Mine used to burn out a lot, and now that I realize why, and how much money
I wasted, it makes me sick. In my case, the bulbs would barely light or not
light at all until lunchtime. In the link I provide, it said if this
happens in high humidity (which is what we have in the San Antonio area),
clean off the bulbs with a wet rag. Yeah? What does that have to do with
anything. It seems that there is an interaction between the grounded casing
and the surface of the bulb to get it going. I cleaned my bulbs off and
nearly all of them started working again. Also, a good ground is important.
The article also tells how to check the ballasts with a volt-meter.
So for more than you ever wanted to know about flourescent fixtures check
If your bulbs flicker for a significant time when coming on and you get
blackened ends on the tubes before they die you have crappy fixtures
that either don't make reliable contact with the bulbs, or have cheap
ballasts. The cheap T8 fixtures I bought at Lowes (or was it Home
Depot) are showing good bulb life but I think that generally you get
what you pay for. Since you have electronic ballasts, I would first
try using some T8 bulbs and see what kind of life you get. If those
burn out early too, then replace your fixtures with some higher quality
T8 fixtures from an electrical supply/lighting store. You will pay more
than at the BORG, but in the long run you will save money by putting in
better fixtures and getting longer bulb life.
This advice assumes that you don't have problems with big voltage spikes
in your feeds.
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