Outdoor LightingWhen it comes to outdoor lighting, finding the right balance between efficiency, durability, and aesthetics is crucial. Fluorescent lighting is a popular choice for outdoor applications due to its energy efficiency and long-lasting performance. In this blog, we will explore the different types of fluorescent lighting available for outdoor use and discuss the best options to create a well-lit, visually appealing outdoor space.

Understanding Fluorescent Lighting

Fluorescent lighting is a type of artificial illumination that utilizes a phosphorescent coating on the inside of the tube to generate light. When electricity passes through the tube, it excites the phosphorescent coating, emitting visible light. This type of lighting is renowned for its energy-saving capabilities compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, making it an eco-friendly choice for outdoor lighting.

Different Types of Fluorescent Lighting for Outdoor Use

T12 Fluorescent Tubes
T12 tubes are the oldest and largest diameter fluorescent lamps available. While they have been commonly used in the past, they are gradually being phased out due to their inefficiency. T12 tubes have a lower light output and consume more energy compared to their counterparts, making them less suitable for outdoor lighting needs.


T8 Fluorescent Tubes
T8 tubes are the most widely used fluorescent lamps for both indoor and outdoor applications. These tubes have a smaller diameter than T12 tubes but offer greater energy efficiency and longer lifespans. T8s are available in various color temperatures, providing flexibility in creating the desired outdoor ambiance.

T5 Fluorescent Tubes
T5 tubes are the most energy-efficient option among fluorescent lighting choices. With a smaller diameter than T8 tubes, they emit a higher light output while consuming even less energy. T5s are particularly suitable for outdoor areas that require bright and clear illumination, such as parking lots, walkways, and building exteriors.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
Compact Fluorescent Lamps, or CFLs, are a versatile and energy-efficient alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. They are designed to replace incandescent bulbs directly, making them an excellent choice for outdoor fixtures like wall sconces and post lights. CFLs come in various shapes and sizes, allowing for easy integration into existing outdoor lighting fixtures.

The Best Fluorescent Lighting for Outdoor Use

Considering the specific requirements of outdoor lighting, T5 fluorescent tubes stand out as the ideal choice for several reasons:

Energy Efficiency: T5 tubes boast the highest energy efficiency among fluorescent options, helping reduce electricity consumption and lowering energy costs. By using T5 tubes for outdoor lighting, property owners can enjoy substantial energy savings over time while contributing to a greener environment.

Brightness and Clarity: T5s produce a brilliant, clear light that enhances visibility and safety in outdoor areas during the evening and nighttime. Whether illuminating a commercial parking lot or a residential garden pathway, T5 tubes provide a well-balanced brightness that ensures maximum visibility without causing glare.

Longevity: T5 tubes have a longer lifespan than T8 and T12 tubes, reducing maintenance costs and the need for frequent replacements. With a longer operational life, property owners can enjoy consistent and reliable outdoor lighting for years, minimizing disruptions and additional expenses.

Environmental Impact: Opting for T5 tubes demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and reduces your carbon footprint. As the world embraces more eco-friendly practices, using energy-efficient lighting solutions like T5 tubes is a step towards a more sustainable future.

Weather Resistance: Many T5 tubes are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, ensuring consistent performance even in extreme outdoor environments. Whether facing scorching summer heat, heavy rain, or freezing temperatures, T5 tubes are engineered to remain reliable, making them suitable for a wide range of outdoor applications.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Fluorescent Outdoor Lighting

When selecting outdoor lighting, several factors should be taken into account to ensure optimal results:

Color Temperature: The color temperature of fluorescent tubes determines the warmth or coolness of the light emitted. For a cozy and inviting outdoor space, consider warm white (around 3000K) or soft white (around 4000K) color temperatures. For enhanced visibility in commercial settings, neutral white (around 4100K) or cool white (around 5000K) might be more appropriate.

Lumens: Lumens represent the brightness of the light produced. Depending on the outdoor area's size and purpose, choose fluorescent tubes with the appropriate lumens output to achieve the desired illumination level.

Light Distribution: Consider the light distribution pattern of the chosen fluorescent tubes. Some applications might require wide-angle distribution to cover vast areas, while others benefit from narrow-angle distribution to focus light on specific points of interest.

Weatherproofing: Ensure that the selected fluorescent lighting fixtures are weatherproof and designed to withstand outdoor elements. Look for fixtures with proper IP (Ingress Protection) ratings that indicate their level of protection against dust and moisture.

Choosing the right fluorescent lighting for outdoor applications is crucial to achieve an inviting, well-lit space that enhances safety and aesthetics. Among the different types available, T5 fluorescent tubes emerge as the top choice due to their exceptional energy efficiency, brightness, longevity, and weather resistance.

When selecting outdoor lighting, always consider factors such as color temperature, lumens, and weatherproofing to ensure the chosen fixtures can withstand the elements while creating the desired lighting ambiance. Before making a purchase, consult with lighting experts and reputable suppliers to find the perfect T5 fluorescent tubes for your specific outdoor lighting needs.

Have more questions about outdoor fluorescent lighting? Contact a Shine Representative today!