T8 to T5 | FAQs
Energys Group
+44 (0)1403 786212

Frequently Asked Questions about the retrofit converter:
Save It Easy

Confused about the T5 adapter and how it works? Click on the questions about our retrofit converter below to find out more


1) Will Save It Easy® significantly reduce my energy use, my carbon footprint and my costs?

Yes. Save It Easy® enables installation of energy-efficient T5 tubes, and offers further energy savings through its lower-consumption drivers (ballasts). All of this is possible while keeping the existing fittings and wiring in place.

2) Will Save It Easy® conversion be time-consuming and disrupt work patterns?

No. Retrofitting, by its very nature, minimises disruption, enabling conversion to be rapidly undertaken, either in down-time periods or even while work continues around the fitters.

3) Is Save It Easy® a proven technology?

Yes. Save It Easy® was introduced in 2006 and, since then, almost one million installations have been carried out, in a range of different applications. It is a mature technology accredited to international standards and backed by a wealth of operational experience.

Use with other lighting energy-saving measures

4) Can Save It Easy® be used with lighting voltage reduction equipment?

Yes. Save It Easy® units self-adjust to a consistent reduced voltage, giving a further energy saving.

5) Can Save It Easy® be used with Passive Infra Red (PIR) movement sensors?

Yes. And the units give instant tube re-light, without the time delay of conventional Switchstart operation.
We recommend PIR’s are set to 20 minutes to prolong lamp life or our lamp warranty will be breached.

6) Can Save It Easy® be used with dimmers/daylight sensing?

No. The units are unable to adjust to the constantly-varying voltages produced by such equipment.

Use in a typical or special applications

7) Can Save It Easy® be used in high-frequency ballasted T8 fittings?

Yes. Save It Easy® units with T5 tubes can save from 26% to 48% in such fittings. For full details, see H/F Savings Table and Installation in H/F Fittings.

8) Can Save It Easy® be used with emergency fittings?

Yes. This is possible where emergency power is supplied from a centralised system, i.e. not from a battery within the fitting. If power is provided from a battery within the fitting, the issue is more complicated. See Installation in Emergency Fittings.

9) Can Save It Easy® be used with food quality (i.e. sleeved) tubes?

Yes. Tubes sleeved to prevent the possibility of falling glass will fit Save It Easy, and these are in widespread use in the food industry and in other applications.

Life expectancy and tube cost/availability

10) What is the general life expectancy of Save It Easy® units?

Save It Easy® units are rated to 50,000 hours mean time between failures at 25oC at 80% relative Humidity. i.e. at 50,000 hours half of the units will still be working. If temperature is raised then the life will be shortened. This is in line with all good-quality ballasts. This equates to 5.7 years of continuous 24-hour operation every day.Save It Easy is available with a perpetual extended guarantee at £1.50 per unit per year.

11) What is the general life expectancy of T5 tubes?

Good quality T5 tubes have a life expectancy of some 20,000 hours, maintaining over 90% of initial light output over that period and requiring tubes to be replaced only half as often.

12) Are T5 tubes very expensive?

No. T5 tubes cost little more than old-style T8 tubes and they offer twice the lifetime, with greater and more consistent foot-for-foot light output.

13) Where can I get replacement T5 tubes?

Locally. They are available from electrical wholesalers throughout the UK, from your local electrical retailer or you can contact Save It Easy® suppliers, ECSL.

14) Isn’t it a waste not to use my existing T8 tubes until they fail?

No. The cost of your T8 tube is around £1.50. Assuming it has half its life remaining, it is worth 75p. Delaying T5 savings while waiting till the end of life of that T8 tube would lose you £5 or more in electricity. Your old tubes will be recycled and all possible materials re-used.

Operating characteristics

15) Will light levels be reduced?

No. Unless deliberately underpowered, T5 lamps will not reduce light levels. They are better than T8 or T12 at maintaining light output with age, and, in the vast majority of cases, light quality and levels are improved. In fact, it is common for T5 users to find that fewer lamps are needed, providing even greater energy savings.

16) Is Power Factor affected?

Yes. It is improved. Save It Easy® adapters have a lagging Power Factor (PF) close to unity (the most desirable situation), in line with the latest ballast technology. Actual values vary slightly with different versions. (See installation note on extremely heavy lighting loads.)

17) Are there EMC Problems?

No. Save It Easy® EMC performance has been tested to international standards by approved testing houses under conditions fully conforming to required standards. However, the luminaire and not the converter may induce EMC problems with unusually sensitive electronically equipment. For total assurance in such areas, it is advisable to install a common mode choke on the luminaire incoming supply. These devices are inexpensive and simple to fit.

Trial installation

18) How can I get the clearest and most accurate results from an in-house trial installation of Save It Easy?

Very simply. By following the trial installation guidance below:

Energy saving

Electricity is billed in watts, so please measure the before and after with a watt meter to calculate the savings properly. Watt clamp meters can be purchased from RS components or your local electrical wholesaler.


This should be undertaken by a suitably qualified person.

For Switchstart units:

  • Turn off power
  • Remove old T8 tube
  • Remove Starter
  • Install SIE starter (which is just a fuse)
  • Fit T5 tube into Save It easy ballast and smaller remote end. It is preferable for the brand mark on the tube to be in the ballast end (larger part). We recommend using gloves for safety.
  • Put it in the fitting
  • Turn on

Lumen output

Lumen output will probably be greater because the T8 may have deteriorated by as much as 40%. T5 tubes deteriorate by only 5%. The light will not be flickering. The lamp will last twice as long as a T8.


Reading the amps will not provide you with the energy savings without using separate before and after power correction factors. In larger installations, isolating the capacitor within the luminaire is good practice and will reduce initial start up current, but is not needed on all installations and certainly not on a small trial of a couple of units.