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home >T5 Lighting Adapter Retrofits Offer Savings

T5 Lighting Adapter Retrofits Offer Savings

AUTHOR : Alan Date : 11/3/2011 8:13:12 PM
Return on Investment (ROI): T5 Lighting Adapter Retrofits Offer Savings
T5 Lighting Adapters Installation
One of the most popular lighting adapter projects involves converting T12 and T8 florescent lighting fixtures to newer T5 lamps, which offer higher operating efficiencies. The designation of T5 versus T8 or T12 refers to the diameter of a tubular lamp in eighths of an inch. A T5 lamp is 5/8” in diameter, a T8 is 1" in diameter, and a T12 is 1-1/2" in diameter.  BETTER-ENERGY(BE)T5 adapter kits come in lamp lengths of 2', 3', and 4' to match existing fixtures, but the actual lamp lengths for T5s are shorter. For example, in the 4’ fixture application, T5 lamps are actually 46”, not 48”, in length, which accommodates the adapter kit and new ballast. T5 lamps cannot be used as direct replacement lamps in existing T8 and T12 lighting fixtures. T5 lamps also offer significant energy savings – they produce less heat and have a higher efficiency rating in terms of lumens per watt.
Cost and Site Conditions
As with any retrofit project, determining a cost-benefit analysis and payback period is important. The cost–benefit analysis should also reflect whatever adjustments in total lighting output are desired (or tolerable), specifically any necessary increases or potential decreases in target light levels. A T8 to T5 lighting retrofit might be attractive if the overall lighting levels for a specific application (such as a parking garage) would concurrently allow for a reduction in the number of lamps in the system. Because they are closer in overall efficiency ratings, T5 to T8 lighting retrofits require a more careful analysis than a T12 to T5 conversion.
Calculating Payback: Return on Investment (ROI)
Considering all these factors, BETTER-ENERGY(BE) find that most T5 lighting retrofit projects offer a payback period of less than five years, and some projects have much shorter payback periods. It is always important to conduct a cost–benefit analysis before pursuing a T5 relamping project.
T5 Lighting Adapter Case Study
In 2010, the Newburgh, New York, School District needed to reduce operating costs so that they could continue to provide high-quality education with minimal impact on taxpayers. Increasing energy costs were one of their biggest challenges. The T5 lighting retrofit project for the Newburgh School District helps to  demonstrate the ROI (without consideration of any tax rebates):