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Bhigdog

T-12 florescent tubes

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Most of you might already be aware of this but T-12 florescent tubes will be unavailable after July. I'm guessing quite a few of us use these tubes for shop lighting. Replacement T-5 and T-8 tubes won't work in T-12 fixtures. Better stock up while you can. I just bought a case and it was the last in the store with no more being stocked..........Bob

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The T-8 will fit the fixture but you must replace the ballast with an electronic ballast. I work in a high school and we are changing the ballast out and not having to change the complete fixture. Lee Waldren Fort Myers, Fl.

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Posted (edited)

Explain......difference in T-12 and T-8? How do I know what I have?

I should explain, my older home that no one lives in now has those fixtures in the basement...haven't changed one in years.

Edited by R W Burgess (see edit history)

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Explain......difference in T-12 and T-8? How do I know what I have?

I should explain, my older home that no one lives in now has those fixtures in the basement...haven't changed one in years.

Then you have T12 bulbs. The T12s are about 1.5" in diameter, T8s are about 1", and T5s are about 5/8". Besides the energy efficiency advantages of T8 bulbs, the electronic ballast also starts the lamps at full brightness down to 0 degrees F. This is an advantage for those with unheated garages and shops. Note that because of the switchover, you can buy conversion kits to change your T12 fixtures to T8. The kits include a ballast and sockets. Sometimes they also include a new reflector with everything already mounted to it.

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Posted (edited)

Roger the ability to convert/adapt. For me it was far easier to buy a case of 8 foot, high output, tubes (15) for $140 than buy 12 new ballast kits and balance atop a 12' ladder trying to change them out. Just thought I'd mention.............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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Most of you might already be aware of this but T-12 florescent tubes will be unavailable after July. I'm guessing quite a few of us use these tubes for shop lighting. Replacement T-5 and T-8 tubes won't work in T-12 fixtures. Better stock up while you can. I just bought a case and it was the last in the store with no more being stocked..........Bob

It was this July past (2012) that the manufacture of T12s ended. The remaining stocks (I believe) can be sold without restriction, but when they're gone it's over.

However stocking up on T12s is probably a counter-productive thing to do. Note the following (intended for commercial building managers):

Say Goodbye to T12 Fluorescent Lamps (Businesses: Get Your Rebates Now!) - CleanTechnica

Of course, incentives are only one reason to upgrade. According to

Ourtakeongreen.com, by replacing a T12 system with a T8 system, you can reduce energy use by 33% and save $12 per fixture per year. If you have 1,000 fixtures, that means $12,000 a year in energy savings. Plus, the normal payback period for upgrading to T5 or T8 lamps is usually only 1-3 years.

Additionally, the T12 lamp only lasts for approximately 28,800 hours, while a T8 lamp can last for 36,000 hours and a T5 for 52,000. A longer life for your lamps means lower maintenance costs for your business.

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Most of you might already be aware of this but T-12 florescent tubes will be unavailable after July. I'm guessing quite a few of us use these tubes for shop lighting. Replacement T-5 and T-8 tubes won't work in T-12 fixtures. Better stock up while you can. I just bought a case and it was the last in the store with no more being stocked..........Bob

It was this July past (2012) that the manufacture of T12s ended. The remaining stocks (I believe) can be sold without restriction, but when they're gone it's over.

However stocking up on T12s is probably a counter-productive thing to do. Note the following (intended for commercial building managers):

Say Goodbye to T12 Fluorescent Lamps (Businesses: Get Your Rebates Now!) - CleanTechnica

Of course, incentives are only one reason to upgrade. According to

Ourtakeongreen.com, by replacing a T12 system with a T8 system, you can reduce energy use by 33% and save $12 per fixture per year. If you have 1,000 fixtures, that means $12,000 a year in energy savings. Plus, the normal payback period for upgrading to T5 or T8 lamps is usually only 1-3 years.

Additionally, the T12 lamp only lasts for approximately 28,800 hours, while a T8 lamp can last for 36,000 hours and a T5 for 52,000. A longer life for your lamps means lower maintenance costs for your business.

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Posted (edited)

Dave, energy savings wouldn't mean much to me, just paid the electric bill for last month....$39.66.

Actually, those basement lights are turned on only about once a month. I couldn't recoup the extra costs of the changeover kits at that rate. I need to get this place completed with the remodeling, and put it on the market.:(

"Then you have T12 bulbs. The T12s are about 1.5" in diameter, T8s are about 1", and T5s are about 5/8"."

Thanks Joe!

Wayne

Edited by R W Burgess (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I meant the T-12 tubes will be unavailable from the makers after July, But still available as NOS until supplies are depleted. The savings and pay back numbers might be applicable to 1000 fixture users running 24/7 but don't really work for me or, I expect, the average hobby/smaller shop. My shop uses 12 8 foot, 2 tube, high output fixtures. The T-8 220 volt ballasts go for about $50/ea.

