How Do I Know What Size Fluorescent Tube I Need?
Fluorescent tubes come in a variety of sizes. Identification of the correctly sized tube will require reference to the code indicating the dimensions. As an example, the T of code T8 refers to the tubed shape, with the 8 referring to the size or diameter. The simplest way to identify the correct size is to read the label situated close to the base of the tube. If you can’t read this information, then a measurement should be taken of the tube diameter. The corresponding measurement should be taken in eighths of an inch. The T8 tube has a one-inch (8/8) diameter, while the T5 tube has a 5/8 diameter.
Which Colour Temperature to Pick?
Both the colour temperature and colour rendering index will have a bearing on the appropriate choice of fluorescent tubing. The colour temperature corresponds with the warmth of the light. Warmer tones will have a yellowish appearance, while cooler shades will be relatively bright.
Common varieties of colour temperature include:
- 2700k – categorised as an extra warm white, this colour temperature is typically featured in fluorescent tubes designed for domestic use
- 3000k – also classified as a warm white, fluorescent tubes featuring this level of colour temperature share lighting properties with halogen lamps
- 3500k – coming under the category of bulk standard white, this colour temperature is considered suitable for a wide variety of commercial purposes
- 4000k – this variety of cool white is typically applied to office buildings. It is also considered suitable for formal home offices
- 5400-6500k – light generated at this temperature takes on a distinctive bright appearance. It may help in alleviating the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder
The colour rendering index indicates the ease with which colours can be distinguished on the application of different light sources. A bulb with around 80 CRI may be suitable for common domestic applications. However, you should ensure the fitting of a bulb with a CRI of 90 or more given the need for high levels of light.
How Many Lumens are Fluorescent Bulbs?
There will be some variation in the amount of lumens generated by fluorescent bulbs given the type and efficacy of the lamp. However, the majority of fluorescent bulbs generate between 45 and 100 lumens per watt. A 20-watt tube may then be expected to generate between 90 and 100 lumens. The wattage and lumen levels have a direct bearing on running costs.
How Much is a Fluorescent Light Bulb?
There is considerable variation in the pricing of fluorescent light bulbs. However, as a general rule, you can expect to pay under £8 per bulb.
What’s the Difference Between a Fluorescent Tube and a Fluorescent Bulb?
The main difference between the fluorescent tube and bulb is in the size. The fluorescent bulb has a distinctive shape and requires special technology for attachment to a standard light socket. It is also common for fluorescent tubing to have a ballast connected with the light bulb. Each offers a good level of energy efficiency.
How Do I Dispose of Fluorescent Tubes?
Fluorescent tubes fall under the classification of hazardous waste due to their mercury content. Care should be taken during the disposal process as part of your commitment to environmental and legal compliance. It will be important to switch off the power source before detaching a fluorescent tube. The tube may then be wrapped in paper or towelling to prevent breakage. The tubing can then be transferred to recycling or hazardous waste disposal in accordance with the legal requirements.
What Do the Numbers Mean on a Fluorescent Tube?
Ideally, there will be legible coding on the fluorescent tube indicating the key characteristics. As an example, you might see the code F32T8. The F in this instance will indicate the fluorescence. The 32 corresponds to the number of watts or length in inches. The T is specific to the tubular shaping. Finally, the 8 corresponds to the diameter in eighths of an inch (this may be represented in millimetres rounded to the nearest millimetre).
What Does a Starter Do in a Fluorescent Light?
It is important to note that some varieties of fluorescent lighting do not feature starters. However, those that do typically have a starter positioned close to the tube socket. The starter will provide voltage in addition to that supplied by the mains. Operating in combination with the choke, this will initiate the ionised path through the tube. The wattage rating of the starter should correspond with that of the fluorescent tube for reliability and longevity.
What is the Brightest Fluorescent Tube?
T8 fluorescent tubing is the ideal option if you want to see a good level of detail. The high levels of colour rendering allow property areas and items to be shown to full effect. These tubes have a life expectancy of up to 15,000 and require a relatively low level of maintenance.
Are T8 and T12 Fluorescent Bulbs Interchangeable?
There aren’t any safety concerns associated with the replacement of the T12 fluorescent bulb with a T8. However, you should be aware that the installation of a T8 will result in a shortened lifespan due to the high levels of current running through the tube. It might be necessary to install a different form of ballasting or fixture for operation of the T8 bulb. You may also consider the installation of long tube LED lighting.