Talk:Fluorescent lamp/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Some, if not all, CCFL used in LCD's can cause more eye fatigue than CRT displays, brightness is not a factor

I can only speak of the displays I have experienced so I can't say if this affects every display out there. Initially, for approx 2-3 years I had no issue using CCFL lit LCD but later on I began to notice burning sensation in eyes after around 6 hours of use, also something changed with my eyes in that after waking up from full nights sleep they felt really terrible every day.

Over the years I tried to use the LCD with various brightess settings and levels and sources of room light (halogen,incan,energy saving lamps) (the brigtness setting controls the LCD's PWM of the CCFL, meaning that at 100% it flickers least and at 0% it flickers more in order to put out less light). I even tried to use the LCD with sun glasses on but that did not provide full relief. I still haven't got the good feel back after sleeping after a month of CRT use however there are possible environment change factors that prevent saying with certainty whether this 2nd issue was being caused by the use of the CCFL lit LCD.

I've thought about getting LED lit LCD but after lot of research I found that the common edge-lit "white-LED" may have similar issues as they are not white but UV LEDs that use a coating to shift the light frequency and they also use PWM for brightness modulation. In theory, at 100% brightness the LED LCD should not flicker at all however I suspect that plain flicker does not cause the burning sensation.

It's worth noting that I may be bit sensitive to UV light as I've noted that when travelling, if the cabin has UV blocking glass all over, I can feel the difference though it's very subtle and I certainly get no burning sensation from being outdoors. I also see the CRT flicker unless it's at 83 hz or higher. I can sense (it feels like the display is "restless") but not see the flicker at 85 hz. I'm currently using 100 hz refresh rate.

Off topic note. Halogen lights are great, there is no flicker as they use direct current (atleast mine does, needs AC-DC transformer) and the light is much more eye pleasing than incandescent and the various type of energy saving & ccfl I've seen.

Thank you for your interest, but what do you propose we do in this article to improve it? Discussion of eyestrain relating to use of computer monitors is probably more relevant to another article. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:08, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
It's not true that "white-LED" produce an UV light. They do produce blue light, which is produced by the LED junction, and there is a yellow phosphor which, excited by blue light, produces yellow light (this yellow is weaker but is more wide in spectrum, than the blue peak produced). This blue-yellow combination looks white to human eye because eyes' color sensitivity peaks at these colours. I am also having similar burning-sensation issues since using LCD displays (normal ones, CCFL-backlit) and am thinking seriously about getting white-led backlit lcd, or even one of RGB-LED backlit ones, because not only their individual colors' spectrum is broader, they have very wide gamut. Normal CCFL-backlit LCD displays not only (compared to most CRT, white-LED and RGB LED backlit ones) have very thin peak spectral lines, they also have much smaller gamut (the range of colors they can produce) than CRTs and what is the NTSC specification (althought few wide-gamut LCDs exist which use special wide-gamut CCFLs). I think this also can have some influence on the eye. You also mentioned the UV which is, I believe, also an important factor contributing to eyestrain and similar issues. (talk) 08:02, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Sale of incandescent lamps to end at least in some countries? And tough questions on "energy saving lamps"

I heard this news recently.

If you use electricity to heat up your home, my question is, how will it save energy to replace incandescent light since the heat it provided to the house will be replaced by the thermostat controlled heating system that will by my logic just compensate to heat more (but not provide light).

Given that, CCFL based energy saving lamps may be no more efficient than incandescent in this particular scenario, which affects millions of homes in the cold climate areas. But for the environment and the wallet the CCFL are certainly WORSE as it can't be guaranteed that all that mercury will be properly disposed. It's probably easier to have safe disposal of nuclear waste than these mercury base lamps since the disposing the of the other is already regulated and managed and doesn't happen in every home.

Also taking into account the more complex production of CCFL and the mercury factor one has to question how much more energy is put into producing those lamps. I think it's time to stock up on enough halogen/incandescent lamps to last for life time. Remember, white leds are still UV based source that just use a coating to attempt to shift the frequency so they may not be good for eyes either. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:53, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

First of all I would say that use of electricity for heating is a very wasteful practice, electricity is an expensive resource and heat is a cheap resource. Nuclear power plants for instance generate a lot of heat when making electricity. If you use that for heating in buildings the efficiency will get much, much higher. I read a story saying that the excess heat from refrigerators in a medium size convenient store can heat a stadium size swimming pool. Secondly, using lamps for heating would be a strange choice since they are often in the ceiling. Basically you will heat your ceiling. And in the hot season this argument gets even worse since you will have to remove the heat from the lamps. You are of cause right that mercury is a problem, but energy wise i don't think mercury poisoning is our biggest concern right now. Only very few white LEDs are based on UV-LEDs, they are normally based on blue LEDs with phosphor coating, so they are perfectly safe in that respect. If this is to be added to the article I suggest you find some reputable sources and write it up.--Thorseth (talk) 08:45, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Something to bring up again

