Replacing existing lighting with a T5 light fixture can reap many benefits. T5 light fixtures are more energy efficient than their traditional incandescent counterparts, using 75% less energy and lasting up to 10 times longer. The average lifespan on a T5 bulb is 20,000 hours, saving the consumer in both purchasing replacement bulbs less frequently, as well as the amount of power being utilized.
In larger areas that are currently using halide fluorescent lighting, the savings on power and pocketbook are no less significant. The T5 uses a mere 54 watts of power compared to halide bulbs, which minimally use 250 watts and as much as 1000 watts of power. Another advantage of T5 bulbs is that they lack a warm up period and turn on immediately without the flicker of halide fluorescent lights. The color rendition is of a higher quality, making the T5 an ideal choice for labor intensive areas, such as the garage or home office.
From a "green" aspect, T5 bulbs leave a much smaller carbon footprint than incandescent and halide bulbs. By lasting longer and needing to be replaced less often, there is a reduction in the waste sent to landfills. In addition, T5 bulbs emit approximately 2 tons less of CO2 output per fixture when compared to halide bulbs. The environmental benefits alone make transitioning to T5 lighting advantageous.
One consideration to keep in mind is that T5 light fixtures do require a special ballast, as they have different physical and electrical characteristics from incandescent, halide, T8 or T12 light fixtures. These ballasts are available in standard, dimming and motion activated models and can be installed in ceilings, under counters, in greenhouses or aquariums. Once the model is determined, installation can be made in a few steps.
Step 1 - Create a Safe Environment
Ensure that the circuit breaker is tripped. Turning off the light switch associated with the fixture will not guarantee a safe installation.
Step 2 - Remove Preexisting Fixtures
If you are replacing an old fixture, remove all the hardware that holds the ballast in place. At that point the ballast wires can be disconnected from the circuit line wires.
Step 3 - Prepare the T5 Light Fixture
The ballast may need to be partially disassembled prior to installation. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 4 - Install Fixture
Connect the fixture wires to the line wires with wirenuts, connecting the corresponding colors (white to white, black to black). Hold the fixture in the desired location and fasten in place with the manufacturer's screws. If necessary, reassemble the ballast.
Step 5 - Restore Power
Reset the circuit and restore power to the outlet.