how long do fluorescent bulbs last

How Long Do Fluorescent Bulbs Last?

Do you often find yourself replacing the light bulbs in your home? Wonder how long fluorescent bulbs last before needing to be replaced—tired of spending money on short-term lighting solutions?

This blog post is here to answer all of these questions and more! Here, we’ll delve into the science behind fluorescent bulb lifespans and what you can do to ensure they last as long as possible.

From understanding why light bulbs burn out faster than others to discovering which type would work best for a particular area or space in your home, we’ve got you covered. So let’s get started!

How Long Do Fluorescent Bulbs Last?

When considering the longevity of fluorescent bulbs, it is essential to factor in not only the rated life expectancy of around 20,000 hours but also the type of usage to which they are subjected.

An individual light bulb may endure a shorter lifespan if frequently switched on and off while burning life can be extended when used continuously for longer periods. Therefore, when choosing fluorescent light bulbs for applications where the frequency of use will be higher than average, factoring in replacement costs could be necessary.

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Types of Fluorescent Bulbs?

how long do fluorescent bulbs last

The several types of fluorescent lights available for purchase can be divided into linear fluorescent lamps and compact fluorescent lamps.

Linear Fluorescent Lamps are the traditional incandescent light bulbs widely used in offices and industrial settings for general illumination.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps, on the other hand, are available in several shapes and sizes, allowing them to fit into a wide range of fixtures. They are commonly used in homes and can offer significant energy savings.

Tips to Increase the Lifespan of Fluorescent Bulbs

To ensure that fluorescent bulbs last as long as possible, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Ensure that the temperature and other environmental conditions are suitable for use.
  • Keep the bulbs away from vibration or shock and ensure they are securely connected to the fixture.
  • Switch them off and on as little as possible.
  • Keep dust and dirt off the bulbs to ensure maximum efficiency
  • Do not touch the glass parts of a fluorescent bulb with your bare hands, as this can cause a decrease in its lifespan.
  • Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and use.

Interesting Read: How Long Do Smart Bulbs Last?

Factors That Affect How Long Fluorescent Bulbs Last?

In addition to the tips mentioned above, several other factors can affect how long fluorescent bulbs last.

These include:

The Wattage of the Bulb:

When considering the wattage of a bulb, it’s essential to keep in mind that the higher the number, the more electricity it will consume.

Bulbs with higher wattage require more energy to stay lit and tend to burn out faster than low-wattage bulbs. Conversely, lower-wattage bulbs are usually much more energy efficient and can last significantly longer – often up to 20 times longer – than their high-wattage counterparts.

When selecting a lightbulb for your home or other space, consider whether it’s better to invest in a bulb that has greater longevity but may cost a bit more upfront or if choosing short-term savings is wiser regarding your budget.

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Factors such as wear and tear on the socket should also be considered when considering bulb wattage options.

The Number of Hours in Use:

Lighting is an integral part of many spaces around the globe, and light bulbs are often used to achieve this. But before installing a new bulb, it is essential to consider the number of hours in use.

That’s because light bulbs switched on and off multiple times will not last as long as those used continuously. If possible, manufacturers advise switching the bulb off when not in use, which will help extend its life expectancy.

Additionally, special care should be taken while changing or replacing bulbs since they can become very hot from prolonged usage, making them vulnerable to physical damage resulting from mishandling.

Overall, understanding the amount of time a bulb will be in use and handling it carefully will go a long way in increasing its life expectancy.

The Ambient Temperature:

how long do fluorescent bulbs last

The ambient temperature is a critical factor when considering the usage of fluorescent tubes as lighting fixtures. If temperatures are too extreme, they can cause irreparable damage to their delicate components and shorten their lifespan significantly.

As such, they should not be used in environments where temperatures dip below freezing or rise above 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Permanent heat and cold damage can rapidly turn one of these tubes into an insurmountable maintenance problem, no matter how sturdy it is made or the level of quality with which it was manufactured. Whenever selecting a fluorescent tube for any indoor location, checking for extreme temperature fluctuations is of paramount importance.

The Type of Ballast:

Choosing the correct type of ballast for your fluorescent light bulbs is important, as using the wrong type can significantly reduce the bulb’s lifespan.

There are several types of ballasts to consider. Instant Start Ballasts instantaneously provide a bright light and can be turned off quickly without any fading.

  • Rapid Start Ballasts lead to less flickering and slightly slower warm-up times but require more energy than Instant Start Ballasts.
  • Programmed Start Ballasts are very efficient, with no flickering and minimal wear on components, but they take up to two minutes for the total brightness of the light to appear after turning it on.
  • And finally, High-Frequency Electronic Ballasts provide extremely high-efficiency levels and long lifespans; however, this option is typically more expensive than the others.

Making sure you select the correct ballast for your lighting needs will ultimately help save money in the long run.

Interesting Read: LED Vs Fluorescent: What’s The Difference?

Replacing Fluorescent Bulbs

how long do fluorescent bulbs last

At the end of their life expectancy, fluorescent bulbs should be disposed of properly.

The EPA recommends that they should not be thrown away in regular trash as they contain small amounts of mercury. Instead, contact your local waste management facility to inquire about the availability of special disposal services for fluorescent bulbs.

How To Dispose of Fluorescent Bulbs

Disposing of fluorescent bulbs is more complex than throwing them away with regular waste.

Fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, a toxic element that can harm humans and the environment.

Therefore, it is essential to use caution when disposing of these bulbs and ensure that the mercury is not released into the atmosphere.

The EPA recommends that fluorescent bulbs be taken to a unique waste disposal facility or a local recycling center that accepts fluorescent bulbs.