This topic was brought up earlier on this page but seems to have died. Well, it's true that there's very little scientific explanation for it, certainly can't be denied that I and many people I know find Fluorescent light to be quite uncomfortable to be around for any more than moderate lengths of time. What would be an encyclopedic method of mentioning this? I'm not suggesting bringing in any sort of scientific proof of this, but would a few web citations of negative opinions of fluorescent light, generally, be enough to note this issue? -- (talk) 04:40, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Health effects are discussed in the article. If it's a fact, find a reliable paper. A vauge statement that some people feel uncomfortable around fluorescent lamps is about as encyclopedia worthy as noting some people don't like chicken. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:39, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

A scientific explanation would entail finding a frequency chart we had in college comparing the spectrum of incandescent bulbs to florescent bulbs. The intramural of light under the curve for an incandescent bulb is far greater than florescent because gas emmissions are multiple single frequency "lines" where traditional bulbs cover the entire spectrum.

I would personally be interested in information about eyestrain and eyesight loss due to these horrific light sources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Southeast Asia

In East and Southeast Asia it is very rare to see incandescent bulbs in buildings anywhere.

This claim is unsourced and not in my opinion entirely accurate. Definitely in Malaysia, which is part of SEA, while fluorescent lamps are much more common then say here in NZ, particularly the non CFL type, incandescent bulbs are still sold and found in houses Nil Einne (talk) 08:46, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Safety issues

I have added some key points about safety and fluorescent lights, which some object to in the article. This is not POV but very basic and common sense for an encyclopedia which claims to authority. Do you need a ref for common sense?? Peterlewis (talk) 16:18, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

It's hardly a key point - I can't remember the last time I read about somebody injured because they didn't wait for the lamp. I don't know how fast some people walk down stairs, but surely you wouldn't get more than a step or two down even if the light switch was operated coincidentally with the first step. All the flourescent lamps with which I am familiar give a substantial amount of light in the first second of operation, even if not full output. Anyone who's moving too fast for the lights is at risk for much more "common sense" reasons. Is there any building code on Earth that bars flurorescent lamps in stairwells for this reason? People have been known to safely descend a stair in the dark, (or without vision), for that matter. So,yes, unless you can produce some kind of study showing injuries resultant from the warm-up time of fluorescent lamps, I object to this inclusion in the article as over-representing a extremely fringe-y circumstance. I suppose I could choke on the tube if I jammed it down my throat - are you going to include that as a safety hazard? I could be hit by a truck carrying fluorescent lamps, for that matter. The "authority" of Wikipedia is a curious thing to appeal to. --Wtshymanski (talk) 18:59, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be very unaware of safety matters. The issue is very real for many people, especially elderly folk, who may also be suffering from deterioration of their sight and hearing. The instantaneous light from an incandescent bulb lowers the risk of trip and slip accidents. Perhaps you are not aware of the growing polpulation of very old people who need protection from risks which younger people find trivial (as you seem to). The authority of Wiki is important and all articles need balance to prevent POV ideas such as yours from obscuring the problems of fluorescent lighting. Peterlewis (talk) 20:13, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

You might like to read this summary about lighting sources from the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) from the UK at It summarises some of the problems about halls and stairways for example, as well as many other issues and problems with fluoirescent lights. Peterlewis (talk) 20:36, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I read the summary and I am not impressed ( a site with no spelling errors always feels more credible). You're a forensic engineer - give me some statistics! The CNIB publication "Clearing our path" [1] seems to recommend fluorescent lamps. Who are these seniors that move so fast that the 1 second warm-up is significan to them? Why am I not reading more about this source of carnage? If it's such a menace, why isn't it in the building codes? Do UK-spec CFLs warm up that much slower than those built to "Energy Star" standards? ( I'm not unaware of the issues facing visually impaired people as I've had detached retinas in both eyes over the last three years.) --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:37, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
I think you're confusing start up time and warm up time. Most modern bulbs start up near instantly. They do take a while to warm up and reach (close to) full intensity however which I guess is likely to be a problem if you have poor vision Nil Einne (talk) 17:40, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

