MPGs and LEDs

MPGs and LEDs

Much the way that MPGs and Hybrids are all the rage these days in the auto industry, LED lamps have been the headline grabbing technology in the lighting realm for the past few years.  With all the craze surrounding LED lamps as the lighting efficiency savior, it is easy to get caught up in the hype and assume LED lamps are the best solution for every application.  Don’t let the hype dim your vision.

LED lamps are a great technology that have come a very long way and are fantastic solutions for a variety of applications; however, the technology is still maturing and by no means should be considered the silver bullet for all your lighting needs.  A common misconception is that an LED linear lamp is a suitable replacement for your 4’ linear fluorescent lamps.  While that may be true someday, that day is not today.

I recently came across an article by Jim Brodrick of the Department of Energy (DOE).  In the article he explains that LED linear replacement lamps “simply don’t perform as well as their fluorescent counterparts…(LED linear replacement lamps) have fallen short by a significant margin in terms of light output, system efficacy, fixture output, luminaire efficacy, and CRI.”  Bottom line, for linear lamp replacements, 4’ fluorescent T8 (and T5) lamps are still your best option for efficient, quality lighting.

Jim’s article makes a great point, efficiency shouldn’t detract from performance.  A Hybrid Prius and 31 MPG Mustang are great and all for cruising and city driving, but I wouldn’t put a trailer hitch on either.  If I need to tow something, I’m borrowing my brother’s F-250 Diesel Pickup.

LED lamps are a great technology, but don’t undermine their effectiveness by using them without reservation.  Every lamp (and vehicle) has its purpose.

Results from DOE’s CALiPER testing program can be found here.  See Rounds 9 & 10 Summary Reports.

For more information on suitable replacements for 4’ linear fluorescent lamps and lighting upgrades in general, visit enLIGHTen America’s website,

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