Difference Between T5 & T8 Light Bulbs

Let’s Compare: T5 vs T8 Light Bulbs

If you are new to the world of lighting, you probably have some questions. T5 and T8 bulbs are commonly used in linear high bay lighting, vapor tight high bay lights, and strip light fixtures. When looking at T8 vs T5 light bulbs and making a buying decision, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

The major physical difference between T5 and T8 light bulbs is the length and diameter of the tube itself. The T5 tends to be slightly shorter than the T8 tube, and is significantly smaller in diameter. This factor is important to consider when looking at your fixture, because the two tubes are not interchangeable.

Another factor that separates T5 vs T8 bulbs is the lumen output capabilities. For example, a standard 4’ 54 watt T5HO linear tube will usually yield around 5000 lumens per tube whereas a standard 4’ 32 watt T8 tube will offer approximately 3000 lumens per tube. When considering this difference between the two tube options, it is also important to keep in mind the lighting application requirements of your space. If you do not need as many lumens, the lesser wattage T8 would be the better choice since it offers lower lumen and watt consumption. If you need higher levels of lighting, the T5 might be ideal for your situation.

When choosing linear fluorescent tubes of this type, there are several other factors you need to consider. For instance, both T5 and T8 tubes are available in various color temperature choices. This plays just as big of a role as the lumen output. For example, if you are considering a tube type for use in an office setting, you will naturally want to select either a lower lumen output, a warmer color temperature, or perhaps both, depending on the area. In office settings, using excessive lumen output or to cool of a color temperature can lead to complaints. 

In an industrial or warehouse setting, we generally recommend a color temperature of 5000 to 6500 Kelvin. But in an office setting, something like 4000 to 5000 might be more appropriate. Additionally, T5 bulbs tend to be 2-3 times more expensive than T8 bulbs—so cost is an important consideration as well. 

Once you have decided on your color temperature and lumen output needs as well as your budget, deciding between a T5 or T8 fixture will be much easier to navigate.

Check out the video above to learn more about these light bulbs from Warehouse-Lighting President James Abraham!

Get the T8 here: https://www.warehouse-lighting.com/products/philips-f32t8-tl741-alto-30-pack

Get the T5 here: https://www.warehouse-lighting.com/products/ge-46762-t5-54w-5000k-40-pack 

Additional Resources


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Video Transcription

Hi, this is James Abraham with Warehouse Lighting. I’d like to explain the difference between T5 light bulbs and T8 light bulbs. There’s different options here you can get from us. You can get anywhere from 3000k which is on the redder spectrum to a 6500k which would be true to light outside type light. A couple things to notice here is the T5 is shorter, slightly shorter, than the T8 so it has to fit in the fixture. You can get different lengths of these, both of these, one for, you can use them for a two by two troffer, you could use them for a high bay fixture. The two main differences between these are well, one, the length and two, the wattage output and the lumen output. A T5 has approximately 5000 lumens per lamp and is also 54 watts per bulb, so, and a T8 gives you about 3000 lumens, depending on the ballast, low ballast factor being less probably around 2700, high ballast factor being about 3000. The T8 is a 32 watt and both of these, like I said, come in different colors of K values or Kelvin values. You know, you could actually get 3000, 3500, 4100, 5000, and also 6500. A good rule of thumb when thinking about what type of K value you need with these lamps is to, you know, in an industrial atmosphere, or, you know, right in our warehouse right here, you’re going to use a, you know, something like around a 5000 or a 6500. I have had complaints of people saying that they get headaches with the 6500 bulb, so I always kind of push them towards the 5000. In an office setting, you’re going to use anywhere from probably a 4100, you can use a 5000, but I suggest, you know, it seems like we get a lot more complaints in the offices that we have 5000’s, and not 4100, so that’s a good rule of thumb when thinking about buying which fixture or which lamp that would be suitable for your application. If you have questions, we’re here to answer. So, if you would call 414 525 9027 or you can go to our website at www.warehouse-lighting.com. Again, that’s www.warehouse-lighting.com. Feel free to ask us any questions you guys want. So, have a great day. Appreciate you stopping by.