With the need to save energy, most lighting manufacturers have been producing
the new standard in 2 foot fluorescent bulbs; The F17T8 fluorescent light bulbs.
F17T8 bulbs save even more energy and produce a higher
level of light output than original fluorescent bulbs, which are known as F20T12
bulbs. You can tell the difference between a T8 and a T12 by measuring the
diameter of the bulb. The F17T8 bulb will be 1 inch in diameter, compared to 1
1/2 inch for the T12 bulb. The T8 are far more energy efficient and
operate on an electronic ballast usually configured to run several variances of
T8 lamps. As with all fluorescent bulbs, they rely on ballasts inside of
the fixtures in order to make them work. 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 a rare occasion there may be a ballast that is made for several different
types such as in the case of these T8 lamps. Most of the time, the ballast in the lamp
are matched electrically and so it's good to make sure the ballast you have is
the right one for the lamp you choose. We also carry the Sylvania Quicktronic
electronic ballast which operates the F17T8 making the combination an ideal
retrofit for the older F20T12 type.
You can get these in almost any color you want including the
more desirable full spectrum light. The full spectrum has
special phosphors that give it a similar color to daylight or natural sunshine.
These are also available in F17T8 fluorescent light bulbs. It produces light
the way our eyes naturally use it, giving better visual acuity
and reducing problems like eyestrain. The term full spectrum is primarily used when referring to those lamps
that fall into the white to blue/white color temperature range. Color
temperature is measured by a term called Kelvin. 3000 Kelvin would be a warm
tone color and the 5000 Kelvin would be a white color. There are some of the older types of fluorescents
that don't use these terms but sometimes are called by a certain color such as
"cool white" or warm white". Those are the F20T12 variety and
could be retrofitted to the newer F17T8 fluorescent lamps. There are any
number of applications which use this lamp which include 2x2 fixtures, task lighting,
furniture, cove lighting and the applications are endless.
Saving energy is not the only feature of the F17T8 bulb. In addition to this, the
color rendering index (CRI) is better than T12 bulbs. CRI is the technical term
for the way a bulb makes colors look to the human eye. The higher the CRI, the
more subtle variations of the shade of color are seen. T12 bulbs were typically
in the 60-65 range. The T8 bulbs range from 75 all the way to 95. (100 is the
highest). There is such a wonderful difference when you use these bulbs and
increase the color saturation of the environment around you. You'll find that better color will
bring a better feeling to your office, you and your people will notice a marked
difference. Many offices still use colors like cool white which wash out
color and make everything look pale. It's mostly used in the F20T12, but
there are other types using it as well. It's old technology and was used because
color was thought to be less important and it was cheap! Because color correct lighting is
good for the eyes, it increases contrast for better readability. There are
two different grades of phosphors in this lamp, one is the 700 series which is a CRI of 75 and the 800 series which is 85 CRI. You'll know the difference
by the number at the end like F17T8/735 or F17T8/835, the 35 stands for the
color temperature of 3500K and the number before it is the grade.
The F17T8 fluorescent light bulbs are the new standard today for energy
efficient light bulbs in a 2 foot length.
Whatever type of T8 light you have, you will be saving energy while getting the
most light you can for your money. We have a large inventory of
T8 fluorescent bulbs for nearly every type of light fixture in the field. If
you need help identifying a bulb, our customer service
representatives can help you determine what you have.