Explore ours fluorescent tube buying guide to learn an ext about the best brands and also the species and size available.

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What is a Fluorescent Tube?

The fluorescent tube, additionally referred to together the fluorescent strip or pipe light, is a low-pressure mercury vapour gas-discharge tube the converts fluorescence right into visible light. This process involves the triggering of mercury vapour via an electrical charge, resulting in the appearance of a short-wave ultraviolet light. This then reasons the phosphor coating within the pipe to glow.

Fluorescent tubes have the advantage of benefitting from much greater energy effectiveness than incandescent lamps. They space a fairly inexpensive type of lighting and also have a fairly long life (although no as long as LEDs). Fluorescent tubes are used for a wide selection of domestic and commercial applications.

Additional factors for the use of fluorescent tubes include:

High levels of light distribution and even diffusion

Relatively low to run costs

Production of assorted colours, including white, red, and blue

Browse all Fluorescent Tubes

Different species of Fluorescent Tubes

A number of different species of fluorescent tube have actually been produced since they were very first introduced and patented together a advertisement product in 1939. This tubes vary in regards to shape, power, rating, length, colour, and also other illuminating characteristics. It’s essential to take treatment over the an option of fluorescent tubing, considering the style of your interior an are and the lighting purposes.

T2 Fluorescent Tubes


The bulbs featured within these miniature tubes have a diameter of 7mm (0.275 inches). They permit for quick connection and feature one axial base perfect for applications including the lighting of display cases, under cabinets, and also display backlights. The T2 fluorescent tubes have a higher lifespan than that the the T5 alternatives. However, you have to ensure the they space attached to electronic ballasts purpose-made because that T2 fluorescent lamps.

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T4 Fluorescent Tubes

T4 fluorescent tubes have a particularly slim-fitting design and also the small size of these fluorescent tubes permits for basic installation. Lock are commonly used because that kitchen display and work-surface lighting. Such tubes emit a cool white colour, make them suitable for a broad variety of applications. T4 tubes offer high levels of power efficiency and also are an excellent budget option. They have actually an expected lifespan of around 10,000 hours.


T5 Fluorescent Tubes


T5 fluorescent pipe are an ideal for bright offices, schools, supermarkets, and other comparable environments. They are wonderful cost-saving option, specifically given their intended lifespan of as much as 30,000 hours. T5 tubes additionally feature an environment-friendly coating ~ above the within of the glass, effectively staying clear of the phosphors from taking in mercury. Much longer T5 tubes to be introduced throughout Europe throughout the 1990s. The design of these elongated tubes has been based upon multiples of the 300mm (11.8 inches) ‘metric foot’, fairly than the 305mm (12 inches) royal foot. The ballasting of these fluorescent tubes stays clear of overloading and permits for the integration of attributes such together the instant, rapid, and also programmed start.

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T8 Fluorescent Tubes


These fluorescent pipe are supplied for a wide variety of domestic and commercial purposes, primarily because of the high levels of light emission. Such tubes have actually outstanding colour rendering capabilities and also offer fantastic levels of energy efficiency. The light offered off by T8 fluorescent tube has additionally proven to be effective in the prevention and treatment that seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

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T12 Fluorescent Tubes

The manufacturing of T12 fluorescent tubes ceased in 2012. These tubes have actually measurements of 38mm (1.49 inches) in diameter and also have distinct wattages when compared with alternative species of fluorescent tubing. The ecological Protection company (EPA) has advised the retrofitting of T12 fixtures for choices that don’t use as lot mercury or fossil-based fuel. Girlfriend may pick the option of instead of T12 fluorescent tubes through T8 LEDs because of the to compare generation that light and also reduction the energy.


Circular Fluorescent Tubes


Available in T5 (15mm diameter), T6 (20mm diameter), and also T9 (29mm diameter) formats, circular fluorescent tube are frequently used by lighting developers in the development of well-lit interior spaces. This fluorescent tubes sell high level of power efficiency and have a slimline design, making them the ideal option for ceiling lighting. Round fluorescent lamps are only compatible v existing one fluorescent tube fixtures.

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What deserve to Fluorescent tubes Be supplied for?

Fluorescent tubes and also lamps are obtainable in a range of shapes and sizes. The compact fluorescent lamp has gained substantial popularity in current times. That is quite typical for the auxiliary electronics to be combined within the base of the lamp, enabling for compatibility with the typical light pear socket.

