Fluorescent Tubes: The Best T8 LED Tube Replacements

T5/T8 fluorescent tubes are both inefficient and over time are far more expensive than their LED equivalents. This guide helps establish the wattage equivalent LED Tubes you need to start saving money and provides simple cost comparisons against your existing energy bills.

In this guide you will learn more about:

Find out which T8 tube will replace existing fluorescent tubes

Learn more about the difference between retrofit and replacement LED tubes

Read more about our top selling replacement tubes

What savings could you make by switching to LED tubes?

Read more on LED tubes

Wattage Comparisons: T8 Tube replacement

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

T8 fluorescent to LED wattage comparison chart

Tube Length (ft) Approx Fluorescent Wattage (w) Approx Led Wattage (w)
2 18 7 - 10
3 30 12 - 14
4 36 16 - 18
5 58 20 - 23
6 70 28 - 30
8 100 - 125 40

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 an LED Tube light – 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 Hybrid 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.
Retrofit 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 T8 LED Tubes

2 Foot

Product Size Type Lifespan
brite source 2ft LEDBrite Source 2ft 9w LED T8 Tube - Single Ended Wiring 2ft Retrofit 30,000 hours
2ft energizer LEDEnergizer T8 2ft 9w LED Tube Frosted 2ft Replacement 30,000 hours

4 Foot

Product Size Type Lifespan
brite source 4ft LEDBrite Source 4ft 18w LED T8 Tube - Single Ended Wiring 4ft Retrofit 30,000 hours
4ft energizer LEDEnergizer T8 4ft 18w LED Tube Frosted 4ft Replacement 30,000 hours
 energizer 4ft LEDEnergizer T8 4ft 18w LED Tube Frosted c/w FREE Starter 4ft Replacement 30,000 hours

5 Foot

Product Size Type Lifespan
brite source 5ft LEDBrite Source 5ft 23w LED T8 Tube - Single Ended Wiring 5ft Retrofit 30,000 hours
5ft energizer LEDEnergizer T8 5ft 22w LED Tube Frosted - 6500k 5ft Replacement 30,000 hours
4000k energizer LEDEnergizer T8 5ft 22w LED Tube Frosted – 4000k 5ft Replacement 30,000 hours

6 Foot

Product Size Type Lifespan
6ft energizer LEDEnergizer T8 6ft 30w LED Tubes Frosted 6ft Retrofit 30,000 hours
6ft brite source LEDBrite Source 6ft 28w LED T8 Tube - Single Ended Wiring 6ft Retrofit 30,000 hours
energizer LED 6ft starterEnergizer T8 6ft 30w LED Tubes Frosted c/w FREE Starter 6ft Retrofit 30,000 hours

8 Foot

Product Size Type Lifespan
single ended 8ft LED8ft 40w LED T8 Tube - Single Ended Wiring 8ft Retrofit 50,000 hours

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 (5 ft) 10 8 hours £49
36w (5 ft) 50 8 hours £547
36w (5 ft) 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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