New Cree T8 replacement

wws944

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Just announced yesterday. Nice specs. No need to clip out, and rewire around, the ballast: http://cree.com/Lighting/Products/Indoor/Lamps/T8-Series

Cree_T8Series_005.jpg
 

AnAppleSnail

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So these lights do not use a ballast?


  • Compatible with >90% of electronic T8 ballasts, including instant start, programmed start, rapid start and dimmable fluorescent ballasts

It probably requires a ballast. These are meant for T8 retrofits, not new fixtures.
 

wws944

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It probably requires a ballast. These are meant for T8 retrofits, not new fixtures.

It would be nice to clarify that. For example, if someone has an existing T12 fixture, can they cut out the ballast and directly connect to the bulb? Or do they need to buy a T8 ballast? I would hope the former. Maybe I will send them an email asking about it.
 

wws944

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It would be nice to clarify that. For example, if someone has an existing T12 fixture, can they cut out the ballast and directly connect to the bulb? Or do they need to buy a T8 ballast? I would hope the former. Maybe I will send them an email asking about it.

If I had read the Spec Sheet first... It says "Not for use with magnetic ballasts", and "Not for use or to be wired to "mains voltage"".
 

Lightdoctor

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This is a joke. Why do companies continue to make stuff like this? (I'd be more impressed if Cree would make an LED type A that would be a 150W equivalent and could work in an enclosed fixture.)The best and only way is to replace the fixture with one designed for LED's. No 'cool' fanboy band-aids. BTW, whats the point, when you've got to buy a replacement T8 ballast for LED tubes?
 
Last edited:

brickbat

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...This is a joke. ...

I'm on the same page. So what if the Cree T8 replacement is 100 lumens/W. Haven't T5 fluorescent surpassed that already?

I suspect Cree found a market somewhere for this, and they're addressing it. I trust they know their business better than I do.

But from a practical standpoint - it sucks.
 

dspiffy

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I am sure the market for this is people that have been made to believe "LEDs are better" and want an easy solution. I've talked to businesses who have T5 and T8 high bay lighting, "shouldnt we convert to LED now?" Or offices with T8 troffers. I typically explain that LEDs are a huge step up from incandescent, and T8s/T5s are a huge step up from T12s. You dont need to cross over. But plenty want LEDs just because LEDs are the cool new thing.

I wouldnt mind if they came out with a generic (LED) replacement tube that worked on magnetic ballasts, electronic ballasts, or line voltage. That way you could just keep one spare on hand for everything.
 

wws944

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(Although I am not in the lighting business) I would think there is a huge market for this product. There are already a number of LED troffers on the market, including Crees own, for new installations and folks wanting to do an expensive upgrade. But for the millions of existing fixtures, this would be a great option.

The owners of the building my company leased, until we moved a few months ago, only converted from T12s to T8s about 1.5 years ago. When I asked our facilities manager why they didn't go to T5s or LED, he said the landlord was only doing the minimum to get some rebates. Still have magnetic ballasts.
 

dspiffy

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(Although I am not in the lighting business) I would think there is a huge market for this product. There are already a number of LED troffers on the market, including Crees own, for new installations and folks wanting to do an expensive upgrade. But for the millions of existing fixtures, this would be a great option.

The owners of the building my company leased, until we moved a few months ago, only converted from T12s to T8s about 1.5 years ago. When I asked our facilities manager why they didn't go to T5s or LED, he said the landlord was only doing the minimum to get some rebates. Still have magnetic ballasts.

This may be an unpopular opinion in these forums, but when it comes to tube-based fixtures, recessed troffers, etc, given the current product lineup, I dont see any reason to upgrade past T8s with electronic ballasts. I am sure as LED and fluorescent technology continues to improve I'll feel differently.

When we acquired our flagship building, it was entirely T12 magnetic ballast and incandescent, with the exception of SOME of the parking lot lighting (some of it was still incandescent). Initially we converted some areas to halogen (the new ~70% type) and some to CFL. At the time I left the T12 magnetic troffers in the lesser used areas. This year I started switching all of the CFL (and some of the halogen) over to LED, but before that, I replaced ~10 of the T12 troffers with electronic ballast T8s . . . that difference was even more night and day than the LEDs. And electronic T8s have been reliable, affordable, and readily available. I look forward to when T5s, linear LEDs, etc fit that bill also.
 

Lightdoctor

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I'm on the same page. So what if the Cree T8 replacement is 100 lumens/W. Haven't T5 fluorescent surpassed that already?

I suspect Cree found a market somewhere for this, and they're addressing it. I trust they know their business better than I do.

But from a practical standpoint - it sucks.

Yes, there is a market alright, filled with cheap far east junk. The Cree unit I'm sure would be better quality, but it is still a joke.
 

Lightdoctor

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This may be an unpopular opinion in these forums, but when it comes to tube-based fixtures, recessed troffers, etc, given the current product lineup, I dont see any reason to upgrade past T8s with electronic ballasts. I am sure as LED and fluorescent technology continues to improve I'll feel differently.

