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Old 20th Jan 2019, 5:53 pm   #101
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

"Buying another tube to keep as a spare" always assumes you have somewhere safe to store it. Keeping a spare fluorescent tube in the cupboard-under-the-stairs or similar probably means it will end up being broken before it's needed. Having a spare also somehow mystically ensures that the one in-service will now last forever so your spare is never needed.

Also consider the 'opportunity cost' of your spare - what else could you better have used that money for rather than tying it up in a spare?

My parents were in the habit of doing this 'buy one extra as a spare' thing: when they died and we did the house-clearance all these largely-unidentified 'spares' cluttering the utility-room and attic went in the skip, because the things they were the spares-for had long since been disposed-of anyway.

I really must work out how to dispose of the unused CFL bulbs I have here - a 'gift' from British Gas a couple of decades back, when they were on one of their energy-efficiency drives. I dread to think how much this dented their profits. Charity-shops don't want 'em.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 5:59 pm   #102
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

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I really must work out how to dispose of the unused CFL bulbs I have here - a 'gift' from British Gas a couple of decades back, when they were on one of their energy-efficiency drives. I dread to think how much this dented their profits. Charity-shops don't want 'em.
The giving away of CFL's was because it was the cheapest way of the energy suppliers to meet energy saving/efficiency targets, and so whilst it cost them money it was cheaper than the other options. Also remember that when they were doing this I believe CFL tungsten replacements were government subsidised and you could pick up the bulbs extremely cheaply (10p a bulb?).

As for disposal you local tip/household recycling centre should take them.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 6:04 pm   #103
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Many thanks to you all for the info in this thread. I had not realised the fluorescent tubes in my workshop posed a risk with the two small lathes I use from time to time. One query though - did the UK have a panic over some of the components of the holders? - (fluorocarbons or something either in the starters or the ballast resistor) Here in NZ there was mass horror at this and heaps of fluorescents were trashed thanks to it. That's how I ended up with 5 or so double fitting and umpteen tubes for free.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 6:26 pm   #104
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

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Originally Posted by TonyDuell View Post
And that is what has put me off fitting LED lighting in my house. No, not my objection to replacing more than necessary, but :

The stated life of said LED fittings suggests (with the sort of use I would give them) they might last 10 years. More likely 5. Now I don't mind having to replace a 'bulb' every few years ('bulb' here includes fluorescent tubes, LED replacements, etc). It's a simple plug-in job that takes a few minutes. But if I have to replace the entire fitting then most likely an exact replacement will not be available. Meaning I will have to re-drill the ceiling and maybe repaint it. In any case it will take a lot longer than a few minutes.
Yes, I had this dilemma with a new extension . Part of me wanted to fit recessed LED ceiling panels, but for the reason you state, I opted for 2 roses of 3 GU10 spots, to which I fitted LED bulbs. If I could be sure of some sort of standard for LED panels, I would have certainly gone with that option, but it all seemed like the wild west and I really don't want to be lumbered with serious remedial work in the event of failure.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 7:02 pm   #105
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

LED lamps are sort-of repairable -- you can get the LED modules and the power packs online. Some of them even have individual replaceable diodes, though there is a definite trend towards COB -- Chip On Board -- construction. Of course it's a question of how bothered you can be, given that a whole new fitting probably won't cost much more than mending your existing one.

I think it's fairly inevitable for some sort of standard to emerge eventually, because everyone will want to be compatible with the major brands' offerings. And I don't think standard push-and-twist lampholders are going away anytime soon, either.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 9:41 pm   #106
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

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Originally Posted by avocollector View Post
One query though - did the UK have a panic over some of the components of the holders
I think there has been a fuss over some of the capacitors containing synthetic oils made of polychlorinated biphenyl, which need to be disposed of properly rather than thrown in landfill sites.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 9:47 pm   #107
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

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Originally Posted by avocollector View Post
Many thanks to you all for the info in this thread. I had not realised the fluorescent tubes in my workshop posed a risk with the two small lathes I use from time to time. One query though - did the UK have a panic over some of the components of the holders? - (fluorocarbons or something either in the starters or the ballast resistor) Here in NZ there was mass horror at this and heaps of fluorescents were trashed thanks to it. That's how I ended up with 5 or so double fitting and umpteen tubes for free.
PCBs oils in capacitors.

Very early fluo tubes also contained beryllium oxide of all lovely things.

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Old 20th Jan 2019, 10:04 pm   #108
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Storing A FEW spare 'tubes isn't too much of a hassle using springy C clips.
A smaller clip nearby can hold a spare starter.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 10:10 pm   #109
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

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Originally Posted by avocollector View Post
One query though - did the UK have a panic over some of the components of the holders? - (fluorocarbons or something either in the starters or the ballast resistor) Here in NZ there was mass horror at this and heaps of fluorescents were trashed thanks to it.
PCBs - quite nasty substances, and they were in a lot of old fittings used here.

