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Industry News
Ballast Compatible LED Tube Is A Penny-Wise But Dollar-Foolish Trap
February 3, 2014

The ballast compatible LED T8 has received some traction lately for it offers a direct, rewiring-free replacement to the fluorescent T8 lamp. Many buyers have been attracted to the tube and its promise of zero retrofitting labor. However, few are aware of the fact that the ballast compatible LED tube has been out for a while now but has failed to win market favor due to a number of deficiencies:

• It doesn’t work with most ballast types. If the ballast turns out to be incompatible with this supposed ballast compatible LED T8, the user ends up having to buy and replace both the ballast and LED tube. In the case of an older facility that has multiple types of ballast, it will be hit-and-miss when it comes to figuring out which ballast is compatible.

• It doesn’t work without ballasts. As such, the user is forced to buy and replace the ballast for as long as they continue to use the ballast compatible LED tube.

• The life of the ballast is shorter than that of the LED tube. This means the user needs to make a ballast replacement at least once for each ballast compatible LED T8, with the cost of replacing all dead ballast one-by-one being much higher than retrofitting all fixtures in a facility at the same time.

• The ballast and the LED tube never die at the same time. Thus, twice the amount of overall maintenance work is required to keep both the LED tube and the ballast working.

• The replacement of a dead ballast requires a certified electrician, thus yielding higher costs when compared to a self-sufficient LED T8, which can be replaced by any end user.

• When the ballast dies, the entire fixture goes out. In contrast, when an LED tube goes out, the other tubes in the fixture are not affected and therefore still provide reduced lighting for operation and maintenance.

• The ballast continues to draw unnecessary power even when the tubes are turned off. Not a good energy-efficient choice.

In summary, the cost of implementing and maintaining the operation of ballast compatible LED tubes is more than twice the cost of using self-sufficient LED tubes. “The ballast compatible LED tube is a penny-wise but dollar-foolish option,” commented Al Kartavenko, President of CD Lighting. “You won’t believe how many people get caught in this trap.” Similarly, a facilities planning manager of a Fortune 500 Company remarked, “We know this option is not going to work because we view all lighting retrofit projects over a twelve-year time frame.”

As a more sensible alternative, Aleddra is proud to offer the dual-ended EasiRetrofit® T8, the safest self-sufficient LED tube on the market. It saves 70% on installation time and labor costs compared to the single-ended LED tube. The lamp is UL 1598C classified and the 4-ft models are on the DLC (Design Lights Consortium) qualified product list for rebate. It comes with a 5-year warranty and 50,000-hr lifetime. It is available in 2, 3, 4, and 5 feet and at color temperatures of 3000K, 4100K, 5000K, and 6000K.

To get immediate energy savings on your facilities lighting and protect properly your maintenance crew, please contact us at [email protected] or 425-430-4555.

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