Fluorescent Lighting Question

MerpsMom

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My workshop is 16 x 28 and sports 11 double-tube 48" fluorescent fixtures. My spouse and I are tiffing about turning them on and off. He seems to be obsessed with on and off switches. I have found myself in the dark more than one time as he unconsciously turns off anything lit as he leaves a space.

Here's the question: I say it's more harmful to turn the danged things on and off each time you exit because it takes more power to get the ballasts back up to speed. He says I'm crazy. I operate the shop like my computer: on in the morning, off at night. (Okay, if I'm gone for six hours, I may relent...but not less than that.)

I'll abide by your consensus: I just want it to favor my opinion.


This board is so full of bright people, you feel you can get an answer to anything. AskJeeves has a credible rival in the G.
 

framah

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It is a known fact that fluorescents last longer and cost less to run if left on than turned on and off repeatedly. You are right that it takes alot of power to start the ballasts. Incandescent lights are a different thing, they should be turned off when not in use.
Call an electrician in your area and have him confirn it then tell your husband he owes you maybe a nice nite out on the town because he was sooooo wrong on this one.
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Mike Labbe

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While turning them on and off frequently will probably save (a small amount of) power, it's more of a shock to the transformer and electrodes. In theory, it could shorten the life - but it would be hard to prove
Each fixture probably uses about 80 watts.

There are also several different kinds of flourescent lighting, with different start methods. (pre-heat w/starters, rapid start, instant start) The newer efficient fixtures generally take T8 bulbs and have an electronic ballast. These are often FREE from the electric company. (our back room has all T8 lights, compliments of the electric company) For more than you ever WANTED to know about the differences: http://nemesis.lonestar.org/reference/electricity/fluorescent/components.html
 

MerpsMom

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Framah, I love your suggestion. Mike, I'll read the link and call the electric company. Maybe I can find a way to replace them all. But I'll still want to leave them on: just makes sense. I may, however, not win this war. I know this man.
 

Ron Eggers

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MM,

Your hubby and I need to discuss a trade. I suppose that should be done privately so as not to shock the other Grumblers or make them jealous.

It's very common for me to find myself in a DARK basement after my wife turns off the lights from the top of the stairs to save electricity. I have taken to keeping flashlights all over the place so I don't break my neck stumbling up the stairs . . .

Only to find the oven on, the steam iron on, the radio on, etc and my wife fast asleep - with the TV on.
 

MerpsMom

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Oh, Lord. Another one, and of a different gender yet! Tom even turns out the kitchen chandelier while I'm reading the morning newspaper. He's pretty clueless about what he's doing and while I don't THINK it's a power play (sorry to pun), if it keeps up, I'm going to break his knuckles. Or maybe just crack 'em. I took in several canvas jobs and need him.
 

BUDDY

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Cathy you have a resident expert (Ithink) .If I'm not mistaken. Jim Miller was in the electrical Business for some time before becoming a Framer. Are you listening Jim?
BUDDY
PS I'm just as guilty .But you do know that Flourescent lighting is a big source of UV light?
 
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