Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are on the verge of becoming the standard lighting technology today. Households and offices alike have recognised their ability to reduce electricity bills and deliver collateral benefits such as better colour options and higher lifespans over fluorescent and incandescent lights. Among LED lightings, tubelights is one of the most popular categories. As the market is filling up with numerous choices for LED tubelights, it is important to know the parameters that can help you pick the right one for you.
Important characteristics of LED tubelights
In this section we discuss the various features you need to look out for in an LED tubelight.
These features will help you determine the brightness and longevity of the tubelight along with the power it will consume.
Lumens for brightness
Lumens is a unit that measures the intensity of brightness that a light can generate. Higher the lumen value, brighter the light.
For households, tubelights with 1600-lumen capacity are enough. Whereas, for office premises, tubelights must have at least 2000-lumen brightness.
Wattage and efficacy for power consumption
Wattage signifies the amount of electricity a tubelight will consume to deliver brightness (in lumens). Also, higher wattage means higher electricity bills! Usually, 20W is sufficient for the lumen capacity mentioned earlier and, hence, is preferable to be restricted to that value.
Luminous efficacy is determined by lumen-to-wattage ratio of the tubelight. This is a direct indication of the brightest tubelight consuming the lowest energy.
Domestic tubelights should have an efficacy higher than 85 lumens per watt, while those for the office must have an efficacy higher than 100 lumens per watt. Higher efficiency indicates a more economical tubelight in the long run.
Colour temperature for proper ambience
LED tubelights come in different colours, and are measured by their colour temperature—sometimes called colour correlation temperature (CCT)—in Kelvin (K).
Warm yellow light, meant for a soothing and relaxing ambience, can be identified by a colour temperature of around 3000K. On the other hand, bright cool blue or white light can be identified by a colour temperature of over 5000K. Common white light is identifiable at around 6500K.
However, it should be noted that a higher colour temperature can often be accompanied by a strong glare. To avoid this, check for milky diffused property in tubelights, where emitted light is dampened slightly by the diffusor. On the other hand, in case of a clear diffusor, complete intensity of the light is emitted.
Some more features
Check for the expected lifespan mentioned on the box of the tubelight while making a purchase. Ideally, an LED tube should be expected to run for at least 30,000 hours on regular-use basis.
Many tubelights come with the option of dimmers or remote controls. Of course, these luminaries are costlier than standard ones. Dimmers are installed on the control switches. Wireless (Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-enabled) lights can also be controlled through smartphones. Some benefits of these LED lights include brightness adjustment as desired, remote switching on/off and dimming of lights, better aesthetic appeal and, of course, more electricity savings.
Some tubelights can also be retrofitted on existing fluorescent tube fixtures. These save the cost of buying new fixtures. However, installation is a little more complicated and overall cost may be high. Most LED tubelights nowadays come with integrated fixtures.
Market choice and tips
It is advisable to select LED tubes from reliable brands to ensure a long life. In addition, the vendor must provide a warranty of at least two years. Most tubelights come in the form of T5 (thinner diameter) and T8 (wider diameter)—this depends on the type of fixture. However, diameter generally has no noticeable impact on brightness and power consumption, especially in case of households and small offices.
Here are some deals from popular brands that provide LED tube lights.
22W LED batten by Wipro Lighting
Wipro Lighting offers domestic tubelight models of 2400 lumens with 22W consumption rate. These come in LED batten light form factor, with 6500K colour temperature. Other colour choices are available, too. The lights are covered by a warranty of two years and are available for ` 369 per unit online.
Crompton Slim Ray 18W tubelight
This tubelight delivers 1800 lumens of brightness, while consuming up to 18W electricity. Overall efficiency of the tube is 100 lumens per watt. It is also covered by a two-year warranty. The LED tube is priced at ₹ 385.
Eveready 22W straight linear LED tubelight
Eveready brings 22W, 2200 lumens, T5 LED tubelights producing 6500K colour temperature, at the cost of ₹ 349 per unit.
Syska T5 LED tubelight
Syska offers an LED tube that produces 1800-lumen brightness with a consumption rate of 22W. It has an expected lifespan of 50,000 hours. The tubelight is available online for ₹ 398.
While more relatable as LED bulbs, T-bulbs can take the place of tubelights in areas where a bulb fixture exists. These bulbs produce 800-lumen brightness, drawing 8W power. Philips T-Bulbs are available for about ₹ 200 a unit.