Jim Brodrick, head of the Department of Energy's Solid State Lighting Program
Awhile back, we published a blog post called Why LEDs Aren’t Always the Answer. It explained a Department of Energy report that announced LED T8 replacement lamps were very poor alternatives for fluorescents.
There is a good deal of hype about LEDs and for good reason but it’s important to remember this is still a new technology that has its own unique limitations. While there are many good LED applications within high quality products (i.e., barbecue lights, cabinet lights, exit signs, night lights, step lights, recessed lights, under cabinet lights), there are also some poorly-manufactured LEDs fixtures with flawed designs.
The Department of Energy released another report recently about LED replacements for four-foot linear fluorescent lamps (used often in commercial spaces like schools, hospitals and offices). In their words:
Vendors of LED linear replacement lamps claim energy savings and long lifetimes, but testing of currently available products to date does not support these claims.
Unfortunately, LED linear replacement lamps fall far short of fluorescents in light output, color quality, distribution, cost-effectiveness, and lumen maintenance. The DOE recommends avoiding all LED linear replacement lamps for the time being.