Plus I would need to replace 24 perfectly good tubes with new T-8 tubes. So, to convert to T-8 would cost about $1000, another $500 or so for an electrical contractor if required.

My electric bill for the shop averages $50/Mo of which I'm guessing $35 is for lighting.

So, to use your numbers, By switching I would save about 33% of $35 or approx $12/mo. That's about a 12-15 year payback to switch.

In my case stocking up is far from counter productive. My $140 investment buys me 12 years of hassle free light, keeps 24 tubes with their toxic coating out of a landfill, and saves the energy, material and transportation costs of making 24 replacement T-8 tubes. I suspect many others are in the same boat.

Besides all that, in 12-15 years I would be not at all surprised to see the T-8's being banned in favor of LED lighting by well meaning but still ineffective bureaucrats.

Gotta go, the ever more hungry wood stove needs to be fed and snow is on the way...................Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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My $140 investment buys me 12 years of hassle free light....

If you had the foresight 2 years ago to stock up on ballasts. They're already gone. I don't know about you but I've never had a ballast I regularly use last 12 years.

Besides all that, in 12-15 years I would be not at all surprised to see the T-8's being banned in favor of LED lighting by well meaning but still ineffective bureaucrats.

.....Bob

This one you can't blame on bureaucrats, or the usual scapegoat political party normally blamed for almost everything around here! The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was passed by Congress with the active support of President G.W. Bush. He signed it into law immediately upon passage. It's requirements are technically DOE regulations, however they were written into the act prior to passage, and therefore President Bush physically and literally signed on to every one of them. The gradual banning of incandescent bulbs, requiring more efficient fluorescent bulbs, and the stepped increases in C.A.F.E. for automobiles and trucks were enacts as law, not proposed through the Federal Register and adopted as regulations.

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Why would I have s**t canned 12 perfectly good ballasts AND 24 perfectly good tubes to save mere pennies a day while adding to already over burdened land fills? In my case it would have been and continues to be senseless from both fiscal and environmental stand points. A paltry $140 will keep me in light while saving the planet for at least 10 years. I will sleep comfortably knowing my children's planet is a better place. A careful reading of my comment vis-a-vis bureaucrats speaks of the future not the past. . That said, I'm not surprised that this too is all Bush's fault.....Bob

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Most of you might already be aware of this but T-12 florescent tubes will be unavailable after July. I'm guessing quite a few of us use these tubes for shop lighting. Replacement T-5 and T-8 tubes won't work in T-12 fixtures. Better stock up while you can. I just bought a case and it was the last in the store with no more being stocked..........Bob

What?!?

The phase out of the incandescents was widely reported, but this is the first I've heard of this.

So, all 19 light fixtures I have will eventually be worthless? One by one as the bulbs flicker and die out. (The basic 4ft shop lights you can buy at the home store)

I've seen those smaller in diameter energy efficient bulbs, but always thought they would work since they appear to have the same 2 pins on the ends.

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Posted (edited)

Yup, it looks like all 19 of your fixtures will not be usable with the new Federally mandated bulbs. I've got a feeling you and me aren't the only guys getting blind sided by this. That's why I posted originally. I stopped in the store to buy a T-12 bulb to replace a burned out one and the clerk said when they run out there will be no more for sale. I would have to modify my fixtures or buy new ones, throwing away over $1000 dollars worth of PERFECTLY good fixtures and tubes. My answer was to buy a case of bulbs while the getting is still good. The four footers seem to be still in good supply. BTW, Lowes had a big display of 100W incadescent bulbs today. I picked up an 8 pack.....................Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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Most of you might already be aware of this but T-12 florescent tubes will be unavailable after July. I'm guessing quite a few of us use these tubes for shop lighting. Replacement T-5 and T-8 tubes won't work in T-12 fixtures. Better stock up while you can. I just bought a case and it was the last in the store with no more being stocked..........Bob

Thank you for starting this thread: I had not heard of this before today. My first reaction was that it must be an "urban legend" but that is not the case.

The only fixtures I have that take T-12 lamps are the cheap shop lights in the garage. A quick web search did not turn up conversion kits for them but did turn up equivalent 4 foot T-8 shop light fixtures for about $20. I guess, if worse comes to worse, it will be a matter of retiring fixtures one by one when the T-12 bulbs fail. That is, when one of the bulbs in a fixture fails, replace that fixture but save the good bulb. Next bulb that fails gets replaced by the one saved during the first fixture's retirement, etc. At the rate they seem to fail the fixture replacement would span a decade or so and thus the cash flow would not be a problem.

... and the clerk said when they run out there will be no more for sale....

Interestingly, the same search that turned up 4 foot T-8 shop lights shows that there are T-12 versions are still for sale. I'd be a bit upset if I found out the new shop light I just bought hadn't had bulbs manufactured for it for a while. There are likely to be some people out there that will be more upset than I at this change.