I think seniors just hate new things and are offended to have to wait even a second for these new-fangled lights to figure out whether they want to turn on or not. They're almost out of time and don't have a second to waste on a tube that's pretending to be a lightbulb! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:34, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

fluorescent lamp powered by inverters

Hello, I have tried to run a 4 foot fluorescent lamp with a 300 watt soft start and a 1000 watt inverter and nothing happens. Can anyone tell me why? Thank! (talk) 17:40, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Could be lots of reasons. What sort of control gear were you using and what's the mains voltage in your country? Do you know what waveform the inverter generates? An electronic ballast is likely to work best in this case. (talk) 00:14, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Overlap suggestion

I propose a new article to discuss the perceived issues with fluorescents (which would include CFL's). This article, and the Compact fluorescent lamp article both have extensive sections which mirror each other and in many parts are verbatim (compare this with this. Thus I suggest merging those issues into one new article. What do you think? Discuss here please. Nja247 (talkcontribs) 08:33, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Life affected by use

"Life is seriously affected by use. A bulb left on all the time will last several years, a bulb turned on for 10 seconds at a time several times a day will last a few months. It is recommended to leave a lamp on for at least 10-15 minutes to let it warm up before turning it off to keep its life long."

I admit it is oringinal research, so could someone find a reference for it please? --Clark89 (talk) 04:30, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

1st sentence correct.
2nd sentence correct.
3rd sentence both misguided and incorrect in different parts.

You will get longer life, but only for the 10-15 minute period where you left the lamp on when you don't need it, so this is just a waste of electricity with no useful increase in tube life. Furthermore, letting it warm up before turning it off does nothing to increase useful tube life.

The tube life shortening due to frequent switching all happens in the first couple of seconds at switch-on. Another way to think of it is that a tube has a life of, say, 20,000 hours, but each switch-on costs one hour of that life. So if you only switch the tube on once and then leave it on, you'll get 20,000 hours out of it (or 19,999 if you're nit-picking). On the other hand, if you switch it on for one hour each time, you'll only get 10,000 hours out of it. Industry standards specify that fluorescent tube life should be quoted assuming it is switched on for 3 hours at a time. (talk) 13:46, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Disconnecting fluorescent bulbs from fixtures in a series does NOT reduce power usage?

Is it true that disconnecting or removing tubes from several fixtures in a series, so they are completely off, does NOT realize an energy savings because the ballasts in the unlit fixtures continue pulling the same to allow the last fixture to remain lit? Like below.

Light Switch -->Fixture w/o tubes-->Fixture w/o tubes -->Lit Fixture (talk) 23:57, 9 February 2009 (UTC)Eric of the Green Team

Now think - why would people remove the lamps unless it is to save energy? People are generally pretty shrewd about saving a buck. If you had an iron ballast in the lamp, it will still draw some magnetizing current and a few watts worth of losses, but it will obviously draw less power than a lamp with a working bulb in it. I don't know enough about electronic ballasts to genralize, but I'd expect at least the same behavior there (if not a total shutdown of the ballast when it detects it has nothing to do). And I imagine leaving an instant-start ballast energized without a lamp would put stress on its insulation which might be undesireable. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:02, 10 February 2009 (UTC)


this artcle contains complete bull crap about flicker I know many people who can see the flicker I can even see it. Also people CAN get seizures from it my mom got an ADA override from her doctor because she was getting seizures and our landlord didnt want us to have incondecent lightbulbs and the moment we switched from Fluorescent and CFLs her seizures dropped so its clearly untrue fluorescents can cause seizures. I personaly get migraines from them I realise this would constitute OR but if I experience something so strongly it must exist elsewhere and therefore there must be a citable source but I gaurentee it is possible...-- (talk) 06:44, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I suggest you search for some research or reputable news source for this. If it is as you say it should be included. You are of cause right on the OR, but please use more civilized language, I think people in general respond more to "less graphical" terms. --Thorseth (talk) 11:59, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Obsolete comparision

We might also mention that flurorescent lamps are quieter than installations that rely on rumbling barrels of whale oil being hauled into the buildings, and are safer because of less spilled lamp oil. Really, has any large office building or commercial establishment been primarily lit by incandescent lamps in oh, say, the last 60 years? Very large buildings need cooling year-round anyway. A quick count of my house shows about 40 lamps (not counting appliances, outdoor lamps, or Christmas lights) used for general illumination - total installed power somewhere 1.6 kW and 2 kW. My furnace is rated 72,000 btu/hour or around 20 kW - so lighting makes a very small contribution to my heating bills even at -35 C outdoor temperatures. --14:33, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

- could be added if objectively proven figures can be used as references: dBa sound volume of one approach against the other. Very large buildings only need cooling year round in certain climatic zones. Not where I live in Northern Europe, anyway. --mgaved (talk) 18:53, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Removed image - are you sure?

Light from a fluorescent tube lamp refracted by a CD shows the individual bands of color.

