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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


White Noise, Cubicles & Fluorescent Lights Paul Golata

For most of us, it’s what we have to do to pay our bills so that we can live the lifestyle we want.

We have to wake up and go to work.

For millions of us, including myself, drive to office buildings each day filled with people.

I work in a building that is populated with cubicles. Row after row of people assembled together with a common goal.

Above my head sits hundreds of acoustic tiles interspersed with office lighting troffers consisting of T8 fluorescent lamps.

A quick mathematical calculation of just my zone puts the number of T8 troffers to something around 750. Each troffer contains three (3) sockets for lamps. So, there’s a place for over two thousand (> 2,000) lamps in my work area.

Over thirty years ago, the 4-foot T8 fluorescent lamp was introduced into the United States. It has become a commercial standard for office lighting. All major lamp manufacturers market T8 lamps of various wattages.

The ‘T’ stands for tubular. The ‘8’ stands for how many eights of an inch the tube is in diameter. Thus a T8 lamp is 8 * 1/8” or 1” in diameter.

In the past several months several LED manufacturers, including Philips and Cree, have made significant entries into this product space with LED-based T8 lamps. These units are intended to directly replace the fluorescent versions of these lamps.

LED lamps have many advantages to them as it pertains to energy savings.

However, the area I’m most excited about is how an office filled with LED-based T8 lamps will improve people's emotions because lighting effects how people perceive and view their environment. It has been my experience that fluorescent lights seem to be introduce a psychological downturn in one’s mood when compared to sunlight or LED lamps that are not subject to any effects of flickering.

Do you have any experience working under both T8 fluorescent lamps and T8 LED-based lamps? If so, share your experience with us. Tell us what you thought of each and how it made you feel.



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Paul Golata joined Mouser Electronics in 2011. As a Senior Technology Specialist, Paul contributes to Mouser’s success through driving strategic leadership, tactical execution, and the overall product-line and marketing directions for advanced technology related products. He provides design engineers with the latest information and trends in electrical engineering by delivering unique and valuable technical content that facilitates and enhances Mouser Electronics as the preferred distributor of choice.

Before joining Mouser Electronics, Paul served in various manufacturing, marketing, and sales related roles for Hughes Aircraft Company, Melles Griot, Piper Jaffray, Balzers Optics, JDSU, and Arrow Electronics. He holds a BSEET from the DeVry Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL); an MBA from Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA); an MDiv w/BL from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX); and a PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX).


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