LAPD recently carried out a technology trial, on behalf of a major client, to determine the viability of using direct-replacement T5 LED lamps in existing T5 fittings, using existing, high-frequency ballasts. Testing was carried out in-house and incorporated various criteria including, but not limited to, power consumption, colour rendition and illuminance.
LED lamps were supplied by three major lighting manufacturers, and were tested in new T5 batten fittings, against benchmark fluorescent T5 lamps.
What we discovered
We determined that all of the replacement lamps were easy to use, and required no modification to the fluorescent fitting. In early attempts at these kinds of retrofit options (for example, early T8 LED lamps), this was not the case and utilizing these lamps required the involvement of a qualified electrician. These new offerings are 100% “plug & play”, and work in any possible orientation (even upside down, although it is plainly obvious when the fittings are installed in this way).
While all of the lamps worked, some were not able to hit the performance targets required in order for them to be considered for further use.
The best lamp we tested was on a par with the T5 benchmark, giving a greater light output with a similar colour rendering index, while using only just over half the Wattage of the original lamp.
It is now possible to replace aging fluorescent tubes with simple LED lamps, which will perform as well as the originals (and better in some aspects) whilst almost halving energy consumption. Additionally, fluorescent lamps are generally rated at 24,000h, whereas the LEDs were up at 50 – 60,000, meaning maintenance costs are, at least theoretically, halved as a minimum as well.