Very few houses today use fluorescent tubes except for lighting under plaster ceilings. Usually hidden under L shaped fixtures, the light is soft and diffused. However, L shape that forms under such plaster ceilings is where a lot of insects die there plus lizard dropping make them lose popularity.
Many people prefer recessed lighting that avoid the above problem. However, a lot of light fixtures are required to create similar light levels because fluorescent light tube produces a large amount of light cheaply. That is one advantage where fluorescent light tubes reins.
That is why they are used regularly in some restaurants and hyper markets. Replacement tubes are easy and cheap to get.
For the home, many have switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs for the space considerations and as well as for aesthetic value. They are compact, relatively cheap and you can find them everywhere.
At this point in time, more and more LED light bulbs are being promoted. In the long run, the future will be LED lights however, if you are on a tight budget, these type of light bulbs are still expensive.
Further more, the light quality from LED lights is still below that of a fluorescent light in certain spectrum. This means that some colors of light is absent causing color cast or tint. This tends to be more noticeable in cheaper LED light bulbs but can also affect higher quality bulbs as well.
They make sense at places where it is difficult to replace the light bulb, for example you have a very high ceiling.Light fixtures that are less common is the T5 light fixture. This is a type of fluorescent light tube with the electronic starter circuits built into the fixture itself. It consist of 2 sections, one the holder and second the light tube.
They are available in 1ft, 2ft, 4ft length. T5 light bulbs and fixture is a good alternative to traditional fluorescent tubes in terms of light output, and to compact fluorescent light bulbs in terms of cost. A 1ft length fixture is available at prices ranging from RM8 to RM9.
The short length tube as well as slim diameter means it is easier to place such lights in cylindrical or rectangular lamp shades. Thus such fluorescent light tube is a good alternative for low cost, long life and efficient lighting.
If you are renovating you home, you may want to consider using such lights.
T5 Light bulbs starts instantly compared to older traditional fluorescent light tubes.
Don’t want to switch to T5 lights, you can modify your existing fluorescent light to use an electronic ballast.
Update – Aug 2017
It has been a while since this article was first written. Fast forward to the present moment, i.e. Aug 2017, LED lights has gotten much more affordable. Even some no name China made ones gives decent light quality.
At this point in time, it would be better to get LED light tubes. There is still some quality of light you have to be aware of, especially if you use the light for photography or making videos.