch the lights on, but one of the lights doesn’t go on at all, and the two that are working start to flicker. Are these failures due to the lamps, the ballasts, or the starters? What do you replace?

T8 LEDs have internal drivers. This means they either work or do not work. They are rated for 50,000 hours, and once that limit is reached, you will know exactly what to replace. Never again waste your time or money buying a starter or ballast.

7.) Linear Fluorescent Is On Its Way Out

Linear fluorescent luminaires are fading out of the mainstream lighting market, with T12 lamps already being phased out by stricter legislations. LED technology continues to improve by leaps and bounds and has connected with other advanced technologies like mobile connectivity and visual light communications (VLC). Businesses and consumers who upgrade will now save more money on energy over time. Ready to make the switch to T8 LED tube lamps? Call an Access Fixtures specialist today!

Speak to an Access Fixtures Lighting Specialist about Rewiring T8 Lighting

Are you looking to upgrade your fluorescent fixtures to T8 LED lamps? No problem. We’re always happy to help. Speak to an Access Fixtures lighting specialist to discuss some options, or if you need help placing an order, call us at 800-468-9925. Our customer service team is located in Worcester, MA, and is ready to get you the fixtures and lamps you need.