T5 vs. T8 LED Lights – What Are The Differences?


There are many options when you need to choose new lights. What are the differences between LED lamps and fluorescent tubes, or when should you use T5 vs. T8 LED Lights? T5 and T8 LED lights has their pros and cons, and it can be challenging to decide which is the best option for you.

In this article, we will explore the differences between these two types of LED bulbs so that you can decide which light fixture is suitable for you.

What Is The “T”?

These LED lights start with the letter T and end with a number. The “T” is a code that defines the shape of the light bulb. In this case, the “T” means the body is a tubular style. The following number will tell you how big or small the fluorescent bulb is in eight of an inch.

Defining T5 And T8 LED

T5 refers to a tubular light with a diameter of 5/8 inches. They use less energy and produce higher brightness. The T5 fluorescent lamps are far more energy-saving than other lights of the same style. If you are looking for even brighter lights, you can choose T5s as a High-Output type with higher energy efficiency.

T5 LED Tube Lights

T5 LED Tube Lights

A T8 is of the same style but has a 1-inch diameter (8/8). These types are most used in many households because you can use them in various settings. You can also interchange T8s with older models.

You can find both options in an LED version and a fluorescent version.

T5 vs. T8: What Are The Differences?

Here are the differences between the T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps:

Lighting quality

The T5 has a higher quality of light than the T8 model. The light is more concentrated from the T5, providing better light quality. This is better if you are looking for a light source for growing plants.

T5 vs. T8 power consumption

If you don’t need very bright LED tube lights, you might want to consider the T8s instead. The T5 produces more lumens per tube than the T8. This also means that the T5 has a higher energy consumption and comes with more energy costs.

Energy Consumption in a Home

Energy Consumption in a Home


The T8 light bulb, with 1 inch in diameter, is larger than the T5, with a diameter of 5/8 inches. The T8 lamp tube diameter is also slightly more significant than the T5, but they look much like each other.


In general, the T5 light bulbs produce more concentrated lighting and higher lumen output. The T5 will give you a much brighter light than the T8 variant. The artificial light from the T5s can be a bit too much for home lighting solutions. So, if you are looking for general lighting in your home, the T8 fluorescent tubes are a better match.

Different Types of Brightness

Different Types of Brightness

Color temperature

T5 light bulbs will reach higher temperatures than the T8. It is safe to touch T8s, but T5s can be hot. The T5 model performs efficiently at 35 degrees Celcius, whereas the T8 performs at 28 degrees Celcius. So if you want to use T8 LED lights for growing, you need to place them closer to the plants.

Life expectancy

The T5 light bulb has a longer lifespan than the older T8 model. This is because the T8 is more sensitive and experiences more deterioration. They would last around 36,000 hours if they stay on, but you would usually turn the lights off once in a while, which damages the T8 more than the T5.

Fluorescent Lights That Doesn’t Work

Fluorescent Lights That Doesn’t Work


If you look at the flat cost of the lights, the T8 is cheaper than the T5. But with a shorter lifespan than the T8, it becomes more expensive in the long run because you have to change the fluorescent bulbs more often. 

Especially if you are using the lights in a place with 24-hour lighting, you also have to consider energy prices. The T8 cost more to give the same light output as the T5’s.


The T8s are great for general lighting for gardening or home locations. You can use the T8 model almost anywhere. The T5s are excellent for plant growth in your home or greenhouses.

Is T5 Or T8 Better, And Which One Should You Use?

The T8 fluorescent tubes are often better than the T5 fluorescent tubes. The extra cost from the T5s and the excellent lighting from the T8s make the T8 model a better choice. You are better off changing the T8s when they break rather than buying the T5s even though they have a longer lifespan. 

Tubular LED Lamps

Tubular LED Lamps

If you are looking for a blue or red light to boost plant growth, you should look at other models. T8s or LED-proof lights are fantastic for lighting in more significant locations. But if you need fluorescent lights for growing plants, the T5s are the best choice.

T5 vs. T8 vs. T12


Are T8 And T5 LED Bulbs Interchangeable?

No, the newer edition of T5 LED bulbs can’t replace older models such as T8 LED bulbs.

What’s Brighter T5 Or T8?

The T5 light fixture is a newer development within fluorescent lights and is brighter than the older T8 model.

Can A T8 Bulb Work With A T5 Ballast?

In most cases, you can’t use a T8 bulb with a T5 ballast because the T5 ballast is smaller and not made to work with older generations of fluorescent lights.


Conclusion in Lighting

Conclusion in Lighting

There is a wide range of options and differences when we look at T5, T8, and even T12 LED tube lights. The general conclusion must be that the T5 model is way more energy efficient than its predecessor, but it also comes with a higher price tag. Whether it is worth it is entirely up to you, but if you are looking for lights that can help your plants grow, the T5 model might be the best choice.

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