T8 Fluorescent Tubes
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Fluorescent T8 Bulbs
T8 bulbs are available as either linear fluorescent or LED tubes. T8 fluorescent tubes commonly have 20,000 life hours, but range from 7,500 hours to 46,000 hours for standard T8 tubes. More energy efficient fluorescent tubes can have a rated lifespan of up to 84,000 hours. T8 tubes are typically purchased by the case for large construction projects, renovation projects, and businesses taking advantage of bulk savings.
Fluorescent Tube Size and Wattage Guide
The “T” stands for the tubular shape of the bulb and the number after it is the diameter of the tube in eighths of an inch. T8 bulbs are 8 eighths of an inch, or one inch in diameter. Other common sizes are T12 bulbs which are 1.5 inches diameter, and the T5s which are five eighths of an inch, or .625 inches in diameter. The easiest way to know the size and wattage of your current bulb is to check the label on the end, but measuring the diameter will work if the label is illegible. The “F” signifies that the tube is a fluorescent and the number after it represents the wattage. If you’re looking for a 32-Watt fluorescent tube, click the F32T8 category.
T8 Fluorescent Tube Color Temperature
Color temperature is an important factor to understand to ensure you have consistent lighting across an area. Fluorescent tubes are available in a wide range of color temperatures, so it’s good to know what your application needs. The higher the Kelvin value, the bluer the bulb’s light will appear. The lower the Kelvin value, the more yellow the light. For work spaces like offices, garages, and warehouses, we recommend lighting between 4000K and 5000K. Studies have shown these color temperatures can help reduce eye strain and increase productivity.
Signs of Ballast Failure
If you’ve had your fluorescent fixtures for a while, it may be time to service of even replace your ballast. Thankfully there are a few common signs of ballast failure you can watch out for. A failing ballast can cause your lights to dim, buzz, change color, or flicker rapidly. Check over all parts of the fixture to be safe, but when looking at the ballast, a swollen casing or burn marks are a clear sign of failure.
Choosing the Right Ballast
If you know your ballast needs replacing, there are a few factors to consider when selecting a new one. The best place to start your search is the knowing the type of lamp your fixture uses. Ballast spec sheets typically list which bulbs and wattages they are compatible with. If possible match the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) code of the lamp to that of the ballast. However, ballasts are often compatible with more than one type of lamp, and vice versa. The best ballast for your T8 tubes will most likely be based on design and start method. Fluorescent ballasts have four main types of starting methods: preheat start, rapid start, instant start, and programmed start. The latter two are the newest and most popular start methods.
Need assistance selecting the right fluorescent tubes for your commercial application? Don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-624-4488 to speak to our team of lighting experts.