T8 LED Tube Lights and LED Tube Replacements
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LED T8 Bulbs
T8 bulbs are commonly used for office lighting and can be used in both parabolic and indirect light fixtures. They work best in climate controlled areas with standard ceiling heights, including storage areas, fabrication floors, and mechanic garages. LED tubes are an energy efficient replacement for fluorescent tubes. They also boast better color rendering, require less maintenance, and burn out less frequently with up to 100,000 lifetime hours.
Direct Wire vs. Plug-n-Play
The technology for T8 bulbs has advanced to point where they are available in the traditional direct wire or the newer plug-and-play options. Plug-and-play T8 bulbs operate with the fixture’s existing ballast, so no rewiring is necessary. The direct wire LED tubes run off of the line voltage that flows straight to the sockets. With this option the fixture’s ballast must be bypassed and removed. Direct wire LED T8 bulbs were traditionally wired at just one end and required the use on non-shunted tombstones only, but we now carry double-ended LED tubes. These T8 bulbs are wired at both ends to utilize non-shunted or shunted lampholders. If you’re not sure if direct wire or plug-and-play is right for you, we also carry a third option. Hybrid LED tubes can use both a plug-and-play and direct wire installation methods, so it can initially work with a compatible ballast then, once the ballast’s life has run out, it can be bypassed without needing a new lamp.
T8 LED Tube Color Temperature
When replacing or installing overhead lighting, it’s important to understand color temperature so that you have consistent lighting across an area. Lower kelvin values mean the light output is more yellow and higher kelvin values mean the light output is closer to blue. The 3000 Kelvin T8 bulbs have a similar yellow glow to halogen bulbs. The 4100 Kelvin T8 bulbs are considered a cool white with color output similar to clear metal halides. This is the recommended color temperature for offices and work-spaces. 5000 Kelvin T8 bulbs are a daylight equivalent with a bluer glow than traditional lighting. A daylight color temperature is recommended for display areas, high security areas, and garages.
Understanding LED Tube Sizes
The easiest way to tell what size bulb you need is to read the label at the end. If the label peeled off or is no longer legible, you can measure the bulb’s diameter to figure out the size. The "T” stands for the tubular shape of the light bulb and the number gives the diameter of the bulb in eights of an inch. A T8 has a one inch diameter, T5 has a 5/8 inch diameter, and T12 is a 12/8 inch (or 1.5 inch) diameter. If a T12 and a T8 bulb use the same bi-pin base, you can use them interchangeably with the same light fixture as long as you double check the milliamp (mA) requirements of the ballast.