Helping you choose the best LED replacement for your inefficient fluorescent tubes

T5/T8 fluorescent tubes are both inefficient and, over time, are far more expensive than their LED equivalents. This guide will help you to choose the best LED tube equivalents for your needs.

This guide will cover:

A quick comparison for T8 & T5 tube replacement

Decide whether you should choose retrofit or direct replacement bulbs

Find out more about LampShopOnline’s best selling T5 LED tubes

  • Example paybacks and cost savings
  • Wattage Comparisons: T8 & T5 Tube replacements

    The following table provides a quick comparison chart to help you identify which T8 tube will best replace your existing fluorescent tubes. 

    T5 Fluorescent to LED Comparison Chart

    Approx Tube Length (mm) Approx Fluorescent Wattage (w) Approx Led Wattage (w)
    540 14-24 7.5w
    850 21 - N/A
    1100 28 - 54 16w / 26w
    1400 80 34w

    Wattages may vary depending on many factors include tube quality. Lower wattage tubes will use less energy than a similar replacement tube with higher watt consumption.

    Retrofit or Direct Replacement?

    There are two options in terms of changing to LED Tubes – Direct Replacement (often known as plug and play) and Retrofit, more commonly used by larger facilities with strong knowledge of electrical systems.  

    Type Replacement Type Advantages Disadvantages
    Direct Replacements

    Type A


    Replacement LED tubes are compatible with any instant-start electronic ballast for T8 lamps.

    You can snap out your old T8 fluorescent tube and replace it with a replacement LED tube without any electrical work.

    Best option for smaller buildings and those less knowledgeable.

    Easy install option.

    Tend to cost more that retrofit alternatives.

    May not be needed if an experienced / qualified team of electricians and FM staff.


    Type C

    Equipped with their own drivers and will need rewiring before installation.

    Suited to large-scale facilities, especially ones with lamps that are powered by magnetic ballasts or that have fixtures that are lacking onboard drivers.

    Offer greater energy saving than replacement lamps.

    Not good option for those looking for a simple replacement strategy for existing fluorescents.

    Requires expertise at installation.

    If you would like more help understanding the classifications of Tube replacements, please refer to our short guide available here.

    Our top selling Fluorescent Replacement T5 LED Tubes

    Product Size Type Lifespan

    GE 16w 1149mm LED T5 Tube - 4000k - Replaces 28w

    549mm Retrofit 50,000 hours

    Buy Now

    GE 34w 1449mm LED T5 Tube - 4000k - Replaces 80w

    1449mm Retrofit 50,000 hours

    Buy Now

    GE 26w 1449mm LED T5 Tube - 4000k - Replaces 35w/49w

    549mm Retrofit 50,000 hours

    Buy Now

    GE 26w 1149mm LED T5 Tube - 4000k - Replaces 54w

    1149mm Retrofit 50,000 hours

    Buy Now

    GE 16w 1149mm LED T5 Tube - 6500k - Replaces 28w

    1449mm Retrofit 50,000 hours

    Buy Now

    Example Paybacks & Cost Savings

    If you are looking for payback calculations, quite a few of the leading manufacturers provide useful online calculators. It can get complex quite quickly but here are a few simple examples to get you started.

    Fluorescent Tube No. In Use Usage Per Day Annual Saving
    36w 10 8 hours £49
    36w 50 8 hours £547
    36w 100 8 hours £1,542

    Need more help?

    This is an introductory article to help establish how to best identify the correct LED tube replacement.

    If you’re in search of a way to more accurately calculate payback timescales, we strongly suggest you check out OSRAM’s TCO Calculator to get an exact figure on what you will save.  

    If you haven’t found what you need from this article, give us a call and we will be only too happy to help.

    Useful further reading

    We have a number of other useful resources relating to LED Tubes:

    LED v Fluorescent LED Tubes

    Our most popular brands Energizer, Osram & Sylvania

    Our best picks for warm white, white and cool white Led Tubes

    Frosted V Clear Led Tubes – what you need to know

    Picking T8 Tubes – Budget, Mid-Range and Premium options

    Picking T5 Tubes – Budget, Mid-Range and Premium options

    Waterproof Led Tubes – what this really means

    Glass v Polycarbonate LED Tubes

    Single v Double Edge LED Tubes

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