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Tips for Retrofitting T5 Fluorescent Tubes with LED Tubes

This article serves to provide resellers and end users information about T5 fluorescent lamps and the available energy efficient T5 LED retrofit solutions that are available. 

T5 Fluorescent tubes are now very common in many commercial and industrial buildings. They were first introduced in 1995 in the United States as an energy efficient alternative to T8 fluorescent tubes. T5 Fluorescent Lamps have a smaller diameter (16mm or 5/8th of an inch). They operate off electronic control gear (ECG) in much the same way as T8 fluorescents and have a similar lifespan of around 15000-20000hrs (although this can be drastically shortened by frequent switching cycles and poor quality power supply). Fluorescent lamps also have a warm-up time to achieve full brightness.

There are now some excellent LED T5 Tube options available to replace T5 fluorescents. They offer the same or better light output, drastically reduce energy costs, have longer lifespans and experience less lumen depreciation over time compared to fluorescents. Before replacing T5s, it's important to understand the standard sizes and outputs T5s come in so that one can decide on the right LED replacement option to achieve or maintain the lux levels required.

T5 Fluorescent Lamp Types


Ideal Lumen Output Required to Replace**

14W Standard Output (SO)

2ft / 560mm


24W High Output (HO)

2ft / 560mm


21W Standard Output (SO)

3ft / 860mm


39W High Output (HO)

3ft / 860mm


28W Standard Output (SO)*

4ft / 1160mm


54W High Output (HO)*

4ft / 1160mm


35W Standard Output (SO)*

5ft / 1460mm


80W High Output (HO)*

5ft / 1460mm


*Most Common Types

**Lower output LEDs may still provide sufficient light (especially if replacing old lamps). Care must still be taken to achieve desired lux levels and meet health and safety standards. Pupil/Lumen Ratio also plays a role in the perceived light level.

***There is currently only one range in SA that offers a true replacement solution for HO fluorescent lamps – Have a look at our Diamond-LS range for more info. Our T5 HO Platinum-MA Range is the next best alternative.



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