What is a Tube Light?

tube light

What is a Tube Light?

Tube light is a fluorescent light bulb in a tube shape. They consume less energy than traditional bulbs, are safer, and have a longer lifespan.

When replacing a tube, consider the size, length, and diameter of the existing bulb. This will help you identify the right LED lamp for your fixture.

Type A

This UL Type A LED tube light features an internal driver that allows it to run directly from existing linear fluorescent ballasts without the need for a new driver. This provides the simplest installation option by eliminating the need for rewiring or hiring an electrician.

This tube can be used with either single-ended or double-ended tombstones. Single-ended LED tubes require one end of the tombstone to be live and the other end to be neutral. It cannot be used with shunted tombstones that have opposite polarity.

Type B

Type B LED tube lights have an internal driver that bypasses the existing fluorescent ballast. You’ll need to rewire the fixture for this option, but it eliminates compatibility problems and ballast replacement costs.

These tubes are available in single ended power or double ended power. Single-ended power LED tubes take power at one end, while the other is a dummy end.

Double-ended LED tubes have two pins that each take led light bulbs line and neutral power. You’ll need to wire each pin with opposite polarity to correctly connect this type of tube.

Type C

Ideal for: lowest maintenance costs, 0-10v dimming

GE’s patented LED tube light is double-ended and compatible with both shunted and non-shunted tombstones. However, it is important to note that polarity is a crucial consideration when installing double-ended tubes as this affects the life of the chip and fixture.

When installed in a fixture that is wired directly to the line voltage without a ballast, this type of hybrid tube can present a safety concern. Ensure your lighting professionals install this type of tube in a ballast-compatible configuration.

Type D

These tubes are able to work with both instant start and program start fluorescent ballasts. This combination allows you to replace existing fluorescent fixtures with LED tube lights without having to remove the ballasts first.

During preheating the starting switch connects the filaments in series with each other to induce a high voltage over the starting arc. The switch then disconnects, allowing the lamp to start with an open circuit tube voltage.

These lamps are compatible with both shunted and non-shunted tombstones, although shunting is preferred. This ensures that the two pins on each end of the tombstone connect to the same electrical polarity.

Type E

LED tube lights bypass the existing fluorescent ballast in fixtures, saving energy costs and requiring less maintenance. They come in lengths of 2 to 8 feet and are ideal for replacing fluorescent tubes in recessed lighting applications.

Type A LED tube lights work with existing fluorescent ballasts, whereas type B requires removing the ballast and rewiring. A plug-and-play LED fixture that uses an internal driver is another option. This works with single-ended power and shunted or non-shunted tombstones. This is the latest solution, which also offers dimming capabilities.

Type F

LED tubes are linear light bulbs (a.k.a “long light bulbs”) that replace traditional fluorescent lamps in fixtures such as shop lights, strip lights, troffers and high bays. They come in a variety of lengths and diameters to fit many different applications.

Choose a type of LED tube that works best with your fixture. Energy efficiency is important, but you also want to consider wattage, lumen output, color temperature and CRI (color rendering index). Also consider whether the light requires a ballast or can bypass one.

Type G

A neon tube light emits a bright glow from the inert gas, which was isolated from air in 1898. Neon lighting has since become known for eye-catching signage and advertisements.

When selecting a replacement LED tube, be sure to check the lumens per watt (LPW) rating of each product. The higher the LPW, the more light is produced for each watt used. Current tubes are designed to deliver better quality light with lower wattages, making them more energy efficient. They also have a smaller color shift over burn time.

Type H

Some older tubes use a halophosphate phosphor mixture that emits mainly yellow and blue light with only minor bands of green and red. This gives a yellowish-green color to the light and a low CRI of about 60.

Some tubes use a semi-resonant start circuit to heat the electrodes before the starting arc strikes. This reduces power frequency flicker and also helps prevent cathode damage during startup.

Some LED tubes are designed to bypass the ballasts and directly wire to shunted or non-shunted lamp sockets. This allows a DIY retrofit without the need for an electrician.

Type I

For those wanting to avoid purchasing a separate LED driver, a UL Type B tube can work with both magnetic and electronic ballasts. These tube lights bypass the existing ballast and run directly off of line voltage.

These tubes can be shunted or non-shunted and will require non-shunted tombstone sockets in the fixture to work properly. This type of installation requires knowledge of fixture wiring and electrical safety.

These offer the most versatility in terms of compatibility with an existing fixture but tube light come with a higher initial cost.

Type J

The halogen bulb features high color rendering and is compatible with most dimmer switches. It also operates instantly, eliminating the need for warm-up time.

Users have praised the bulbs’ affordability and brightness, but some have experienced defects and a short lifespan. When handling J type halogen bulbs, be sure to wear gloves since contact with bare skin may reduce their lifespan. Be sure to check the voltage requirements of your fixtures before purchasing a halogen bulb. Also, make sure to turn off the power before replacing the light.

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