Tubes of any type are not immune to breaking, and T8 lights have no universal alternative for replacement of non-performing tubes. This is not to say that T8 lights are not replaceable, but they are the best way to go. Tubes have the added disadvantage of needing to be replaced every six months or so. Even in emergencies, these cannot be fitted quickly or with ease.
For safety, T8 tubes will never leak. They are also weatherproof which can be crucial during a family get-together. Halogen bulbs will never rust. You will not have to worry about the bulbs melting in the heat of a summer day.
When you buy your T8 tube, be sure you get the right length for your project. You may not be able to get the correct length for your project if you buy them in an inappropriate size. This is a problem that manufacturers of T8 lights have faced for many years. Manufacturers have come up with their own special tubes which have the right length. Many manufacturers have a full length 12V AC battery charger and many offer software that will tell you the correct length for your project.
The wattage rating of T8 tubes is usually listed along with the bulbs. These are all important considerations when you are choosing which bulb is right for your needs. Tubes can last for many years, so the amount of power that you need is less important than the amount of wattage. Keep in mind that the higher the wattage rating, the more expensive the tube.
To help you choose the right size tube for your project, be sure to measure your light. Know the size of the fixture that is to be installed and then get a tube of the same size as the fixture. Measure twice and cut once.
You should then consult the manufacturers to help you get the correct size. You should get a measurement for the tube with the fixture in place so that you will know what size tube you should get. Some manufactures have preset sizes that they will provide when you purchase a tube. They will also have the meter that will measure the wattage of the tube and give you the correct wattage measurement for the proper size tube.
Buy your T8 tubes when you buy bulbs, not before. Tubes last for years and can be reused many times, when you use them the way they were designed. By keeping up with the latest technology, you can choose a bulb that will last you many years and you will not have to replace it as often.