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Comparing T5 vs T8 Lighting for Energy-Efficient Illumination

T5 vs T8 lighting, The most expensive part of daily home and business life is lighting, therefore it’s no surprise that the industry has invested the most in research to find the most energy-efficient way to light our environments.

This has led to some of the fastest and most significant lighting technology advances.

For almost a century, fluorescent lighting has been popular worldwide due to its energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Today, fluorescent lighting dominates worldwide lighting.

Since LED lighting is more efficient than fluorescent lighting, it has become the new standard as technology advances.

Compare T5 and T8 lights to fluorescent or LED technology.

Because most users haven’t switched to LED lights, fluorescent bulbs are the most common lighting fixture. LED lighting should be considered when buying new fixtures since fluorescent lighting is becoming obsolete.

The ‘T’ in T5 and T8 indicates a ‘tubular’ bulb. The T5 bulb has a diameter of ⅝ of an inch, whereas the T8 bulb has a diameter of 8/8 of an inch or 1 inch. Both fluorescent lighting and LED lighting have T5 and T8 size bulbs.

Fluorescent Lighting

T5 vs T8 lighting

A fluorescent lamp is a light bulb that utilizes mercury and fluorescence to produce light. An electric current is passed through low-pressure mercury vapor exciting the molecules of the gas into producing short-wave ultra-violet light. 

The light then bounces off a phosphor coating on the inside of the gas housing causing it to glow. Fluorescent bulbs have almost completely replaced incandescent lights. 

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lighting

LED technology is yet another improvement from the previous fluorescent lighting technology. 

Bulbs are electric lights that create light by passing a current through positively charged and negatively charged diodes, an anode, and a cathode arrayed circuit. 

They are significantly more efficient than fluorescent lighting fixtures cutting energy needs by up to 50 percent and are projected to take over lighting globally by the year 2027.

T5 vs T8 lighting

Size of the bulb

The previous technologies in lighting produced T5 and T8 size bulbs to serve different lighting needs based on size. 

LED tube bulbs are built this way to make the switch from fluorescent to LED illumination without the hassle and cost of a complete switchover.

Importantly, T5 and T8 LED bulbs have different diameters but may have comparable lengths.

Comparing the two bulbs of comparable lengths, the T5 LED bulb is smaller and better for household and workplace lighting that is not bright.

The slimmer bulb’s brightness is reduced without being dull, therefore T5 light bulbs are preferable for smaller rooms.

Warehouses, hospitals, huge malls, supermarkets, and parking lots may benefit from T8 lights’ brighter beam.

Energy efficiency

The T5 bulb is approximately 40% smaller than the T8 version but may have greater energy efficiency. 

The disparity however is not significant enough to make it a better choice over the T8. With fluorescent lighting, the difference was significant but now that fluorescent lighting is on the whole outmoded in favor of LED technology, the difference does not matter.

Here, smaller appliances are more effective than larger ones of the same class.

The smaller bulb’s light is not squandered, but a larger bulb may emit more light than needed, increasing its consumption. Your space and lighting needs should be the best guide when choosing either size.

Cost of the bulb.

T5 vs T8 lighting

Installing LED lighting instead of fluorescent lighting is more expensive, but LED bulbs last over 50,000 hours and some last 90,000 hours before dimming.

T5 LED bulbs cost more to produce and market than T8 LED bulbs because they cost more to produce and market.

Compared to the T5 LED bulb, the bigger bulb will dominate commercial use. Thus, T5 light bulbs will cost more and likely will for a long time.

Most homes feature incandescent light fixtures, the forerunner of fluorescent lighting.

T5 LED lights and their fixtures cost more to install than T8 bulbs and their features. T8 fluorescent bulbs were widely used in business locations, therefore they may be simply replaced by T8 LED bulbs.


Both T5 and T8 LED bulbs will give you top-tier lighting. 

There is no discernable difference in terms of energy efficiency since both bulbs come with additional factors that determine lighting efficiency such as color tone, lumens per watt, and color rendering. 

The slimmer bulb may have a more contemporary appearance making it aesthetically sleeker. If you have fluorescent lighting, however, the T5 fluorescent bulb is better in every aspect than the T8 fluorescent bulb.