How Do Fluorescents Work?

Developed for commercial use in the 1930s, fluorescent lights work by sending electricity through gas vapor and a small amount of mercury. The gas emits UV light, which causes a coating inside the glass tube to glow. A “ballast” sends the initial charge and then regulates the flow of current. Magnetic ballasts were known for producing buzz, hum, and flicker; new electronic ballasts have eliminated these issues.

Commercial Fluorescent Lighting

T12 tubes were once the go-to overhead fluorescent for business and industry. Today there are slimmer, lighter, and more efficient options, such as High-Performance T8 bulbs (HPT8s) and T5 systems. HPT8s render color better than standard T8s or T12s, and have a slight efficiency edge and lower equipment costs compared with T5 systems. T5HO (high-output) systems are the right choice for gyms, warehouses, and other places where a light source is mounted higher than 25 feet.

  • Save money with high-efficiency fluorescent tubes and fixtures
  • Improve customer experience with attractive, no-flicker lighting
  • Boost worker productivity and satisfaction with better ambience

High-Performance T8 Fluorescent Lights

HPT8 bulbs are up to 50% more efficient than T12s and 20% more efficient than standard T8s. They last up to 50% longer and give truer light with higher color rendering. It’s easy to retrofit most T12 fixtures to accept T8 bulbs, though a complete HPT8 system (high-output lamp plus low-power ballast) offers the biggest savings and efficiency gains.

  • Maximize savings and efficiency with an HPT8 system
  • No hum, no flicker thanks to a low-power electronic ballast
  • Better color rendering with a minimum CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 82 out of 100

T5 and T5HO Fluorescent Lights

T5 tubes come in different lengths from T8s and T12s, so new fixture installs are required. Even so, T5s are a highly efficient and excellent choice for certain applications. T5HO systems, for instance, are made for high-output lighting where mounting heights exceed 25 feet. And a two-bulb T5 fixture can often replace a standard three-bulb T8 fixture, cutting the number of bulbs needed. Contact us for help choosing the right system, or find a contractor.

  • Save overall by reducing the number of bulbs per fixture
  • Reduce your electricity use while getting superior light
  • Get the right light for industrial and athletic spaces with T5HO systems

Tips & Tools
for Fluorescent Lighting