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Fluorescent and led tubes in one fixture: 5 reasons against it

Who hasn't experienced it: the lamps in a luminaire never burn out at the same time. Nevertheless, we still want to have sufficient bright light. But replacing lamps that are still working sounds like unnecessary expenditure and a waste of resources. But is it really? We show why you can replace even well-lit fluorescent tubes with LEDs with a clear conscience - and do the environment a favour.

Fluorescent and led tube next to each otheriStock/weerapatkiatdumrong

The most important information at a glance:

  • only one lamp type (LED or fluorescent) possible per ballast.
  • save costs: LEDs require significantly less energy
  • save time: due to longer lifespan of LEDs
  • uniform light pattern due to equally high light quality of the lamps
  • Fluorescent tubes need a warm-up time to reach full luminosity, LEDs do not
  • LEDs are mercury-free and emit flicker-free light


LED and fluorescent tubes in one fixture: Is that possible?


Mixing different lamp types is only possible to a limited extent. The first prerequisite is, of course, that the base matches, otherwise the tubes will not fit into the socket. Now it depends on the ballast. Please note that different lamp types cannot be operated on one ballast. A mixed solution is not possible here. The rule is: only one type of lamp per ballast - LED or fluorescent!


If you have a luminaire with lamps that are each operated with their own ballast, a mixture of lighting technologies is possible. In louvre luminaires, for example, you will find 4 tubes and two ballasts. Here it is not possible to replace a single tube with LED, but you can replace two instead of the entire four lamps with LED alternatives and continue to use the remaining two tubes.




Learn more about the difference between LEDs and fluorescent lamps in our blog article LED vs Fluorescent.



LED and fluorescent tubes in one fixture: 5 reasons against it


  • Costs

    Replacing a product that is still working sounds absurd at first and like an unnecessary expense. But when switching to LEDs, the renewed purchase costs make perfect sense. After all, modern LEDs consume so little electricity that the purchase price pays for itself in a very short time. So you not only save on your energy bill, but also permanently reduce your electricity consumption. And that in turn benefits the environment. This means: the sooner you switch to LED, the sooner you save and protect nature. This outweighs the replacement of still functioning fluorescent tubes many times over.

    For further reading we recommend our blog Return on investment on LED lighting.


  • Time & Lifespan

    The lifespan of LEDs is many times longer than that of conventional fluorescent tubes. If you replace only a part of the lamps, you will soon have to replace the next fluorescent tube. Why not make a complete change and look forward to maintenance-free and carefree years?

    You can find out everything about maintenance costs in our blog Lighting maintenance.


  • LED binning

    A uniform light pattern is crucial for good lighting. In the industrial production of light sources, deviations can occur. So that these are not visible to the consumer, LEDs are grouped into so-called bins, i.e. containers. All products contained in a bin have a similar output. The most important criteria are colour temperature and luminosity. If you use different products, i.e. LEDs and fluorescent tubes, in a fixture, they can emit visibly different light. This not only looks unattractive, but also causes irritation.

    Further information can be found in our blog post What is LED Binning?


  • Warm-up time and flickering

    Fluorescent tubes are known to require a certain warm-up time before they reach full luminosity. In addition, the flickering of the light is particularly characteristic. Both are completely eliminated with LED lights: After switching on, the tubes immediately emit 100 % luminosity and the light is emitted evenly and without flickering. If you combine both lamp types in one luminaire, you automatically have flickering and non-flickering light side by side. And when the lighting is switched on, only the LED shines at first, until the fluorescent tube reaches its full luminous intensity after the warm-up time.


  • Health

    Fluorescent tubes can have a negative impact on health. The lamps themselves contain toxic mercury. If the lamp breaks, mercury is released and can irritate the respiratory tract and mucous membranes. Fluorescent tubes are also characterised by flickering light. This not only looks unattractive, it can also cause headaches and even migraines. Switching to flicker-free LED light is therefore recommended as soon as possible.


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Philips LEDtube EM High Output T8

Philips LEDtube EM Ultra Output T8

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