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T-8 s or T-12 s

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Justus
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 179 Justus, Pa.
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2008-10-13          157227


I have several shop lights that I've purchased over the last few years from Home Depot. They say "Shop Light" on the carton but I believe the manufacturer is Commercial Electric. When I first started buying them about five years ago they used either T-8 or T-12 bulbs. It said so right on the fixture. Now I noticed (Just by chance) in lights I recently purchased that they say to use T-12 bulbs in them; they don't mention the T-8's at all. Now I understand that the T-8 is one inch in diameter and the T-12 an inch and a half. The pins are in the same spot so is there a particular reason not to use the T-8's in a fixture that calls for T-12's? I know I've run T-8's in the T-12 fixtures before I realized they switched them to T-12's.
They are all "Instant on." I do like the T-8's better and it seems T-8's are taking over T-12's so why do they say use T-12's? Thanks for any insight, Steve

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T-8 s or T-12 s

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2008-11-06          157712


Realize this is old and not sure but could it not be just one vendor on this light preference? If not a different vendor could just be a different plant and guessing printed in a foreign land with poor translation. ....

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T-8 s or T-12 s

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2008-11-06          157715


Hmmm, missed this thread before somehow.

From what I understand, there is a fundamental difference between the two bulb types and therefore also the ballasts designed to run them.

Comparing a typical 2 bulb 48" fixture; A T-12 bulb is designed to have a 72 watt magnetic ballast, a T-8 is designed to have a 56 watt electronic ballast.

My understanding is that running the wrong bulb can dramatically shorten the life of the bulb, ballast, or both.

'Instant on' is nothing more than the type of ballast, it has nothing to do with whether it is designed for use with T-12 or T-8 type bulbs.

The T-8 style electronic ballast is a more expensive unit, so in all likelyhood the fixture you have is a 'price point' unit and so designed & built with the least expensive parts available.

I discovered this myself recently, the ballast in one of lights in the basement went. I was rather shocked to find out that there was just $3 difference between a replacement ballast, and a whole new light fixture!!!

Best of luck. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
T-8 s or T-12 s

View my Photos
Justus
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 179 Justus, Pa.
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2008-11-06          157720


Ken and Murph, thanks for the reply. I was searching the internet after posting this and that was all I could come up with too, that using the wrong bulbs could shorten the life of the ballast or bulb. It just seemed puzzling to me that the same manufacturer would go from either/or to just plain T-12's. As I said, it was just by chance I noticed they now called for only T-12's. The design of the fixture has changed somewhat so, as you said Ken, someone else may be making the fixtures for them. From what I've read though, T-8's are replacing the T-12's. Also, like you said Murph, the fixtures (In this case) only cost $8+ dollars so they are throw aways. Thanks again for the input, Steve. ....

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