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Old 07-17-2016, 10:07 PM
jjakucyk jjakucyk is offline
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 238
The Mythbusters test found the tube fluorescent used about 23 seconds of its baseline running power to start, and that was the longest of all. The rest (incandescent, halogen, compact fluorescent, metal halide, and LED) all used less than two seconds worth of power to start. The tube fluorescent fixture looked like an older style T-12 with a magnetic ballast, so I'd bet more modern T-8 or T-5 fixtures with electronic ballasts are much more efficient at starting like the CFL.

Their analysis of effects on longevity was totally useless though, cycling all the lights on and off every two minutes for a month. All this revealed was that the LED was the only one still functioning, but there was no data presented on when all the others failed, and thus how it would compare to leaving them on. Re-lamping is certainly a factor in commercial or industrial cost calculations, especially in harder to reach areas, but I don't see it ever being worth leaving lights on all night when nobody's around at the very least.

Also as far as using lights for supplementary heat, I honestly can't come up with a situation where that's ever the most economical solution unless your only other heat source is electric radiant, which is basically the same thing. Any other heat source is going to be more efficient and less expensive, and then there's summer air conditioning. In many commercial buildings they're already what's called internally dominated, in that the people, equipment, and lighting is the primary load on the HVAC system, not the exterior envelope of walls, windows, and roof. Thus many of these buildings are air conditioning all winter, so adding more heat isn't what you want. On the other hand, if the building is so poorly insulated that you do need the extra heat in winter, then you're also stressing the air conditioning all summer unless you're in a very cold climate, at which point what are you doing heating with electricity anyway?