Fluorescent and LED tubes on the same fixture? 5 reasons against it

Who does not know it: The lamps in a luminaire never burn out at the same time. Nevertheless, we would like to continue to have sufficiently bright light. But replacing lamps that are still working sounds like unnecessary expenses and a waste of resources. But is that really it? We show you why you can also replace well-shining fluorescent tubes with LEDs with a clear conscience – and do the environment a favor.

Key facts at a glance:

  • Only one type of lamp (LED or fluorescent) is possible per ballast
  • Save costs: LEDs require significantly less energy
  • Save time: thanks to the longer service life of LEDs
  • Uniform light image thanks to the same high quality of light from 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 luminaire: is that possible?

A mixture of different lamp types is only possible to a limited extent. The first requirement 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 no different lamp types can be operated on one ballast. A mixed solution is not possible here. The following applies: 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 mix between the lighting technologies is possible. For example, in louvre lights you will find 4 tubes and two ballasts. Although it is not possible to replace a single tube with LEDs, you can replace two instead of the entire four lamps with LED alternatives and continue to use the remaining two tubes.

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

Replacing a product that is still working sounds absurd and like unnecessary expenses. But if you switch to LED, the new acquisition costs make perfect sense. Because modern LEDs consume so little electricity that the purchase price pays for itself in a very short time. In this way, you not only save on your energy bill, but also permanently reduce your electricity consumption. And that in turn benefits the environment. That means: the sooner you switch to LED, the sooner you save and protect nature. That outweighs the replacement of functioning fluorescent tubes many times over.

For further reading, we recommend our blog on the subject of return on investment through LEDs .

Time & Lifespan
The service life of LEDs is many times longer than that of conventional fluorescent tubes. If you only replace some 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 Maintenance costs for LEDs .

LED binning
A uniform light image is crucial for good lighting. There may be deviations in the industrial production of light sources. LEDs are used so that these are not visible to the consumer. combined into so-called bins, i.e. containers. All the products contained in a bin have similar performance. The most important criteria are the color temperature and the luminosity. So if you use different products, i.e. LEDs and fluorescent tubes, in one luminaire, they can visibly emit different light. Not only does it look unattractive, it 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 amount of time to warm up before they are fully illuminated. In addition, the flickering of the light is particularly characteristic. Both of these are completely eliminated with LED lamps: After switching on, the tubes immediately shine with 100% luminosity and the light is emitted evenly and without flickering. If you combine both types of lamps in one luminaire, you automatically have flickering and non-flickering light next to each other. And after switching on the lighting, only the LED lights up until the fluorescent tube has reached its full light intensity after the warm-up time.

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

Why switching to LED is worthwhile: an example calculation

Let’s assume you have a lamp with four fluorescent tubes. In our example, the daily operating time is 12 hours, five days a week. If you now replace the four tubes with an LED alternative, you will save around $ 35 every year, according to our sample calculation. And only on this one lamp. The amortization takes place after a good one and a half years and over the entire service life of the product you save over $ 700 in electricity costs. The sooner you switch to LED, the sooner you can start saving!