Difference Between T5 and T8 Low Bay Fluorescent Lighting Fixtures

Finding the right lighting solution for your location means comparing your options. When choosing between two types of lighting, there are many factors you may want to consider. For your low bay ceiling needs, it is good to know the difference between T5 and T8 low bay fluorescent lighting fixtures.

The first thing you need to know about this area of lighting fixtures is the specification of the ceiling height. While it used to be an industry given that any ceiling over 17 feet required high bays for optimal lighting while any ceiling under that cut-off height was considered a low bay fixture application, this assumption is not always true. The reason many people insist on a high bay is because of the light spread since the fixture will be placed higher up, but a fluorescent low bay still has great lumen spread, especially when the unit has multiple bulbs as part of the design already. When you choose an option with more lamps, the spread will be improved considerably so the designation of high bay versus low bay will become less important.

When it comes to the main difference between T5 and T8 low bay fluorescent lighting fixtures, it is mostly a matter of the bulb size. With a longer bulb and a larger diameter, a T8 fixture offers more bulb and therefore more light. While the spread of the light is often dependent on factors such as reflector type and placement angle, the size of the bulb makes T8 bulbs a better choice over T5 for low bay ceilings.

Aside from the difference in size and light spread, there isn’t much difference between the two options. Obviously, there are other factors that will influence the amount of light a fixture gives and the way it illuminates a space. For instance, a T5 with four bulbs may be a better solution than a T8 with two bulbs. It will depend on your location, the watt and lumen output, and the overall design of the fixture.

For a closer look at this topic, check out our video here.

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Video Transcription

Hi, it’s James Abraham again with warehouse-lighting.com. I’m going to be talking to you about low bay fixtures. You know, there was that whole designation of metal halides and it was high bay versus low bay where, you know, a high bay was anywhere over 17 feet, a low bay was anywhere under 17 feet. With a fluorescent, there’s not a real big designation. A lot of it has to do with either how many lamps are in a fixture, or how the fixtures shaped, or how the reflectors shaped. You know, some reflectors will give a better spread of light on the outside, some will give you a better spread on the inside. This fixture happens to be built pretty well for giving you spread, you know, out from the fixture. The reason being is it’s actually, if you can notice, the center bulbs of this fixture are dropped below the outside bulbs which actually spreads the light out on the floor better. You know, it’s hitting the reflector, it’s pushing it out, and it’s pushing it to the side a little bit more. So, this fixture really can be used under 17 feet. It also has a little brother that’s a four lamp that has the same thing and it’s got one bulb in position, I think it’s about 12 inches long or wide, and that will help push the light out to the side also, but here, you know, we have a good example of, you know, a fixture that can be used in a low bay application. It’s not really designated a low bay type fixture, but it can be used like that just because of how good the bulbs spread the light on the sides. You know, a lot of it also on the T8, T5 thing, this happens to be a T8 fixture, I find that the width of the bulb or the diameter of the bulb allows the light to spread out a little bit more than a T8, which is actually more pungent or it pushes it down to the floor a lot farther, so when thinking about, you know, low bay application, that would be anywhere from like a 14 to 20 foot height of your ceiling that you’re hanging them, you know, I would probably look more intently at the T8 than I would the T5, but you can always call and ask us, you know, what we think and to work up your application. You can either call us at 888 454 4480 or just come to our website and check out what we’ve got it’s www.warehouse-lighting.com. Thanks a lot, and we’ll talk to you soon. Appreciate you stopping by.