Lighting Research Center Lighting Research Center
    Volume 6 Issue 1
July 2002    
Do T5 lamps start more slowly than T8 lamps?

T5 lamps may appear to start more slowly than T8 lamps for the following two reasons: starting time varies, depending on the starting method, and T5 lamps may take longer to warm up than T8 lamps do. Ballast manufacturers, who use up-to-date technologies for T5 ballasts, developed programmed-start ballasts rather than instant-start ballasts for T5 lamps. These ballasts may make it appear that T5 lamps start more slowly than T8 lamps. For more information on this topic, see Specifier Reports: Electronic Ballasts.

Another factor is that the warm-up time of T5 lamps may be longer than T8 lamps. This difference results from the optimal temperature of T5 lamps being 10°C (50°F) higher than that of T8 lamps. The 10°C (50°F) difference in optimal temperature may extend the warm-up time of T5 lamps.


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