Lighting can be a very expensive thing to budget for – whether you are purchasing lights for your home or the place where you work. Energy-efficiency is a huge concern for most people nowadays, both with commercial properties and domestic properties in mind. Therefore, it is understandable if you are looking for a suitable replacement for the less efficient fluorescent lights you may have in your property.
If you are interested in replacing those fluorescent T8 lights though, using LED T8 tube lights might be your best option. As well as being free from mercury, that is usually present in the fluorescent bulbs, and therefore more environmentally safe, they are also more efficient.
That makes it all relatively simple – buy new LED T8 tube lights to replace those older inefficient ones.
However, it is not really that simple. Much like anything these days, thanks to the amount of different LED T8 tubes available on the market these days, it can be rather tricky and overwhelming trying to choose which is the best, while avoiding the pitfalls of throwing good money after bad. In the following post we will not only highlight the 5 best LED T8 Tubes we think are best, but we will also discuss what you should look out for when trying to choose the best product for your needs.
Top 5 T8 LED Tube Lights
These Hyperikon T8 8FT LED tube lights are DLC-qualified and UL-listed so they are of the highest quality and incredibly safe. Thanks to their design, they can be easily retrofitted to replace T8, T10 and T12 fluorescent varieties of lighting.
They come in packs of 12 and provide you with over 45,000 hours lifespan which translates to 20 years worth of lighting time, depending on how they are used. They have a very bright color rating of 5000K and 4200 lumens.
These Hyperikon bulbs are also incredibly easy to install as they are dual-end powered and only require a direct wire (ballast bypass) installation. With a full 5 year’s warrant, the company has really put their money where their mouth is.
Next on our list is the clear cover Jomitop 8FT T8 LED Tube lights. One of the biggest advantages this model has over the above and other frosted style coverings is that more light is allowed to emit from these bulbs. With a lifespan of around 50,000 hours, depending on the frequency of use, they are great value for money.
There are four in every pack and each T8 tube light produces an incredibly bright color rating of 6000K and 4500 lumens. Like many of the T8 bulbs listed on this page, these bulbs are very easy to install and have the standard international shape. You simply have to bypass the ballast before fixing them.
The second Jomitop product on our list are very much the same product as the above bulbs noted, apart from the fact these tube lights feature a frosted covering, you may prefer to the clear cover option. With the same 50,000 hours life expectancy, color temperature rating of 6000K and 4500 lumens, they are worth investing in.
Also, these are just as easy as the clear cover counterparts to install, as they feature the same connections and come in packs of 4.
If you need to replace a larger number of old fluorescent lights in one easy go, it may be worth considering these Luminosum T8 tube lights as an investment. Not only do they have a color temperature rating of cool white between 5500 and 6500 K and are capable of producing 4000 lumens; they are available to buy in packs of 20.
Similarly to the other products listed on this page and in fact most modern T8 tube lights, they are very easy to install and compatible for retrofitting into old T8, T10 and T12 fluorescent fixtures. With an incredibly long lifespan of over 50,000 hours they provide you with excellent value for money.
The second Hperikon item on our list is the HyperSelect T8 tube light, which like its counterpart and all others on this list is also 8ft long and suitable for retrofitting easily into old T8, T10 and T12 fluorescent light fixtures.
These bulbs have a color temperature rating of 5000K and produce 3800 lumens for a bright, though not overpowering or blinding lighting option. They offer the industry standard of 45,000 hours of use, depending on their application and clear cover for the best level of emitted light. They also offer great value for money in the fact that they come as a pack of 20, so ideal if you are looking to replace a lot of bulbs at one time.
Important Considerations To Make When Choosing T8 LED Tube Lights
As we noted further up the page, there are many different T8 LED tube lights available on the market. So many different manufacturers and product lines in fact, that choosing the best can be hard – especially if you are trying to ensure you make the best investment in terms of how well they work and how long they last.
To help you make sensible lighting choices and sift through the available products to find the best T8 LED Tube lights for your own particular needs and requirements, we have put together a guide to some of the most important considerations you need to make when browsing.
While your available budget will be one of the primary concerns, particularly as you try to keep your outgoings as low as possible, basing your choice on just how much they cost is never a good way to choose any product. Further to finding a product that meets your available budget, you also need to consider a number of other important factors, including:
- Light color
- Lumen Output – Brightness Vs Efficiency
- Warranty Offered
- Safety Approval
In the guide below we will look at each of these factors in more detail, hopefully helping you to understand their importance.
