tube light

What is a Tube Light?

Unlike bulbs, tube lights use a device called a ballast to control the brightness as they warm up. They come in many different shapes, lengths and diameters. Their labels include the letter F, a number indicating power in watts and the diameter of the bulb in eighths of an inch.

1. Light output

A tube light uses low-pressure mercury vapor gas discharge technology to create luminescence. When an electrical current passes through it, ions in the phosphor coating on the inside of the tube glow. The brightness of the glow is dependent on the amount of ions created.

The tube is connected to a ballast and starter, which are both necessary to light the bulb. When switched on, full voltage is applied to the starter and the ballast, but no discharge occurs until a resonant circuit takes over. This occurs when the transformer and capacitor resonate at line frequency to generate twice the supply voltage, which in turn produces a small electrode heating current that gradually increases to thermionic emission temperature over three to five seconds.

There are a few types of tubes available on the market that will work in existing fluorescent fixtures, including hybrid bulbs. These are typically referred to as Type A+B and offer compatibility with both magnetic and electronic ballasts. They also feature integrated circuitry that recognizes excess heat and immediately shuts the tube off to prevent fire hazards.

2. Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is a major selling point for tube lights, which often consume less energy than traditional bulbs and distribute light more evenly. They also typically require fewer replacements, saving on maintenance and repair costs.

Traditionally, fluorescent tubes use low-pressure mercury vapor gas discharge technology to generate light when electricity runs through them. However, these devices are outdated and expensive to operate and maintain. They also produce subpar light quality, emit a buzzing or flickering light, and cause eye strain over long periods of time.

Fortunately, LED tube lights are the modern alternative to these old technologies. These devices use a much more efficient LED bulb, which requires less energy to run than their fluorescent counterparts. Moreover, they do not produce the same buzzing or flickering and provide higher-quality light with better visibility. And, led light bulbs unlike conventional fluorescents, LEDs do not contain toxic mercury. They are also compatible with most existing fixtures, meaning they can be installed in place of older tubes without requiring any new fixtures or extensive rewiring.

3. Long life

In addition to consuming significantly less energy, LED tubes last longer than fluorescent bulbs. This means reduced replacement and maintenance costs.

The fluorescent technology used in older tube lights is considered obsolete and environmentally hazardous, containing mercury which can pose health risks. It also produces a flicker that causes eye strain over long periods of time.

LEDs offer a more efficient and healthier alternative to traditional tubes with no harmful chemicals. They also produce a higher quality of light, reducing eye strain and providing better visibility.

Some LED tubes can be installed as a direct-wire option, tube light bypassing the fixture’s ballast. This requires rewiring to replace tombstone sockets with non-shunted sockets, but it can save upfront costs and reduce maintenance costs over time.

When shopping for 4ft t8 LED tubes, pay attention to color temperature, ratings and certifications, and the bulb’s base type. For example, tubes with a Kelvin range of 3000 to 5000 create an inviting environment for lobbies and waiting areas. They’re also well-suited for schools, offices, warehouses and hospitals, reducing eye strain and improving visibility.

4. Durability

A tube light can be used in a wide variety of applications, and is one of the most versatile lighting fixtures available. These lights are also very durable and resistant to damage from impact and vibration. They are also highly energy-efficient, consuming up to 60% less energy than traditional fluorescent tubes.

The term ‘tubelight’ refers to a type of fluorescent lamp that is tube-shaped and uses an ionising gas (such as mercury vapor) and phosphor to generate light. This type of lamp is often used in offices, warehouses, and factories as well as homes and other residential settings.

LED tube lights are a popular alternative to fluorescent tubes, as they are more energy efficient and don’t contain any hazardous materials. They are also easy to install and can be used in existing fixtures. Some types of LED tube lights are compatible with existing ballasts, while others require the existing ballast to be bypassed and removed (Ballast-bypass LED Tubes). Both options are highly durable and have a long lifespan. They are also safe for use in any environment.

5. Low maintenance

A tube light requires little maintenance to continue working for years to come. It can be switched on and off instantly, with no need to wait for it to heat up or reach full brightness like fluorescent bulbs require.

The energy efficiency of a tube light leads to significant cost savings on electricity bills. They also have a long lifespan and don’t contain toxic materials like mercury, making them more environmentally friendly.

There are many types of LED tube lights available to replace traditional fluorescent fixtures. Some are able to operate as plug-n-play bulbs, bypassing the existing ballast, which can reduce installation time and cost. These can be used with shunted or non-shunted tombstone sockets.

Other types of LED tube lights have an internal driver that can eliminate the need for a ballast. These can be installed into an existing fixture without removing it, but may need to have the wiring removed from the old ballast (Ballast Bypass LED Tubes). This type of tube is best used with shunted tombstone sockets and single-ended power.