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Replace fluorescent tubes every six months

>> All fluorescent tubes should be changed every 6 mos. 
>Imo, if you don't toss them at 6 months and you keep them
>for over a year, as I do, you might notice that there's
>plenty of life left in those bulbs.  I think the
>6-months-and-throw-away-a-perfectly-good-bulb rule started
>with the reefers, whose tank inhabitants are sometimes much
>mre sensitive to specific wavelengths, and in need of much
>more light.  I think also that it started with VHO bulbs,
>although the plants still like them long after the 12 month
>It's true all fluorescents lose lux with use, but the six
>month rule seems radical to me?  There is a similar rule
>for UV bulbs in germicidal lamps.  Why not get a "bigger"
>lamp and change bulbs less often?  Anyone else change bulbs
>every six months?  Twelve months?   Only at burnout?  T8s 
>T12s  NOs VHOs PCs.
>I'd ask everyone tossing 6-month-old bulbs to toss them my
>way but I think Tom already made that request a few months
>ago ;-) .  Seriously though, if you're tossing every 6
>months, why not offer them 1st-come-1st-serve for the price
>of shipping?

You don't want 'em. Really.

Somewhere out there are some graphs of the decay in luminous flux over time;
at six months, IIRC, it's about half of what it was when new. But they *look*
just fine. The culprit is cathode decay which causes less enerygy to be
transmitted through the mercuty vapour.

You can use them. They will work. But if you chnage them every six months
your plants will be much much happier.


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