Will T5s and CFLs be Supported into the Future?

Paul Brown

The decision on the type of energy efficient street lighting technology is up to individual councils. You will hear a lot of noise and rumours about the pros and cons of different technologies however the truth is there are pros and cons with every light. There are potential rewards and risks with every light and every lighting technology.

It is completely your choice as to what approved technology to implement, and regardless of your chosen route the options above represent massive financial and energy savings for councils. All of the lights have been approved and all are technically sound.

>> Download the free Energy Efficient Streetlights and Future Support for T5s Report

You can rest assured that our advice is impartial. As an accredited Type A National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) Inspection Body, Ironbark are completely at arm’s length from suppliers. This means that we don’t make lights; design lights; sell lights; maintain lights and do not want to make or sell or maintain lights.

Will T5s and CFLs Continue to be Supported?


There have always been claims and counter-claims by lighting manufactures and other stakeholders in the industry about the performance of their lights and their competitors’ lights. If you hear a rumour about “issues with the CFL” it has likely originated from someone who doesn’t manufacture CFLs. If you hear that the T5s “have been failing in some areas” then you’ve probably heard it from one of their competitors. If you hear that “LEDs are susceptible to over heating” then it’s likely to have come from someone who doesn’t manufacture or supply LEDs. 

Nearly every time these stories are mistruths being pushed by someone who has a vested interest in their own products or services. This of course happens in every business and industry.

Over the last 6 months, Victorian councils have asked Ironbark to respond to false claims from some stakeholders that twin compact fluorescent T5 lights won’t be supported by manufacturers in the future. We have developed a report to provide councils who have installed T5s, or are considering installing T5s, with information on the future of the technology. It includes input and assurances from all T5 manufacturers – and T5 component manufacturers – that the lights will be supported for their entire life, as have 80W MVs.

It also includes a response to the often-repeated claim that the electronic control gear (or ballast) in T5s is more likely to fail and that these alleged failures are resulting in councils paying higher OMR costs. These claims are also incorrect, and this document provides councils with responses and information explaining the truth about the technology and where some of these myths originate.

Don’t base your decision on incorrect information or rumours that have originated from vested interests or claims from a competitor. Make the decision armed with your own impartial information. And it’s worth repeating this very important statement: there are pros and cons with every light. There are potential rewards and risks with every light and every lighting technology. Nothing is perfect. 

However for those councils that have installed or purchased T5s or CFLs you can be sure that they will be supported as a standard light for the life of light, as guaranteed by all manufacturers in their long-term contracts with distribution businesses.