Lighting Knowledge

Fluorescent Lighting

Did You Know?

Did you know that most fluorescent lighting in Australia is provided by T8 (25mm diameter) tubes operating with a magnetic ballast?

Renewing, refurbishing or retrofitting fluorescent luminaires is usually done to achieve a new outcome. This may be for aesthetic reasons, to improve the lighting or to reduce energy consumption.

A number of technologies and methods are available to improve the luminaires in a lighting installation. Some of these include:

  • Installing new luminaires and smart control systems
  • Re-lamping and cleaning the existing luminaires/paint walls, etc
  • Adding retrofit reflectors to improve light output and direction, thereby reducing the number of tubes required
  • Removing excess tubes and centering remaining ones
  • Replacing the magnetic ballast(s) with a high frequency (HF) electronic ballast
  • Converting the luminaire from T8 to T5 (16mm) by replacing the ballast, lamps and lampholders
  • Converting to T5 lamps using a T8 to T5 adapter kit

An increasingly common reason for refurbishing a lighting installation is to reduce energy consumption. All the above methods can be used separately or in combination. A relatively new method is to use a T8 to T5 adaptor. These are promoted as a cost-effective, energy-efficient replacement for existing T8 lamps. The procedure involves, for example, removing a 36 Watt T8 lamp and replacing it with a 28 Watt T5 lamp and electronic ballast adaptor installed between the existing lamp holders. The fluorescent starter is also changed.