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Common Problems with Fluorescent Blog featured Image Sized Photo 1234

Fluorescent lighting is a technology that is commonly used to provide illumination for settings such as commercial lighting, industrial lighting, classroom lighting, and retail lighting. The sizes, light colors, and wattage of fluorescent tubes vary significantly. An attribute of fluorescent lighting is that the lamps themselves are mounted within a fixture (for example, a recessed troffer), often containing between 1-8 lamps, with the fixtures themselves mounted in, directly on, or hanging from a building’s ceiling. Below are three common problems with fluorescent lighting that are often overlooked.

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Energy Costs

To understand the energy costs associated with an area utilizing fluorescent lighting, we’ll look at the wattages for a four foot and eight foot bulb. For a four foot fluorescent light, tube wattage typically ranges from 28 watts to 40 watts. An eight foot lamp typically operates at 96 watts.

In addition to the wattage, it’s common for fluorescent light fixtures to utilize between two and four lamps per fixture, totaling approximately 112 watts to 160 watts for a four foot lamp fixture and 192 watts for an eight foot lamp fixture. Operating these types of lamps in your facility can easily cost up to $200 in electricity costs alone, per fixture per year.

Maintenance Costs

For fluorescent fixtures, lighting maintenance is very dependent on the operational use of the lamp. When operated in cold environments, or operating in a scenario where the lamps are turned on and off frequently, lamp life and performance can degrade drastically in a short period of time. Every time a fluorescent light is turned on, it degrades the cathodes (the fluorescent lamp ignition system), resulting in a shorter operational life of the lamp. Lifetimes range from 10,000 to 30,000 hours for typical fluorescent tube, and it can easily cost up to $1,545 over the course of three years to maintain the lighting in a space utilizing fluorescent light fixtures.

Lighting Performance

The performance of fluorescent lights can vary based on the type of lamp (T12 Bulb, T8 Bulb, T5 Bulb, etc). Additionally, CCT (correlated color temperature) and CRI (color rendering index) can also vary among different manufacturers of these lamps.

Holistically, performance of a fluorescent light fixture degrades significantly over time. Additionally, being that most fluorescent lamps operate in multi-lamp fixtures, what you are left with is an interior lighting fixture where the output isn’t at peak performance. This is because, if a single lamp ceases to function properly within a multi-lamp fixture, the performance of the entire fixture is negatively affected.

These traditional fluorescent lamps can cost your organization in unnecessary maintenance time, high energy costs, and less than optimal light output. When it comes to LED vs fluorescent, LEDs are the clear winner.

To learn how an LED lighting retrofit can help to mitigate these issues for your organization contact Stouch Lighting today.