T8 vs. T12 Lamps
Posted by adventurelightingblog on February 1, 2010
One of the most common questions we receive at Adventure Lighting is, should I upgrade from T12 to T8 lamps?
Here’s the rundown on why this is a no-brainer. T12 Lamps are being phased out of production. I’ve heard that 2012 will be the last year they’re made. Now, I’m sure the lamps will still be available, but there are reasons why they’re going away.
A standard 4 lamp fixture, similar to what most every office in America uses, has a standard 40 watt T12 lamp on a standard magnetic ballast (which won’t be produced after June of 2010) and uses 172 watts of energy. The same fixture retrofitted with T8 lamps and a new electronic ballast uses 112 watts of energy – that’s a 35% reduction in energy usage! To retrofit an existing fixture with the new ballasts is a simple process that requires very basic wiring knowledge. Remove (2) T12 ballasts, replace with (1) T8 ballast, and replace old lamps with new ones in the same sockets.
Not only are you going to see a 35% reduction in energy consumption, you’ll also see a dramatic difference in light output. The Standard T12 lamp produces 2,650 initial lumens per lamp. The standard T8 produces 2,800 initial lumens per lamp, 6% brighter. But the standard T12 lamp produces 2,300 design lumens and the T8 produces 2,660 design lumens.
Initial lumens – the average lumen output of the lamp after 100 hours of operation under controlled lab conditions.
Design Lumens are the average lumen output of the lamp after 40% of its rated life.
You can see that the T12 lamp loses 14% of its light output over the first 40% of its life, whereas the T8 only loses 5% of its light output. Combine that over 4 lamps and you have a loss of 1,400 lumens per fixture as compared to 560 lumens lost on a T8 fixture. I’ll get into why the T8 lamp is a better lamp as far as color later – but the 35% energy savings and a better lumen maintenance are 2 of the reasons why switching is better.
Let’s say your office runs those fixtures 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. At an average energy cost of $0.07 per KWh you’re looking at a savings of $13.10 per year. If you have 50 fixtures in your building, that’s a savings of $655.00 per year. And by the way, MidAmerican Energy gives you a rebate of $18 per fixture to do this. $54 dollars if you have an audit done. (We’ll get into this at a later post.)
I think I’ve made a compelling argument as to why upgrading from T12 to T8 technology is a no-brainer. Call us and let me come out to look at your situation to give you a free assessment of what can be done to upgrade you today!
Brian Huff, along with Jack and Sue, own and manage Adventure Lighting in Des Moines, Iowa. To find out more, visit www.adventurelighting.com.