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Re: Compact Flourescent Bulb and Ballast Life?

One of the ballasts in one of my compact flourescent fixtures has
gone out. The fixture is 13 months old. Am I being reasonable to
assume that ballasts should last at least twice that long before

If you have an electronic ballast it should last much longer than a magnetic
ballast. I don't believe there is any real hard data on electronic ballasts
because they are new technology and because they last so long. I believe the
estimated life of electronic ballasts is supposed to be around 20 years but
the warranty is usually not more than 5 years.

JoAnn wrote:

I'm very curious about the average life of the ballasts. I had both
bulbs in one jbj fixture fail, along with the ballast and all four
bulbs in another fixture failed too (I'm wondering about the ballasts
in that one now). I have to admit that when I add up the cost of the
bulbs, ballast and wonder when the next ballast will fail, I'm not so
sure the yearly cost of this particular brand is worth it. At this
point I'm thinking that it might be smarter to invest in another
brand fixture rather than replace bulbs and ballasts.

Can anyone comment on ballasts and/or your experience with JBJ
lights? I've tried to contact JBJ about various problems with my
lights several times lately and they don't seem to answer email

I understand and expect bulb failure, but while I'm asking here I
also wonder how long bulbs should last (?). Very frustrating.

These lights see average use and are on about 10 hours a day. I added
it up the other day and that amounts to about 3900 hours of bulb
life. Are the bulb life ratings all smoke and mirrors anyway?


I would definately suspect your ballasts. I know for sure if you are not
running 96 watt PCs, if your lamps are failing so soon, there is something
wrong. It will happen once in a while but it should not happen on a regular
basis. You did not say which lamp you have but most PCs will last 10,000
hours or more before failure.  I would also expect a refund or replacements.
If not, buy AH Supply. I have never heard of this problem with them. They do
use instant start ballasts with their PCs which is not good for the lamps
but since aquarium lights usually only start once a day it doesn't seem to
be a problem. I have heard that the 96 watt PCs do not last very long but
this does not suprise me too much. A long small diameter lamp like that on
an instant start circuit is going to fail faster due to the very high
voltages required to start the lamp. They would do much better on a
programmed rapid start circuit. However, it sems only Panasonic makes that
lamp and none of the other big lighting manufacturers make a ballast for
that lamp so you do not have a lot of options for a replacement ballast.

What lamp do you have?