Fluorescent tubing may be installed for bright the complying with places:

Residential rooms

Storage areas

Commercial office spaces

Parking garages

Retail stores

How to choose the appropriate Fluorescent Tube

The surroundings of fluorescent tube may result in far-ranging financial savings for two key reasons - low to run costs and a lengthy lifespan. This lights will certainly also provide greater level of illumination than conventional incandescent light bulbs. As previously mentioned, fluorescent tube is perfect for a wide variety of domestic and also commercial applications. The pipe diameter, length, and colour rendering have to all have a bearing ~ above the to buy decision.

Fluorescent pipe can administer the following colour variations:

This table highlights the wide selection of fluorescent tubing accessible from RS Components:


Main Benefits

Suitable Applications


Philips bright Fluorescent Tubes

Extended life expectancy of as much as 20,000 hours

Shatter-resistant versions available

Schools, offices, shops, and factories


Sylvania Fluorescent Tubes

Energy-efficient range

Improved colour calculation performance

Suitable because that a wide variety of applications


Osram Fluorescent Tubes

Advantages of a renowned brand

Products obtainable worldwide

Both domestic and commercial lighting


GE Fluorescent Tubes

Excellent colour quality

Longer lifespan and also lower mercury outputs

Domestic use, signage, commercial applications


GlassGuard Fluorescent Tubes

Industry compliant shatterproof linear fluorescent lamps

Retail, food industries, laboratories


RS pro Fluorescent Tubes

Waterproof units

Impact resistance

Manufacturing and also food industries, marine environments

Fluorescent Tube selections by Wattage

The variety of watts will be indicated after the F top top the fluorescent tube. Together an example, one F8 tube with 24 watt will have the number F24T8. The level that light output will likewise have a bearing ~ above the wattage the the fluorescent tube. The efficacy of the fluorescent tube will range from around 16 lumens every watt because that a 4-watt tube with a constant ballast to an ext than 100 lumens every watt because that a pipe featuring a modern electronic ballast. The level of irradiate emitted native the fluorescent pipe is also impacted by the desk lamp temperature in the coldest area the the lamp.

Fluorescent Tube selections by Size

Fluorescent tubes space measured in eighths of an inch, with the measure being drawn from pen to pen at the end of the tube. The wattage level is dependence on the size of the fluorescent tube. The size of fluorescent tubing selection from T2 to T17. Production of the biggest size T12 (38mm) has ceased. However, lock featured the same G13 cap as the T8 tube. This method that the is feasible to change the T12 tube through a an ext efficient T8 the the same length.

The comparative sizes of fluorescent tubes space highlighted in this table:

Length (mm)






Diameter (mm)






Tube Type






Compare Fluorescent Tubes

There is together a wide selection of fluorescent tubing accessible that it might be a difficulty to determine the type best suited to your needs. However, determinants such together the type of socket, diameter, wattage, length, color coding, and ballasting should all have a bearing on her buying decision, as should the following:

Type the Fluorescent Tube

As formerly mentioned, fluorescent tubes selection from the contemporary T2 come the old layout T12. The slim-line T2 tubes function a W4.3 fitting and a 4.3 mm large push fitting. T4 tube are finest suited come under-cabinet lighting and have a G5 fitting through 5mm separating the 2 pins. Standard T8 tubes have a G13 fitting, with 13mm separating the pins. The T12 tube came complete with the exact same G13 cap together the T8 tube, an interpretation that larger T12 tubes deserve to be changed with T8 tubes.

Wattage of Fluorescent Tube

You must be mindful that lumens are certain to the total amount of irradiate emitted by the irradiate source, when watts refer to the amount of power consumed. Together the level of energy performance increase, the wattage decreases in relationship to the generation of lumens.

The adhering to table suggests the number of lumens that are generated at different wattages:

Bulb Type

200-300 Lumens

300-500 Lumens

500-700 Lumens

700-1,000 Lumens

1,000-1,250 Lumens

1,250-2,000 Lumens


25-30 watts

40 watts

60 watts

75 watts

120 watts

150-250 watts


5-6 watts

8 watts

11 watts

15 watts

20 watts

20 watts

Length of Fluorescent Tube

As previously stated, friend can develop the length of a fluorescent pipe by measure up the full distance between the two finish pins. The lengths of this tubes are frequently indicated by the wattage. The the smallest fluorescent pipe is the T2 and also it has actually a length of in between 250mm and 760mm. The following longest tube is the T4, through a complete length the anywhere between 150mm and 1,500mm. This is complied with by the T5, through a length of in between 340mm and 1,800mm. The length of the T8 tube may be anywhere from 600mm up to 2,400mm.

Typical Applications that Fluorescent Tubes

Varieties that fluorescent tubing deserve to be offered for the bright of industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. They generate a shadow-free form of bright in every instances. The T8 fluorescent tube is the range most typically used because that commercial and also industrial purposes. Other types of tubing are supplied to light cabinets, beams, and coves in residential properties.

