Linear fluorescent tubes

Linear fluorescents are good for spreading light evenly across large open spaces like kitchens, storerooms, workshops or garages. They can also be used in ‘under cupboard' fittings, like those sometimes used in the kitchen.


  • Cost from $5 per tube
  • Use up to 80% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs
  • A lifetime of at least 10,000 hours, over 10 times as long as a standard incandescent bulb 

Keep in mind

  • Linear fluorescents that are turned on and off a lot take longer to ‘light up' and may have shorter life expectancy
  • If you want to use linear fluorescents with dimmer switches, you will need electronic control gear
  • Because linear fluorescent tubes contain a small amount of mercury, take special care when handling and disposing of them
  • Try not to break them. Avoid using them where they are easily broken - light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a safer alternative in these situations. Don't use excessive force when installing them
  • If a linear fluorescent tube breaks, vacate and air the room immediately for at least 15 minutes. Then follow recommended clean up procedures to reduce your chance of mercury exposure.

Clean up of Energy Saving Bulbs - New Zealand National Poisons Centre

Disposal and recycling of linear fluorescent tubes

At the end of their life, linear fluorescent tubes need to be disposed of properly and recycled where possible.  Ask your local lighting supplier or council about fluorescent tube recycling options near you. Otherwise put them in your normal household rubbish, preferably outside. 

Where to buy

  • Easily available at most DIY outlets and specialty lighting store