This image was removed from the page with the following comment. "Light from a fluorescent tube lamp refracted by a CD" image removed as shown bands are due to RBG Bayer filter of the CCD in the Digital camera which has taken picture and does not show the spectral lines caused by florescent tubes.

I have restored the image, since the effect is visible to the naked eye. You can try it yourself; it works with any CD and a fluorescent light. Furthermore incandescent lamps do not produce this effect. So the bands of colour you see are from the lamp, not the camera. Reguiieee (talkcontribs) 22:39, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Lamp replacement

Perhaps a section can be integrated which states that the fixtures of FL-lamps can be used with another types of lamp (LED). This lamp is the Toshin Electric Bikei; this lamp works on regular FL fixtures

Lack of Freedom to Choose

The article should mention how people in schools, offices and stores have no choice but to be exposed to these awful sources of lighting. They make humans beings generally unwell; both physically and psychologically. The sad thing is that people haven't realized how much these unnatural, toxic lights are harming us. Government and commercial buildings use fluorescent bulbs to save money not the environment. If we all feel like crap or get sick as a result, they don't give a damn. To top it all off, our freedom to use what kind of light source we desire in our own homes is being taken away from us without our consent. It's outrageous that incandescent bulbs are going to be banned in the near future in democratic countries all over the world. Think of all the other harmful things they have no intention banning. Why won't they let our families enjoy the right to incandescent light? Why do they insist upon shoving the mercury-filled fluorescent bulbs down our collective throats?Aikaterinē (talk) 06:18, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I suggest you find some scientific research that confirm that fluorescent lights are harmful, and leave you personal opinion on environmental and political issues out of wikipedia. Thanks--Thorseth (talk) 06:43, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

No mention of the Gas lamps made used by Nikola tesla

No mention was made of the wirless lit(By radiate energy from a Tesla coil) gas filled lamps made and used by eletrical genius Nikola Tesla(1856-1943) many photographs of Tesla and even of his freind Mark Twain(Sameuel Clemens) the author exists.Please mention teslas flourescent lamp research.Thanks!IMPVictorianus (talk) 20:49, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

I speculate that Tesla's lamps required EM fields so high that they would horrify modern industrial hygenists and radio broadcasters. Would you want to live inside an artificial high-voltage capacitor charged with kilovolts and kilohertzes? Tesla's electrodeless lamps have no descendants in modern lighting practice, probably because mundane wires are safer than way cool wireless lamps. From what I've read, Tesla's lamps had some kind of internal glow discharge, and didn't use a coating - so they weren't "fluorescent" lamps at all, more like a kind of wireless neon lamp. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:08, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

This area has not been researched thoroughly

-- (talk) 09:39, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

-- (talk) 10:01, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

-- (talk) 10:16, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

See my comment at Talk:List of ISO standards#Call for reviewing of.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Light sensitivity

Right now the article Light sensitivity is just a redirect to photophobia, but it might be useful to have a more comprehensive discussion of all the phenomena relating to light, such as lupus, uticaria, migraines, pschological effects, and so forth, at Light sensitivity. It would combine the long descriptions here and at Complact fluorescent lamp and other lighting articles. Objections? --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:53, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Bulb life

General Electric publication TP-111R says on Page 3 that "Average rated lives are up to 20,000 hours - about five years in normal service. A 100-watt incandescent lamp, on the other hand, lasts about 750 hours on the average". Even on the Wikipedia we're allowed to divide one number from a reference by another number from the same reference (although I expect whoever wrote that line was just trying to illustrate the order of would be foolish to say "A fluorescent lamp lasts 26.66667 times as long as an incandescent lamp, accoding to <foo>." In an article that is turning blue with footnotes, we don't need even more we? --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:48, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Peter Cooper Hewitt

Corrected several mentions from hyphenated COOPER-HEWITT to HEWITT, to conform to Peter Cooper Hewitt. —--mfwills (talk) 08:52, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

disconnect socket

"The lamp holders have a 'disconnect' socket at the low-voltage end..."

Shouldn't that be the high-voltage end?

