LED Tube Misconceptions

The market is flooded with suppliers of LED Tube lighting. They all mention the advantages of LEDs over traditional fluorescent lighting. Thereby raising expectations that often could not be fulfilled. Suppliers juggle with product life time, luminous flux and energy consumption in such a way that the potential customer – you – is completely lost.

Meanwhile Emmlight decided to offer a product range which meet the expectations at the beginning of November 2014; the Philips Master LED Tube Value series and the Osram SubstiTUBE series.

In brief we will mention the common misconceptions about LED Tubes, the actual facts and information about the Philips Master LED Tube Value and Osram SubstiTUBE for you here.



Misconception 1: Product Lifetime

It is claimed that LED Tubes have a longer lifetime than Fluorescent lamps.
Nonsense, because there are also examples of T5 solutions with long product life times and up to 90% lumen maintenance. In particular, the lumen maintenance of a lamp lifetime is of great importance. And, this specification is missing in most of LED Tube cases. The reason is perhaps that some LEDs have a much lower lumen maintenance than traditional fluorescent lamps. Moreover, the claimed longevity is not guaranteed. And when one checks product guarantee, it can be rather limited (1 or 2 years), in comparison with the specified service life.

Philips and Osram tubes
Philips provides a 40,000 hour or 50,000 hour lifetime with a maximum light decrease of 30%. Osram provides up to 50,000. And both have a warranty of 5 years.

Misconception 2: Adjusting Fixtures

To operate an LED Tube in existing fluorescent luminaires it is advised to remove the control gear in some cases or to bridge ballasts.
The luminaire is not suited for LED Fluorescents and the end users must fit it themselves. This will void any warranty claim or support of the luminaire manufacturer and the responsibility in case of emergencies is at the conversion company, and that is usually the end user.

Philips and Osram tubes
Conversion is no longer necessary. There are two series available. One series is supplied with starter bridges so that they can be used in luminaires equipped with an electromagnetic ballast. The other (unique) series are InstantFit (Philips) and SubstiTUBE HF (Osram) and can be used in luminaires fitted with an electronic ballast.

In addition, the tubes are provided with rotatable fittings, so that the tube can always be properly rotated relative to the fixture.

Misconception 3: (Mirror) Optics are Superfluous

The light from LED Tubes does not take (mirror) optics into account.
Fluorescent luminaires are usually equipped with quality (mirror) optics. These ensure that the light is directed where you need it without troublesome side effects such as reflections and glare. The light emitted from LED Tubes ensure that these optics do not function anymore, so the risk of reflections and glare seriously increases. The question arises whether the current standards for lighting (NEN12464-1) and working conditions are still met.  This is most probably not the case.

Philips and Osram tubes
With wide beam angles the tubes from Philips and Osram use a large part of the existing mirror optics. Nevertheless, it makes sense to test in practice first, because of the great diversity of existing optics.

Misconception 4: Light Color and Color Rendering

LED offers no guaranteed light color and color rendering quality.
The light color can be different for each LED Tube. This can create a poor lighting image. LED’s also have, in some cases, a poor color rendition (in comparison to, for example TLD 80 lamps). LED is usually similar to color 33 and therefore does not meet NEN and Occupational Health and Safety standards. Hence, many suppliers, especially as regard to color rendering (Ra value), often remain silent.

Philips and Osram tubes
Philips and Osram LED Tubes have an R value of 83 and thus comply with the standards.

Misconception 5: Luminous Flux Comparisons

An LED Tube of 120 cm (the length of a 36W fluorescent lamp) gives as much light as a TL-D 36W.
The luminous flux comparion of LED Tubes and fluorescents is in almost all cases very indecipherable. How wrong this information really is, becomes clear when one replaces the TL-D lamps. Often there is a major setback (50-70%) in light, resulting in the fact that the lighting no longer meets the standard lighting requirements.

Philips and Osram tubes
Vigilance is still required here. Emmlight advises to keep looking at the amount of lumens emitted. The so-called UO (Ultra Output) LED Tubes Philips and Osram Advanced SubstiTUBE have the highest values ​​in the market at present and are therefore the best choice if you do not want to lose the amount of quantity in your business.

Misconception 6: Electric Supply Pollution, Voltage Distortion, Reactive Current

In order not to disturb the positive image of LED Tubes Electric Supply Pollution, Voltage Distortion, Reactive Current often are not mentioned.
Still, you can assume that you are dealing with this, such as the increase in energy costs by harmonic pollution and substantial reactive power.

Philips and Osram tubes
With a minimum power factor of 0.9 down and the guarantee that the values ​​of THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) and EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) are conforming the standards, you can assume that the intended energy savings are actually achieved .


Many LED Tube products do not constitute a real alternative to a fluoresent lamp. Caution is advised when purchasing this product. Philips Master LED Tube Value and Osram SubstiTUBE series, however, contain products which Emmlight approves of.

For advice on which LED Tube is the best choice for your situation, please feel free to contact us.