Microfluorescent Light Fixture FAQs
2-Wire vs. 3-Wire
Q) Where should I use the 3-wire grounded microfluorescent fixtures?
A) These are recommended for commercial installations that require grounding. The 2-wire non-grounded microfluorescent fixtures can be used in residential installations.
Q) Do the microfluorescents use built-in electronic ballasts?
A) Yes. Plus, they all operate very quietly.
Q) Do they turn on instantly with no flickering?
A) Yes. The instant-start electronic ballasts enable all of the microfluorescent light fixtures to turn on instantly without flickering.
Controls, Switching & Dimmability
Q) Do these fixtures come with their own on/off rocker switches?
A) Yes, many come with their own small on/off rocker switches. The rocker switches are located on the side of each fixture.
Q) Can a group of them can be controlled by a wall light switch?
A) Yes. However, the light fixtures need to be hardwired to power (which is controlled by the wall switch) and linked together.
Q) Are they dimmable?
A) No. None of them use dimmable electronic ballasts. For any fluorescent fixture to be dimmable, it must use a special dimmable electronic ballast and be controlled by a special fluorescent dimmer.
Cool vs. Hot
Q) What is the heat output of the microfluorescent fixtures like?
A) All give off very little heat relative to most other light sources.
Hardwire vs. Plug-In
Q) Can these be plugged into the nearest electrical outlet?
A) Yes. They come with a cord and plug.
Q) What does it mean to hardwire a light fixture?
A) To “hardwire” a light fixture directly to power means using the electrical wire in your home’s wall to directly connect the fixture to power. This wire is usually made up of 3 wires: one wire with white insulation, one wire with black insulation, and one copper wire with no insulation and white insulation around all 3 wires holding them together. The wire that is used to connect lighting fixtures is usually described as “14/2 with ground” (although this may vary with geographical location). The “14/2” refers to the two insulated wires that are each 14 gauge in diameter and the ground refers to the uninsulated copper wire.
Q) Which microfluorescent light fixtures may be connected to each other with household electrical wire?
A) All are simply too small in their profile for this type of wire to be inserted into them.
Installation & Linkability
Q) How difficult are the microfluorescent light fixtures to install?
A) They are pretty easy to install. Simply install two screw-in clips and the fixture snaps into place.
Q) Which may be surface mounted?
A) All are intended to be surface mounted. However, make sure that there is at least 0.5in of space between the sides of the microfluorescent fixture and another surface. This will allow the fixture to remain cool.
Q) Can they be recess mounted?
Q) What does the term “linkable” mean?
A) That two light fixtures can be easily connected electrically by simply plugging in a Direct Connector or a Flexible Connector into the two fixtures. More than two “linkable” microfluorescent fixtures can be easily linked in one long line of fixtures.
Q) Can the fixtures be mounted parallel to a given mounting surface as well as perpendicular?
A) Yes. For many of our microfluorescent fixtures we offer a stainless steel Mounting Clip accessory for Vertical and Horizontal Mount. This unique clip allows the microfluorescent fixture to be mounted with the height dimension of the fixture to be either parallel or perpendicular to the mounting surface.
Q) Are light bulbs included?
A) Most come with their own light bulbs. Check the product descriptions to determine if light bulbs are included with a specific product. If they are not included, compatible light bulbs are available for order.
Q) Which microfluorescent light bulbs produce light that is similar to the light produced by an incandescent light bulb? A halogen light bulb? The sun?
A) If the fluorescent light bulb has a color temperature of 3000K or is called “warm white,” then the fluorescent lamp will produce light that is similar to that of an incandescent light bulb. For the color temperature of a halogen light bulb, look for 3500K or a description of “neutral white.” To emulate the sun, choose a color temperature of 6400K or a description of “daylight.”
Q) Do they come in colors such as red, blue, and green?
A) We do offer T4 fluorescent lamps in different colors.
Q) What about “black light” lamps (emitting UVA rays)?
A) Yup. We have T4 “black light” lamps.
Q) What are the differences between T4 and T5 light bulbs?
A) T4 lamps are 4/8in in diameter while T5 lamps are 5/8in in diameter. T4 lamps have a rated life of 16,000 hours while T5 lamps have a rated life of 20,000 hours.