Word is getting out that the Hera SlimLites are discontinued. And Eclectic-ware is here to tell you what you can do now.
In the summer of 2018, the Hera Lighting T4 size SlimLites were discontinued. In 2021, the T5 size have now been discontinued. But there is still hope. So far, all the T5 size lights and fluorescent bulbs are still in stock. No more are being made, but they have not completely run out yet. The T4 size, well. On the T4 size, the 13" and 20" fixtures are completely gone, only a few 10" at the time of this writing remain. And the T4 bulbs are starting to go down in their availability.
For this informational article, it will relate closely to four of our web pages:
Why these four pages? Quick answer is that the ELite-LED XL version can be used in place of the Hera SlimLite T4 and T5 lights with the XL pin connector ends. What are the pin connector ends?
These are the XL pin connector ends. Two pins on the INPUT end of the light, and two round sockets on the OUTPUT end to continue lights in the same power run.
There will not be any other pictures in this help article. Most of what we will teach you here will relate to this picture just above. And there will be a lot to read. Get ready.
To try to keep from being repetative:
On the 4 page links we listed higher on this page, there is some history about the Hera T4 Slimlites. You can read it there. If you happen to have the very old blade-style SlimLites, best if you just upgrade to the 3-prong grounded ELite-LED now. And on all 4 pages, there will be a lot of product pictures, and the ability to drop items into your shopping cart for what remains of the SlimLites and replacement bulbs. And to order either variety of the Hera Elite-LED lights and components.
Let there be Light
Hera SlimLites can be identified by two part number systems. The T4 sizes came in 10", 13", and 20" lengths. They were called the ES10, ES13, and ES20. But also called DL07, DL10, and DL18. The DL numbers referred to the WATTAGE of the bulb, NOT the length. They were available in Warm White and Cool White and came prepackaged with bulbs, and Plexiglass shields. T5 sizes generally say ES12, ES22, ES34, ES46, or ES59 on them.
What we are offerring now for a quick and easy replacement, and one that allows you to use your same connecting cables, power cords, and hardwire boxes is the ELite-LED XL version. The XL version has the same connection ends as shown in that picture a ways above. So if you have any of the three T4 sizes of SlimLites, you can connect an ELite-LED XL in-line with them. If you have a few SlimLites on one power cord and one went bad, the ELite-LED XL can work in conjunction with your other lights that are still functioning. For the 10" and 13" SlimLites, you would choose the EL/LED/12/4000/XL which is 11-11/16" long. It fits smoothly in place of the 13" light, but for the 10", you must make sure that you have 1-11/16" of more LENGTH space for it to fit. That is really important. Sometimes the SlimLites were fitted under cabinets with light rails and there is no extra room. So MEASURE FIRST. Make sure they can fit. On the 20" light, the replacement is the EL/LED/22/4000/XL which measures 21-7/8" long. Thus, you must have that extra 1-7/8" of space for it to work in lieu of the 20" SlimLite. We cannot emphasize that enough. MEASURE your space.
The 20" SlimLites were by far the most popular of the three sizes. So this is the one we get the most requests for. The EL/LED/22/4000/XL has performed fantastically in place of it. But you must have that extra space for it to fit. The ELite-LED XL version comes in Cool White only. Yes, sorry, only cool white. When on, it looks just like a SlimLite. We have pictures on the ELite-LED XL page showing this.
What if I have several lights in the same string to replace?
This is where you can begin to SAVE MONEY. The SlimLites allowed for end to end connection via the direct connector. It is quite common to see two or three of the 20" lights connected end to end to make one longer light. So, if you have 2 of the 20" lights together, you can consider using one EL/LED/34/4000/XL in place of the two lights. It will be a little shorter on overall light length, but it will fit. The 34" ELite is 33-11/6" long. But let me direct you back up to that picture again. See the ends of the two lights? The Slimlite has its end collars, on both ends, that the pins of the bulb fit into and then turn. Then the bulb itself has end collars. So on each end of a SlimLite, you have a dull area of almost one inch. When connecting two end to end, you have dull areas of near two inches between lights. Now look at the end of the ELite. Notice how the lighted area of the tube is almost completely to the end of the light? So two Hera 20" SlimLites end to end technically give you about 36" of light output area. The EL/LED/34/4000/XL has a lighted output area of 32-3/4". So not as great of a loss in length when you look at it like that.
