Brodwax Lighting FAQ & Knowledge base
Submit a question
Welcome! (1)
General Company Info (2)
Info such as fax number, hours of operation, directions, etc.
General Lighting Questions (13)
Products (10)
FAQ's listed by product
Search Articles
Advanced Search
Frequently Asked Questions
Search our FAQ to find resolutions to common issues.
Favorite Articles
Search Articles that you have marked as your favorite.
Main Page
What is T8 Lighting? How is it different from the older T12 bulbs?

Fluorescent Lighting has long been the smart choice for today's home. While all fluorescents are more energy efficient than common incandescent bulbs, not all fluorescent lights are created equal.

T8 Electronic versus T12 Magnetic

Modern Fluorescent fixtures with the newer T8 lamps and electronic ballasts far surpass the benefits of traditional T12 fluorescents.

Fluorescent Light Bulb Type:

T8 - A T8 lamp is 1" in diameter (8 8 = 1")
Available Wattages: 17W - 24", 25W - 36", 32W - 48"

T12 - A T12 lamp is 1-1/2" in diameter (12 8 = 1-1/2")
Available Wattages: 15W - 18", 20W - 24", 30W - 36", 34/40W - 48"



T8 lamps use Electronic ballasts, which use semi-conductor components, along with other components. Electronic ballasts start instantly and operate virtually silent, with no flickering. They also provide increased efficiency in light output with less energy consumption than traditional T12 magnetic ballasts. T8 electronic fixtures have now become the standard in new construction and retrofit applications. They are required in certain states, such as California, in order to pass certain building requiements (Title 24)

T12 lamps use Magnetic ballasts, which use a "core & coil" assembly to transform electrical current to start and operate the lamps. Although far better than standard incandescent, not nearly as efficient as T8 Electronic.

Advantages of T8 Electronic vs. Traditional Fixtures

T12 Magnetic Ballast Fixture

T8 Electronic Ballasted

Light Output

Energy (1)

Cost Savings (2)

2 light T12 4' Fluorescent Fixture (old technology)

2 light T8 4' Fluorescent Fixture (new technology)

Saves 22%

$ 7.01

4 light T12 4' Decorative Fluorescent fixture (old technology)

4 light T8 4' Decorative Fluorescent fixture (new technology)

Saves 22%

$ 14.02

4 light T12 4' Decorative Fluorescent fixture (old technology)

3 light T8 4' Decorative Fluorescent fixture (new technology)


Saves 41%

$ 26.71

(1) Annual savings based on $0.10/KWH, 12 hours/day, 365 days.
(2) Cost savings per fixture per year based on $.10/KWH, 12 hours/day, 365 days


Specific Advantages to T8 Electronic Fixtures

Energy Saving

T8 electronic fixtures can save over 40% in annual energy costs!* That's $ 26.71 saved per fixture every year!

*Based on (3) 32W T8 light bulbs at 6,186 lumens and (4) 34W T12 at 6,344 lumens, 12 hrs/365 days for $0.10/kwh

Annual Cost Comparison per Fixture
T8 = $38.11         T12 = $64.82
SAVINGS = $26.76

True Color

True Color
  • Fluorescent T8 lamps make colors look truer longer than T12's.
  • T8 bulbs come in a wide range of color temperatures that can simulate the soft incandescent like color (3000K) or have light more like daylight (5000K+), so colors appear more natural and images sharper.
  • On an index scale that measures color respective to natural sunlight (100%), T8 lamps have a color index rating from 75 thru 90+ for more vibrant natural colors. On average, T12 lamps have an index of only 74+.

Light Output & Length of Life

  • T8 fluorescents have better light output over the life of the lamp than T12's.
  • After 10,000 hours, T8 lamps are still running at 95% light output, unlike T12's, which are at only 85%. T8's also last up to 24,000 hours versus 20,000 hours for T12's.
  • Fluorescent T8 Electronic fixtures give 40% more light output than T12 Energy Saving Magnetic. That's three T8 lamps for almost as much light as four T12!

