Fluorescent T8 and T5 lamps use about 50% of the energy used by outdated HID and T12 Fluorescent lamps to provide the same amount of illumination. They also last about 2-5 times longer, and provide superior light quality and lumen maintenance to the HID and T12.
As of July 1, 2012 Federal energy legislation such as EPACT (The Energy Policy Act) mandates the phase out of many of the older T12 linear fluorescent lamp types and magnetic ballasts . Advances in newer, more energy efficient fluorescent systems like T8 and T5, coupled with financial stimulus and incentive programs, give end users every opportunity to replace outdated T12 systems and lower their electric bills
Most Utility companies offer aggressive rebates towards upgrading to Fluorescent technology which in many cases can provide paybacks of 3-6 months and less, while some programs can offer immediate payback. Fluorescent fixtures also work ideally with Occupancy Sensors for further energy savings.
The light produced by a fluorescent tube is caused by an electric current conducted through mercury and inert gases. Fluorescent lamps require a ballast to regulate operating current and provide a high start-up voltage. Electronic ballasts outperform standard and improved electromagnetic ballasts by operating at a very high frequency that eliminates flicker and noise. Electronic ballasts also are more energy-efficient. Special ballasts are needed to allow dimming of fluorescent lamps.
Improvements in technology have resulted in fluorescent lamps with color temperature and color rendition that are comparable to incandescent lamps.
Types of Fluorescent Lamps – There are two general types of fluorescent lamps include these: