Blog Details



Fluorescent tube fixtures are commonly used in offices, schools, universities, hospitals and other commonly lit places. Although a preferred choice of lighting for decades for many facilities, fluorescent tube lights are now being replaced by more efficient and durable LED tube lights. Below is my attempt at analyzing whether it is worth retrofitting your existing fluorescent troffers to LED lights.

Energy Use: Fluorescent vs. LED

Typical panel has 4 tubes at 32 watt along with a magnetic ballast = 131 watts

4 LED tubes at 16 watts can be an ideal replacement = 64 watts

Fluorescent T8’s LED T8’s
Wattage 131 64
Daily Use (Hrs) 24 24
Annual energy consumption (per fixture) 1,147 KWh 560 KWh
Rate (per KWh) $0.12 $0.12
Annual Energy Cost $137.64 $67.28

Energy Savings with LED retrofit

587 KWh OR $70.36 OR 51%

Retrofit Investment:

Material Cost (4 LED T8 tubes) $80.00
Installation $50.00
Rebates (Estimated, Engineered tract, Ontario Only): $38.00
Net Project Cost $92.00
Net Simple Payback 16 Months OR 1.3 Years
ROI over 3 years $211.08 OR 229%

Other benefits of LED T8’s:

  • Maintenance savings: LED T8’s last up to 50,000 hours as opposed to 20,000 hours for fluorescent (That translates to over 6 years non-stop use!)
  • LED’s turn on instantly
  • No humming noise or flickering
  • No mercury or other toxic material
  • LED’s are dimmer and motion sensor compatible

Other factors

Retrofitting an existing fluorescent lighting system to LED’s is an important and expensive business decision, it is important to keep in mind a few other things that might be helpful:

  • How long are the lights turned on for?
  • Does your facility require LED T8’s or LED panels are a better option for enhanced aesthetics?
  • Is your facility 120 volt or 347 volt?
  • Would it help putting in sensors and dimmers to further reduce energy consumption?
  • Does your business qualify for any government grants/incentives?
  • How many fixtures are you thinking or retrofitting? A large number of retrofit means lower cost per unit of retrofit kits and reduced labor.