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GKN Driveline Birmingham - T8 LED Tubes

Automotive components manufacturer installs LEDISON LED T8

GKN Driveline has  22,000 people at 57 facilities in 23 countries and is the global leader in CVJ Systems, AWD Systems, Trans Axle Solutions and eDrive Systems, serving the world's leading vehicle manufacturers.

GKN Driveline converted its UK manufacturing location to LED lighting, reducing energy use by 70% ( or1.1 million kWhper annum) and improving the quality of light.  GKN Driveline Birmingham in the UK recently converted the whole manufacturing location to LED Lighting.  The result is positive with a reduction in energy consumption and projected maintenance costs.   GKN Driveline is now retrofitting more GKN locations in Europe.

In locations with workers spread around a manufacturing floor, there is often less chance to  use dimming - because the  employees need the light. Moreover, some businesses have a mindset of wanting the lights on. Customers visiting a well-lit factory may perceive the lights positively thinking the factory is busy, and may perceive darkened areas negatively. But manufacturers such as GKN Driveline are willing to challenge those perceptions.

GKN Driveline, aware of its environmental impact and as part of its continuous improvement programme,  decided to retrofit LED Lamps in place of its CFL T8 tubes located in all the manufacturing and storage areas. 

The initial manufacturing/assembly area consisted of 3,800 fluorescent T8 tubes, each consuming 58W (68W including the power in the ballast). The Ledison T8 LED 5ft tube consumes only 22W at 0.97 power factor. Ledison’s LED tubes have a service life of over 50,000h, which will result in a substantial reduction in maintenance, eliminating the need to change difficult to reach lighting luminaires.

    Power reduction 
      per luminaire

   Measured Energy 

     Operating time        

  Payback period  

     Installed LED

*58W reduced to 22W


24h / 340 days



*CLF: 68W including the power in the ballast

Prior to retrofit, the manufacturing area was lit with 3,600 58W/5ft  and 200 36W/4ft fluorescent tubes.  GKN Driveline  worked with Ledison Lighting to  prepare for the retrofit.  The engineering team of Ledison recommended the ultra efficient LEDISON T8 Tubes 22watt. Keeping the same amount of fixtures the new LED Tubes achieved uniform light distribution and over 2,200lm with CCT 6000k (cool white).

Electrical Savings

The factory has a dedicated metering system that measures the exact amount of the aggregated savings attributable to the lights. The electricity usage for lighting was down 70% after the installation of the LED Tubes. The baseline savings attributable to the LED lights is substantial.  The measured power consumption of the existing CFL lights was 68W with the ballast.


Before embarking on the project Ledison Lighting analysed the cost of the project and the expected payback. The calculations showed that the project would payback in 1.2 years.

The new lighting received positive comments from employees that enjoy the brighter and more uniform lighting. Some of the pictures show that the LED tubes are very bright.

Next steps

The installation in GKN Driveline Birmingham was completed in July 2012. The success of the project has prompted GKN Driveline to immediately begin two more retrofits -  in facilities in Italy and France. Similar types and amounts of LED tubes will also be fitted in the other two GKNDriveline locations.

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