And if you had 3 of the 20" lights end to end, use one of the EL/LED/59/4000/XL. It measures 57-5/16" long and will conveniently fit in the same space.
All 5 sizes of the ELite-LED-XL, with info about their overall lengths, pricing, etc. is on that web page. We just want you to be aware, that even though the 22" Elite is the substitute for the 20" SlimLite, you do not have to replace them one for one. When you have longer runs of SlimLites "direct connected" you can opt for the longer lengths of the ELite XL and use fewer lights to replace more lights. The ELite-LED XL can also direct connect end to end with the same SDC/XL SlimLite direct connector.
What if I have the T5 size SlimLites?
All the rules are the same. But the convenience factor goes way up. The T5 size SlimLites come in 5 lengths, basically the 1 foot marks from 1 to 5 feet. The ELite-LED XL is also a T5 size tube and comes in 5 lengths, rounded down from the foot marks from 1 to 5 feet. Looks like ALL the ELites are roughly an inch shorter than the T5 SlimLites they would be taking over for. So no problem with them fitting precisely where your T5 SlimLite was. ONLY consideration is your connecting cable lengths. If your cables are stretched to their max, you might have to shuffle cables a bit to make them reach. If slack in them, then no worries. It will work just fine. So if you need to replace your ES46 SlimLite which is 46-3/4" long, use the EL/LED/46/4000/XL which is 45-7/16" long. Measurements for all the T5 SlimLites are on that web page, and the ELite measurements are on its respective page.
I want warm white, why doesn't the ELite XL come in warm white?
This is one we have wrestled with too. Why create only half the solution? The XL version can come in warm white, but there are MOQ (minimum order quantities) involved. In the hundreds. So it doesn't make it convenient when you need just one or two, and we cannot order and stock hundreds of each size. Since the cool white version can be ordered in any quantity, that is all that is available.
If you have warm white SlimLites, you have two options:
- Suck it up and go with the cool white ELite-LED XL, or
- Order the normal ELite-LED version in warm white.
In many store applications such as Subway Restaurants and Dunkin Donuts, using the cool white lights is what they have. So very convenient to switch to the T5 ELite-LED XL to replace their T4 or T5 SlimLites that are starting to fail. The expected lifespan of the Hera SlimLite varies wildly, very wildly. Some customers have gotten a few years out of them, most seem to get 15 to 20 years out of them. They are electronic and prone to surge damage, that is the main crippler of them. However, there are a lot of customers out there with 20+ year old SlimLites.
So cool white is great for the retail stores, but in the home, a lot of customers like that warm white feel. So use the warm white ELite-LED. What you will have to do is also change out all your cables, power cords, or hardwire boxes. The connection ends are different. And when you go to the ELite-LED web page, you will see that the connecting cables and cords go in from the end of the light. Not a push down from the top of the light. It is a 3-prong grounded light. AND IT IS BRIGHTER. The normal ELite version is brighter than the XL version. The lumen counts are higher, and shown on that page. Now it is not like Chevy Chase put 5 million Christmas lights on my roof brighter. They are just a bit brighter. So with the ELite you are not sacrificing any light, you get a little more. And as mentioned, you get more on each end, and more at connection points for lights direct connected end to end.
(This also brings up another important thought about length. On the normal ELite, since the cables connect in from the ends, not the top of the light, this creates the need for a little more space since the cords stick out from the ends.)
The ELite, both versions, are also sealed. You will not be replacing any bulbs or covers. They are so much COOLER in operating temperature too. There is a little warm spot on their backside where the intergrated power driver is in the casing. But the fronts of the lights are cool to the touch. You will not see the ends of them blacken like the SlimLite bulbs do.
