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T5 vs T8: What's the difference?

When comparing a T5 bulb to a T8, there are a few key differences that will impact which bulb is suited best to your project. T5 lamps are somewhat shorter in length than a T8, varying in size from 6 inches up to 21 inches in length. Further, T5 fluorescent bulbs utilize different sockets because the bi-pin bases measure 5mm between pins. As such, these lamps are not interchangeable when it comes time to replace them. 

How to read a fluorescent bulb lighting code

T5 bulbs are offered in a variety of wattages, ranging from 4 Watts to 13 Watts. To understand the kind of T5 lamp you are looking at, you must first identify the different parts of the lighting code. The "F" represents the fluorescent lighting technology of the lamp, and the number that follows is the lamp's wattage. The "T" in the lighting code stands for the bulb's tubular shape, with the number immediately following that as the bulb's diameter when measured in eighths of an inch. For instance, F6T5 would represent a fluorescent 6 Watt tubular shaped bulb measuring at 5/8" (0.62 inch) diameter. Breaking this down futher, pay attention to the final letters or numbers in the code, as this represents the color temperature of the bulb. Take a peek at our Kelvin Scale for reference on what color is achieved with each temperature. 

Do you have questions about which fluorescent T5 bulbs are right for your needs? Give us a call at 701-205-4953 and one of our certified lighing specialists will help guide you. We are also available by chat and email!

Kelvin Scale


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