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Why LED Panels Are the Best Solution to Replacing T8 & T5 LBR and Prismatic Recessed Fittings

Recessed LBR (Low Brightness) and Prismatic Fittings have been a common feature in offices, hospitals, shops, and other commercial buildings with drop suspended ceilings for many many years. They come in 2,3 or 4 lamp configurations and use either T8 or T5 Fluorescent Tubes. They are made to standard ceiling grid sizes: 600x600mm; 1200x600mm and 1200x300mm.

The most common approach to saving energy with these fittings is to simply retrofit the existing fluorescent tubes with LED tubes. This involves modifying the fitting by removing the existing control gear (ballast) and wiring the fitting with live and neutral to the one side. It also involves taking apart, cleaning (usually required) and putting back together the existing fitting. In many cases with older fittings, the lamp holders and other components may be have become very brittle and break when working on them. These need to be repaired or replaced. Retrofitting the existing fittings will still result in great energy savings and longer life, but the costs for installation, rewiring and potential fitting or component replacements must also be considered. Also, as a side note, for T5 LBR fittings, the cut-out in the reflector is only big enough toaccommodate the thin T5 diameter.Using a T5 LED retrofit lamp with a T8 diameter is not going to fit...

View our T8 LED Tube or T5 LED Tube Ranges for more.

The alternative energy efficient and long-lasting solution is to simply replace the entire existing fluorescent fitting with a complete LED Panel. LED Panels are integrated LED luminaires that are designed to be recessed into standard ceiling grids. They offer an excellent aesthetic and provide even light distribution in the areas they are used. They are extremely quick and easy to install and will provide quality lighting for many years to come. They come with either a 2, 3 or 5-year warranty. They are most commonly available in 4000K or 6000K colour temperatures but we can provide 3000K, 5000K or custom CCT on request. They can also be ordered with a dimmable or non-dimmable driver. Dimmable LED Panels allow for greater lighting control and further energy savings.

Have a look at the comparison tables below to decide which option is best for your project requirements. Either way, converting to LEDs is far better than leaving inefficient lighting fluorescent fittings in place by not doing anything at all.

Retrofit Pros

Retrofit Cons

Lower Cost for Lamps

Higher cost for installation

Retain Existing Aesthetic

Longer installation times

Keep Existing Fitting

Old Fittings may be Damaged

Lots of output and colour temperature options to choose from

Fittings may break during handling and need to be fixed or replaced

Quickly and easily replace LED tubes when needed in future

Light losses from reflector or diffuser

LED Panel Replacement Pros

LED Panel Replacement Cons

Lower installation costs

Higher Cost for Luminaire

Quicker and easier installation

Existing fittings must be disposed (waste if fittings are fairly new)

Modern aesthetic

Room aesthetic will change

Easier to clean

Not as many options available as tubes

Better lighting control available with dimmable drivers

Either entire panel or driver (more common) will need to be replaced in future – Exact product used may change

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