Electricity Saving Tips For Homes And Offices

Energy Efficient Lights – use CFLs, T5s and LEDs

By on July 28, 2015

Hindi Translation: ऊर्जा कुशल लाइट्स - सीएफएल, T5 और एलईडी का उपयोग

Lighting consumption constitutes about 30% of residential consumption as per a study by Ministry of Environment and Forest in India. Its contribution in your electricity bill may vary from 10-20% depending on your total bill. Although it may not be a major contributor in the electricity bill, the energy efficient options are fairly simpler to implement and provide higher rate of returns.


Latest technical advancements in lighting provide with a lot of options for energy savings today. The energy saving lighting options are a little expensive compared to the old incandescent options and old tubelights, but the payback time for them considering the savings it provides is quite short depending on the usage (mostly less than a year for average usage). Also the life of the new energy saving lighting options are far better than those of the old lights, which makes them much more attractive. There are several lighting options that are available in the market which are discussed below:

1) Incandescent Bulbs: The traditional yellow light bulbs which were available in various variants: 40W, 60W and 100W, are the most inefficient in terms of energy consumption. 90% of the energy they consume is lost as heat and only 10% is converted into useful light. Although they are still quite inexpensive (Rs 10/-) and a lot of households still use it, but they are the energy guzzlers. Many countries in the world have stopped producing them. Even if they are still there in working condition in several households, it makes a lot of sense to replace them with energy efficient options just from a cost saving perspective.

2) Tubelights: The fluorescent lamps are better than Incandescent bulbs (50-70% better in providing same amount of light) and they have been there in the market since quite some time. It started coming in the form of tubelights (something which most of us have known since our childhood) and later graduated to come in form of CFLs. A typical fluorescent lamp has a ballast (to stabilize the current through the lamp) and a tube. In past tubelights used to come with electromagnetic ballast which caused the lights to flicker on start. Now a days we get electronic ballast which prevents the fluorescent lamps to flicker. Electromagnetic ballast consumes for electricity than an electronic ballast. Most tubelights today have electronic ballast.

Tubelights are also available in various variants: T12, T8 and T5. These numbers represent the thickness of the tubelight. The smaller the number, the higher the efficiency. T5 tubelights with electronic ballast are the best available fluorescent tubelight options in the marketA T12 tubelight with a electromagnetic ballast typically consumes 55W of electricity but a T5 with electronic ballast will consume only 28W of electricity (comparison is for a 4 feet tubelight). Thus a T5 provides about 50% electricity saving over a regular T12 tubelight. T8s are typically 38W tubelights and are better than T12s. Although T5s are little expensive, the payback is within a year. Also their life is quite good and they last for 3-4 years at least. Many companies give 1-2 year replacement warranty on T5s. Thus the payback happens within the warranty period.

3) CFLs: CFLs have been regarded as the best energy saving option in our country since quite some time. CFL is a variant of fluorescent lamps (or tubelights) but has a different application. CFLs act as a point source of light (light originating from one point) whereas tubelights are line source (tubelights have bigger lengths) and thus the area covered by tubelights is lot more than that of CFLs. This is the reason why a lot of people feel that CFLs produce lesser lights than tubelights. Even with equal wattage (2x14W CFLs) the amount of light is felt lesser than a T5 tubelight (of 28W) because of CFL being point source. CFLs being compact in size provide options to create smaller (lower wattage) bulbs that can cater to locations where tubelights provide extra brightness (more than required). CFLs provide up to 70% energy savings over a typical incandescent bulb. Although a little more expensive than a incandescent, payback happens within a year.

4) LEDs: LEDs are the latest and most efficient lighting option which is available in the market. Their electricity consumption is 50% less than that of CFLs and fluorescent lamps for the same amount of light. LEDs also are long lasting with a life of about 10-25 years and their performance remains the same throughout their lifetime (Tubelights and CFLs get dim with time). Although a little expensive (with a payback of about 2 years), the benefit with LEDs is that it is maintenance free. Once installed, it will not need any repair of change for at least 10 years. A lot of companies manufacturing LED options give replacement warranty for up to 10 years which makes the option even more attractive. The only drawback of LEDs is the angle covered by the light. CFLs and tubelights provide lights in 360o where as for LEDs the angle depends on the kind of reflectors used in the bulb.  Some do provide larger angles so that is something that should be checked before buying.

Wattage of the bulb or tubelight has been traditionally used as the measure of amount of light produced by it, but watts does not represent the actual amount of light produced.  The amount of light produced is represented by a term called lumen. So to compare two lights, one should compare the lumen of output and the angle of delivery of light. Wattage just helps one estimate the power consumption.Infographic9 Infographic12 infographic14

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61 Comments on "Energy Efficient Lights – use CFLs, T5s and LEDs"

If you have any question or comment, please leave a message here. We try to reply to questions in the sequence they come in. We work from Monday-Friday 10AM-7PM. If we know the answer we try to reply to the question within 3 days.

