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Old 12th Jan 2019, 11:50 pm   #1
1100 man
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Default The demise of the fluorescent tube

Can I have 6 off, 6 foot twin fluorescent fittings please? High frequency ones.

-Sorry, we no longer stock those.

Oh, how about a single 5' one then?

-No sorry, haven't got any of those either!

Oh, I'm guessing you haven't got any 250W MBFU lamps then (Mercury vapour)?

-Nope: but we can order those in.

So after nearly 70 years, the fluorescent tube is now obsolete Rather sad: I've always loved the technology and was fascinated by it as a small boy and have enjoyed installing it in small factories, offices & workshops ever since.

Luckily, replacement high frequency ballasts and T8 tubes are still available, so I will be able to keep older units running for a while yet.

I can't get excited about LED technology- It just doesn't do it for me like fluorescent does!

All the best
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 12:13 am   #2
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

And now the LED replacements will double in price as that's all that can be had.

Isn't progress wonderful.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 12:45 am   #3
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Well I have several fittings in my garage and workshop using standard choke units .These fittings are over 50 years old . Iím sure if we can still get lamps they will go on for another 50 years. I bet these LED fittings wonít even have a 10 year working life.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 1:10 am   #4
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

I bought two LED fluorescent tubes from Aldi when they had them going cheap - £8 the pair? In my haste and delight I got them home to find they were too long for the fittings I had! Still, I 'hardwired' them to a chock block and hung them using string! Love them! The light colour was far superior to the tubes I had (although I could have used different colour tubes in the original fittings if I wanted) and they were in daily use for a year before I considered purchasing LED tubes that actually fit the original housing!

The new ones, being slightly shorter, aren't quite as bright but I still like the colour output and the instant-on, less worry over handling glass etc makes another (albeit slight) difference.

The two tubes cost £23, delivered though so far from cheap (like the original glass ones were) but I'm happy at the change if not so much at the cost.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 1:23 am   #5
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

I think 5ft tubes are still stocked by B&Q etc. They come in their traditional paper sleeves that offer almost zero protection and must present a H&S issue with broken glass (not to mention Hg)
Contrast that to this LED equivalent I recently ordered. It's comparatively unbreakable, yet it comes in a stout board tube.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 1:38 am   #6
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Somewhere I still have the first CFL I ever bought. It was second-hand and I used it for 10 years in an outside coach light style lantern.

It's a substantial heavy lamp with a BC base and must contain a conventional choke ballast & glow-switch starter by the sound it makes.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 7:18 am   #7
G4YVM David
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

I dreaded this day. I loath LED light. I find it harsh and unnatural on my eyes. I was built for a sinusoidal world, not a square one. My workshop has four long flouros...i might stock up on tubes while I can. There's a very reassuring rumble when I switch them on.

D
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 8:20 am   #8
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

I don't see the problem. You can purchase LED tubes in different hues; daylight, warm etc. LEDs are much more efficient, using far less power than fluos. That is our duty to saving the planet not to mention saving us running costs as individuals. I have replaced a fluo with an LED strip in my workshop and the difference is light and day. Nostalgia aside, LED is a clear winner.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 8:47 am   #9
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube



Couldn't agree more. I was ambivalent until they started swapping all the tired old florescent tubes at work with LED's - what an incredible difference! I swapped the tubes in my workshop for LED and I'll never be going back. Instant daylight at the flick of a switch. The fluorescent tube in the garage will be next although the one in the loft is hard to justify swapping because of the infrequent usage.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 10:19 am   #10
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Another agreement from me. If someone prefers the warmer or greener light from traditional lights, they can be replicated by choosing the colour temperature. There is less flicker from LED bulbs too, so win all round.

I bought some lower temperature LEDs in a bathroom fitting, there was no choice. They replicate a tungsten bulb perfectly but after using 6000k fittings, they are awful in their appearance. I have since gone around fitting 6000k everywhere and I can see again!
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 10:50 am   #11
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Has anyone yet made a drop-in replacement flourescent tube substitute made from LEDs?

We tried an LED strip to replace an old flourescent and it was great, except that the fitting was slightly smaller than the old one so I had to repaint the ceiling, and when it fails I will have that problem again.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 10:54 am   #12
'LIVEWIRE?'
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Last Wednesday I had a 2 x 36W Fluorescent tube assembly fitted in my cellar workshop. It was supplied by a local Electrical retailer in Chipping Norton who still have stocks of tubes, chokes, etc., when needed. I reckon they'll still be around for quite a while.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 10:58 am   #13
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

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Originally Posted by GMB View Post
Has anyone yet made a drop-in replacement flourescent tube substitute made from LEDs?
These are available. From what I remember the contacts at one end of the tube are short circuit so the result is that full mains voltage is applied to the other end of the tube. I think they may come with dummy starters.