BTW, a Wikipedia article on disconnect sockets would be useful, especially if it covered those countries with outlets that don't kill children who stick a fork in the wall outlet. (talk) 00:57, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

The schematic in a GE publication shows that the disconnect interrupts the ballast circuit on the low-voltage side, so that the ballast isn't energized and so no high voltage is present at the other terminal. --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:34, 15 November 2009 (UTC)


Seems needlessly imprecise - don't all lamps start with a switch? The difference is that with 240 V on a 4 foot 40 watt lamp you can use a choke ballast and a manual or thermal preheat starter - with 120 V system, once you get lamps over about 20 W you need more open circuit voltage and so a more ocmplicated ballast is required. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:43, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Switchstart is the control gear type (circuit name) used with a glow starter (or in days of old, a manual switch to switch between starting and running modes). This circuit is called Preheat in the US. There's no such switch in the more complicated control gear required for 120V operation. (talk) 16:14, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

General Electric in their old TP111R publication lists a preheat circuit with a series choke and a switch to heat the cathodes (could be manual or automatic glow switch), or a a preheat circuit with an autotransformer ballast and the same switch (longer lamps at 120 V need more voltage). Rapid start ballasts have a small winding for each end of the lamp to heat the cathodes, and don't need a switch. Instant start lamps just apply enogh voltage to the lamp to break it down cold, and don't heat the cathodes. Since GE invented the bulb, I assumed their nomenclature was definitive. --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:43, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

US has different nomenclature from rest of the world. Unfortunately, in a few cases (like preheat), the same words are used to mean different things. This can cause confusion. This is sometimes pointed out in the newsgroup, where engineers from around the world discuss lighting and need to be clear with each other exactly what they mean when using the terms. I imagine this difference comes about because of the added complications (before electronic control gear) of running tubes from 120V mains, verses the ease with which they are run from 220-250V mains supplies elsewhere, which means the US control gear designs are significantly different from places with 230-250V mains supplies. US Rapid start is similar to both Rapid start and Quick start found elsewhere, but not identical because the control gear is a different design in the US due to low mains voltage. Instant start doesn't mean the same either, and US style Instant start tubes don't exist elsewhere AFAIK, although other Instant Start circuits do. I suspect a lot of the naming differences are due to significantly different control gear designs in the US. (talk) 00:39, 18 November 2009 (UTC)


I've been updating the Lengths table (although I didn't create it originally). I have found it very useful as a quick reminder (e.g. what's the T5HO power for a 5 unit (1500mm) tube), and I used to have to trawl the web to find out. However, it's hard to put it all in one table, so I'm planning to split it into 4 tables...

1) Up to about mid 1970's, common tube sizes were broadly the same, worldwide, and these mostly still exist today.

2) In the late 1970's, Europe started producing retrofit energy saving tubes (mostly T8).

3) 1990's(?), US started producing non-retrofit energy saving tubes (T8 and T12).

4) 1990's, Europe produces the 300mm modular T5HE and T5HO tubes (which it looks like US has now adopted unchanged).

Trying to dump these all in one table as currently, where one size has incompatible ratings across countries (tables 2 and 3), is not helpful. (talk) 10:33, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

"poorer color rendition"

Removed the words "and have poorer color rendition" from the introduction as this looks to be a subjective opinion rather than statement of fact and is not developed as an argument within the article itself. I'd be happy for this to be put back in if evidence based research can expand this phrase in the main body of the article. --mgaved (talk) 18:47, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I think it could stay provided that it is properly sourced. A blackbody radiator has perfect color rendition, so incandescent lighting is the gold standard by definition. Fluorescent lighting can come close though (e.g. Osram Color Proof and Philips Graphica lamps, but even their spectrums are discontinuous and spiky). Perhaps it could be changed to "and have poorer color rendering index", in case you have a problem with equating color rendering with CRI. Totsugeki (talk) 12:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Remember that CRI is not an absolute, CRI is measured relative to a black-body radiator at the same correlated color temperature - so a black body radiator has a 100 CRI *by definition*. Of course a near-blackbody source is going to have a high CRI, because it's virtually the same as the reference. That doesn't mean you'd recommend using carbon-filament bulbs at 2400 K as a good light source for doing color matching work. Not long ago and in another context I read that shoppers used to haul clothing out from under the store (incandescent) lights to see what the colors looked like in daylight. Color perception is complex. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:47, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Good Idea or Bad Idea

Is it a good idea to remove 1 light out of a 2 light 48" T8 fixture to save electricity? I was told the ballast keeps attempting to start a bulb that is not there which burns out the remaining light quicker and it is not good for the ballast. I own a Laser Tag facility in Stockton and I think this may also be why the black lights burn out quickly if 1 fails. Thanks, Paul —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Depends entirely on the ballast design. You need to ask the ballast manufacturer if it's not stated in the datasheet. In some cases, multiple lamps on a single ballast are effectively series connected, and removal of one will prevent others working. (talk) 19:29, 19 December 2009 (UTC)


Wtshymanski, older CFL's were larger than incandescents but currently available units are about the same size and mercury was just mentioned in the previous paragraph; that's why I am trying to remove those statements.

I agree that comparisons should be moved -- maybe a table of comparisons later in the article.

