Forest Lighting USA

Why You Should Replace Your Fluorescent T8 Bulbs


Courtesy of Forest Lighting USA

Fluorescent light bulbs are, for many of us, an almost nostalgic part of life. From that crackling fluorescent tube above our old kitchen stove to the almost paralyzing white light that illuminated every corner of our classrooms and office building floors, fluorescent lights have been practically everywhere for the past 80 years.

The first developments in arc tube lighting trace as far back as the 1850s. That’s an immense heritage. As per, commercially-viable fluorescent lighting became a thing in the 30s when it was first demonstrated to the military, and since then, various improvements have been made to make fluorescent lighting more efficient.

How Fluorescent Bulbs Work

While incandescent lights work by running energy through a filament, which lights up within a bulb, fluorescent lights boast a much greater longevity by utilizing pressurized gas to achieve a luminous reaction.

Fluorescent lamps work through the use of mercury, an electrode, an inert gas, and an ionization process that causes electrons to emit photons – light particles – while the electrodes have power running through them. There are hot and cold cathode lamps, and each works a little differently.

Hot cathode lamps are composed of a glass tube lined with phosphor containing pressurized argon. On each end of the tube is a tungsten electrode, which is given power through an AC ballast, which sends an alternating pulse current through the lamp when on. Through the ballast’s components, short circuiting is prevented.

When the lamp is turned on, it forces an arc of electrons to be generated from one electrode to the other. The colder the pressurized gas, the more resistant it is to electricity, which is why fluorescent lamps come with a starter that uses power to preheat the lamp if necessary.

Once the electrodes can create an arc, condensed liquid mercury in the tube is turned into gas, which collides with the ionized argon and causes the release of photons, producing light in the end.

Why They’re No Longer Efficient

In recent years, fluorescent lights have been beat out of the home and office lighting industry by an upstart called the LED. LED lights have actually been around for five decades, but they’ve gone from being the tiny blinker lights soldered into circuit boards to providing efficient outdoor lighting in mansions and estates.

Through LED T8 tubes lights, not only are you saving energy, but you have a bulb that, as per Digital Lumens, can run up to 100,000 hours at full capacity. That’s over 11 years straight. Because they emit no heat, LED lights don’t burn out. They do lose efficiency as the materials age, but not greatly. Through a reputable retailer, you could completely cut your incandescent and fluorescent lamps and replace them with LED, and you’d be better off for it, for the most part.

Does LED Carry Disadvantages?

The biggest disadvantage to an LED lamp is the fact that, outdoors, it’s prone to malfunctioning and breaking under extreme weather conditions. From harsh summers to dastardly cold winters, LEDs are still not too great with very high or very low temperatures. However, that is being worked on in the industry, as per the Edison Tech Center

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