Turning Fluorescent Lights On & Off ??

Just to provide a little reference on why I wasn't so keen on LED tubes. The top link are the LED "plug & play" bulbs I installed in my other house. They only provided 1,800 lumens on 18 watts each.

The bottom link are the T-8 tubes I have presently installed in my new fluorescent fixtures. They're standard GE T-8 tubes, that provive 2,900 lumens each on 32 watts each. These also offer a much brighter, blue white light. (6,500K vs. 5,000K for the LED's).

Multiplying this out times 4 bulbs, the fluorescents are giving me a total of 11,600 lumens, with a total consumption of 128 watts. Compared to the LED's with only 7,200 lumens at 72 watts.

So while you are "saving" 56 watts, you're doing it with 4,400 less lumens of light. That's a substantial difference. I could tell immediately when I swapped them out in my other place. The entire kitchen was noticeably darker.

I'm sure someone somewhere either makes a brighter LED, or else soon will. (This stuff is always improving). But as Panda Bear mentioned, all of this crap is Chi-Com these days. And many of these LED's don't last anywhere near their claimed hours or years of life expectancy. So after going through all this, you end up with 6 of one and a half dozen of the other.

In a nutshell, while these LED tubes have come a long way, and are getting cheaper, I just didn't see anything to gain by going with them again. Perhaps in years to come they will offer a substantial improvement, (like many of the screw in LED's now do when compared to the old incandescent and CFL bulbs of just a few decades ago).

This https://www.amazon.com/Wraparound-T...654714203&sprefix=led+fix,aps,88&sr=8-26&th=1 gives 5500 Lumens at 40 watts or 11,000 lumens at 80 watts.

If you're stuck with a built in fixture, then you're stuck with retrofit bulbs. But if you can change out the fixture, that's the way to go.
The LED tubes I've gotten are somewhat focused, downwards, which uses less of the old flourescent fixture's reflector. Seems efficient.

In my state I can get 4' generic tubes for a buck if, and apparently only if, they work with a ballast. I think it's to incentivise energy efficiency. Use them with solid-state T8 ballasts and am simply thrilled the garage stays bright in the middle of winter.
While the "15 minute" rule for fluorescents isn't bad, I'd consider it more like an hour is the time to differentiate. Fluorescent tube lifespan in running hours is greatly increased from fewer on-cycles, but if you end up having them on 3X as long then it becomes a false economy.

I've repaired all my T8 fixtures and will continue to do so. I only put them in areas where they are always on for more than a moment, not stairs or closets, etc. They were all the same age so just did them all in 2016, used the following but they were only $10 at the time.

Also bought one of these Robertsons to compare against the Philips linked above, seemed decent enough and is also still working today, 6 year later, so would get these next time if they're still less expensive:

I thought about switching to LED but anything decent and as bright, would have required more fixtures and end up costing over 4X as much for same amount of light, partially because I snagged a 10 pack of T8 tubes when I saw a clearance deal on them so they were under a buck a tube.

Otherwise in smaller areas I'd be about as well off just buying n-way adapters (socket multipliers) and using the free-to-almost-free E26 LED bulbs my electric company gives out every few quarters. Example n-way adapter:
I just replaced 2, 4' double fluorescent light fixtures in my kitchen. They were 30 years old and the ballast were going. The new ones are nice and bright. I have heard arguments on both sides of this, so I'm hoping some of you guys who are better versed in electricity than I, can chime in.

Are you better off leaving fluorescent lights on for long periods, instead of turning them on and off all day, everytime you enter or exit the room? I'm not so much concerned about saving electricity, as I am about wear and tear on the ballast and bulbs.

The entire 4' fluorescent fixtures are the same cost to purchase, as just the ballast is. And both are a PITA to change out in my kitchen. Because they are recessed, and covered by plastic lens diffusers. I was always under the impression that it's harder on the ballast to constantly be turning them on and off, than it is to simply leave them on.

But as I said, I've heard arguments both ways. I just don't know which is true..... Or if it even matters anymore. I know years ago the older fluorescent fixtures had starters. (They looked like a big silver M-80). They would sit near the ends of the tube, and they would sometimes burn out, and have to be replaced. But the newer fixtures are all self starting.

One thing I noticed on the new fixtures I bought, is the ballasts themselves are much smaller than some of the older models from 30 years ago. The bad units I removed had HUGE ballasts in comparison. What say you guys?
Mythbusters had an episode on this. I install alot of fluorescent bulbs in the apartment complex where I work. If you look at the box it usually says the bulbs are good for so many hours. If you look at the fine print it usually says "with continuous use" so not off and on
I see where Harbor Freight is now selling "Plug & Play" 4' fluorescent tubes for $8.99 each. They're listed at 5,000 K. And supposedly last 32 years with 3 hours of use per day. That's quite a bit less cost than anything comparable that I've seen from the big box outlets.

Yep, T8s give off more light and consume less watts than the old T12s, you're ahead already IMO. You can buy decent quality "kitchen/bath" ~6500K range T8 fluorescent tubes from home/hardware stores that should last years.

IMO, ~30yr/old ballasts were built to fire up fluorescent tubes from 30yrs ago, not the junk made today.

I retrofitted a bunch of late 80's to mid 1990's T12 twin tube 4ft shop light fixtures in my basement to LED about 2yrs ago with no-name mail order LED tubes. These retrofits required removing the ballasts. I've lost at least half of the LED retrofit tubes at this point. The drivers burn out on them. Better quality name brand LED retrofits are so much $ these days, you're better off just getting a whole new LED fixture.

I just installed the replacement LEDs in place of the fluorescent and left the ballast in place.

Going on 6 years they still work fine