I know you don't like a lot words in your prose, but please provide more explanation in your comments (or here). (talk) 01:20, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

*Most* fluorescent bulbs are 48 inches long and so much bigger than an incandescent bulb producing the same lumens, that's only 6 inches long. Now we have gotten rid of a useful and accurate comparison and replaced it with mush. --Wtshymanski (talk) 00:10, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Lifespan examples

The article currently makes lifespan comparisons to incandescent lamps, but never mentions actual figures. I think the article could use some concrete examples of lifespans. Philips examples:

  • MASTER TL-D 90 De Luxe 58W/950 1SL (high-quality color) has a 17000 h life expectancy (to 90% survival, 3h cycle, electronic preheat ballast, 90% lumen maintenance at 15000 h).
  • TL-D 58W/33-640 1SL (low-quality color) has a 10000 h life expectancy (90% survival, conventional ballast, 75% lumen maintenance at 10000 h)
  • MASTER TL-D Xtreme 58W/840 1SL (long-life) has a 66000 h life expectancy (90% survival, electronic preheat ballast, 3h cycle, 94% lumen maintenance at 15000 h)

Ditto for Osram products. Basic T8 with a 5000 h service life, Lumilux De Luxe T8 with 16000 h service life, and Lumilux XXT T8 with 66000 h. Totsugeki (talk) 20:04, 28 December 2009 (UTC)


There is a reference to fluorescent lights causing interference with infrared remote controls in the article. Is this right? I didn't see any other reference to IR so I thought maybe they meant RF?-- (talk) 13:04, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

No, it's meant to be IR. The lamp itself gives off some IR, and if the electronic ballast happens to be running at the same frequency as the IR pulses, it apparently can interfere with operation of the remote control. "Energy Star" lamps are tested for this. If a lamp gave off enough RF to jam an IR remote control, the TV would be unwatchable. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:41, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Cool69.122.62.231 (talk) 01:36, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Is it worth mentioning quick start?

I see that rapid start is listed under starting and quick start is very similar but was only used on 240V circuits and reduces the filament heating when the tube strikes instead of constantly heating the filaments like a rapid start. Is is very similar and I'm not sure if it's worth being mentioned? It's also sometimes known as 'instant start' because it starts almost instantly but is completely different from the American instant start lamp, this could cause some confusion.

Since I don't understand the difference,I think it's worth mentioning. Rapid-start lamps always have AC power applied to the cathodes to heat them. Instant-start (the way the GE manual describes them) lamps rely on the arc striking and heating the cathodes. What is this other "instant" quick-start scheme? --Wtshymanski (talk) 23:39, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

quick-start heats the cathode filaments via a small auto-transformer immediately when the power is first applied, as soon as an arc strikes in the tube the power through the filaments is reduced significantly. The tube needs to be placed next to an earthed piece of metal to strike and will strike in under half a second. This is almost the same as rapid start except the filament heating is reduced when the tube strikes.

Okay. But the reader will want to know what the advantage is. It looks like this "quick start" may be a little gentler on the cathodes than an instant start, but a comparison with the other methods would be useful and illuminating (excuse me...). --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:52, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

What exactly is the difference between T12, T8 and T5?

I know that much of the T12/T8 efficiency difference is due to magnetic vs. electronic ballasts, and thus not actually inherent in the tube type. I know that there's lots of advice not to mix tubes and ballasts, but plenty of people do it successfully.

Likewise, T8 tubes often have higher-efficiency phosphors, but that's also not a fundamental difference. Certainly it's hard to see how the phosphor could affect the arc formation and maintenance in any way.

Given that they both fit in the same socket, I'm trying to figure out what is the electrical difference between T8 and T12 tubes. Do they have different filaments, different gas pressures, different gas mixtures, or what? Does the tube diameter make THAT much of a difference? I know the T8 has 44% the cross-sectional area. Does that mean it operates at 44% of the current, or 225% of the current density, or something similar? (talk) 11:04, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

T8s have less heat loss around the cathodes and in the rest of the tube due to better gas fillings. I'm British so European T8 energy saving tubes are used in my country which are different from the American T8s. European T8s contain krypton which is not found in T12s, the krypton is what reduces losses. It also increases the starting voltage of the tube so they will not work in some fittings.

There's not a great deal of difference, the krypton energy saving tubes had to have a narrower diameter as the different gas filling reduced the tube voltage and it was found that reducing the diameter fixed the problem.

