From Fluorescent Tube to LED [Replacement Guide]

F15T8, F32T8, F40T12 and more

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Your tube lights stopped working and you need to replace them with new ones.

You unscrew the tube and take a look at the sticker that includes a bunch of numbers:

F32T8 TL741 F40T8 F15T8 F40T12 CW

What do these mean? And how do you know what to replace them with?

I'm here to help.

In this guide I'll teach you exactly which LED bulb replacement you need - in just three simple steps:

Simple as that – and it won’t take more than 4 minutes to find your F32T8 LED replacement (or any other flourescent tube you are trying to replace)

Let’s get into it.


Understand what tubes are compatible with your fixture


The most important step is to make sure that the bulb you want to purchase will work. The last thing you want is to buy a tube, go through the trouble of installing it to end up realizing it's not compatible with your current setup.

You could go to our exstensive LED Tube guide and learn what numbers like "F32T8" actually mean.

But if you prefer the simple route - all you need to understand are these three things:

  1. Generally speaking, there are only two different types of tubes on the market: the Direct-Wire and the Ballast Compatible.
  2. The Direct-Wire tubes works on all existing setups - and requires a you to go through a 10-minute rewiring-process.
  3. The Ballast Compatible tubes only works on certain setups (read ballasts) - but can simply be switched out from your previous tube.

Now, it’s up to you to make a decision between the two. Choose the direct-wire tube if you prefer compatibility and longer lifetime (direct-wire tubes last longer than other tubes) or choose the ballast compatible if you prefer minimal installation time.

Both options will give you the same great light output but at Hyperikon – we always recommend to go with the direct-wire tube because of its longer lifetime and minimal energy use.

When you’ve decided, start browsing to find your type. (but don't go buy anything yet)

Below are some direct-wire examples. (see all direct-wire tubes)

Hint: Direct-Wire tubes are also called “Type B” or “Ballast Bypass”


And below are some ballast compatible examples. (see all ballast compatible tubes)

Hint: Ballast Compatible tubes are also called “Type A” or “Plug and Play”


The Hybrid Tube

When I said there are only two types of tubes, that wasn't entirely true.

In previous years, lighting suppliers have started to offer so called Hybrid bulbs. These bulbs are just what they sound like: hybrids between direct-wire and ballast compatible tubes. This means that they can installed with a simple 1-to-1 switch (ballast compatible) but also by rewiring them (direct-wire).

Below are some examples of Hybrid tubes (see all hybrid tubes)


Find the right brightness (and wattage)

When you’ve figured out what type of tube will work for you – you need to make sure you get the right brightness.

This is crucial step that should not be skipped (especially since it might cut your costs in half).

The best way to get the right brightness is to figure out how bright your existing light is. This can easily be done by looking up your current bulbs lumens. (take the tube out and look at the sticker)

Lumens is a measurement of brightness (the more lumens the brighter it will be). Learn more about lumens here

If you are unable to find how many lumens your bulb is, use the estimation table below.

Flourescent Tube F15T8 F17T8 F25T8 F30T8 F32T8 F40T8 F40T12
Wattage 15 17 25 30 32 40 40
Avg. Lumens 700 1300 2100 2200 2500 3600 2300

When you know your current lumens – simply make the decision if you want the brightness to be on the same level or brighter.

For example: If your current tubes has 1300 lumens each and you have two tubes installed, the total lumen value is 2600 (2 times 1300). Thus, if you want the same level of brightness that you used to have, your new tubes should add up to that 2600.

The lumens of a tube is always listed on the product page but to give you an estimate, T8 LED light tubes usually gives you about 2200 lumens per tube – and they rarely go over 18W. (LEDs are super efficient) So in the example above, you’d almost only need one tube to meet your lumen requirement!


Find the right color (CCT)

The last step (which is also the easiest) is to figure out the color (CCT) of your light.

This step is often overlooked as many customers believe regular lights only have one color

However, all lights come in different colors, ranging from yellow to white and is measured on a scale between 3000K to 6500K.

cct kelvin color palette lamps

To get the perfect CCT, simply use the palette above and decide on what color you prefer for your setting.

Lower CCTs (3000-4000) are often used in laidback areas such as livingrooms and lounges while higher CCTs (5000-6000) are used in working environments such as warehouses.

If you want to be absolutely sure you get the right CCT, you can read our guide on color temperatures here.


That's it!

By now you should know which LED bulb replacement is for you.

And the F32T8 LED replacement you were looking for should have been found.

If you have any doubts about your decision, call our support team at +1 (888) 846-4973. They help hundreds of customers everyday and can assure you of which bulb will suit your needs.

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