fluorescent tubes don't last long

Old 11-15-14, 06:19 AM
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fluorescent tubes don't last long

Hi Forum,

About 8 to 10 years back I put some inexpensive fluorescent lights in my basement utility room. Over time I have found that the bulbs don稚 last long. I知 not sure if I am purchasing a not-best tube for them (I get the economy tubes at Home Depot), they have bad ballast, or something else is the root cause of my problem. I知 at the point where I知 fed up with replacing the tubes.

Would you recommend I:
  • try a better tube (and if so how would I go about choosing one)?
  • try replacing the ballast?
  • just replace the fixtures (and if so how can I educate myself to make a better choice and avoid this problem again)?
  • do something else?

Many thanks,
Old 11-15-14, 06:33 AM
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try a better tube
As old as they are they are probably T-12. T12s are being phased out.
try replacing the ballast?
T-12 ballasts are being phased out. You could go with T-8 electronic ballasts, same tombstones, different wiring and tubes.
just replace the fixtures
If T-12 might be simplest and cheapest to replace with T-8.
do something else?
They make LED replacement bubs that don't use a ballast (direct 120v connection to tombstone) but fit the T-12/T-8 tombstones.
Old 11-15-14, 06:40 AM
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I have the same problem in my garage. The electronic ballasts don't seem to last, and from my experience, sometimes cost more than the entire fixture.

My plan is to replace 4' fixtures in garage with the old/cheap porcelain single bulb fixtures and put in LED's. I figure I'll get better light and save on energy. The LED bulbs are costly but should last many years.
Old 11-15-14, 10:24 AM
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In my experience you get what you pay for with tubes.
In my maintenance days, my boss was buying cases upon cases every month of cheap tubes (Eiko). He then switched to tubes that cost almost twice as much (Sylvania I believe), yet he cut the lighting budget in half because they lasted significantly longer.

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