The idea if replacing fluorescent light bulbs with LEDs seems to become popular. There are different kind of products made for that purpose, some are good and some not so good. So I felt it was now good time to test this technology.
LED technology promises to reduce power consumption about 50% of fluorescent bulbs and your replacement period becomes 10+ years. Good promises if those hold true. Modern LED tubes are designed so that they can be just plugged in place of original fluorescent lamp
I have read that a plenty of low quality LED tubes hit the market, some that do not hold their promises and some even potentially dangerous. I think that it is now right time test this myself. My intention on the test was to see how see the LED tube replacement technology nowadays it and get rid of the lamp flickering (tube flickers when you turn on light). The possibility to energy was a secondary option because I live in Finland (cold climate) and the heating the house uses electrical heating, meaning that I would really get energy saving on some summer months when the main heating is not used.
The lamp where I wanted to replace the bulb was in toilet. The first task was to check the power of the original tube and the socket type it used. For socket type identification Light Guide: Compact Fluorescent Lamp Identification was an useful document. The original tube turned to be 18W tube with G24 base.
The replacement bulb I used was G24 13W 52-5050 SMD LED Warm White Light Lamp Bulb (85~265V) ($20.30) from Dealextreme.
- Ultra bright high intensity 52-5050 SMD LED warm white light bulb
- Quality aluminum shell
- Power: 13W
- Voltage: 85~265V
- Color: Warm white
- Connector: G24
What I was first is that this bulb does have bare SMD LEDs that you can see on the front. There is no protective glass/plastic over them. The wiring to LEDs is visible, which seems to be a little bit frightening knowing that those wires can have mains voltage on them (unless the LED power supply is isolated which I quess it not). While bare wiring looks somewhat frightening, the product does not look to dangerous because you can’t in any easy way touch those wires. The LEDs are put so near each other that you can’t touch those wires with your fingers. And in addition to that this bulb will go to the lamp in the ceiling that has a protective cover on this. So electrical safety seems to be OK here.
The bulb worked well when just plugged on the place of the original bulb. No problems worked nicely. This worked well, and no more annoying flashing when light is turned on (fluorescent flashes few time before goes on, this one starts immediately). This bulb gives out equivalent amount of light as the original 18W bulb (looked the same and gave same lux reading with lux-meter on the front).
I did the light measurements with Mastech MS8209 multimeter with lux range front of bulb 50 cm distance from the lamp on the ceiling. When installed inside the lamp, the reading with original 18W bulb was 560 lux and with 13W LED that was 565 lux. The LED bulb itself gave 800-900 lux from 50 cm distance when measured outside the lamp (no ceiling lamp from glass between the LED source and meter).
The light distribution was a little bit different with the original tube and this new replacement, but not too different to cause problems on the application.
The end results is that G24 13W 52-5050 SMD LED Warm White Light Lamp Bulb (85~265V) is cheap and well working LED replacement for G24 fluorescent bulb. Installation is easy, just plug into place. Works as promised.