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Old April 28, 2018   #69
cwavec
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: PA - 5b
Posts: 87
Default LED vs. Fluorescent 2018

@Greatgardens
Well, if you still want some, better get them now! Of course they are around.
I still have T12 fixtures in my family room with magnetic ballasts no less. They
have been lighting without a flicker for twenty-some years and I expect them
to continue.

But you are not going to get them in the future. In fact, I believe I could not
get them now. Yes, I can go out and buy a few T12s. They will not be the same.

Newer fluorescents don't last the way they did. And we don't even drive
them the way we used to. The old starter cartridges had a reason for their
existence. Also remember the fixtures you can buy now are generally
garbage or too expensive. And the electronic ballasts don't last. Don't even
consider the ones you would get in Lowes or Home Depot. A working life of
5 minutes to half an hour is a long time for those. It's not just cheap
manufacture either. An electronic ballast has inherent problems that will
cause any of them to fail much sooner than a magnetic ballast. They can be
made with more reliable components but the basic weakness is still present.

No, those guys are goners and it's happening now.

Don't expect LEDs to be the same size as 4' fluorescent tubes either. That
whole business of making LED "tubes" the same size is just silliness
anyway. If one or two of them works OK for you, that's fine. I'm glad. But
it is not a lasting trend.

I suggest you look at the Cree products. That is what's coming. You could
mount several of those along a 4' frame and have a very nice setup.
Better light than the fluorescents because it is all used and not misdirected.
Intense too (100W equiv. each, I think) and maybe not as expensive, at
least comparatively, as you may think. If I were to try now to build what
I already have (6 tubes for each shelf), I'm sure they would cost well over
$200 for each unit. And I can't even do that because the parts needed
just cannot be had!

Whatever you do. I wish you good luck and great growing.
cwavec is offline   Reply With Quote