Fast start fluorescent tubes


I have a bunch of the "inexpensive" fluorescent under-cabinet lights in my kitchen. The typical $10 big box store ones. Recently, one of the tubes burned out, so I bought replacement, a regular old F8T5WW. The other tubes all do the 3 second flicker before they turn on, but this new tube snaps right on at full brightness.
Did I just get lucky, or are new tubes like that now? Is there a different type that I didn't notice on the shelf? For the few $ it will cost, I'd replace the other 5 to match if I thought they would all do the same.
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Andrew Duane wrote:

I would not say all new tubes are like that, but likely all of the same model and brand are. Of course they may have made that change without changing the part number so there may be a mix on the shelf with no way of telling the difference and they may change suppliers tomorrow and you may get more like the others. I suggest buying one more, it will not break you and having a spare is always a good idea. If it works the same, I would get a complete set. If the rest are all the same age, they are not likely to last that much longer.
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Joseph Meehan

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F8t5 suggests the unit has an electronic ballast, which don't flicker and start up almost immediately, plus they run cooler. Are the others all the same as this one?
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Bob M. wrote:

As I recall, there were 3 flavors of fl lamps, pre-heat(starter/button), rapid-start(shunted filament winding), and instant start(inductive kick?). They had different filament current ratings. One version only takes 1/2 the current, and if used with the wrong ballast, would "start" real fast. But at twice the rated current, would burn open in a short time.
You might have this problem. I think there was a label on the fixture "use only RS lamps"
Maybe Don K will correct me, or check out his page-
members.misty.com/don/index.html
-larry / dallas
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Perhaps for magnetic ballasts, but for electronic ballasts I don't think that's true because by their nature they are all rapid-start or instant start and don't need a starter. There IS a rating for sound on electronic ballasts though; junk units do buzz, but a decent-quality unit is inaudible from within inches of the unit.
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