If you really have a couple of PCB-containing fittings, you'll need to talk to your local council or the EPA when it comes time to replace and dispose of them - see https://www.epa.govt.nz/industry-are...iphenyls-pcbs/
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 10:15 pm   #110
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

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Originally Posted by avocollector View Post
Many thanks to you all for the info in this thread. I had not realised the fluorescent tubes in my workshop posed a risk with the two small lathes I use from time to time. One query though - did the UK have a panic over some of the components of the holders? - (fluorocarbons or something either in the starters or the ballast resistor) Here in NZ there was mass horror at this and heaps of fluorescents were trashed thanks to it. That's how I ended up with 5 or so double fitting and umpteen tubes for free.
Oh dear.

That sounds like a case-study in how knee-jerk reaction to an incompletely understood problem can be negative and counter-productive. Surely the appropriate response would have been,

"Leave it in place until it fails in use, then replace it with something appropriate. The internal components are best left undisturbed where they are. Don't cut the capacitors open, don't chew them or give them to toddlers or chuck them in the fire. When the time is right, dispose of appropriately. All will be just fine".

Result, a temporally-dispersed problem with plenty of time to formulate safe handling and disposal by the pertinent authorities.

Instead of which, a concentrated geological landfill layer of corroding, PCB-containing capacitors has formed. Great.

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Old 26th Jan 2019, 11:23 am   #111
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Never one to be an unthinking dinosaur I splashed out and got a replacement LED tube for my smaller aquarium lighting. It came with a 'free' ballast / starter (very light, feels empty). Anyway, I confess it looks as good as the flouro tube, it lighter and feels much more robust. Sadly, it is audible on top band and 20m, but at very low levels and to be honest, it really won't bother my radio work at all. It doesn't even register an S Point.

So, yes, very good. Cost wise, not as cheap as fluoro but, like all energy saving electronics the real energy they save is the sellers energy in extracting my money.
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Old 26th Jan 2019, 11:25 am   #112
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

My workshop LED panel radiates on 433.125 wiping out the local repeater if I park the 'bike underneath it.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 1:28 pm   #113
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

My partner has a livery yard, about 10 years ago we fitted all new weatherproof flouro battens in the horse stable area. Sixteen in total and quite high in the air as its a converted pole barn.

I can't wait to see the end of fluorescent lamps, the damn things have been a royal PITA since they were fitted. Lamps failing, not working in the cold and the latest issue is not being able to switch one circuit of them on as it trips the main circuit breaker and leaves the whole place in darkness - not ideal for a building in the middle of nowhere. Id love to retrofit LED lamps and totally wire out the iron ballasts, but the cost is prohibitive at the moment. Once they come down to a sensible cost the old troublesome flouro lamps will be consigned to the bin.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 2:46 pm   #114
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

It may be worth saving the weatherproof housings from those lamps.
I would whip one down and convert it to LEDs and see how it goes.
Those housings are likely worth three times the price of a basic unit.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 4:47 pm   #115
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

As previously noted, wiping the tubes with wax furniture polish (preferably silicone if you can find any) can fix reluctance to start in cold/damp conditions.
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Old 21st Mar 2019, 12:49 am   #116
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

I was in B&Q this afternoon and noticed to my amazement, that they have introduced a brand new range of fluorescent batten fittings!! Not just one or two but a good 10' of aisle space devoted to them. 3,4,& 5 foot twin fittings and 3,4,5 & 6 foot single & twin weatherproof ones! Amongst the dozens of fluorescent ones, there were only two or three LED ones.

So what on earth has prompted them to do this, I know not!

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Old 24th Mar 2019, 1:32 pm   #117
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

I suspect that they got a very good deal from a manufacturer or importer whom was stuck with excess stock.
I suspect that manufacture of fluorescent light fittings has largely ceased, though there are probably a lot left in the supply chain.
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Old 24th Mar 2019, 2:18 pm   #118
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Yeah, sales probably declined more rapidly than the importer/manufacturer expected, leaving them with what they deemed dead weight. Enter B&Q stage left with ideas of a speculative offer to clear the warehouse! 3' foot fittings aren't too common and i imagine they might have been knocking around for some time gathering dust.

One hopes they are not substandard quality.. or a design rejected by other territories.

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Old 24th Mar 2019, 2:25 pm   #119
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

They have just started renovating Chelmsford market. On talking to a stall holder, it seems this includes lowering the ceiling and replacing all the fluorescent fittings with led lighting that is promised to be brighter. The stall holder was happy with the promised improved illumination, but not at the month's loss of trade with no temporary rent reduction afterwards to compensate for it.

I do wonder how reliable the LEDs will be in practice? We have had a number of our street lights upgraded to LEDs in the past year and about 5% are faulty, mainly by flickering on and off rather than failing completely. This affects both street lights and illuminated traffic island "Keep Left" signs.
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Old 24th Mar 2019, 3:34 pm   #120
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Chelmsford market- still under the multi-storey? If so it's a pretty hostile environment for anything electronic/DC. Hot dog fumes from below and effluvia/disinfectant from above. I don't think LED will fare too well. The robust nature of battens has been taken for granted i think-we've been spoilt.

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