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Submitted on: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 04:52:33Views: 531
21st Century Lighting Enterprises is excited to announce a significant breakthrough in LED T8 tubes, and in particular one that involves the 4ft LED tube. We have UL approval on both our lamp and driver! We will be offering an LED T8 tube that comes with an external driver.

While we intend and do offer UL LED T8 tubes with an internal driver, we are going to be a leader in Hawaii and in the nation in recommending LED T8 tubes with external drivers. Why should customers want to use external drivers? Here are the main reasons:

1) Heat is the biggest enemy to an LED. Extra or excess heat near the diode causes it to lose it's lumens faster, and shortens chip life. Internal drivers are within centimeters of the tube diodes or chips, which does of necessity pass along more heat, expediting lumen loss as well as shortening diode lifespan.

2) Once an internal driver burns out, in almost every LED tube, there is no way to replace it. This means you throw away the most expensive parts of the tube - the tube itself, the heat sink, and all the diodes, etc. Without a driver, nothing works! The same thing happens with a screw in self-ballasted CFL. If the lamp is still good, but the ballast goes out, the entire lamp is no good anymore.

External drivers avoid that expense. If the driver fails, the tubes will not be adversely affected, but will continue to operate once a new driver is installed! Everyone concedes that heat is the biggest enemy to the life of an LED lamp - just as it is to other lamp types. External drivers on LED T8 lamps will take more heat away from the lamp, than the more popular LED T8 lamps that have internal drivers.

Is the science on this proven? It absolutely is! As far as heat goes, linear LED lamps work the same way as linear fluorescent lamps. We can make a self ballasted 40 watt CFL instead of a 40 watt linear tube. However, if we make the 40 watt screw-in CFL, about the best hours available are 10-12,000 because of what the heat in the ballast does being so close to the lamp.

A 40 watt T12 (or 32, 28, or 25 watt) T8 linear lamp, because it has an external ballast and therefore has less heat over the length of the lamp can provide 2-4 times longer life than the same wattage in a ballasted CFL from say 23 to 40 watts. This is why linear fluorescent lamps are used in commercial buildings rather than CFLs, because with an external ballast, they provide longer life, and are more energy efficient, providing more lumens per watt.

This same scenario will most certainly prove to be true with LED T8 lamps. The physics will operate in a similar manner. LED T8 tubes with internal drivers will put more heat near the chips, just like the self-ballasted CFL. Internal drivers cause faster lumen depreciation and shorten lifespan. External drivers will take the heat away from the LED linear lamp, facilitating better retention of chip lumen output and lamp life. If you want to promote greater efficiency, external driver LED T8 lamps are the wave of the future.
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