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T8 vs T8 LEDs


After my last experiment with LED lighting, I thought I was done with LED videos!

However, I was in Rona the other day -- Rona is a big box home centre here in Canada, similar to Home Depot/Lowes/etc -- and came across some plug-and-play T8-compatible LED bulbs. These look like a T8 Bulb, but they plug into a T8 Fluorescent fixture with NO WIRING CHANGES NEEDED. I happened to need some new fluorescent bulbs and so I thought I would give these a try.

Here are the specs on the ones I bought: They consume 18 watts (compared to 32watts for a T8 bulb), produce 1600 lumens, they're "cool white" -- no "kelvin" colour rating given.

Also, they supposedly will last 36 years. I'll take that claim with a grain of salt!

As to cost: it is presently November 2016 as I write this article. The price of a "regular" fluorescent T8 bulb was $12 at Rona. In contrast, this LED plug-and-play bulb was $22. So it costs more, but it uses just over half the electricity of a fluorescent bulb. I'll leave it up to the reader to calculate the cost savings and determine if it is worth it to them.

Here I have one of the new LED bulbs (with the white end cap) positioned beside a regular T8 bulb. This is an older bulb -- that buildup of dark grey near the end tells me that it is getting near the end of it's life.

It's no surprise that they are shaped exactly like a T8 bulb, given that they are plug-and-play replacements.

LED light is directional, so these bulbs do have a "back" which is indicated by the sticker on the tube. It's a bit fuzzy in this photo but you can see the strip of LEDs inside the tube as well. Because of this you need to be sure that you orient these bulbs with their back towards the top of the fixture (the ceiling). The box claims that they provide a 320 degree range of coverage.

These bulbs just pop into a regular T8 fixture. No Wiring Changes are needed. In fact, these bulbs REQUIRE the presence of an electronic ballast.

There is no easy way to take a photo of a light bulb. I bought two of these bulbs. I put one in a fixture in my shop, paired with an older T8 bulb. I put the other one out in my family room, paired with a newer T8 bulb. In both cases the LED T8 was, to my eyes, brighter than the fluorescent bulb. I am quite pleased with my purchase

Some of the Tools/Supplies Used In This Project: (Affiliate Links)

(The Rona.CA is a non-affiliate link. I've also looked up similar bulbs on, for those of you from the USA)
Direct Replacement LED tubes at
Similar Plug-and-play bulbs at Amazon


Thanks for reading!

See Also:

Interior Auto LED upgrade

LED Lighting Experiment

LED strip lighting revisited