8 Issues with Fluorescent Lighting

Added by Marissa
August 13, 2017
issues with fluorescent lighting blog image

LEDs are one of the top bulbs replacing fluorescent tubes in today’s lighting market, and for good reason. By installing LED lighting, you eliminate all of the hassles of fluorescent lighting maintenance, all while reducing your energy bill. Today we are going to look at the top 8 issues you face with fluorescent lighting, and how LEDs can automatically eliminate them!

1. The Fluorescent “Buzz”

Just at the mention of fluorescent buzzing, you can conjure up the sound in your mind. Switching on the lights in your office or retail space is accompanied by the monotonous hum of the lights, hard at work. This buzzing is caused by magnetic ballasts that contain a minor flaw and is common in fluorescent lighting fixtures. When installing LEDs, we always suggest bypassing the ballast all together, as they can be more troublesome and expensive to maintain than the actual light bulbs.

2. Mercury Content

Fluorescents are well-known for their mercury content. They are packaged in boxes with warnings and instructions in case a bulb breaks. This always causes issues when it comes time to dispose of burnt out fluorescent bulbs. LEDs are not only mercury and toxin free, but they are manufactured to be vibration and impact resistance, so your bulbs won’t be wasted if dropped.

3. Poor Performance in Cool Environments

Fluorescent lighting requires heat to power on, making them a poor choice of lighting for outdoor signage or large walk-in coolers and freezers. Fluorescent lighting works best at room temperature, making them an inflexible lighting option. LED lighting does not need excessive heat to power and stay on, in fact they thrive when used in cold conditions. They are a perfect choice for large, cold food storage, outdoor signage and road construction lighting.

4. Non-Dimmable

Another way fluorescents fall short is their lack of dimming ability. Dimmer switches can be used for incandescent lighting, but the technology cannot be utilized for fluorescent lighting. Dimmable LED lights are popular on the market today and are used everywhere from hog barns to hospitals.

5. Non-Directional Lighting

The majority of fluorescent lighting fixtures are accompanied by reflectors. This is due to fluorescent bulbs shining light 360 degrees. However, we often don’t need lights hanging from the ceiling shining light up at the ceiling. Between 30 and 40 percent of fluorescent lighting is wasted, and you’re paying the cost. LEDs are directional lights, that shine all of their light where you need it most. This creates a better lit, more energy efficient system.

6. Bad Ballasts

Fluorescents have a shorter lifespan than LEDs, but many times when a bulb looks burnt out, the real issue is a bad ballast. Ballasts house fluorescent tubes and are prone to faults and malfunctions. They are also expensive to replace. It requires removing the entire light fixture and rewiring a new one before putting in new bulbs. At Sitler’s, we suggest bypassing ballasts when installing LED linear tubes to avoid all issues of ballasts in the future. This saves you money on buying ballast replacements, as well as maintenance and electrical costs.

7. UV Ray Emissions

A study done in 1993 shows sitting under the ultraviolet exposure of fluorescent lighting for eight hours a day equaled only spending one minute in natural sunlight. While this may seem small, we spend the majority of our days indoors, working in spaces lit by fluorescent lighting. This ultraviolet light can be harmful to important works of art, as well as cause color fading in clothing. LEDs release zero UV emissions, making them a great choice for art galleries and storefronts selling clothing and textiles.

8. Frequent Switching and Early Failures

Fluorescent lighting deteriorates quickly, especially when installed in places where they are frequently turned on and off. Each time the lights are turned off and then back on takes time off of the fluorescent bulb’s lifespan. This can lead to early failures and you spending more money, more often to replace bulbs. LEDs handle this “stress” much better than fluorescents and are great to use with motion sensors to save you even more money in the long run.

Switch from Fluorescent to LEDs with Sitler’s!

Find the best LED replacements for your fluorescent T8 tubes at Sitler’s! Visit our products page to view our LED linear tubes, or setup a free lighting consultation here!

Posted in Lighting Comparisons

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