There's a few different T5s; miniature, high efficacy and high output. All have different gas fillings. (talk) 18:49, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Newer energy saving T8s were originally introduced in Europe, where they are specifically designed to be interchangeable with T12s in same fittings and control gear. (Actually, the very first one, the 100W 8' tube, was a T12 - the reduction to T8 happened after that one.) This turned out not to be possible in the US when energy saving T8s were introduced some ~15 years later, where lower mains voltage results in wider variety of more complex control gear types, and it was not possible to design a downrated tube which works correctly and safely with them all. So in the US, they are not electrically interchangeable, although for some reason they kept the sizes interchangeable. These newer energy saving tubes use Tri-phosphor and poly-phosphor coatings which are more efficient than the older T12 halophosphate coatings, but also appreciably more expensive. An advantage of the T8 tubes is they have only about half the surface area to be coated, which goes some way towards countering the high costs. This higher efficiency phosphor is combined with lower power consumption

T5 tubes were also introduced in Europe, the aim being to produce a set of tubes better suited to modern luminare requirements - smaller diameter light source so the light is more accurately controllable by beam optics, and a range of lengths based on metric rather than imperial measurements, to match sizes of modular European furniture and building materials. T5 lamps themselves are not significantly different than T8 in efficiency, although their smaller diameter means it is possible to design more efficient luminares which waste less light. The US seems to have adopted the new T5 tubes unchanged, including the metric tube lengths.

Note that referring to these 3 generations of tubes as T12, T8, and T5 is strictly incorrect, as all these diameters existed as original generation halophosphate tubes. So beware that there are some original (halophosphate) generation T8 (15W) and T5 (4,6,8,13W) tubes too.

I added much of this information to this article a while back, but it now seems to been moved to Fluorescent lamp formats. Unfortunately, another article on T5 fluorescent tubes has been merged in to it which contained some misleading, incorrect and non-encyclopedic information, which is now sprinkled through the T5 section. If you go back to one of the original versions of that page, although there is less info, it is at least correct. The three generations of linear tubes should also be clear, although they are out of sync between Europe and US. (talk) 17:21, 21 November 2010 (UTC)


I suggest moving the tables of bulb sizes and codes to a new article, perhaps Fluorescent lamp nomenclature or a similar name. This would knock 20% off the length of this article and perhaps make it easier to digest, while still keeping all the catalog details for those who want them. Any comments? --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:43, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

A completely pointless change. Please restore the tables to the article where they should be. (talk) 11:18, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Tables are now at Fluorescent lamp formats.--Wtshymanski (talk) 19:38, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Efficiencies of different lamp types

Surely this article should have some information on the relative efficiencies of the different types of lamp? T5 lamps are more efficient than T8 which in turn are more efficient than T12. Linear lamps are more efficient than bent/circular lamps. Larger lamps appear more efficient than smaller ones (within a limit). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

T5 are not more efficient than T8. The difference is due only to the difference in method of measurement (T8 using line frequency, T5 using high frequency). If both are measured same way, this vanishes. (talk) 10:54, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Merge T5 lamp to Fluorescent lamp?

Someone's pointed a merge proposal from T5 fluorescent lamp at this page but there's no discussion place for it until now. That article is Prose size (text only): 5.4kB and involves talk about quite a few other lamp types. This article is Prose size (text only): 55 kB so adding it would take it over the recommended size to actually split a page (WP:SIZERULE says 60k Prose should probably split). How about renaming the T5 page something that incorporates all lamp sizes and formats in the name (bearing in mind the CFL page) – something like "fluorescent lamp sizes and formats" and taking all that stuff out, leaving this article more to theory and generality?

Sniffing around a bit more when I should be asleep indicates that the T5 etc page should be merged to Fluorescent_lamp_nomenclature (not here) which is Prose size (text only): 7.4kB and full of that sort of stuff, and with a not very relevant name, if you ask me.

Trev M   00:56, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd be thrilled with a new name. What do you suggest? --Wtshymanski (talk) 03:26, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Fluorescent lamp formats seems to include both size and shape, and is better than "nomenclature". Merged. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:24, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I think you've got it; the other possibilities sitting on the backburner were more ambiguous, like "...specifications/styles/implementations/standards".
Busy now but will keep an eye. Best, Trev M   20:26, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I didn't like "formats" until I looked it up in the office Webster; it's better than the less-specific "types" since it has associations with size and physical layout (etymology from the printing of books and pamphlets). "Implementation" would be a bit brutal, almost as bad jargon as "realizations". This sort of problem is yet another reason I dislike "list of catalog numbers" types of articles. --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:04, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
No one'd know what it meant either; I think format informs clearly what the article is about even if it isn't exactly an industry name itself. Who knows what an "implementation" might be? I'm going to start the List of catalogue numbers page. Trev M   21:36, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
There's really only one catalog number - Binford 6100. --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:53, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Lamp fittings

