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Home /  Support Center /  Knowledge Base /  T8 LED tube lights /  8-ft T12 Fluorescent Replacement for Shop/Studio Lighting

8-ft T12 Fluorescent Replacement for Shop/Studio Lighting

I'm very interested in replacing the lighting in my shop/studio. I have 8' T12 fluorescent lighting that I replaced with LED, and they're hurting my eyes more than fluorescents do. I was told that 2700k and the high 90s or above CRI rating possible was best. I don't see an 8' replacement on your site, just 4ft. Is that correct? I'm feeling overwhelmed and confused with this project. Could you recommend lighting options for my shop with something as close to daylight as you have? Am I better off having rows of screw-in type bulbs everywhere or do you carry strip or tube lighting that you would recommend? 

First of all, I suspect that the eye strain you are experiencing may be the result of hidden flicker in the new LED lamps, rather than a color specification issue. Here is a video that explains how you would be able to detect this using an iPhone:

Since your fixtures are only able to accommodate 8 ft lamps, we, unfortunately, would not be able to utilize them with any of our lamps. Without having to replace the fixtures entirely, however, you may be able to use our NorthLux T5 linear fixtures as a retrofit solution (

​The T5 linear fixtures are available in 2-ft and 4-ft lengths and can be mounted inside existing fluorescent fixtures using the included magnet mounts. These could very well "replace" the 8 ft lamps without actually needing to use the same lamp sockets, and this could also allow you to repurpose your existing fixtures as housings for the new lamps.

​These are flicker-free, and have 95 CRI and 5000K / 6500K light output, ensuring excellent color accuracy that matches natural daylight.

I was actually just looking at those calculating how many it would require to at least match the lumen levels I have now. Great CRI rating, though I was looking more in the 3-400k (max) bulbs as anything higher than that is just too blue for me. I have an eye condition and no longer wear the proper contacts. 

It's a 3800 sq ft area so unfortunately it's going to require a number of lights to illuminate properly. 

Determining the total brightness needed is indeed a bit tricky, as sufficient brightness is very important for studio work, but having too much brightness could lead to potentially unpleasant glare effects as you've experienced. We offer a lumen calculator on our website here, which may be of interest:

Based on the 3800 square feet input, the calculator suggests approximately 150,000 lumens for your space if you are looking to reach a sufficient illumination level for studio work (80 footcandles). This would require approximately 85 of our 4-ft T5 lights to illuminate the entire space with sufficient brightness.

Of course, based on your personal preference, 80 footcandles may be too bright and intense. We could definitely cut this down to half, to 40 footcandles using 43 of the 4-ft T5 lamps, which is the generally recommended brightness level for a standard commercial or office space installation. 

What's the difference between the T-5 and T-8? Is that just a matter of what fixture you have? 

In addition, I also meant to ask if the daylight tube bulbs work differently than the non-daylight ones. I'm expecting to have to replace all the sockets as I have a variety of lights that would complicate things to match. I think it would be best to just replace them all and start off with matching sockets. Can I assume these plug into power directly as others do? Or do they need some sort of ballast?

The primary difference between the T8 lamps and the T5 fixtures is that the T8 lamps require a fixture to house them (typically traditional T8 fluorescent fixtures), while the T5 fixtures are an integrated LED fixture that does not require installation inside a fixture.

​Generally speaking, we would recommend the T8 lamps for customers who have an existing 4-ft T8 fluorescent fixture. You mentioned that you have 8-ft fixtures, which are unfortunately not compatible. As such, we would recommend foregoing the T8 lamps unless you had plans to reinstall new T8 fluorescent fixtures.

​The T5 fixtures, on the other hand, do not require a separate fixture and can be installed in virtually any location. A fluorescent ballast is not required, and the product can plug into any wall outlet or extension cord.

​Our daylight/non-daylight designations relate to color temperature and do not have any bearing on the installation configuration.

Sounds like T8's may fit the bill. I'm a fabricator, so if need be I can retrofit the 8ft fixtures or fabricate new ones with new sockets. Though purchasing T8 fixtures sounds best. I think we may still have some in storage actually. 

Sounds like a plan! As long as the sockets are spaced at the correct spacing to accommodate the 4-ft T8 tube lights, there shouldn't be any issues there. From a liability perspective, we do need to mention that the company's official recommendation is to only use fixtures designed specifically for 4-ft tube lights, but from an electrical standpoint there should not be any issues operating the 4-ft T8 lamps.

The "CENTRIC DAYLIGHT™ Full Spectrum Flicker-Free T8 LED Tube Light" can be used with both shunted and non-shunted sockets. Please see below for the installation manual showing the various permissible wiring configurations:

What's the highest wattage available? Is 1,800 lumens the brightest 4ft T8 you carry? My 8-footers are 110w @ 8,800k per bulb, with 4 in each bank. 

The only as well as the highest wattage available is 18 watts at 1800 lumens each.

For the sake of confusion would you mind forwarding me links to the T5 and T8s you're referring to? 

Please see below:

Do the T8s need a reflector-type hood to be more efficient because the light radiates out? Or do they already focus downward? 

The light is emitted at a 320-degree angle. A reflector is not necessary but may help in producing a bit more "useful" brightness.

Question posted under:

T8 LED tube lightsArt studio lightingT5 linear fixturesCeiling FixturesFluorescent replacementsLED-ready T8 Fixtures

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