Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 16
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Jason31 Great bulb, perfect match to Florescent color and brightness
These LED bulbs come on instantly at full brightness. No more buzzing or flickering. They work well at cold garage temperatures. The color and light intensity is a perfect match for a 4100k 40w florescent bulb. The bulb consists of two rows of LEDs spaces about 1/2" apart, it is not possible to distinguish the individual LEDs when the bulb is on, making it appear the same as a florescent bulb.
To use these bulbs, the existing fixture needs to be rewired. Just cut out the ballast and wire directly to the sockets according to the wiring diagram. This is not hard to do with a few wire nuts and some spare 14 gauge wire. If possible remove the fixture from the ceiling and work at ground level.
Now for the cost analysis. The cost per bulb is about $50. This is very high. A 40w florescent tube is about $4. The energy savings is high, about 50%, but at 10 times the cost. Electricity for tier 3 in California is about $0.25 per kilowatt-hour. If the bulb is on for 4 hours per day 365 days per year the savings is only $7 per year. This is too long of a payout and you will have to justify these bulbs on their other attributes like instant on at full brightness. In my garage I have 6 more florescent tubes to replace and it's difficult to spend $300 just to have lights that don't flicker for the first few seconds.
As the first product of its kind, these bulbs are great. As the price for LED's come down, this is the way to go.
December 31, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by cb88 A shop light for eternity
I saw these and was not sure what I was getting myself into. This model needs an owner that wants to wire his own light fixture. It will save you money and last a lifetime, but first you need to make a bit more investment. Regular T8 fluorescent lights need a ballast in the fixture, and to use these bulbs, the ballast must be removed and the fixture rewired. It is the ballast that uses most of the power, so it has to go. The next issue is that one set of opposite pins must be wired together, so you need some extra wire, which is not too bad, but the G13 sockets must be standard and not 'shunted'. And this is the issue that can make an easy install irritating. Depending on your current fixture, the sockets are most likely shunted and will have to be replaced. Shunted means that both pins in the socket are electrically wired together. They must be separate in order to properly wire your fixture for this bulb. I bought a 12 pack of sockets online for $19 with shipping. Without G13 un-shunted sockets, you will not be able to use the bulbs with your fixture. The wiring diagram included is clear, but I wish it was printed a little larger for us old folks. You can also find the instructions online at Philips. Please note that not all models of LED T8 bulbs wire up the same way. Take a look on YouTube and you will see that some other models only wire on one side of the bulb. But not this model, you need to wire both sides, and all 4 connections go to a different destinations. If you have ever built your own lamp, this is a project you can handle, but if you don't like wiring, it should still be easy enough to do, if you have the right parts. So if you buy these, also verify that you have un-shunted G13 sockets, some extra wire and some wire caps. A screwdriver and wire stripper will probably be all the tools you need to complete the project. I consider this a good investment of time and effort for the end result. One other issue of note, the bulbs are frosted and many people say the clear ones give off more light. Just wanted to point that out if you are trying to get the brightest bulbs you can. Sorry for being long-winded, but I wanted this review to be complete.
December 26, 2013
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by AJAY Led Bulb for Fluorescent Retrofit
Phillips continues to be on the cutting edge in the lighting industries push towards LED. They are just coming out with a true "replacement LED" called INSTANTFIT. The INSTANTFIT LED Bulb uses the existing ballast in your fixture and requires no rewiring. This bulb that I am reviewing is NOT the INSTANTFIT model and requires rewiring the fixture. (Because the LED bulb has its' own ballast). My fixture was newer and did not have the older "tombstones" on each end that accepted two wires each. Therefore my wiring retrofit was quite challenging and not worth the 26 watts that I saved versus using the fluorescent. I would not recommend this bulb only because I think it would be well worth waiting until the stores carry the INSTANTFIT model, Unless you or a family member is an electrician.
February 12, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by jtrev Better than expected
I ordered only two of these and wish I had ordered 4. These lights are bright and compare well to T8 bulbs that are rated at 37 watts. I had two Philips 37 watt bulbs and now I have two Philips LED T8 Bulbs that give off a little bit more light and use only 38 watts as apposed to 74 watts. Nice investment. By the way use a multi meter to make sure you wired the positive and negative properly before installing. The whole installation took me 20 minutes with wire cutters, screwdriver and a ladder.
September 4, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by jred Less useable light than T8 fluorescent, requires major rewiring
If you are considering replacing your T8 fluorescent tubes with these LED, be aware that these are not a "plug and play" replacement. They require rewiring, and in my case I had to modify the fixture to aim the tubes, and still got less useable light.
REWIRING - These LED tubes run directly off of 120V and do not use a ballast. Thus to install them you have to: 1) Remove the old ballast and wiring; 2) Hook one pin on one end of each tube to the hot line; 3) Hook the matching pin on the other end of each tube to neutral; 4) Run a jumper wire between the remaining pin pair end-to-end for each tube (so I needed 4 jumper wires for my 4 tube install). Be aware that this requires you to have non-shunted tombstones (the white connector the end of your tube goes into), so you might have to replace those as well.
