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What are the differences between the Philips LEDtubes?

And which series suits my application best?

Philips LEDtubes are Plug & Play alternatives for conventional fluorescent tubes. LEDtubes realise a big saving on your energy costs, which can rise up to 70% in most occasions. Due to the big offer in LED tubes it is hard to find the right one. This blog post helps you find the right Philips LED tube.

Philips has LED alternatives for T8 (TL-D) tubes and T5 (TL5) tubes. Both can be recognised by their diameter and socket. T8 tubes have a diameter of 28mm and a G13 socket, with pins which are 13mm apart. TL5 lamps have a diameter of 16mm and a G5 socket, of which the pins are 5mm apart.

Which driver technology do I need?

EM Conventional Ballast

This (ElectroMagnetic) driver technology is used in older fixtures with a conventional ballast and a starter. You can recognise an EM ballast by its zooming noise and the flickering when the fixture is turned on. EM-tubes have a single blue ring on the end of the tube. When the tube is replaced by an LED one, the LED starter should be placed instead of the old one.

HF Electronic Ballast

This (High Frequent) driver technology is suitable for fixtures with a modern HF ballast, without a starter. These "InstantFit" HF-tubes can be recognised by their double blue ring on the end of the tube. The fixture does not need to be changed when replacing the old tube by the LED tube. Please note: T5 tubes always have the HF driver technology.

UN (Universal) Ballast - for all Ballasts

Philips Universal tubes are suitable for all fixtures, due to their modern multifunctional driver technology. UN tubes can be applied on HF and EM ballasts or can be installed directly on the mains. These tubes can be recognised by their 3 rings on the end of the tube. This technology is often chosen when multipe ballast types are used.

Which series LEDtube suits my application?


  • Available in T8
  • HF & EM variant
  • Glass cover
  • 30.000 hours lifetime
  • Entry level lighting
  • Lowest light output and low efficiency
  • Home, hobby & garage

High Output (HO)

  • Avalaible in T8 & T5
  • HF & EM variant
  • Polycarbonate cover
  • 50.000 hours lifetime
  • Highest energy efficiency
  • Light output equal to fluorescent tube
  • Offices & retail

Ultra Output (UO)

  • Available in T8 & T5
  • HF, EM & UN variant
  • Polycarbonate cover
  • 50.000 hours lifetime
  • Highest light output
  • For high application areas >4 meters
  • Industry & Warehouses

Ultra Efficiency (UE)

  • Available in T8
  • Only EM variant
  • Polycarbonate cover
  • 60.000 hours lifetime
  • Highest efficiency and highest light output
  • The most "high-end" LED tube
  • Industry & Warehouses

Do you need help changing to LED?

Our team of LED specialists is at your service. Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to receive personal advice or a quotation.