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Flicker of LED lights paid attention to in an international LED tube comparison


The English LuxReview periodically carries out tests on lighting products, the latest being a test of LED tubes. The tests were carried out at the LIA laboratory in Telford – with over 30 years of experience in the field, it is the leading laboratory specialising in lighting product testing in Europe.

The latest models from a total of 12 major LED tube brands were tested during April and May 2016. Valtavalo sent two of their 120cm 19W 4000K G4 LED tubes with semiopal covers, which is the company’s newest product, launched in February 2016.

In the laboratory, the luminous efficacy (lm/w), colour rendering (CRI), colour temperature (CCT), power factor and flicker percentage of the tubes were tested.

LuxReview recommends tubes on the basis of three measured values: luminous efficacy, absence of flicker and colour rendering.  Valtavalo’s G4 LED tube is one of the tubes recommended by LuxReview.

Flicker percentage of Valtavalo G4 LED tube is 1%, whereas the average value of all the tested tubes is 38,7%. Even though people do not consciously identify flickering, the retina and brain notice it. According to the studies flickering may cause many kinds of ailments to people, such as headaches, fatigue and stress on the brain.

In the Valtavalo G4 LED tube, the issue has been resolved by investing in control technology. Our LED tubes are particularly designed for workplaces and facilities where people remain for long periods and where they must be able to see well”, says Markku Laatikainen, managing director of Valtavalo.

Temperature rises halve lifespans

The article highlights the effect of temperature on LED tube lifespan and there is a reminder of the rule of thumb for electronic equipment: for every 10-degree increase in temperature (above room temperature), the actual lifetime decreases by 50 per cent. Near the ceiling, the temperature can be easily 10 degrees higher than at the level of use. In the same way, inserting the tube into a closed light fixture raises its temperature further. Usually, lifespan is given at room temperature, but in reality it could be much lower than stated.

”In practice, this means that the lifetime of an LED tube inside a housing is no longer 40,000 hours as promised, but 20,000 hours. If the lamp is fixed high up on the ceiling where the air is ten degrees above room temperature due to stratification, LED tubes hardly even have the same lifetime as conventional fluorescent tubes”, says Laatikainen.

Focusing on the quality

Despite the fact that the test concentrated on easily measurable values and the main competitive edges of Valtavalo’s LED tubes, i.e. their high quality and longest lifespan on the market, were not taken into account in the review, the ranking that the G4 LED tube attained is still, on the whole, excellent.

If we include in the comparison the lifespans and warranty periods given by manufacturers, the G4 LED tube’s lead becomes even greater.  The G4’s lifespan of 125,000 hours as stated by Valtavalo and seven-year warranty are based on the product’s automated manufacture and mechanical design, as well as its high-quality components. The power source of the G4 LED tube is isolated and all its components have been designed to last to give the product a long lifespan. It is worthwhile to familiarise oneself with the warranty terms of various LED tube manufacturers – sometimes product warranties are limited, for example, with maximum daily usage hours.

”This really should be taken into consideration when selecting a lighting solution – only by investing in industrial-grade LED tubes with a lifetime of 125,000 hours can you be sure that the tube will withstand demanding conditions and you ensure that you actually save money during the tubes’ lifetime. The G4 LED tube’s life cycle costs are among the lowest in the market”, Laatikainen summarises.

The original English-language LuxReview report can be read here:

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