German wikipedia has a good page on lamp fittings (, might be useful to something similar on the english one since the same fittings may be used for multiple types of lamps. If this is not the appropriate talkpage, please feel free to move my comment. --Riyaah (talk) 09:10, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't think the DE wiki example is a good article. I think it's a parts list or parts catalog and would not be a suitable treatment of an encyclopedia topic. A good encyclopedia article about lamp sockets tells you "how" and "why" and "when" something came about. We can get lists of parts off Google. WP:NOT says this is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not an indiscriminate collection of trivia. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:00, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I read your draft about WP not being a parts catalog, and I have to say that I mostly agree. However, my main point was that having an article about lamp fittings might be a good idea, since that information is now spread out over the different kinds of lamps. Regarding the actual german article, I'd say it's not a parts catalog, even if it's close. It describes how the different fittings functions, where they are used and for example how to interpret the designations, which I feel is legitimate in an encyclopedia. But removing the lists would undoubtedly make it look more article-like. And re: the googling, I wound up on the german wikipedia after failing to find what I was looking for on google. After googling, I checked the EN WP without results, and then thought "hmm, german wikipedia is quite big, and they're a technical lot", which proved to be quite right. :) --Riyaah (talk) 19:14, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Use of capacitor inside starter switch

In the article it says the capacitor is used to prolong the life of the electrodes, I have been told and always thought that the capacitor was there to stop radio interference when the tube is starting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:24, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Both are correct, and it's also to prevent a high voltage spike which would instant-start the tube before preheating the cathodes to thermionic emission temperature, shortening the tube life. (talk) 23:08, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

fill gas

No mention is made in the main article about the gas used to fill lamps. The quality of the gas can dramatically affect the lifetime of the bulb. Impurities in the gas burn the filaments out quicker and cause the black banding at the ends of bulbs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:23, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

The quality of the gas fill is important, but the effect of impurities given above is incorrect. (talk) 10:50, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Wtshymanski used to vandalize my facts here.

Please make him stop or he will be reported. I have Autism so you cannot be to controlling of me as it will make me feel depressed and hopeless of living and he deleted a lot of text about my dead tubes picture where I own all of its rights which is against Wikipedia's copyright policy.Autisexp235 (talk) 13:56, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

The caption of a picture should describe what can be seen in the picture. The filaments are not visible, metal cathode filament shield is not visible, certainly the fixture is not visible. What is visible are the dark rings around the ends and so that is what the caption should describe. The information about types of filaments, shields, etc., is more "parts catalog" material than encyclopedia in any case, unless it is part of text explaining the benefits, tradeoffs, etc., of such features.
While we're on the picture... A close up on just one end of the two tubes to show the rings would be much more useful here. The area of the picture that is taken up by the "middle parts" of the tubes is really not contributing anything, and since both ends of each tube are essentially the same there is no need to show both ends. With a really good close-up we might, as well as seeing the rings better, be able to read the etch on the tubes... thereby confirming the type numbers. Also, next time do not use on-camera flash.
In any case, if you "own all of its rights" the picture does not belong on WP; you must grant to WP permission to use the picture, or else it must be deleted from WP. Nor does WP grant to the picture uploader the sole right to dictate the captions used with the picture.
Regarding editing in general: You should probably read more closely the text that appears on every editing page here, just below the "Save page" button. I've quoted it in my edit summary. If you really can't stand to have your text changed, revised, or deleted outright, Wikipedia probably is not the best place for you to be. Jeh (talk) 22:59, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

In the case of the visiblity of the content on the picture (which I took myself) look at some of the other pictures that discuss about filaments. I have noticed different kinds of end-blackening or glowing patterns at the ends and I know the cause, even if the brands of the tubes are very different. The intention of Wikipedia is to write facts you've seen in real-life, then blog it there. How do I ask Wikipedia for permission to use my picture, and how will the text below the "Save Page" button help? Just curious. Autisexp235 (talk) 11:14, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

You might want to look at Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not; because this is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, we can't rely on individual's expertise and so we must have references for just about every interesting fact included in an article. A Wikipedia article is emphatically not a blog. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:28, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

You do realise that what user:Wtshymanski was doing is wiki-vandalism because his interperatation is misunderstanding but he intermediately is forcing me to accept it but if I do, things will go wrong and that's not a threat because it's not my fault nor will it happen deleberately by me. He has also been doing this repeatedly to other people's info (I mean like too many of them). I have reverted almost all of whatever written by me that he has been changing or vandalising back to originally before I started editing, especially the section "Electrical aspects of operation", have removed my image from the article, cut and pasted whatever he deleted to an office document on my computer. Autisexp235 (talk) 20:39, 30 June 2011 (UTC)