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Comparison among Conventional Fluorescent Neon lamp,
Retrofit-type LED Lamp, and
External-SMPS-type LED Lamp

Conventional Fluorescent Neon lamp

It is what you are using at the moment and are most familiar with. The cost of the product itself is the cheapest, but it is the most expensive when we consider electricity and maintenance costs.
It harms the natural environment through the emission of tremendous amount of CO₂ and mercury. Moreover, the lifetime of this product is the shortest with its brightness decreasing about 20 ~ 30% several months later after the installation.

Retrofit-type LED lamp

Retrofit-type LED product operates under the current fluorescent neon product system.

The Retrofit uses its own SMPS inside the retrofit tube.
The current fluorescent neon lamp also uses the external ballast.

When we change from the neon lamp to the retrofit LED, we just replace the lamp only.
The retrofit LED needs both its own SMPS and the external ballast for its operation.

The ballast is just for the neon lamp only, nevertheless if the ballast does not exist or out of order, the retrofit LED doesn’t function.
Therefore, when the ballast is broken or failed, you should immediately change it with a new one.
This leads to higher power consumption and more maintenance cost during its operation and maintenance:


The electronic ballast consumes about 5 watts and the mechanical ballast needs about 10 – 15 watts, depending on its status.
When you see 34 watts as a power consumption of Retrofit LED in the technical specification sheet, the actual total power consumption amounts to 39 - 49 watts due to the ballast.


◈◈ It is convenient when you want to change the current fluorescent lamp to LED lamp.
You just take the fluorescent lamp off the existing luminaire and replace with a Retrofit-LED lamp.
That’s all.

However, when we consider its maintenance, it is not recommended to use the Retrofit-LED lamp.

The ballast is a consuming component. Its cost is around 30 Euro per piece and it should be replaced with new one from time to time.


◈◈◈ LED is weak to the heat and SMPS produces some heat during its own operation.
The heat of the internal SMPS of the retrofit LED affects the LED lifetime of the retrofit.


To summerize the Retrofit type,

The actual product cost is the price of retrofit product + the price of the ballast.

The actual power consumption is the power consumption of Retrofit LED, which shows in the technical specification + the power consumption of the ballast.

Retrofit is considered to be an intermediate and temporary product, which is used in the course of the movement from Fluorescent lamp to LED lamp.

External-SMPS-type LED lamp

This is a real, future-oriented LED lamp.

It achieves much energy saving and more comfortable environment.

It doesn’t need any additional ballast unlike the retrofit LED.
And, the product lifetime is longer than the retrofit LED.
Because of the above reasons, external SMPS-type LED lamp is more economic than the retrofit LED and more advantageous as well as convenient to keep its maintenance.
Nowadays, most of the leading lighting manufacturers, such as Zumtobel, Siteco, Trilux, etc, try to introduce this type of LED product into the market.
Our products – EBADA, PUNIEL are also External-SMPS-type products.