Challenged by a customer, recently I have been on a mission to find the brightest, whitest and most efficient T8 tube but the trends are working against me.
The first trend is simple, the manufacturers, for the most part, are using efficiency gains to hold the lumens constant around 1,800 to 2,200, while lowering the bulb’s wattage. Hence when my favored supplier offered 145lm/W, they dropped the wattage from 18W to 14.5W. Of course this saves you money. Generally it makes sense because your fixtures have placed to provide adequate light.
The second trend is that it is becoming difficult to find 6000-6500 CCT tubes in stock. 5000K seems to be the limit. These 5000K bulbs produce a better light, but they don’t give you quite that daylight experience.
If you are willing to purchase 25 bulbs, Shoplight Solutions can get most anything. For instance, we have a 22W T8 bulb, 5000K that produces 2600 lumens.
Currently we have a special on 6000K t8 tubes for $8.50 including shipping. Minimum order quantity is 2.
LED strip is the alternative if you want more light from your fixture. You can add any number of strips to retrofit a florescent fixture. I have an old 2 tube fixture that now has 4x 6500K strips at about 1900 lumens each. Very bright!! We also have warm white strip, 3000K. You can mix 6500 strip with 3000K and get a vary good spectrum. That’s the flexibility of LED strip.