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Fluorescent Bent

A fluorescent bent tube, or a U-bent fluorescent tube, uses the same technology as a linear fluorescent. These might also be called a U-shaped fluorescent tube or a U-bend fluorescent by some manufacturers. The shape is what makes these bulbs different from the rest of the fluorescent family, because they are shaped like a U.

U-Bent fluorescent light bulb shapes and sizes

U-bent fluorescent bulbs are generally available in T8s and T12s. Just like linear fluorescents, the difference comes down to the width of the tube.

T12s are 1.5 inches in diameter, while T8s are 1 inch in diameter. You can use the graphic below as a guide if you aren’t sure which light bulbs you currently have.

Fluorescent Quick Guide

T12s are phasing out of production, because they run off a magnetic ballast. However, we do still have some ready to buy. If your building still has T12s, the easiest option is to switch to T8s, but you could also convert to LEDs for extra energy savings.

The other difference in U-shaped fluorescents is leg spacing, or the space between both sides of the ‘U’. The leg spacing is generally either 6” or 1 and 5/8”, as pictured below.

Most of the U-bent fluorescent bulbs have a bi-pin base, and they’re usually 22.5” inches long, because they fit inside 2’x2’ troffers.

Common uses for U-bent fluorescent light bulbs

Bent fluorescent tubes are used in some of the same places as linear fluorescent tubes. Commercial offices, school, hospitals, and retail store may all use U-bent fluorescents.

The big separator for these tubes, however, is the fixture. The U-bent fluorescent bulb generally fits into a 2’x2’ troffer.

Do U-bent fluorescent light bulbs need a ballast?

Just like other fluorescent light bulbs, fluorescent bent tubes require a ballast. It’s important to check which type of ballast you have before you buy U-bent fluorescent bulbs.

U-bent fluorescents run off either a magnetic or electronic ballast, like linear fluorescent tubes.

If you still have T12s, you likely still have a magnetic ballast as well. But just like T12s, manufacturers are phasing out magnetic ballasts. You can always switch out your magnetic ballast with an electronic ballast. It’s a fairly simple process.

Electronic ballasts are more common today. Electronic ballasts can put out multiple frequencies of electricity without needing input voltage altered. The T8 fluorescent bent tubes will work with an electronic ballast.

Recycling U-bent fluorescent light bulbs

Anytime you switch out a U-bent tube, it’s important to recycle. Like the rest of the fluorescent family, you can’t just throw out used tubes because they contain mercury. When mercury is released, it has negative impacts on the environment. That's why it's important for fluorescent light bulbs to end up in a recycling center instead of a landfill. Regency Lighting has recycling boxes ready to purchase.

Questions about U-bent fluorescent light bulbs

If you have additional questions about U-bent fluorescent light bulbs, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our lighting specialists are here to help. You can send us a message, call us, or use the chat in the bottom right corner of your screen. As a national lighting distributor since 1983, Regency Lighting has seven sales and distribution locations across the U.S. to better meet your lighting needs.

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