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The City of Portland, Oregon

Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037


LED lighting: upgrading tube lighting

LED light tube products are being sold as easy replacements for your existing fluorescents without having to replace the fixture. However, without the right expertise, you could end up with one or more of the following issues:

  • Increased glare
  • Poor light distribution
  • Light patterns that are distracting to customers and employees (think lighting that casts out in the shape of bat wings instead of a glow)
  • Poor light color
  • Worse efficiency or light output

It’s also very important not to mix fluorescent and LED tubes in the same fixture. In some cases, the bulbs will not only fail, but could be a hazard.

LED light tube

The bottom line is that most fixtures with fluorescent tubes are not designed for LEDs. LED 4’ tubes work best in fixtures designed for LEDs. Work with an outside expert from the Energy Trust or a Trade Ally lighting contractor when switching from fluorescent to LED lights.

For more information on LED lights visit Energy Trust’s website, or visit the Oregon Department of Energy for more energy information for businesses.  For technical details, see these two reports written by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the US Department of Energy.