T8 tube prices: A comparison of budget, mid and premium tubes

If you are looking to replace your fluorescent tubes with LED equivalents, there are a few factors to consider including size, wattage and fitting type. Once you have chosen these, you can then focus on some of the subtleties of choice including warranty, life span and lumen output.

Assessing these details can be hard work as the finer details are often buried at the bottom of a supplier’s website. This means that comparing like for like can mean a huge amount of clicking backwards and forwards to find the information you need.

For this reason, we’ve put together this guide to compare T8 LED tubes according to their price range.

In this guide:

A comparison of the factors that affect the price of budget, mid and premium tubes

Find out more about the prices of our ranges of T8 LED tubes

Learn more about LED tubes

Factors that influence the price of a T8 LED tube light

Lifespan (Hours)

A budget friendly T8 LED tube light can have a lifetime ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 ours. However, higher price T8 tube light can last up to 50,000 hours.


Warranty can affect the overall price of a T8 LED tube and can range from three to five years.


Some of the technological developments in tube lighting mean savings are being made in energy usage. As technology advances less and less power is needed to produce the same light output which means lower wattage tubes can be used to provide the same amount of light output as older, higher wattage fluorescent tubes.

Colour Rendering Capability

LED tubes also vary in their CRI (Colour Rendering Index) number. As a general rule, the higher this number is, the closer the light should be to natural daylight. Budget-friendly LED tubes usually have a CRI of 80, which is adequate but is not the best light quality.

Higher priced LED tubes have 90+ CRI which should make the colours in the room appear as natural as possible. For some uses and applications, this is highly important. For example, in retail, it may be important to display products such as cars, clothes and jewelry in the best possible light but this is less important in the average 9-5 office environment.

colour rendering lights

Energy Efficiency

All LED lights have an energy rating of A, A+ or A++. The most efficient bulbs tend to cost a little more.

Tube Material Type

A budget-friendly option is often made of polycarbonate. While high-end tubes are usually made of glass or nano-coating. Therefore, the latter tends to be more durable and long-lasting than the former.

Direct Replacement or Retrofit

A replacement tube is more expensive than a retrofit tube, mainly because it can be installed in place of a fluorescent tube without any need to make electrical/wiring changes or buy any other products needed to complete the retrofit.

replacement tube light

2020 price comparisons for T8 LED tube sizes

2ft T8 Tube Price Comparisons

Budget £3.00-£5.00 Mid-range £5.00 - 7.00 Premium £7+
sylvania LED tubeSylvania 2ft T8 LED Tube frosted energizer LED tubeEnergizer T8 2ft 9w LED Tube Frosted osram 2ft tubeOsram 2ft 8w SubstiTUBE Value
  • 20,000 hours life span
  • A+ Energy rating
  • 3 year warranty
  • Direct replacement for fluorescent
  • 30,000 hours average life
  • Up to 65% energy saving v fluorescent equivalent
  • Glass tube
  • No rewiring needed, direct replacement

Our Pick – The Sylvania 2ft T8 LED Tube is a great all round tube at a good price. Retrofit.

4ft Tube Price Comparisons

Budget £4.00-£5.00 Mid-range £5.00 - 7.00 Premium £7+
4ft brite source LED tubeBrite Source 4ft 18w LED T8 Tube osram 4ft ledvanceOsram LEDVANCE 4ft 1200mm 16.2w 4ft energizer LED Energizer T8 4ft 18w LED Tube Frosted
  • 30,000 hours life span
  • 3 years warranty
  • CRI 80
  • Retrofit
  • Replacement for fluorescent equivalent
  • 30,000 hours life span
  • A+ Energy rated
  • 3 year warranty
  • Replacement for fluorescent equivalent
  • 1800 lumen output
  • 3 year warranty
  • 55% saving on energy compared to fluorescent equivalent

Our Pick – The Osram LEDVANCE 4ft 1200mm 16.2w is a great choice.

5ft Tube Price Comparisons

Currently the market is very competitive on 5ft tubes but our preference and most popular tube is the Brite Source 5ft 23w LED T8 Tube available in 4000k (Cool White) and 6000k (Daylight). This tube provides 2300 lumen output, 30,000 average life span and a 3 year warranty. This is retrofit tube.

If you are looking for a great direct replacement option – then equally well priced is the Energizer T8 5ft 22w LED Tube Frosted Tube. These ship with a 3 year warranty as standard and is a glass tube.

6ft Tube Price Comparisons

Budget £10.00-£11.00 Mid-range Premium
6ft brite source LEDBrite Source 6ft 28w LED T8 Tube - Single Ended Wiring 6ft sylvania LEDSylvania 6ft 30w LED T8 Tube - 6500k 6ft energizer LEDEnergizer T8 6ft 30w LED Tubes Frosted
  • Replacement for T12 Tubes
  • Typical energy savings of 63%
  • 2800 Lumen output
  • 30,000 hours average life
  • CRI 80
  • 3 year warranty
  • retrofit
  • 40,000 hours average life.
  • 3600 lumen output
  • Retrofit
  • Direct replacement for fluorescent equivalent
  • 3000 lumen output
  • 3 year warranty
  • T12 replacement
  • 60% energy saving compared to fluorescent equivalent.
  • Glass tube

Our Pick – The Energizer 6ft T8 is our most popular T8 due to its plug and play nature and flexibility of tube replacement.

8ft Tube Price Comparisons

Budget Mid-range Premium
lampshoponline 8ft LEDLampshoponline 8ft 40w LED T8 Tube - Single Ended Wiring Currently only one product sold Currently only one product sold
  • 2400 lumen output
  • 30,000 lifespan
  • 3 year warranty
  • Suitable for use in existing fittings

Useful further reading

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

LED v Fluorescent LED Tubes

How to replace your fluorescent tubes with LED counterparts (includes cost comparisons)

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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