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Posted by Doug Root on 10th Aug 2021

A Quick Classification of Fluorescent Tube Lights

Fluorescent lights, though they were developed in some form nearly a hundred years ago, are widely utilized in industrial, residential, commercial, and other settings because they have many advantages over other types of lighting such as incandescent and HID (high-intensity discharge) lighting. There’s hardly a school, mall, or public building in the country that doesn’t make use of overhead fluorescent lighting, and they can be found in many more places than these.

Fluorescent lighting is widely lauded because the lights themselves are reliable and long-lasting. Some fluorescent bulbs last over 50,000 hours; they’re also very energy efficient by most standards and produce little heat, which is vital to keeping cooling costs down. They also are available in a wide range of color temperatures, making them suitable for many purposes, ranging from shop lights to specialty and medical lighting.

T5 Fluorescent Tube Lights

T5 fluorescent lights are the thinnest and most modern form of fluorescent lighting available today. They are only ⅝ of an inch in diameter, but despite their size and novelty, they are also categorically the “best” when it comes to longevity and energy efficiency.

In fact, T5 fluorescent lights are so long lasting that some are rated to last well over 50,000 hours, which is much longer than any other form of lighting except LED lighting. Though new, more and more facilities and buildings are making use of T5 fluorescents.

T8 Fluorescent Tube Lights

T8 fluorescent lights are slightly larger than T5 fluorescents. They are 1 inch in diameter and they are probably the most widely used of all forms of fluorescent lighting. They’re older than T5 fluorescent lights, and despite the fact that they are not as energy efficient or long lasting, they still have their draws. By comparison to most other lights, they are highly efficient and last a long time.

They’re also fairly affordable, which is why you can find them in quite a range of locations around the country, ranging from offices to schools to medical facilities and everything in between.

T12 Fluorescent Tube Lights

T12 fluorescent lights are the oldest and the largest of the bunch of linear fluorescent tube lights. These lights, which are not as efficient or long lasting as the other two fluorescent tubes covered here, are an inch and a half in diameter.

Something to note about T12 fluorescent lights is that they mostly use magnetic ballasts. Fluorescent ballasts are devices that help to start the lamp and then regulate the voltage and current available to the lamp to help it emit the right level of visible light without burning out. T12 bulbs use a type of ballast called a magnetic ballast; these are unreliable, can be slow to start, and are rarely manufactured at the present day. T5 and T8 fluorescent tubes, by contrast, use electronic ballasts which provide the same functionality as magnetic ballasts but are quicker and more reliable.

Other Types of Fluorescent Lights: Circline Lamps, Bent Lamps, and Compact Fluorescent Lights

In addition to these linear fluorescent tube lights, there are a few other classes of fluorescent lights that you may come across, or for which you might need to find a replacement. Some of these follow:

●Circline Lamps: Circline fluorescent lamps, also known as circular fluorescent lights, are just what they sound like. They are tube lights that are bent into a circle. Their applications are generally reserved for specialty uses, such as overhead medical lighting, as well as accent lighting.

●Bent Lamps or U-Lamps: These lights, like circline lamps, are exactly what they sound like. They are tube lamps that are bent into the shape of a U. Bent fluorescent lights have the same benefits as other fluorescent lights, but require a different fixture.

●Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs): Compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, are tiny fluorescent lamps that were developed as a replacement to incandescent lights because they are more energy efficient and much longer lasting. Because they save energy, they are considered a greener alternative to incandescent household lights.

Question about Compatibility or Components? Call Us!

For over forty years, we’ve been a premier source of light bulbs, lighting fixtures, and other lighting infrastructure for customers all around the country. We carry top brands, including but not limited to Halco, Lithonia, Atlas, General Electric, Industrial, and countless others.

Our selection cannot be matched and our prices are great. We even encourage you to contact us to negotiate pricing if you believe we can reach a fair deal! If that weren’t enough, we have a top rated customer service department, and for you, that means getting the right products at the right prices, every time.

Give us a call at 1-888-988-2852 if you want to learn more about the different types of fluorescent lights or other lighting that we sell here at Atlanta Light Bulbs. Let us know what you need and we’ll figure it out together.