And a special safety note here. When the ends of your SlimLite bulbs start to turn black, that is your indicator that the bulb is starting to age and time to replace it. The ends will continue to grow more black, and become hotter. The Plexiglas shield is designed as a fire retardant and needs to remain in place. The T5 SlimLite replacement bulbs are all still available at the time of this writing. On the T4 sizes, we have run out of the 10 watt warm white bulbs. The other 5 are still available, but stock is getting low on some. Hera has chosen to continue to bring in the T4 18W CW bulb. That is what is written on the bulb, actual part number is SFB18CW. This is the most popular bulb in Subway's and Dunkin Donuts. So it will remain available for many years. But one day....
ELite-LED available in WW and CW
When choosing to set up a completely new linear light system, for under counter, ceiling mount, furniture, or whatever your application, definitely go with the normal version of the ELite-LED. This way you can choose warm white or cool white. The ELites function just like the SlimLites, a pretty much identical set up. Similar length cables, options of using a power cord or hardwire application. Each normal Elite comes prepackaged with a direct connector and its mounting clips. They are very lightweight, no glass. So they feel a lot lighter than the T5 size SlimLites.
I have the Hera SlimLite-LED XL, what can I do?
Simple, replace them all with the ELite-LED XL. You will save a lot of money. Hera still has stock on some of the SlimLite-LED XL. This light was popular for quite a few years. It is discontinued, but some sizes have not run out of stock. We can check stock for you if you have a need for some. On the longer lengths though, they are far more expensive than the ELite. So best to consider the ELite-LED XL when replacing them. And again, if you need warm white, you can use the normal ELite-LED, but you will need to change out your cables.
When looking for the easy fix where you do NOT have to change out your old SlimLite cables and connections, you will use the ELite-LED XL version. Has the same connection ends. But comes only in Cool White.
If you want to rip out everything you have, and start fresh with new cables and cords, most certainly use the normal ELite-LED version. You can choose between WW or CW, your set up will be near identical, and you will have a vastly improved lighting system.
One of the main reasons we hear that customers need to use the XL version is that they have cables going through walls and cannot change out the cables. Or at Subway or Dunkin, they have cables going through their display cases and cannot easily change out the cables. This can limit you to the XL version. Recently, we did have a customer adapt the 3-prong ELite cable onto a 2-prong SlimLite cable. Now of course the cables do not have prongs, we are just saying that because there is a ground wire in the ELite cable, and no ground wire in the SlimLite cable. So when he spliced his cables to convert his existing cable, he is forfeiting the grounding to the ELites. We do not know what type of problem this might create. Could be none at all. Most household lighting is not grounded. All two-prong plugs for lamps. Even low voltage lighting has just 2-prong plugs. So we are not going to recommend splicing, but we will make it known that for those who know what they are doing, this is a possibility.
Remember that when replacing multiple SlimLites with the ELite, either version, if one Elite can take the place of multiple shorter SlimLites connected end to end, do it to save money.
Afterthoughts, based on feedback we have received
The ELite is a T5 size tube. Thus all fit well in lieu of the T5 size SlimLites. On the T4 size, the ELite will be a little wider and taller. Just by a little bit. But sometimes by too much on extremely tight fitting places. We ran into it with a customer lighting his built-in cutting boards and had a very narrow space that his T4 SlimLites were placed around the perimeter. So the ELite would not work for him.
If space is a real consideration and you need something very low profile, consider the Hera ThinStick-LED. The ThinStick is new. It is taking the place of the Stick3 when it is phased out. The ThinStick measures just 5/16" x 5/16", yeah, pretty darn tiny, but pretty darn bright. It comes in multiple lengths, it can be connected end to end. And it is low voltage. It will operate from the various size LED power drivers. So you need a place to position your power driver. The ThinStick-LED is an innovative solution for hiding lights when space is a real consideration. You can recess them into a groove too. Something to consider for renovations or new installations.
It is easy for me to write about the above. I understand it. I answer a lot of questions about it. And I may have skipped past some of the answers that you might need. So questions are always welcome. We can help with your application. Call or e-mail us.