LED Lights vs. Fluorescent Tubes – Here’s Everything You REALLY Need to Know

Whether it’s for offices, stores, or production floors, the list of options for commercial lighting setups are virtually limitless. This variety is important, because lighting plays such a huge role in workplace safety, worker productivity, and customers’ comfort and shopping experience.

Today, two of the most common types of lighting for commercial applications are light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and fluorescent tubes. LEDs are the relatively newer lighting solution on the market and they’re quickly establishing themselves as the superior option for the following reasons.

Better Energy Efficiency

While fluorescent tubes are definitely more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs and halogen lamps (which are just newer, brighter versions of incandescent bulbs) LEDs are even more energy efficient than fluorescents. For example, an 18-watt fluorescent tube generating 650 to 850 lumens of light would have a 7- to 10-watt  LED equivalent that’s just as bright, sometimes even more.

Flicker-Free Light Quality

While fluorescent tubes come in a wider range of color temperatures (coolness or warmness of a light) than incandescent bulbs, LEDs still take the cake in this department. For one, LEDs don’t have the flickering or hum of fluorescent tubes. And in office spaces or commercial establishments, these problems can be irritating to workers and customers alike.

Not only that, LEDs are “instant on”—that is, they don’t need a warm-up time to generate their full brightness. Need to use a conference room for a client meeting? Just switch the lights on get bright light right away.

Longer Life Spans

LEDs also have the longest life span of any commercial lighting fixture on the market today. LEDs can last well over 15,000 hours, or over 5 years assuming the lights are used 8 hours a day. This means that you not only get to save on electricity consumption, but you’ll also save on maintenance costs because you won’t need to replace your light fixtures as often fluorescent lights.

Color Rendering and Color Temperature

Color matters when it comes to commercial lighting. Imagine a store or office in Fremont that looks lifeless because the lights are a dull bluish-white color. LEDs, on the other hand, come in a wide variety of color temperatures, giving you more choices when it comes to creating moods or atmospheres for specific indoor spaces.

LEDs also score higher in the Color Rendering Index, which tells you how “real” a color appears under a certain light source. This has great applications for the retail, hospitality, and entertainment industry among others.

Bonus: Modern Features

Many newer LED systems also come with features that are unavailable to fluorescent lamps.

For example, modern LED lighting systems have Wi-Fi connectivity that allows administrators to create lighting schedules that switch the lights on and off at certain times of the day. Better yet, you can even schedule your lights using an app or centralized program to take on specific colors or color temperatures depending on outside conditions, creating a natural light effect. You can also integrate your ‘smart lighting’ system with sensors that activate the lights only when people are in the room.

Investing in an LED lighting system for your commercial spaces may cost a bit more money, but the benefits and savings these systems bring to the table mean that the lights ultimately pay for themselves in the long run.