June 02, 13
T5 Lighting – Some Common Questions and Answers
- T5 Lighting – Some Common Questions and Answers
What Is T5 Lighting?
T5 lighting is a type of fluorescent lighting that was introduced in the United States in 1995 and has been gaining in popularity ever since. The “T” in T5 lighting refers to the shape of the bulb which is a tubular shape. The 5 refers to the diameter measured in eighths of an inch. So a T5 bulb is a tubular shaped bulb that is 5/8 inches in diameter.
What Are T5 HO Lamps?
The “HO” stands for high output. T5 HO bulbs are the same length and diameter as standard T5 lamps but they give off more light and they are also available at higher wattages.
Are T5 Lamps Bad for the Environment?
Fluorescent light bulbs do contain some Mercury and this is what a lot of people are worried about. Mercury is a neurotoxin and it can damage the brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver. Even at low levels, Mercury can have some adverse effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems.
It is important to note however that no Mercury is given off when the bulbs are in use. You do have to take special precautions when disposing of the bulbs and they should be taken to a proper disposal facility where they can be recycled rather than putting them in the trash where they will be added to a landfill.
Another important note is that T5 lighting contains an amalgam Mercury rather than liquid Mercury which does make them safer for the environment. An amalgam simply means that the Mercury has been bonded with other elements making them safer because the Mercury amalgam does not vaporize as easily as liquid Mercury which greatly limits your exposure if you were to break a bulb. T5 lamps are safer than other types of fluorescent bulbs but they should still be disposed of properly.
Is T5 Lighting the Fluorescent Lighting of the Future?
T5 lighting is great in some applications but it is not the best choice for others. For example, T5 lighting can be very bright so it is not the best choice of lighting when the light source is directly visible. It is much better as an indirect light source.
T8 lighting is still going to be the best choice for the foreseeable future. T8 lighting is a little bit more energy-efficient which will save you money on utilities and the bulbs themselves are available at a lower cost. With T8 lighting you have more choices available to you and you also have to consider the fact that T5 lighting is measured in metric units so you will not be able to replace other types of bulbs with T5 bulbs, you would instead have to install a new light fixture.
T5 lighting is perfect in some applications though and they give you a lot of light, good energy efficiency, a long useful life, and very low lumen degradation which means that the bulbs don’t lose much of their ability to produce light as the bulbs age.