NO SINGLE LED WIRING STANDARD - So far I have seen at least two different wiring standards for T8 LED tubes that don't use ballasts, in addition to some T8 tubes that do operate with a ballast in place (much easier conversion, but less energy efficient--how much less depends in large part on how efficient your current ballast is). Thus if you rewire to install these, when you need to replace the tubes in the future, you have to make sure the new tubes use the same wiring scheme the existing tubes do (or do yet another rewiring job).
DIRECTIONAL - While standard fluorescent tubes emit light in all directions (360 degrees), these LED tubes emit light in one direction (the diffuser is 180 degrees wide). This means that your tombstones (connectors that hold your tubes in place) must be oriented to point in the direction you want the light. I suspect this is a non-issue in many installations, as typically the tombstones stick straight out from the fixture and you want the light pointing aiming straight down. However, I had a "compact" fixture that had the tombstones at an angle. Thus I had to modify the fixture to re-aim the tombstones to a different angle.
POTENTIALLY LESS LIGHT - Lumens measure the total light put out in all directions by a bulb. What you really care about is the light that goes where you want it. These LED T8 bulbs are rated at 1650 lumens, but put out all their light in a 180 degree pattern or so. A typical cool-white fluorescent T8 puts out 2800-2850 lumens, but since half of that goes up, you only get about half of that directly. How much of the rest of the light you get depends on how efficient the reflector in your light fixture is.
I tried a similar set of LED tubes about a month ago (3500K instead of 4100K) in a shop light fixture. That was a pretty cheap fixture, and in that case I found that the new LED T8 tubes put about as much light as my old fluorescent tubes.
For this install, I replaced 4 tubes in my kitchen fixture. Prior to the install I used my SLR camera to take photos of different surfaces in the kitchen. After installing the T8 LED tubes I repeated this experiment, and got about 1/3 stop less light everywhere I tested, meaning I'm probably getting 80-85% of the light I did with the fluorescent tubes. My T8 tubes were rated at 2950 lumens (100-150 more lumens than I typically see), so apparently that plus the better reflector in my kitchen fixture made a difference.
I've considered adding another 1 LED tube (probably enough to make back my missing light) or 2 LED tubes (to make the fixture look balanced), but that would wipe out most of the energy savings over fluorescent.
NOT DIMMABLE - These LED tubes are not designed to be used with a dimmer. (Although not common, there are dimmable ballasts for fluorescent tubes installed in some locations.)
CONCLUSION - I haven't used enough other LED T8 tubes to compare to other LEDs replacements. If you are in an environment where LEDs provide an advantage (full-brightness quickly in cold environments, turned on and off frequently, etc.), then these are worth considering. But if you are trying to change over purely to use less energy for the same amount of light, I'm not yet convinced that it is worth the effort and cost of converting to LEDs from fluorescent.
February 9, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by CheesePatrol Just as bright as the fluorescent lights they replaced
These appear to be just as bright as the fluorescent lights they replaced. At least they seem brighter to my wife and I. Installation was straight forward - just cut all the wires coming out of the ballast and run the live and neutral wires directly to the sockets.
Before installing the lights, I took apart my existing fixture just to make sure that I didn't need any additional wiring and that the existing sockets would work. I'm glad I did as the sockets in my fixture would not allow me to accommodate the new wiring. What I did was buy 2 bi-pin sockets that had 2 wire inputs for each pin. The exact sockets I used were made by GE and the part number is 80628 (should be available at your local Home Depot for a few bucks). With these sockets I simply bridged the live and neutral wires from one to the other. Depending on which sockets are currently installed in your fixture, you might be able to do this without purchasing any additional hardware.
As I stated earlier, lighting performance seems to be on par with the fluorescent tubes I replaced. The light is even throughout the length of the lamp and only shines downward. Contrary to what I was expecting, these don't turn on instantly - there's a short delay before they light up. It isn't nearly as long as it was with the fluorescent tubes though. According to everything I've read, they should handle more on/off cycles, which is important given that these are in the kitchen and constantly switched on/off. Planning on getting another set for the garage!
February 24, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Mikkel1955 Not a drop-in replacement.
For me, these lamps were a good choice. I have a detached garage, and it tends to get a bit cold in the winter. That is not a problem for these lamps. They light right up when it is below zero.
The only disadvantage to these lamps is that you can not just remove the old lamps and put these in. You have to rewire the fixture, disconnecting or removing the ballast, and wiring the lamps with a line voltage feed. If you have a fixture that needs the ballast replaced, it is an ideal candidate for conversion to these lamps. Not needing to buy the ballast helps defray the initial cost of the lamps, and the savings in electricity more then cover the rest of the cost.
If you are comfortable rewiring a fixture, or have someone that can rewire it for you, this is the way to go!
January 11, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Ken1 Very bright, even light..
Both of the ballasts in my fixture were burned out and it was time to change to these bulbs. I didn't see why a meter would be necessary to check polarity on the AC line as mentioned by another reviewer. Perhaps he was using the LED ballasts, which I did not. Not sure why they would even be needed. Packaging was very good, if not overdone and shipping was prompt. Good product and service.
September 23, 2013