T5 Lighting: 5 Reasons Why T5 Lighting Puts T12 Lighting In The Dark

Posted by Jimmy Hovey on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 @ 19:04 PM

T5 Lighting Is A Great Replacement For Aging T12 Lighting...Here's 5 Reasons Why.

1. Fewer Watts Than T12 Light Fixtures


T12 Lighting has been around for a long time.  But before you know it, they will no longer exist.  In our article Energy Efficient Lighting:T-12 Fluorescent Bulbs Go Bye, Bye In July! we talk about how the T12 will essentially be a thing of the past in July. 

At some point in the near future, you will have to address the fact that there will no longer be any bulbs or ballasts available to replace your aging lighting infrastructure.  Hate to be the one to tell you, but you will have to change eventually. 

T-5 Fixtures Burn Fewer Watts

T-5 Ballast and bulbs are a better combination all around but one of the greatest benefits is the reduction in wattage required to light these up compared to a T12 fixture.  The difference in savings will depend on which type of fixture. We have used fixtures with wattage ratings of 190 watts.

2. Better Light Quality

The Lumen Factor of the fluorescent is essentially the amount of light that the light fixture or bulb puts out.  In most light fixtures, especially older fixtures, the amount of light degrades over time.  This is called lumen maintenance. 

Lumen maintenance (Brightness) in the newer fluorescent bulb is much higher than it has been in the past.  Many of the bulbs today lose less than 20% of their light output over the life of the bulb which is significant since the life of the bulbs are almost 2x greater than the older technologies.

In the end, this just means that the lights will be nearly as bright 10 years from now (depends on your usage) as they are the day after you install them.  In comparison, metal halide falls off nearly 70% in the first 3 years. 

3. Less Maintenance Cost From Better Bulb Life

18,000 hour is roughly the standard life of a typical T12 bulb.  There are many options in T-5 which have expected life ranging from 30,000 to 42,000 hours.  What does this mean to you?  It means that you can expect less maintenance.  Double the rated life equals 50% less replacements, which will save you additional money in materials and labor. 

How much difference would that make?

That depends on how closely you track the cost of lighting maintenance in your facility.  Most building owners do not track expenses that close.  If you have an employee doing this for you, there is a cost....you just haven't tracked it yet!

4. Higher Kelvin(Color Temperature)Options

Have you ever heard someone say those are 4100's or 5000 k bulbs?  At the time, you many have had no idea what those numbers meant.  The most common range of options in linear fluorescent are4100k, 5000k, 5500k, 6500k.  Have you seen those numbers on any packaging?  This indicates the color temperature of the bulb.  Understanding the color temperature can have a high impact on how bright your facility it. 

The closer you get to 6000, the closer you are to the actual Kelvin temperature range of a mid-day sunny afternoon.   While the 4100k bulbs may appear warmer, a 5500k bulb in contrast will appear cooler.  The higher the k value, the brighter the light. 

5. With T5 You Can Reduce Total Fixture Count

The Project

Back in 2010, we installed new lighting in several areas both inside and outside for the Crippen GMC-Buick-Mazda-Volvo Auto dealership in Lansing Michigan.  In the Paint area, they had 56 T-12 HO existing fixtures. 

In our intial audit, we measured the footcandles (fc) in the area and were right around 30fc.  We engineered a new photometric layout of the area and found that we could replace the 56 fixtures with 16 T-5 High Bay Fixtures.  We estimated an increase of 20fc for a total fc

The Result

When we got done, we installed 16 T-5 High Bay Fixtures manufactured by Everlast, from Jackson, MI.  which replaced all 56 of the T12 HO in the facility.  We took foot-candle readings after the installation and we were ablt to raise the footcandle values from 30 fc to 60 fc. 

The 3 Advantages We Were Able To Explore Using T-5

  1. We used a lower wattage fixtures
  2. We reduced the number of fixtures
  3. By using higher kelvin and CRI, we were able to increase brightness

Still Not Sure If A Lighting Upgrade Is In Order?

T5 Lighting just one element you need to consider with energy efficient lighting.  You may have other options.  Plus, you are likely skeptical that energy efficient lighting can really save you money.  If you are, take a look at our Free E-book download below.  Within the e-book, you will find the many reasons why you should consider an energy efficiency strategy for your business.  Just click on the cover below to get your FREE copy today.

Other Related T5 Lighting Articles:

T8 vs. T5: How To Determine Which Light Is The Right Light

A Few Quick Tips to Help You Find the Best Applications: T8 vs. T5

Maintenance Cost Comparison:400 Watt Metal Halide vs.Fluorescent T5

How To Reduce Wattage By 65% in a Body Shop

Topics: T-12, t5 retrofit, t5 fluorescent, t5 lighting, t5 fluorescent ballast, T5 HO, t5 electronic ballast