LED vs Fluorescent Tubes

Are LED Fluorescent Tubes Ready for Prime Time? I got a mail on interesting survey is on LED vs Fluorescent Tubes at http://www.softwareadvice.com/articles/construction/are-led-fluorescent-tubes-ready-for-prime-time-1041920/. The survey concentrates specifically, if LED tubes are ready for widespread commercial use, and if they will replace fluorescent tubes. The writer of that blog is reaching out to a few bloggers to help drive more responses, including my blog (I got mail). The background article Are LED Fluorescent Tubes Ready for Prime Time? has good information on it, so it is good reading, including the comments. Read the article and take the survey if this topic interests you. The blog has promised survey results next week.



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  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Led light tubes are the first and so far the only LED lamps format, which has received international harmonized standard. IEC approved E N 62776 – the standard for many years after twisting in mid-December 2014.

    Standardization allows for traditional T8 fluorescent tubes are compatible with LED light tubes. In addition, the standard defines the characteristics of LED light tube, so that they are compatible with each other.

    The new standard of the old fluorescent lighting tubes can be exchanged with one of led light tube. The standard also defines the characteristics required of a light pipe, such as mechanical strength, physical dimensions and electrical characteristics. It also describes the products of the required marks and uniform testing practices.

    Source: http://www.etn.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2311:ledivaloputki-sai-oman-standardin&catid=13&Itemid=101

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Two different versions of LED lamps in linear tubes can be found in the market: retrofit and

    Retrofit LED lamps are lamps which can be inserted in an existing luminaire without modification. This operation has the character of maintenance.

    A conversion LED unit is a lamp which requires changes in the luminaire components. In
    this case safety requirements have to be checked in a different way taking into consideration thermal and electrical behaviour of the new components, and the possibility that the user will insert again a tubular fluorescent lamp.

    Source: https://shop.austrian-standards.at/Preview.action;jsessionid=28B9467B0F5F9EBC3559A6D91E8F055E?preview=&dokkey=470272&selectedLocale=en

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fluorescent Light Scam

    Mom came across an advertisement which stated that ultra-violet (UV) light could be a stimulus for cataract formation and that ordinary fluorescent lamps such as she had in her kitchen were UV emitters. Ergo, she concluded, the kitchen ceiling’s lights could be causing her problem.

    The ad was touting these supposedly low UV fluorescent lamps.

    Mom’s being a math major not withstanding, I could not dissuade her that this advertisement was at best misleading.

  19. farma says:

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  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fluorescent Lamp Driver

    The 12V drivers for fluorescent lamps are tricky, because of the compromise between a good operating efficiency and the ability to start the lamp. The demands are in contradiction.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SMPS LED Drivers: Advantages and Disadvantages

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Characterizing and Minimizing LED Flicker in Lighting Applications

    Replacing traditional incandescent lights with efficient, cool, and long-lasting LEDs is a good idea. But like all good ideas, the implementation is a little harder than coming up with the notion in the first place.

    Although LED lights can be supplied with driver circuitry to allow them to be connected to the existing domestic AC power supply, there is a risk that flickering could occur as a result of voltage ripple at the supply’s output. Flickering occurs with most lighting, and some consumers complain that the effect makes them feel uncomfortable or even ill.

    LED and luminaire manufacturers are keen to get to the root of the problem, because should solid-state lighting get a reputation for flickering – however undeserved – convincing consumers to move away from traditional lights will become more difficult.

    This article investigates the cause of flickering, describes why it is a particular problem for LEDs, and explains how engineering administrative and standards-making bodies are trying to quantify the phenomenon for test houses and the LED, driver chip, and luminaire makers. The article will then describe some recent product introductions from major silicon vendors that claim to offer a cost-effective way of implementing flicker-free LED lighting.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    AC LED vs. DC LED

    A light emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device which includes an N-type semiconductor and a P-type semiconductor, and emits light by way of recombination of holes and electrons. LEDs are intrinsically direct current (DC) devices that only pass current in one polarity and are typically driven by DC voltage sources using resistors, current regulators and voltage regulators to limit the voltage and current delivered to the LED. Because of this, a power supply or “driver” is required for the purpose of converting the mains AC power to a DC voltage or current suitable for driving the LEDs. An LED driver is a self-contained power supply that features outputs corresponding to the electrical characteristics of the array of LEDs. Most LED drivers are designed to provide constant currents to operate the array of LEDs. Consequently, the LEDs that count on a driving circuit to continuously operate at a constant current level are known as DC LEDs.

    However, an alternating current (AC) source may be employed to drive the LED lighting system. An AC LED is an LED that operates directly out of AC line voltage instead of utilizing a driver to transform the line voltage to direct current (DC) power. An AC LED chip has a plurality of LED units formed on one chip and is assembled into a circuit loop or a Wheatstone bridge to be directly used in an alternating current field. An AC LED is also referred to as a high voltage light emitting diode (HV LED) since it is clear of a current conversion driving component and can be directly employed in mains electricity which is high voltage (220V in Europe or 110 V in the USA) and alternating current (AC).

    The typical LED luminaire includes a complex driving circuit, which may result in an increase in manufacturing costs, a substantial loss of operating life, less design flexibility as a consequence of increased volume with additional driving and dimming circuits, low power efficiency and system stability.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dimmable mains LED bulbs

    Not all mains bulbs are dimmable. Those that are may require special dimmers to operate. In this article we explain how filament lamp dimmers work and some of the issues that can occur with LED lamps.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Clever tube igniter circuit with schematic

    On one hand this cheaply made light is impressive because of how they’ve managed to strike the tube with the same component that limits current through it. The tube is also run on AC which is also good.

    But as always with these types of mini-light, they start the tube cold-cathode style which causes rapid electrode damage. And any loose connection causes arcing and instantly visible electrode sputtering stains inside the tube. This is made somewhat worse by the very sloppy electrical construction which ensures bad connections.

    Very interesting to see how they cut corners and got a low component count with standard parts though.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dimmable and non-dimmable CFL teardown

    I found a pair of crappy old Omicron dimmable CFLs being thrown out at the recycling centre. Here’s what’s inside, along with what’s inside a Philips non-dimmable and an Osram dual-brightness one.


  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Inside a sticky (glue board) fly trap (with ballast schematic)

    Much simpler than the zapping fly traps, this type uses a UVA lamp to attract flies to a replaceable sticky board. When they land on it they get stuck.

    The most complicated part of this is the electronic ballast for the tube, which is the same sort of circuitry you’d find inside a compact fluorescent lamp.

    Interesting startup circuit. Very minimalist.

    This unit does have a weird design flaw. It has to be plugged into an extension or adaptor, since the case fouls the switch on most UK sockets, preventing it from being plugged in fully.


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