It’s becoming harder to justify keeping fluorescent and incandescent lamps in buildings when LED is so low cost and energy efficient. However, the initial switch to LED can still be slightly daunting due to the higher upfront costs and installation.

LED tube lamps are replacements for fluorescent tubes, easier to install than expected and the initial extra costs will be paid for in 2 years in most cases due to how energy efficient LED has become.

This is nothing new to those in the industry, but what other factors make switching to LED tubes worth it?


Fluorescent tube lamps have a shorter lifespan of around 15,000 hours, compared with LED at 30,000 hours. However, the main difference in lifespan comes in the quality of light over time.  LED tubes maintain their light quality and brightness over time, and don’t flicker or buzz towards the end of their life unlike fluorescent tubes.

LED tubes also have better endurance when it comes to switching cycles.


LED tubes are up to 65% more energy efficient than fluorescent. They require less maintenance due to their expanded lifespan and improved output.

LED tubes are also free of harmful chemicals such as mercury, making them not only more environmentally friendly, but safer.

Directional light

One of the reasons LED tubes are more energy efficient is that the light is directional. The LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are arranged on one side in LED tubes, directing the light downwards, whereas fluorescent tubes project light from all angles, even towards the ceiling, almost wasting the light.

Bright Source Led Tube inside


When LED tubes were first introduced, they were made with polycarbonate and had an aluminium back which prevented light output, giving only a 180 degree beam angle whereas now many tube lamps can still achieve the desired light output. For example, Bright Source LED tubes have a beam angle of 320 degrees.

Bright Source LED tubes are also made of Nano plastic which is stronger than previous materials, such as polycarbonate. Nano plastic is robust, does not get hot, and although flexible, doesn’t bend. They come with a milky diffuser to minimise glare and protect the eyes. The Bright Source LED tubes also boast no spotting.

Bright Source LED T8


The most popular lamp is the LED T8, which is used in homes, offices and commercial properties. These are available from Northgate Lighting in various brands, including Philips, Energizer, and Bright Source, in 2ft, 3ft, 4ft, 5ft, 6ft and 8ft. These LED tubes can easily replace fluorescent lamps.

Different retrofit options/examples available from Northgate Lighting:

Switch start/Magnetic chokes:Direct replacement– available in Energizer range

Direct to mains:Remove or bypass any existing control gear as the lamp comes complete with integral gear – available in Bright Source range

Universal:Run on most manufacturers high frequency control gear – available in Philips range.

Need more guidance on LED tubes or the type you need? Call our team of experts for help on 0113 467 0000.

What are your thoughts on LED vs Fluorescent tubes? Is there a reason you prefer one over the other? Have you done a conversion recently?