Finally you've conceded that it's time to buy more tubes. You've been working away steadily in your cafe/restaurant/office with only half the tubes working and another tube has blown. The light lost from this tube was just enough for you to finally admit defeat and that it is time to buy more tubes. Then the next questions come almost instantly: "What type of tubes are they?", "What colour were they?", "Do you know what wattage these tubes are?" "Are these T8 tubes or T5 tubes?"
In this post we'll address some of these questions so that you can have confidence in buying tubes online.
Is it a T8 Tube or T5 Tube?
Typically speaking, T5 tubes and T8 tubes will be the most common tubes that offices will buy. You "5" and the "8" refer to the width of the tube. If the tube is the width of your thumb it's a T8, if it's the width of your pinky finger it's a T5.
What wattage are these tubes?
Again there are only a couple of standard lengths. Most offices will either be looking at 18w or 36w (though of course there are others too). 36w tubes are probably the most common and these are 1200mm (4ft) in length. 18w tubes are around 600mm (2ft) in length.
What colour tubes do we need?
If you're happy with the colour that you had then you can just look at the tube or the box. Typically there will be a number "830", "840", "850" or "865" on the tube.
830 = Warm White - a more yellow colour
840 = Cool White - a more neutral white for basic light. This is good in kitchens and living areas
850 = Natural White - more white than cool white but less white than daylight. This colour is not as common as the others (but is available).
865 = Daylight - This is the colour that is closest to natural daylight. Great for working environments like offices. This is definitely the most common.
What else to think about?
You should also be thinking about buying starters when you buy your tubes.The starter helps ignite the fluorescent lamp. A starter that isn't working probably can often be the problem instead of the tube. This is particularly the case if the ends of the tube have lit up but the rest of it hasn't.
Should I consider buying LED tubes?
LED Tubes are a great new invention and we do sell them here. While the cost more than traditional tubes they do last longer and they use less power. For most people though, the outlay for an LED tube is just too much and it often just makes sense to keep using fluorescent tubes.
How is it best to buy these?
It's definitely best just to buy a whole box (typically 25 units). You can buy these from your local hardware store but you will likely pay more. We recommend buying online for the following reasons:
- It is likely going to be cheaper
- It can be delivered to your premises (usually the next business day)
- Your supplier will remember what you bought last time so that you don't have to
- Faulty product can be followed up by your supplier.
If you're willing to take a look at buying online, give us a go!. If you're still unsure and have more questions you can just give us a call and we will help you work through what you might need.