A: Fluorescent lights are composed of mercury vapor housed inside thin glass bulbs or tubes. When electrical current is applied to a fluorescent light, the mercury vapor inside the bulb converts UV rays into warm light. The glass is coated with phosphors, which is what creates the light’s signature white finish.
A: Ballasts are essential components of fluorescent lights, as they regulate the overall current while creating the voltage needed to power the bulb. Without a ballast, a fluorescent light would have an unlimited current and would therefore quickly overheat. Ballasts are therefore vital to the performance and overall safety of fluorescent lighting.
A: When it comes to the overall brightness of fluorescent lights, you’ll want to look at the lumens measurement. Lumens refer to the amount of light directly emitted from a bulb. The higher the lumens reading, the brighter the light. For reference, a 100-watt bulb emits roughly 1600 lumens, so go higher if you prefer brighter-than-average light. You can also add a reflector to the back of a lamp to increase its overall radiance.
A: If you’re searching for fluorescent lighting solutions for your indoor garden, you’ll want to choose full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs. This type of bulb mimics the sun’s natural light by providing a mix of warm and cool tones to your flowers and greenery. Full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs are a great choice for young seedlings, and they’re smart to have on hand for indoor gardening enthusiasts.
A: The EPA recommends that consumers go green by taking fluorescent lights to recycling centers due to their mercury content, which is considered hazardous waste. Almost all fluorescent bulbs can be recycled in their entirety, and these parts will get reused rather than lying dormant in a landfill or potentially harming the environment. Keep in mind that some states and local jurisdictions may require recycling, so it’s best to double-check your area’s specific regulations.
A: Generally speaking, a standard 48-inch fluorescent lamp is designed to burn for roughly 20,000 hours. This commonly quoted figure is based on three hours of daily use at a time. It’s a common misconception that leaving a fluorescent light on will lengthen its overall burn time. In reality, this has very little impact on how long the light will last.
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