When we acquired our flagship building, it was entirely T12 magnetic ballast and incandescent, with the exception of SOME of the parking lot lighting (some of it was still incandescent). Initially we converted some areas to halogen (the new ~70% type) and some to CFL. At the time I left the T12 magnetic troffers in the lesser used areas. This year I started switching all of the CFL (and some of the halogen) over to LED, but before that, I replaced ~10 of the T12 troffers with electronic ballast T8s . . . that difference was even more night and day than the LEDs. And electronic T8s have been reliable, affordable, and readily available. I look forward to when T5s, linear LEDs, etc fit that bill also.

I agree...high performance T8's are still a better value than LED tubes.
 

Lightdoctor

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(Although I am not in the lighting business) I would think there is a huge market for this product. There are already a number of LED troffers on the market, including Crees own, for new installations and folks wanting to do an expensive upgrade. But for the millions of existing fixtures, this would be a great option.

The owners of the building my company leased, until we moved a few months ago, only converted from T12s to T8s about 1.5 years ago. When I asked our facilities manager why they didn't go to T5s or LED, he said the landlord was only doing the minimum to get some rebates. Still have magnetic ballasts.


Don't let the 'cool factor' suck you in. The people in the Cree marketing dept. are looking for people like you. Just say no.
 

jtr1962

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This is something which makes no sense to me. If it was much more efficient than fluorescents then I would see the point but it isn't. And why operate off a fluorescent ballast instead of mains voltage? Now you have two sources of loss-the flourescent ballast and the LED driver electronics.

I love LEDs but only where they make sense. This isn't such an application.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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So the efficiency is about the same as florescent and it costs $30. The only way you save money is that it uses less power because it's dimmer. The only way that works is by having more light focused down vs. light losses in the fixture for florescent from the bulb shining 360 degrees. This isn't enough for me to want these bulbs. In a year or two, Philips and Cree will likely have a 200 lumen per watt version of these bulbs. The return on investment for a 200 lumen per watt bulb will be well worth it. This year's bulb has no real energy savings and the total cost is more than the 3-5 bulbs it would replace over time. If you want to buy these bulbs now, I'm not going to stand in your way. You're paying for the R&D to make the next generation bulbs cheaper that I will then buy.
 

TPA

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Damn shame it doesn't work with magnetic ballasts -- I'd be buying them by the case if they did. Our buildings are mostly 30-year-old T12 troffers and that's the way it's going to stay for a loooong time. Management doesn't understand energy savings by replacing fixtures. All they see is they have a light bulb out and want it replaced ASAP. New T12 bulbs are less than new fixture + new bulbs + electrician. Why a whole new fixture -- it's cheaper than buying a ballast and having the electrician re-wire an existing fixture.

I do question the gov't wisdom in phasing out T12s for environmental reasons. What becomes of the old lighting equipment? I'll tell you what -- it gets sent to the landfill. Any energy/carbon "saved" is a moot point as the energy needed to manufacture new fixtures well exceeds any savings. Not too dissimilar from the false savings of hybrid cars, but I'll save that for another thread.
 

inetdog

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FWIW, with new magnetic ballasts becoming unavailable and T12 replacement bulbs being very limited, they will have to bite the bullet on full replacement soon enough.
 

CraigS

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FYI,
I just went though this decision with my home shop that has six 8' two tube T12 fixtures that are 35-40 years old and half dead. Really wanted to go with LED's and assumed they would be the most energy efficient. I knew exactly what I wanted for shop light level and quality. It needed to be just like my local SevenEleven that had been redone with LED troffers on about 6 to 8 foot grid, the light quality was super. I looked at T8 LED tubes, SevenEleven troffers, DIY troffers using Cree emitters and T8 fluorescent lamps. The T8 LED tubes were way too expensive had low light output (2100 Lu for these Cree's vs 3200 Lu for T8 florescent). The SevenEleven troffers were out of my budget at around $400 each but I did manage to make an equivalent DIY unit that had the same light output but the cost was still out of budget. By the time I bought the emitters, heat sinks, prismatic lens and the power supply my troffer was well over $100 and I still had to build it. One big cost item is the power supply. You just can't use current limiting resistors if you want to have any energy efficiency you need switch mode current sources.

In the end I gave up on LED's and re-lamped my fixtuers with new high ballast factor GE solid state ballasts, 900 series phosphor high lumen tubes all for about $300 including shipping. I doubled the light output over the old T12's. LED would have cost close to $2000 for the same quality lighting.

LED's have one main achilles heal, weather it be A-lines, T8 replacements or troffers and that is heat dissipation. Most all the power that one used to drive the LED turns into heat that must be shed. On my 10W Cree emitters they want you to keep the case down to 85c or less. As the power goes up and the space goes down this gets harder and harder to do. This is the main reason you don't see many 100W or 150W A-line LED's -- just can dissipate the heat without forced air cooling. The fluorescent lamps don't have this problem, they actually like to run hot to keep the mercury vaporized. Though I haven't had a chance to measure it I believe I am getting better a better LU/Watt figure with the fluorescent lamps and if not it's very close.

Craig
 
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