From 13th April 2012, T12 fluorescent tubes will cease production. Final stocks are starting to be delivered and we are already seeing an increase in demand as users of the older tubes start to stock up. Inevitably as stocks fall and demand continues prices will increase.
Not sure which tubes you have? T12 fluorescent tubes are 1.5” (38mm) in diameter and have unique wattages compared to other fluorescent tubes: 20W, 40W, 65/80W and 75/85W.
One option is that you could stock up on T12 tubes now and make sure you don’t have to pay the higher price later. Alternatively, you could replace your T12 tubes with the more energy efficient T8 fluorescent tube without a visible output in light reduction. However the third, and far more energy efficient, forward-thinking option is to start using T5 tubes and fittings.
So what’s the difference between the T12, T8 and T5 tubes and how can you change from one to another? The “T” number is the diameter of the tube, measured in eights of an inch e.g. a T8 tube is 1” in diameter, while a T5 is 0.6”. The narrower the fluorescent tube, the more energy efficient it is.
An important point to note is that due to the different sizes of the fluorescent tubes, the lumen outputs are different. Lumens indicate how much visible light is produced by a light source – the higher the lumen output, the brighter the light will appear to the human eye. T12 tubes have a higher lumen output than T8 and T5 tubes, meaning that in some cases it may be required to feature more T8 and T5 tubes in an area to get the same light levels that your T12s were providing. The stated lumen output of a T12 tube is rather deceptive however, as it doesn’t take long for the light to deteriorate.
*Measurements shown are estimates.
T8 Fluorescent Tubes
T8 tubes are designed to fit into most T12 light fixtures. They are more energy efficient than T12 tubes, have a longer life and the lumen output deteriorates at a slower rate.
T5 Fluorescent Tubes
T5 tubes are the latest and by far the most efficient. They will save you up to 60% off your lighting costs compared with T12s and provide higher lumen-per-watt efficiency than T8 tubes too. They last up to 30,000 hours – three times as long as T12 tubes and twice as long as T8 tubes – saving on maintenance costs. An additional benefit is that they generate less heat, reducing the need for air-conditioning in warm environments.
Replacing your existing fittings for T5 tubes now means you will be prepared for the future. It also allows you the opportunity to make sure your light levels are of the same or a better standard.
Whatever your decision, our team of experts is on hand to advise you on how to make the switch… just give us a call on 0843 317 7820.