Which filter should I get: tube cover or flat overlay cover?

At Make Great Light, we offer two products to choose from. A question we often get is which fluorescent light filter is best for my situation. In this post, we tackle that question and try to bring clarity between the two options.

OPTION 1: Tube Filters



1. Versatility – These fluorescent light filter tubes slide over standard size bulbs and work in just about every light fixture. However, you cannot use them with T5 high output bulbs.

2. Portability – You can always take these filters with you. If you order them for your office or school and end up moving to a different location, you can take the bulbs with you.

3. Easy to install – If you have changed a fluorescent light bulb, you should be able to install these. Just insert the light bulb in the tube, secure with the end caps and twist into place in the fixture.

4. Cost – These filters are less expensive than our overlay panel filters. If you have a fixture with just two bulbs, the tube filters make more sense economically.

What you need to know to order:

The width of your fluorescent light. There are three sizes: T5, T8, T12 The sizes are printed on the lamp. 

Purchase | Installation

OPTION 2: Overlay panel filters

Fluorescent Light Overlay Panels


This is the best option for light fixtures that are flush to the ceiling.

1. Install once – After installation on the fluorescent light fixture, the filter never has to be touched again (except for cleaning the dust off). When you change the bulbs, you do not have to re-install the filter, unlike the tube filters. This is a permanent solution. 

2. Can filter multiple bulbs – If your fixture has more than two bulbs, this is a better solution.

3. Easy to clean – Simply wipe the dust right off.

4. Perfect for existing lenses, diffusers or louvers.

5. Safe for T5 HO bulbs.

Purchase | Installation

We prefer to use the panels whenever possible. They are easy to cut and a cinch to tape in place. However, they won’t work with all the different fluorescent light fixtures currently out there. If you have a plastic panel or metal louvers, these are the best option.

Whichever option works best for your situation; your can be assured that both products block UV rays, eliminate fluorescent light glare and provide full spectrum light.

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