Written by Deco Lighting President Ben Pouladian.
After the recall of Cree Lighting’s LED retrofit T8 tubes back in June, I noted the importance of using superior hardwired retrofit solutions rather than tube retrofit options. Recently, Osram Sylvania recalled 55,000 T8 LED replacement tubes due to their potential to overheat and melt, posing a burn hazard for users.
Osram Sylvania recalled nearly 55,000 LED T8 tube lamps manufactured in South Korea over reported burn hazards on August 25, 2015.
This recall again highlights the superiority and increased safety of using hardwired LED boards as opposed to LED retrofit tubes. The Consumer Product Safety Commission strongly recommends that consumers stop using T8 LED tubes and replace them. Only a hardwired solution can safely retrofit a fluorescent fixture to LED. At Deco Lighting we focus on education and sourcing the best, verified components in our supply chain to eliminate this risk.
To aid customers interested in upgrading to the safer hardwired retrofit solution after these recalls, we are providing discounts on our Deco Linea retrofit kits to end-users who have purchased any of the recalled “quick-fix” LED T8 tubes made to fit into existing fluorescent sockets. Using these LED tube retrofit kits presents a safety risk because most of the original fixtures used T12 lamps and magnetic ballasts (an analog system), but were retrofitted to T8 using upgraded electronic ballasts. If the retrofitter did not upgrade or replace the existing T8 tombstones, then a small amount of leakage current is emitted. T8 lamps can tolerate this leakage. Yet, with solid-state LED lamps, this current affects the LEDs and the power supply, causing the sockets to overheat and melt. Deco Lighting does not use tube technology for this very reason.
These recent LED recalls also highlight the importance of utilizing US-made LED solutions. The Cree T8 LED tubes recalled on June 4th were manufactured in China, and the Osram Sylvania T8 LED tubes recalled on August 25th were manufactured in South Korea. Many of these non-U.S. made LED products posses manufacturing defects due to poor-quality components and lack of testing to ensure that end-products meet the proper safety standard that customers deserve. For instance, LEDinside recently published a story revealing that inferior LED luminaries were being labeled and sold as international brands in China. Unfortunately, many customers shop based solely on price and go to marketplaces like Alibaba.com to buy the cheapest DLC-listed LED T8 they can find; and rarely are these products up to necessary LED standards. At Deco, we focus on educating the public about sub-standard versus quality LED solutions, and sourcing the best, verified components in the supply chain to eliminate consumer risk. We also make all of our LED boards at our manufacturing facility in Commerce, California, so you can be sure you are purchasing top-quality, American-made luminaires that will last a lifetime.
Google Trends depicts a growing interest among consumers in T8 LED tube retrofit solutions, and it’s important for end-users to be aware of the difference in quality and safety between a tube retrofit and a hardwired upgrade. Deco Lighting continues to create safe and efficient LED retrofit solutions, populating our American-made boards with state-of the-art LEDs by Nichia, makers of the finest-quality LEDs in the market. Our partnership with Nichia has enabled us to produce an incredible LED light engine that produces very little heat, lasts up to 219,000 hours, and is covered by the same 10-year warranty included with all Deco LED products. We offer several LED retrofit kits that simultaneously improve the quality of light and reduce power consumption by up to 75 percent when compared to fluorescent tubes. For instance our Linea Troffer and Parabolic LED Retrofit Kit upgrades standard 1X4, 2X2, and 2X4 fluorescent troffers in as little as five minutes. To learn more about Deco retrofit kits and solutions click here.