July 22, 2015

we have 4 towers of 10 stories and we have installed cfl and tubelights, will it be a wise decision to save energy by installing led every where. i dont know exactly about watts of them but this is to save our monthly maintenance

June 26, 2015

I use 22 Watt CFL bulb in our rooms. 5 CFLs light up our rooms. Consider that each bulb runs 7 hours daily. Now I plan to replace each 22 Watt CFL bulb with 14 Watt Philips LED bulbs (Total 5 Pieces). I would like to know, How much money I can save monthly by replacing 5 22 Watt CFL bulbs with 14 Watt LED bulbs? Please reply at the earliest if possible.

June 24, 2015

what is led replacement for 45w hpsv bulb (please attach a link if possible)?

d k de
June 16, 2015

How to select LED tube lights. Who are proven manufacturers? Wall mounting type with good illumination.

June 9, 2015

Dear Sir, I am having an energy saver tubelight of orient pspo having T5 tube of 28W (whole tubelight module with fitting…not just the glass tube, something like this but not exact same model http://www.orientelectric.com/shop-online/slim_line_pearl_28w-239.aspx ). I bought the tubelight for Rs. 650 and it stopped working after 1 years and 2 months. I thought the tube is damaged so i changed it but the problem is with the tubelight circuit. Either electronic ballast or something other is wrong with it. However, when i called over orient team they simply refused to repair the tubelight because it was out of the warranty period which was of 1 year. And none of local unauthorized repairers in my city is ready to repair it they said its impossible. I am very disappointed on this early breakdown of the tubelight. Please help me what should I do. Is there anyway to repair it or shall i simply throw that away and buy a new one. Buying a new one will again cost me much so please of there is any way to repair old one do tell me please.

June 10, 2015

Thank you for replying sir. I contacted company but they simply refused…they are not repairing it even if i am ready to pay. And obviously I am not going to pay more than in what a new tubelight comes. I opened the circuit and found that in the circuit, a current limiting resistor, that was soldered to one of the wire incoming from main, is blown off. The tragedy is, i cant figure out that the resistor is of how many ohms since the blown resistor didn’t had color coding, it was just of pale light olive green color. I also dont have any other spare tubelight of same brand and model and also…since the resistor is damaged , i cant use multimeter. However i called company for the part of which i was having doubt but they are just unhelpful. I think that i have no option than to buy new one. I had good experience with havells E-Lite desire tubelight fixture, its working since 1 yr 9 months, didnt even changed the tube yet, even once. Orient has simply disappointed me. I’d buy a new one please suggest me which one to buy.

July 2, 2015

HI, I have Crompton Greaves litelight T5 fixtures (5 nos) since 2009, which i have used thoroughly and the original tube/lamps are still burning bright and expecting many more years to come. I suppose T5 fixtures of Crompton greaves are the best bet maybe followed by Philips. I feel smaller players like orient may not be up to the mark of the bigger ones. i suggest u to go for CG.

rootbeer man
June 1, 2015

Do they make a t5 in gold or yellow color yet?

May 20, 2015

I need to Purchase Light for my Fish Tank
i was thinking for a 24″ – T5 Fluorescent TubeLight which consumes 20W
But later in many sites it was written that LED Lights are best and Save’s Lot of Energy
But i am really confused because when i searched for 5 M White LED Light Strip 5050 on eBay.in, it says it consumes 72W and is 900LM (color temp 9000k)

Ramakrishna Rao B V
April 22, 2015

I have T5 Tube Light fitting – Electronic Tubelight Fixture – 28 Watts – 4 Feet. Can it be replaced by LED tube without the frame

March 26, 2015

hi abhishek,

my room is about 10*18 ft. and in one corner my kitchen is there and in another corner I have kept bed. how may tube light I have to install considering if I am in kitchen the light wont disturb the sleeping one. I am planning to put 4 tubes of 1 ft. of T5.

We are total seven family members including 2 childrens so which geyser will do for getting hot water for bath and how much will be increase in bill per month. we leave in mumbai and BEST supplies electricity.

February 14, 2015


There’re many brands offering T5 tube lights ranging starting from Rs545 of various brands whereas I didn’t see metallic frame tubelight anywhere. Could you share comparison between various brands & their luminous.

February 15, 2015

Hi Abhisek,

I did look at various brand website including Havells. Many mentioned as “extruded aluminium”. Is it same as metallic frame? Would you mind sharing exact model? Even Havells include same description for multiple model yet price varies. Why? Many shop keeper have limited option of brand Wipro/Phillips.