For years, this lamp was the standard for office lighting and that was mainly true because the cost was so low, rather than have anything to do with being the right light for the task. Most people in retail store lighting situations have replaced these lamps for bulbs with a higher color rendering. They are commonly used as overhead fluorescent lighting in offices because of the clean, white light they put out. These typically come in the F40T12 tube which is the standard for the more common colors like cool white or warm white that has been used in office fixtures throughout the world. So wherever you have those types of fixtures, these F40T12 cool white fluorescent lamps will be what you need.
As with all fluorescent bulbs, they rely on ballasts inside of the fixtures in order to make them work. Ballasts are available from Magnetek, Advance, Osram Sylvania, among others. Almost all fixtures for these bulbs come with ballasts already mounted and wired. The ballast is important because it is specific for each type of lamp. You can't change from one type of fluorescent to another without changing the ballast in most cases. On some occasions there may be a ballast that is made for several different types, such as in the case of T8 lamps. Most of the time the ballast and the lamp are matched electrically and so it's a good idea to make sure the ballast you have is the right one for the lamp you choose. The F40T12 fluorescent typically operates on a magnetic ballast which is less efficient than it's electronic counterpart. Look for this lamp commonly used in an office overhead lighting situation in 2x4 fixtures.
With the coming of higher electrical costs, many businesses are looking for ways to save energy with lighting. There are many choices in this area right now and one of the most popular are FO32T8 fluorescent light bulbs with matching electronic ballasts. This combination has been a standard for saving energy and often times has electric utility rebates associated with it. What makes them such a natural is that the sockets used for less efficient F40T12 lamps are exactly the same, making it an easy retrofit. Now there are T8 versions of the daylight lamps which will give you the ability to use them in all your lighting situations. This would probably be common for many newer installations, but older fixtures will probably still use the F40T12 cool white.
Because it's still very commonly used in many office environments across the country, we make the F40T12 cool white light bulbs a perennial part of our offering. Remember, there are many types of color balanced lighting that could replace these lamps and we describe some of the most common used in home and commercial lighting here on our web site. We have a large inventory of fluorescent bulbs for nearly every type of light fixture in the field. If you need help identifying a light bulb, our customer service representatives can help you determine what you have.