Lighting using fluorescent tubes has been a staple in our offices, homes, and public spaces for decades. It is used extensively by the Out of Home (OOH) industry to illuminate advertising displays. However, as we move forward, there are compelling reasons to make a switch to more eco-friendly alternatives. While many organisations have made the switch to more energy-efficient LED lighting in recent years, there are still millions of fluorescent lamps operating across Europe as well as across the globe.

For some time, it has been acknowledged that LED lighting offers a credible improvement to fluorescent lamps in terms of both efficiency and cost savings. However, many business owners are slow to switch. The result is that there are millions of energy-inefficient fluorescent lamps still in use. The perception is often that retrofitting can be expensive, but this is not necessarily the case. For example, many solutions can offer up to 80% cost and energy savings and a return on investment of just a couple of years.

Banning of Fluorescent Bulbs

A major stage in the phase-out of fluorescent light sources is now in progress as fluorescent lamps T5 and T8 cannot be put on the market for sale in the EU since August 25th 2023 and the UK will follow suit in February 2024. This is based on the Restriction of the use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation 2002/95/EC.

It is estimated that there are 250 million fluorescent lamps installed in Europe which will need to be changed. Existing stocks of these fluorescent lamps from suppliers will still be available until they are exhausted. There have been some reports of stockpiling by users. But now is the time to start looking at the options as these lamps become impossible to obtain.

While the ban may be the reason that companies look at retrofitting, there are many other benefits to retrofitting from fluorescent lighting to more eco-friendly alternatives. These include:

Environmental Impact

Fluorescent tubes contain hazardous mercury. They must be disposed of in the correct manner in order to keep the mercury out of the atmosphere. Retrofitting from fluorescent lighting to LED technology can make a major positive contribution to the environment. LEDs are free from mercury.

Energy Efficiency

Retrofitting to modern LED technology greatly improves energy efficiency. LEDs consume significantly less energy which also means significantly lower electricity costs. They are up to 80% more efficient than traditional fluorescent bulbs.


The lifespan for LED’s far surpasses that of fluorescent tubes. LEDs can shine brightly for up to 6 times longer than fluorescent tubes can. This reduces the frequency of replacements and maintenance but also minimizes the environmental impact by decreasing the amount of electronic waste.

Cost Savings

While the initial investment involved with retrofitting LEDs might seem higher than simply replacing the fluorescent bulbs, the long-term cost savings make it well worth it. With significant savings on energy bills and maintenance costs, there is a quick return on investment.

Improved Quality of Light

LED lights offer a higher quality of illumination compared to fluorescent lighting. They provide consistent, flicker-free light, reducing eye strain and creating a more comfortable environment.

Display Lighting with Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent tubes were originally designed to provide light in offices and public spaces and they do this quite efficiently. However, they were not designed to illuminate advertising displays. These displays create other challenges, for example a 2m2 display is usually 1800mm high and the tubes that fit into this are 1500mm. This can cause dark patches on the top and bottom of the display. Also as the tubes are directly behind and quite close to the display, we can often see bright spots where they are positioned.

LED tubes are the same size as fluorescent tubes and so the same problem can be seen on many displays using LED lighting.

Examples of different lighting in 2m2 displays

While the banning of fluorescent tubes in Europe may well be the driver behind considering retrofitting, when you understand all the benefits, it’s a decision that simply makes sense. From the positive environmental impact to energy savings and reduced maintenance costs as well as improved illumination, the advantages are clear. So why not get in touch to us about retrofitting our Solar AdTek LED lighting into your advertising light boxes.

Why Choose Solar AdTeK Lighting?

Many companies have installed LED tubes as a direct replacement for fluorescent tubes. This is often simply because the old tubes can be easily removed, disposed of in the correct manner and new LED tubes fitted in the same fitting. However, although this solution can be less expensive in the short term, there are other considerations to be taken into account.

    • As they are produced primarily for the indoor market, LED tubes are not generally waterproof whereas Solar AdTek LED lighting and power supply units are IP67 water and dust proof.

    • Solar AdTek lighting offers savings in energy and CO2 emissions of up to 90% compared to fluorescent tubes and 40% versus standard LED tubes.

    • <2-year Return on Investment against Fluorescent tubes and a<4-year Return on Investment against LED tubes

    • Our lighting is designed specifically for advertising displays. It Illuminates the poster from either side of the advertising light box. As a result, it achieves bright, vibrant and uniform lighting without hotspots and dark patches.

    • Our lighting lasts up to 250% longer than fluorescent tubes and 50% longer than LED tubes.

If you’d like more information about our lighting solutions just get in touch for a FREE quotation.