A Comparison of Bulbs for a T8 and T12


Long, fluorescent lighting bulbs, such as T12 bulbs, are used in business buildings and homes. But, a newer version of the T12 bulb is available, called a T8, with more benefits to offer.

T12 Light Bulbs

  • T12 light bulbs are long, cylindrical lighting that use a ballast and pin-type connection to generate light. This older technology allows those in the area to see adequate coloring and shading, but without the quality produced by the newer T8 bulb.

T8 Light Bulbs

  • T8 bulbs look just like T12 bulbs, making them a suitable substitute in older light fixtures. Also, T8 bulbs have a diameter of 1 inch, as opposed to the T12's 1.5 inch diameter. In addition, they use less power than a T12, saving consumers money over the lifespan of the bulb.


  • The T8's color spectrum is better at producing true life shading in a lighted room. Comparing the two bulbs together, the T8 will be brighter, but not overwhelming.

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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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