​What is T5HO & How Does it Compare to LEDs?

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Whether it be lighing output, energy-use or rendering-quality, LEDs continues to outperform its competitors within the lighting industry. No matter which perspective you are looking from, you are most likely going to find that LED lighting does a better job than other technologies like halogen or flourescent.

However, there are a few instances where these conventional technologies are still able to put up a fair fight. The T5HO flourescent tubes is one of these cases.

The T5 flourescents were invented to be more efficient than its previous model (T8) by using a smaller diameter which resulted in more impactful light output. However, as LED lighting made its advancements within the industry a similar T5 tube were made with the added benefits of LED lighting.

In this article we outline the differences between these different T5 tubes and provide you with an overview of the pros and cons for each tube.


What is T5HO?

The term “T5” refers to a tubular (T) fluorescent light that is 5/8ths of an inch in diameter (5). “HO” stands for “High Output.” So, in short, T5HOs are high output fluorescent lamps that are 5/8ths of an inch in diameter.

T5HO lamps were specifically designed to replace less efficient fluorescent systems in areas with high square footage and high light needs like:

  • Warehouses
  • Factories/Production facilities
  • Indoor agriculture facilities
  • Big box stores.
  • Indoor areas in colder regions

Comparing T5HO to T8 Fluorescent Bulbs

By the Specs:

Diameter Length Powered Lumens Lumens/Watt (Efficacy) Lifetime Color Temperature (CCT) Color Rendering Index (CRI) Price
25W T8 FLUOR 1 in. 45.6 in. Dual end 2,200 100 15,000 hours 4100K 85 ~$5
24W T5HO FLUOR 5/8 in. 45.6 in. Dual end 2,400 94 15,000 hours 3000K 85 ~$3

Advantages of T5HO

  • Brighter light without sacrificing color rendering
  • Minimal lost efficiency with increased power
  • Sginificantly increased light without increased cost

Disadvantages of T5HO

  • Produces glare which might be disturbing to the eye

Comparing T5 Fluorescent Bulbs to T5 LEDs

Much of the industry is transitioning away from fluorescent lights and toward LEDs. In fact, T5 LEDs offer comparable lumen output to T5HO fluorescent bulbs, while operating at higher efficiency and offering more control of color temperature.

Why Make the Change to T5 LED?

  • Eliminate dangerous mercury from your environment
  • Improve efficiency to reduce heat and lower HVAC costs
  • Get longer life and better return out of every lamp

By the Specs:

Diameter Length Powered Lumens Lumens/Watt (Efficacy) Lifetime Color Temperature (CCT) Color Rendering Index (CRI) Price
21W T5 FLUOR 5/8 in. 45.6 in. Dual end 2,100 100 15,000 hours 3000K 85 ~$6
24W T5HO FLUOR 5/8 in. 45.6 in. Dual end 2,400 94 15,000 hours 3000K 85 ~$3
25 W T5 LED 5/8 in. 45.6 in. Dual end 3,500 140 45,000 hours 5000K 84+ ~$10

Advantages of T5HO Fluorescents

  • Maximum lumens
  • Slightly lower up-front cost

Advantages of T5 LEDs

    • Unlike T5HOs, there’s no sacrificing efficacy
    • Get the power of HOs without the per-lamp expense
    • More control over CRI and CCT

    What are T5/T8 Lamps?

    T5/T8 lamps uses the G5 pin while still leveraging the efficacy that comes with T5 LED tubes. The size of these T5/T8s are similar to the traditional T8s with 1 inch in diameter, however the length remains at 45.6 inches.

    By the specs:

    Diameter Length Powered Lumens Lumens/Watt (Efficacy) Lifetime Color Temperature (CCT) Color Rendering Index (CRI) Price
    25W T8 FLUOR 1 in. 48 in. Dual end 2,500 100 15,000 hours 4100K 85 ~$6
    25 W T5 LED 5/8 in. 45.6 in. Dual end 3,500 140 45,000 hours 5000K 84+ ~$10
    22 W T5/T8 LED 1 in. 45.6 in. Dual end 2,700 123 45,000 hours 5000K 84+ ~$12

    Advantages of T5 and T5/T8 LEDs

    • Significantly improved lumens, efficacy, CCT and CRI over flourescent T8
    • Can be installed in a legacy T5 system to avoid retrofit

    The Verdict on T5HO Lamps:

    • High Output (HO) T5 fluorescents deliver far greater power than standard flourescent lamps but have high replacement costs
    • LED T5s can nearly match the lumens of the brightest fluorescent T5HO while delivering much higher efficacy and lower price
    • T5 and T5/T8 LEDs offer businesses a huge boost in power and efficiency without needing to create a whole new system
    • LED T5 is the more affordable option in the long run, although flourescent T5HOs might seem cheaper at the register

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