T8 Fluorescent Lamps and Electronic Ballasts

To cut energy costs, upgrade your fluorescent lamps and ballasts. You'll get a higher quality of light at similar light levels and reduce power consumption up to 40%. Savings in energy costs produce a typical payback of two to three years.


  • Energy savings (up to 40% less energy)
  • Better color rendering
  • Cooler operation
  • Quieter operation
  • Lightweight design
  • No flicker during start-up or operation

For years, commercial lighting has been dominated by the common 1.5-inch diameter (T12) cool-white fluorescent lamps and transformer-type magnetic ballasts. This older technology is fast becoming obsolete. High-efficiency 1-inch (T8) lamps—teamed up with electronic ballasts—are setting new standards for low power consumption, low life-cycle cost and illumination that more closely resembles natural light.

Energy efficient

The 32-watt T8 lamps produce similar levels of light as the older 40-watt T12 bulbs. The slim profile of the T8 lamps enables its gases and rare-earth phosphors to function more efficiently. T8 lamps are available in 4-foot and 8-foot lengths.

Superior color

The light from T8 lamps has a higher "color rendering index," or CRI, than standard T12s. The higher CRI makes objects and surfaces in a room appear more like they would under natural light.

Efficient electronic ballasts

All fluorescent lamps require ballasts to provide the right voltage and current. Electronic ballasts use high-frequency, solid-state circuitry instead of heavy copper windings to perform this task. As a result, electronic ballasts produce more light for each watt, run cooler and last longer. Electronic ballasts that feature high power factor ratings and low-harmonic distortion are available.

No flicker or hum

Some people are sensitive to the rapid flicker and the soft hum or buzz of common fluorescent lights. Electronic ballasts nearly eliminate both the flicker and the hum and are less than half the weight of magnetic ballasts. A retrofit of electronic ballasts could eliminate nearly six pounds from a typical four-lamp fixture.

Who saves the most?

If you have traditional cool-white T12 lamps, standard electromagnetic ballasts and rooms requiring continuous lighting, you will save the most. Under these conditions, instant-start electronic ballasts with T8 lamps produce the greatest savings in energy consumption. For intermittent lighting, a rapid-start ballast, which consumes slightly more power, may be used to maintain lamp life.

Annual energy savings comparison
F40 (40-watt, 4-foot) T12 and magnetic ballast fixture versus
F32 (32-watt, 4-foot) T8 and electronic ballast fixture
Lamp/Ballast combination Watts/Fixture Annual
energy cost
F40-T12 fixture
    (4 lamps, 2 ballasts)
192 $29.20 -
F32-T8 fixture,
    (4 lamps, 1 ballast)
112 $17.03 $12.17

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