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Linear Fluorescent

If you’re reading this in your office, you can probably look up and see a linear fluorescent light bulb. Linear fluorescents are extremely common because their main purpose is general, functional lighting. 

The price point and availability of linear fluorescent tubes also make them a popular option. Fluorescent tubes are cheaper than LEDs. Plus, when compared to incandescent light bulbs, fluorescents can save up to 40% on your energy bill.

Linear fluorescent tube shapes

Linear fluorescent tubes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but there are three that are used most often. The difference between the sizes is the diameter of the tube. We explain the three most popular types. You can click the name for a link to products.

  1. T5 linear fluorescent tubes are 5/8 of an inch in diameter. They are the newest development in the fluorescent tube world. Because of that, they are the brightest and most energy efficient even though they are the smallest. Their compact size makes them more versatile.
  2. T8 linear fluorescent tubes are 1 inch in diameter. These are the most common type of fluorescent tube, so chances are you have them somewhere in your commercial facility.
  3. T12 linear fluorescent tubes are 1.5 inches in diameter. If you still have T12s in your building, you are probably looking for a replacement option. Most T12s run off magnetic ballasts, which are no longer manufactured.

Where can I use linear fluorescent tubes?

  • Commercial offices: We already mentioned this but look overhead in your typical commercial office building and chances are, you’re looking at linear fluorescent light bulbs.

  • Warehouses: T5 linear fluorescent tubes are a great choice for warehouses because of their high output.

  • Hospitals: Hospitals often use fluorescents to save money on energy and produce a white, clean, efficient source of light.

  • Retail stores: Think of the main types of light in stores light Macy’s and Kohl’s. The stores most likely use linear fluorescents as their standard general lighting.

  • Parking garages: Parking garages need to be safe and well-lit. Linear fluorescents can help achieve that goal with budget in mind.

Ballast compatibility for linear fluorescent tubes

All fluorescent light bulbs work off a ballast, and linear fluorescent tubes are no different. A ballast works within the fixture to regulate and stabilize the light output from the fluorescent tube.

There are two types of ballast in the fluorescent family: magnetic and electronic.

If you still have T12s in your building, you likely have a magnetic ballast. But you may have a hard time finding a replacement because manufacturers are phasing them out . If you have a magnetic ballast, the process for switching to an electronic ballast is pretty straightforward.

These days, electronic ballasts are more common. Electronic ballasts can put out multiple frequencies of electricity without needing input voltage altered. All T5 linear fluorescent tubes and T8 linear fluorescent tubes will work with an electronic ballast.

Recycling linear fluorescent tubes

Any time you replace linear fluorescent tubes, you need to make sure you properly dispose of them because they contain mercury. Regency Lighting has recycling boxes ready to purchase.

At Regency Lighting, we like to make your lighting decisions easier. We understand finding the right products can be complicated. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to send us a message or call us. Click here for more information. You can also use the chat box in the bottom right corner of your screen.

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