A Few Quick Tips to Help You Find the Best Applications: T8 vs. T5

Posted by Dave VanTol on Mon, Feb 06, 2012 @ 16:02 PM

Which Is The Better Application, T8 or T5?

Well, It Depends!

Both T5 and T8 lighting solutions are smart choices when considering a lighting upgrade, however depending on the application one of these technologies will work better.

Several questions have come in on our blog wanting to know what type of lighting is best. Today I will outline some scenario's that will hopefully help in deciding which to use.

T8 Lighting Applications

T8 lighting performs best in areas with a controlled climate. It does do a better job than T5 in maintaining light output if it's a colder environment, but you don't want to try and run this efficiently below 55-60 degrees.

I like to use T8 lighting anywhere my mounting height is below 15'. The reason behind this is that T8 has a lower lumen output than T5 lighting.

In F-bay applications you can stretch that height up to 20' - 25' or so but I would recommend your fixture to have a silver reflector if you start mounting in this height.

Silver reflectors help focus more light downward while white reflectors dissipate the light quicker. The picture below shows a recent retrofit where we replaced 8' T12 lamps and ballast with 5000K 4 lamp T8 kits. The mounting height was 20'.

T12 vs T8

In office environments where you would be either retrofitting an existing 2X4 lay in or altogether replacing it I still prefer the T8. Couple an electronic ballast with a 28W T8 lamp and you have a perfect retrofit for office spaces.

Light color comes in to play here a bit, in a F-bay industrial I like 5000K lamps. In a closer office environment 4100K seems to be a good color. It's all a matter of the customers preference at this point so be sure to get there input on the matter. 

 T5 Lighting Applications

T5 lighting is also intended for conditioned spaces but tends to fare a little better in warmer environments. They also produce more lumens than our T8 lamps which is why we are seeing them in High bay lighting applications.

These work best in the 20' - 30' range of mounting height, and again if the mounting is close to the 20' range I prefer a white reflector to disperse the light quicker and avoid the "spot light" effect.

T5 lighting is great in manufacturing and industrial warehouse style applications allowing for great space lighting without the high cost associated with operating Metal Halide lighting. The chart below highlights both T5 and T8 lamp performance in relation to temperature.

Lumens vs temperature

A Few More Helpful Tips:

I wish it was as simple as if you use "A" replace with "B", but as you can see there are factors to consider since every lighting application is different. Here are some key points to consider.

1. Ambient temperature. 

2. Mounting height.

3. Surface reflectance.

All these things come into play when deciding what is the best fit for a space.

It may seem a bit daunting at first but that's where we come in.

Are you located in the Kentucky or Tennessee area? Come see us in Elkton Ky!

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Or, Click On The FREE E-Book To Learn More About Energy Efficient Lighting:

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(Picture courtesy of www.progressenergy.com)

Topics: t8 vs. t5, energy efficient lighting solutions, energy efficient lighting