How to Fit a Fluorescent pipe Safely

Considerable care should it is in taken throughout the installation of a fluorescent tube. Girlfriend should start by turning off the power linked to the fitting. Any type of contact through the fitting and also earthed facets should it is in avoided. It will certainly be vital to begin with the remove of the casing, which have the right to then be inserted in a safe and secure area. The tube have to be gently twisted 90 levels to release it native the irradiate fitting. The attachments of the brand-new fluorescent pipe should start with the placement of the quick metal prongs in the matching holes. The new bulb need to then be twisted gently v 90 degrees.


How perform I know What size Fluorescent Tube i Need?

Fluorescent tubes come in a range of sizes. To know of the correctly sized tube will require recommendation to the password indicating the dimensions. Together an example, the T of code T8 refers to the tubed shape, with the 8 introduce to the size or diameter. The simplest way to recognize the correct size is to read the label positioned close come the base of the tube. If girlfriend can’t review this information, climate a measurement have to be bring away of the tube diameter. The equivalent measurement must be take away in eighths of an inch. The T8 tube has actually a one-inch (8/8) diameter, when the T5 tube has a 5/8 diameter.

Which colour Temperature come Pick?

Both the colour temperature and also colour rendering index will have actually a bearing ~ above the appropriate selection of fluorescent tubing. The colour temperature coincides with the warmth of the light. Warmer tones will have a yellowish appearance, when cooler shades will certainly be reasonably bright.

Common varieties of colour temperature include:

The colour rendering index indicates the ease with which colours can be identified on the applications of various light sources. A pear with approximately 80 CRI may be perfect for usual domestic applications. However, you need to ensure the installation of a bulb v a CRI that 90 or much more given the require for high levels of light.

How countless Lumens space Fluorescent Bulbs?

There will be part variation in the lot of lumens created by fluorescent bulbs offered the type and efficacy the the lamp. However, the majority of fluorescent bulbs generate in between 45 and 100 lumens per watt. A 20-watt tube may then be meant to generate between 90 and 100 lumens. The wattage and also lumen levels have a straight bearing on running costs.

How lot is a Fluorescent irradiate Bulb?

There is substantial variation in the pricing of fluorescent irradiate bulbs. However, together a general rule, you have the right to expect to salary under £8 per bulb.

What’s the Difference between a Fluorescent Tube and a Fluorescent Bulb?

The main difference between the fluorescent tube and also bulb is in the size. The fluorescent bulb has a distinctive shape and also requires special an innovation for attachments to a typical light socket. That is also common because that fluorescent tube to have a ballast connected with the light bulb. Each uses a good level of power efficiency.

How execute I Dispose of Fluorescent Tubes?

Fluorescent tubes autumn under the category of hazardous waste as result of their mercury content. Treatment should be taken throughout the disposal procedure as component of your commitment to environmental and also legal compliance. It will certainly be important to switch turn off the power source before detaching a fluorescent tube. The tube might then be wrapped in paper or towelling to prevent breakage. The tubing deserve to then be moved to recycling or hazardous waste disposal in accordance v the legal requirements.

What perform the Numbers mean on a Fluorescent Tube?

Ideally, there will certainly be legible coding top top the fluorescent tube indicating the vital characteristics. As an example, you can see the password F32T8. The F in this instance will indicate the fluorescence. The 32 coincides to the variety of watts or size in inches. The T is certain to the tubular shaping. Finally, the 8 corresponds to the diameter in eighths that an customs (this might be represented in millimetres rounded to the nearest millimetre).

What walk a Starter perform in a Fluorescent Light?

It is important to note that some varieties of fluorescent lighting carry out not feature starters. However, those that do typically have a starter positioned close to the tube socket. The starter will provide voltage in addition to that provided by the mains. Operation in combination with the choke, this will initiate the ionised course through the tube. The wattage rating that the starter must correspond with that the the fluorescent tube for reliability and also longevity.

What is the Brightest Fluorescent Tube?

T8 fluorescent tube is the ideal option if you want to check out a good level of detail. The high levels of color rendering permit property areas and items come be presented to complete effect. These tubes have a life expectations of as much as 15,000 and also require a reasonably low level that maintenance.

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Are T8 and also T12 Fluorescent Bulbs Interchangeable?

There aren’t any type of safety concerns linked with the replacement of the T12 fluorescent bulb through a T8. However, you have to be aware that the installation of a T8 will result in a to reduce lifespan due to the high levels of current running v the tube. It can be essential to install a different kind of ballasting or fixture for operation of the T8 bulb. You may also consider the surroundings of lengthy tube LED lighting.