Light Temperature/Color Output
LED Tubes, as you may or may not be aware, can be designed and manufactured to produce a wide spectrum of different color temperature ratings. The color temperature rating determines the color of light the LED tube you purchase provides. For example, take a common color temperature rating of around 2700K (the K stands for Kelvin, incidentally), this is considered to be a warm white, which is actually an almost yellowy colored light and is very similar to the color you would expect from fluorescent light tubes.
While this is a very warm light, the brightness will not be quite as bright as those with considerably cooler color temperature ratings. It is also worth noting that the warmer tones are often a little bit on the cosy side and not especially suitable for more applications in more commercial settings such as offices and other workplaces.
Whereas cool white T8 tubes are more on the blue-colored end of the light spectrum and the most common of which you will find is known as ice white. If you are looking for a cool white colored T8 tube, you need to find one with a color temperature rating of around 5000K to 6000K.
Compared to the warmer toned bulbs noted above, the light produced by cool white LED tubes has a more clinical feel, which again, can limit the applications they can be used for. Although this coloring would obviously suit medical and professional environments and workplaces.
For a good middle ground though, it is often a good idea to look for LED T8 tubes with a color temperature rating of 4000K, also known as daylight white. The light produced by these kinds of bulbs is incredibly comfortable and versatile. So is equally effective for professional and domestic settings alike.
Important Note About CRI (Color Rendering Index)
In addition to the color temperature rating, the CRI or color rendering index is also important to consider. This essentially refers to how well or not a type of lighting, in this case T8 tube light, can reveal the true colors of objects it is lighting compared to the sun and other natural sources of light. As a standard, it is worth looking for T8 tube lights with a CRI of at least 80, though it is possible to find even higher rated bulbs – if necessary.
Lumen Output – Brightness Vs Efficiency
One thing you need to be aware of is that most LED T8 tube lighting suppliers will either highlight the brightness or the efficiency as being the most important aspect of their products to look for. However, both are equally as important. Obviously, it makes sense that efficiency should be factored as more often than not this is the main reason you are likely to look to switch to T8 tube lights in the first place – to save money and energy.
Importantly though, you should avoid trying to save as much money as possible if it means the light output is reduced. Having the most suitable and appropriate light level for whichever room or area you are looking to light is vital, and very often not just for the comfort of those using a particular room, but for safety reasons too.
This doesn’t mean that the brighter the light you have, the better it is, though. As a general rule of thumb – the brighter the light, the more energy it uses. The best way to find the right balance between brightness and efficiency is by investing in high-quality T8 LED tubes that have the lowest energy usage rating while providing the highest level of light. When you consider this and the best wattage, you will find the best quality LED tube lights.
Generally speaking, if you invest in a high-quality LED, it will be designed to last a long time. However, one of the issues with a lot of LED T8 tube lights is that they are not just composed of LEDs, but have other components too. One of the most crucial to consider then is the power supply. As the internal power supply within an LED T8 tube is not easy to replace if it stops working, meaning the entire unit is completely useless. This is why you need to look at the warranty offered when purchasing LED T8 tubes.
Whether you are lighting your own home or it is your responsibility to purchase the lighting for a workplace or professional environment, safety is always a concern and ensuring that the choices you make meet with building and workplace safety regulations is paramount. Beyond ensuring that the LED T8 tube lights you purchase are CE marked, it is also worth looking out for whether they have been approved to meet UL, TUV and VDE standards also; as well as any industry or environment-specific regulations and standards necessary for the type of buildings and rooms you are purchasing lighting for.
Shatterproof LED Tubes
Although most modern LED T8 tube lights generally are shatterproof as a standard, it is worth ensuring that the particular brand or unit you are interested in buying has this feature. Compared to old style linear fluorescent light bulbs, you had to actually specifically order shatter-proof or use a special guard to protect against any damages. Nowadays, this is not generally an issue, but still something you should always check.
Overall, modern LED T8 tube lights are the most sensible choice when you are looking to replace out those tired and ineffective fluorescent T8 light bulbs you have been using for decades. By following our guide above and looking at the products we have highlighted, we are sure you will be able to make the best buying decision you possibly can.