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How to Choose the Right Linear Fluorescent Lighting
What are High-Performance T8 (HPT8) systems?
High-Performance T8 (HPT8) refers to a lamp and ballast combination that can be purchased as part of a new fixture or can be retrofitted into an existing T12 or T8 light fixture. HPT8 systems are more energy-efficient than standard T8 or T12 light fixtures.
HPT8 systems are comprised of two components: a high lumen, long life T8 lamp and low-power electronic ballast. This combination delivers the same or better light output compared to T12s or standard T8s, and it produces high-quality light using less energy. High lumen, long life HPT8 lamps are rated at 3100 initial lumens (light output) and 24,000 hours (life). Low power HPT8 ballasts are defined as electronic ballasts having 0.78 or lower ballast factor.
How are HPT8 systems better than T12 or standard T8 systems?
HPT8 systems can save 20% in energy and operating costs compared to standard T8 and up to 50% compared to T12s.
HPT8 lamps are extended-life lamps, typically rated to last 4,000-10,000 hours longer than standard T8 or T12 lamps. That means less time changing light bulbs and lower maintenance costs!
HPT8 lamps provide better color rendering. Measured on the color rendering index (CRI), a scale of 0 to 100 that indicates how well a light source renders colors, HPT8 lamps are rated at a minimum of 82 CRI. Comparatively, most standard T8 lamps have a CRI rating in the 70-80 range and T12s in the 60-70 range.
Are T5 systems better than HPT8?
T5 and HPT8 lamps are both highly efficient light sources. An HPT8 system—accounting for both the lamp and ballast—is slightly more efficient than a T5 system. For most standard fixture types and applications, an HPT8 system is recommended due to higher efficiency and lower equipment cost. There are, however, certain applications that are better suited to T5 systems. For example, it is best to use a T5 “high-output” system in applications with a mounting height greater than 25 feet. Also, certain T5 “high-efficiency” fixtures are available that have been designed to take advantage of the T5 lamp dimension. These fixtures can potentially replace a standard three lamp T8 fixture while only using two T5 lamps, thus saving energy. Call us at 888-921-5990 to learn more, or your contractor to identify the best lighting solution—T5 or HPT8— for your needs.
What are ballasts?
Fluorescent and HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps require ballasts to apply starting voltage to the lamp and to establish current flow. Ballasts regulate current and power. Ballast types fall into two categories:
- Magnetic ballasts are often found in HID and older florescent fixtures. They are simple devices that are noisier and use more power than the newer electronic ballasts. Magnetically ballasted lights can also have a noticeable "flicker.”
- Electronic ballasts are lighter, smaller, and quieter-and offer more energy efficiency.
Proper Disposal of Fluorescent Lighting
ENERGY EFFICIENCY FACT
Using fluorescent lights reduces mercury pollution by lowering the demand for electricity from power plants that emit mercury.
A typical coal-fired power plant will emit 5.5 mg of mercury to produce the electricity to run an incandescent bulb compared to only 1.2 mg to run a compact fluorescent light for the same time.*
* U.S. EPA Fact Sheet: Mercury in Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
All fluorescent lamps contain mercury and in commercial fluorescent lighting, pre-1979 ballasts contain Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). CFLs also contain a small amount (approx. 4 mg) of mercury.
Mercury is released into our environment when products containing mercury, such as compact fluorescent lights, are broken, disposed of improperly, or incinerated.The State of Vermont requires, by law, that lamps with the mercury symbol (Hg) be separated from trash and disposed of in a safe manner.
When you replace energy-efficient lights, contact your local solid waste district or the State Mercury Education and Reduction Campaign. Call (800) 974-9559 or visit the Vermont Education and Reduction Campaign for proper disposal information.