I modified all my fittings to eliminate the ballast, starter etc. It does mean that you have to insert the LED tube the right way round though. You can't revert to flory tubes either.

I too like day light LED tubes. They've really brightened up the work shop and don't grow dimmer as they age.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 11:15 am   #14
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

The LED tubes ARE drop in replacements. You just put in the tube and swap out the starter for their "fuse" starter. Correct size and shape, they just work.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 11:16 am   #15
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Another thumbs up from me regarding LED lighting! I have three- light chandelier fittings in the living room and dining room. These were originally designed for 3 x 40W tungsten candle bulbs which would have been 120W per fitting. At the outset I decided to use 3 x 7W CFL's in each (since the 7W type were equivalent to 40W) so total for each fitting was 21W. These were fine for several years until the CFL's started to fail...(I found about 3 years was the average life). Replacements were easy to start with although not always the same design (I had used the curly twist type originally). It then became harder to find 7W types and I didn't want odd ones (5W and 10W mixed).

Walking around B&Q one afternoon I chanced upon an offer of 5 x candle LED types for £10. These were 3 watts each and claimed to be equivalent to a 40W tungsten. I thought it was worth the gamble so bought two boxes (as it happens, the last two boxes). I fitted three of these to one fitting and was instantly impressed by the light output which to me seemed identical to the CFL's plus...no flicker and no warm-up time....(I always thought that the slow increase in brightness of the CFL's was annoying). I fitted another three to the dining room fitting with the same result and of course the 21W was now reduced down to 9W per fitting. So now I had instant light for less power. I also have four spares should I ever need them. So far these LED's have been in place for about four years with no sign of failure....they have already outlasted the CFL's. For me it's a no-brainer!

I'm slowly changing all the CFL's to LED as required. In the kitchen, my wife wanted spotlights and she liked a three-way fitting in Ikea. This came with three 50W halogen spots. I never used the halogen spots since if I had, the kitchen light would have used more than all the others in the house.....! Instead I bought three 5W LED spots that were equivalent in light output....a tenth of the power for the same light......These 5W spots have been in the kitchen for three years with no problems....15W total power rather than 150W.

The last 'conversion' to LED was the cooker hood....this came with two 20W halogen candle bulbs which were totally unreliable...two failed within months of it being fitted. Now I've fitted two 2W LED candles....same light output. 18 months later, no failures and only 4W rather than 40.

For me, LED wins every time!
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 11:34 am   #16
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Quote:
Originally Posted by 'LIVEWIRE?' View Post
Last Wednesday I had a 2 x 36W Fluorescent tube assembly fitted in my cellar workshop. It was supplied by a local Electrical retailer in Chipping Norton who still have stocks of tubes, chokes, etc., when needed. I reckon they'll still be around for quite a while.
And still available at screwfix so Iím sure other places too. The LED ones they supply are drop in replacements with a 1 year guarantee, I intend to replace my garage tube with a 100W in cool white.

I can understand that some Ďvintageí enthusiasts may want to retain old technology after all thatís what most of us here are interested in but for me good lighting is a nessesity as with age my eyesite deteriorates.

John
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 11:37 am   #17
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
Somewhere I still have the first CFL I ever bought. It was second-hand and I used it for 10 years in an outside coach light style lantern.

It's a substantial heavy lamp with a BC base and must contain a conventional choke ballast & glow-switch starter by the sound it makes.
I bought one of the early 'jam jar' Philips ones, probably second generation as it wasn't wildly expensive. It must be over 20 years old now. It's still giving sterling service in a small office.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 11:39 am   #18
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

I'm currently replacing all my lighting where possible with LED bulbs as the originals expire.

I still have one tubular power saver that's holding out, & has managed to outlast some cheaper LED bulbs that didn't last.

I've still got a few halogen bulbs that are original to the flat, & have lasted 10 years.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 12:01 pm   #19
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

In December I had a starter fail and couldn't find any in my local B&Q.

I'm fine about changing to LED except for this one fitting which will be a major hassle so I'd rather soldier on, especially as the light is only illuminated for short periods as and when needed.

A friend's workshop has had a major reorganisation which required rearrangement of the lighting so the opportunity was taken replace with LEDs. Needless I have been scavenging discarded but servicable stuff including NOS tubes for spares.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 12:05 pm   #20
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Default Re: The demise of the fluorescent tube

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Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post
I bought some lower temperature LEDs in a bathroom fitting, there was no choice. They replicate a tungsten bulb perfectly but after using 6000k fittings, they are awful in their appearance. I have since gone around fitting 6000k everywhere and I can see again!
I did the same for the lounge becuase I reckoned I should fit "warm" for recreational areas and "cold" for work areas - I also regret it. In hindsight, all I was doing was needlessly replicating a deficiency in tungsten bulb technology. However, I'm loathed to swap them all out now though becuase they are perfectly good bulbs
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