    Cool, Quiet, & Flicker-Free Operation

    • Overall lower operating temperatures extend ballast life and reduce air conditioning costs.
    • In many cases low temperature operation, starting down to 0 F is possible without the need of costly cold weather ballasts.
    • T8 electronic ballasts are nearly silent compared to traditional T12 fluorescents.
    • Fluorescent T8 fixtures do not flicker, for less eyestrain, better relaxation and concentration.
Article ID: 10002 Article Created: 12-03-2008 15:08 PMLast Modified: 12-03-2008 15:11 PM

Print  Email  Save  Notify Me  Add to Favorites 

How well did this article answer your question? 100% 75% 50% 25% 0%

Most Recently Viewed Articles
I plan on using eight slim-line T5 (4'), grounded, commercial fixtures in a hospital cabinet. They require 277 volt capability. What would be required?
At this time, all of our Super Sleek T4 and T4 slim under cabinet fixtures are designed to operate on 110-120 volt systems only. We do have T8 fixtures, including under cabinet, that can operate from 110 volt - 277 volt using a multivolt / multi hertz ballast. I am not aware of any T4 fixtures that are designed to operate at 277 volt at this time. Sorry :(  ...
Can i use a Leviton fluorescent dimmer to dim your SG5-6 fixture.Or do you have a fixture I can use?
No. Unfortunately dimming fluorescent fixtures requires a compatible dimming ballast.........
For the Ultra Sleek Undercabinet lights, do i need to order the wire to connect to the direct wire box?Or does that come with each light I order?
We price our Super Sleek Under cabinet fixtures with the bulb, mounting hardware, and one direct connector. You do need to purchase a connecting cable of the length you require to run to the hard wire box. You can, however, use the direct connector for that purpose if you want the box adjecent to the fixture.  ...
Are the older T12 fluorescent lamps compatible with the new T8 electronic ballasts? In particular, I'm wondering if installing a T12 lamp in a fixture equipped with an electronic (T8) ballast will cause the lamp to explode or do harm to the ballast?
No, there will not be any explosion,.........
what is a 24w gu24 lamp? Cant find one to see what it looks like. Is it a flourescent or ?
Excellent question! Yes it is fluorescent and it is the latest energy saving fluorescent technology available. Click to read about this new cost effective system being used in many energy saving lighting systems today, including our new pendants and chandeliers by Nuvo Lighting!...
Im looking into the Under Cabinet, Recessed, LED Puck Lights. Can this kind of lighting be put on a dimmer switch?
Yes! Our LED puck lights as well as our new LED MiniBar2 are now dimmable! ........
When measuring the diameter for a light to purchase, are the measurements of just the bulb itself inside or the cover too? For Example: I think I want to purchase the CircLite in the 19" #BX72, but is it the diameter of the bulb inside or the cover? If
The measurements provided on our web site for all of our fixtures is for the largest overall outer size of the fixture. So.....
What is a daylight day bright bulb, and are the very expensive?
Daylight bulbs, also referred to as full spectrum bulbs are said to be the closest spectrum to natural sunlight....
Welcome to the Brodwax Lighting FAQ & Knowledge section!
11/15/2008 Welcome to our Frequently asked question (FAQ) section and knowledgebase. This page is currently under construction, and you can help. Please submit your questions by clicking on the submit a question button above. Like the title says, frequently asked questions will make it to this section! Thanks for your help. Administrator  ...
What if one of the units I purchase is defective. What is the return policy and who covers the shipping cost.
During the first 30 days after receiving your order you are covered under our comprehensive  "30 Day In Home Trial".....  ...

Home | Products | What's New | Contact Us | Reps | Links | Policies
Brodwax Lighting Corporation • 4383 NW 124th Ave • Coral Springs • FL 33065
Phone: 800-841-4666 • Fax: 954-255-1715 •