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Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent tubes may not be as energy efficient or long lasting as LED tubes, but they're still very popular. They come in lots of different lengths and sizes and there are lots of different specifications to choose from too. When replacing fluorescent tubes, you need to make sure the ones you select are the same length and size as your current ones and that they have the same caps as well. If you want the new fluorescent tubes to provide exactly the same light as before, you'll need to match up other specifications too. Be aware that by switching to LED tubes, significant savings on energy bills can be realised.

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Where are fluorescent tubes used?

Fluorescent tubes can be used in very different areas of application - both in the private and in the commercial sector. Thanks to their large-area light emission, robustness, efficiency and durability, the tubes are mainly used in utility rooms. Also as LED waterproof fixtures fluorescent tubes are ideal, because many models have suitable protection classes to function as mirror lighting or in outdoor areas. 

 

 

What fluorescent tube sockets are there? 

Due to their flexible applications, fluorescent tubes come in a wide variety of lengths, wattages and bases. Furthermore, the categorisation of fluorescent tubes with regard to the diameter of their sockets has become established. You can find the following models in our online shop:

 

Mini fluorescent tubes → The compact T5 tubes have a G5 socket with a diameter of 16 mm.

 

T2 fluorescent tubes → are particularly thinly constructed and have a tube diameter of only 7 mm.

 

T5 fluorescent tubes → have a G5 base (the two pins are exactly 5 mm apart). The 150cm fluorescent tubes have a diameter of 16 mm.

 

T8 fluorescent tubes → feature a G13 base and are available in lengths of up to 177 cm. The diameter of the so-called TL-D fluorescent tubes is 26 mm. 

 

T12 fluorescent tubes are available in lengths of up to 150 cm. The tubes have a diameter of 38 mm and have a G13 base.

 

In addition to these fluorescent lamps, you will also find special models such as round fluorescent tubes in our range. You can either go directly to the category page via the link or use our filter function.

 

Are you looking for 120 cm fluorescent tubes? If you need a specific length you can also simply use our filter function. 

 

 

In which colour temperatures are fluorescent lights available? 

Fluorescent tubes are not only available in the four classic colour temperatures (extra) warm white, cool white and daylight white. You will also find products with an ultraviolet light colour. You can view the so-called black light lamps by using the filter "Light colour (Kelvin)". They are used either as show and disco lights or for use in electronic insect traps. 



How do fluorescent tubes work? 

Luminescent tubes are low-pressure gas discharge lamps. A noble gas is needed to fill them - argon, neon, krypton or helium are used. The inside of the tube is coated with a fluorescent substance that causes the light to fluoresce. In addition, mercury vapour serves to emit UV radiation, which is converted into light by the coating. A heated incandescent cathode in the vacuum of the glass tube emits electrons by incandescent emission and ignites the gas filling. This requires a high ignition voltage, which is provided by a ballast. Preheating the electrodes reduces the time needed for ignition. The ignited gas acts as an electrical conductor and a so-called low-pressure plasma is formed in the fluorescent tube. This emits light when the atoms of the mercury are excited by the electrons. The resulting UV light is converted into white light by the coating. 

 

 

Is there a difference between a neon tube and fluorescent tube light?

Fluorescent lamps that contain only neon are called neon tubes. Today, however, they are hardly ever produced - but the term neon tube persists and is often used misleadingly across the board for all fluorescent tubes. It is associated with a cold, always flickering light, which is not generally found in classic fluorescent tubes. The name fluorescent lamp characterises these low-pressure gas discharge lamps better and more aptly.

 

Fluorescent tube with starter
Fluorescent tube with a starter (iStock.com/siriboon)

 

Which starter for fluorescent tubes? 

Fluorescent tubes with a conventional ballast absolutely need a starter, which is responsible for the ignition. The starter is screwed with its two pins directly into the socket. You can find suitable products in our category "Starters for fluorescent tubes". Note: Look carefully at the wattage of your fluorescent lamp beforehand. 

 

 

How are fluorescent tubes disposed of?  

Light bulbs contain toxic substances such as mercury, so they must never be disposed of in household waste. Instead, the lamps belong in hazardous waste. Smaller quantities can be handed in at retailers or at local collection points and recycling centres. If you have larger quantities of fluorescent tubes after a conversion to LED, you should contact a local disposal company, which can provide a container in this case. 

 

 

LED tube next to fluorescent tube
LED vs. fluorescent tube (AdobeStock/weerapat1003)

Replacing fluorescent tubes with LEDs

Switching from a fluorescent lamp to a LED tube light is very easy, because for every conventional tube there is a suitable alternative with the same base, colour temperature, length and many other properties. In addition, there are the typical advantages of LEDs, such as a higher number of lumens (more brightness), a longer service life and the possibility of environmentally conscious recycling. The choice is yours: Would you like to read about the benefits of LED? Then take a look at our blog article "LED VS. Fluorescent" or could we already inspire you with the advantages of LED technology? In our category "LED tubes" you will find over 600 products!


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