At this time my local stores seem to have a very large stock of 4 foot T-12 bulbs, so I'll deal with the change when I have to which may not be for a while.

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Just wait until you price the new LED replacement bulbs! I read about them and checked to find a pair priced at about $150.00. But they should last "forever" in normal use, but that intial sticker shock might not overshadow that.

Seems like the incandescent bulb issue has been delayed? Only affecting 100W bulbs, too? Those compact flourescent replacement bulbs sure have gotten less expensive over the past few years! I changed over every incandescent bulb in my house to compact flourescents about 10 years ago. I really like the longer life, especially the ones in ceiling fixtures!

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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Yes, The 4 foot 40 watt seem to be plentiful for now. Probably because they were so popular. Mine are 8 foot 96watt and I bought the last case they had.............Bob

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I too want to thank you for bringing this subject up.

Earlier this year my employer had the entire building re-lamped. This explains why the fixtures were replaced also.

When I made mention of it while chatting with our CEO, I got the impression it was a federal mandate for commercial buildings. Now I see there is more to it.

I was told it cost the company in the neighborhood of $20k.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Interesting info. I just changed to an electronic ballast on one of my T-12 fixtures back in the spring and the electric supply place didn't bother telling me I was spending money on an obsolete fixture.

I found at least one article that said the broad spectrum lights in T-12 form would continue to be made. They are a lot more expensive but I already use them on a few of my fixtures where I want true color and a little more brightness. Hope the one article is true. Guess I need to make a trip to the store tomorrow and ask some questions.

Glad I have procrastinated I have been meaning to put a bunch more lights in the shop for a couple of years and if I had I'm sure they would have been the obsolete style.

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BTW, Lowes had a big display of 100W incadescent bulbs today. I picked up an 8 pack.....................Bob

Bulbs 100W and larger were banned from manufacture and import as of 9/30/12. It was supposed to be 1/1/12, but Congress pushed it back to September. The 75W bulbs go on 1/1/13, the 60W & 40 W bulbs on 1/1/14.

They already make up a decisive minority of the market. CFLs are vastly more economical to use*, to say nothing of the greenhouse gases savings. Also the spectra of all but the very cheapest CFLs are indiscernible from incandescent bulbs using laboratory equipment. To keep using old bulbs is a bit like insisting that using an 8-track is superior for home music appreciation..

===================

*The electricity savings is on the order of 80% for bulbs of comparable lumens, not to mention the 10-20x longer life of the cfls. This makes the savings of the T12 vs. T8 and even T5 bulbs almost trivial by comparison.

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I bought a case of new bulbs last year when I heard about the new law. The old ballasts were already unavailable then. I will upgrade eventually, but with the new ballasts costing $50 it's cheaper paying the electric bill then changing fixtures. Another case of our government "helping" us rather than letting economics dictate change.

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So what happens in a few years when another tree hugger gets his panties in a bunch and says the T5's are no longer good? We have to fork over more money and change again. This is getting old!

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Another case of our government "helping" us rather than letting economics dictate change.

So you are in favor of Cap & Trade for individual households! :P;)

There are some things that economics can't dictate. Until it starts costing you money to produce CO2, as in a Cap & Trade tax, this is probably the better method. Of course they could just apply oppressive fees on the utility, causing your electric bill to go WAY up....

I thought so. :)

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Just wait until you price the new LED replacement bulbs! I read about them and checked to find a pair priced at about $150.00. But they should last "forever" in normal use, but that intial sticker shock might not overshadow that.

Seems like the incandescent bulb issue has been delayed? Only affecting 100W bulbs, too? Those compact flourescent replacement bulbs sure have gotten less expensive over the past few years! I changed over every incandescent bulb in my house to compact flourescents about 10 years ago. I really like the longer life, especially the ones in ceiling fixtures!

Enjoy!

NTX5467

LED bulbs have come WAY down recently, with 60W equivalents often available for less than $10. Menard's recently had them as low as $5 on sale, which was probably a loss-leader.

I've been using CFLs almost exclusively since i bought my first house in 1988. The first ones I bought cost about $18 each, and were too big for most fixtures. They were GE Compax brand, which now sell as collectibles on eBay for prices similar to when they were new. I still have 2 left, still in regular use. How many incandescent bulbs last 25 years in regular use?:cool:

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The majority of my lights are florescents and I switched to them to reduce my electric bill. An economic decision. Switching all the ballasts to use the new bulbs might happen in time, but at the present time it is not economically feasible. Unfortunately unlike the government I can't spend money I don't have.

Without getting into too much of a political debate let me just say I think the federal government should refrain from interfering in things they don't have the right to interfere in.

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.........Without getting into too much of a political debate let me just say I think the federal government should refrain from interfering in things they don't have the right to interfere in.

Wait for it!!:)

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