Does a faulty florescent light waste energy/money?

I have seen flourescent lights here at work (not the compact FL) where the light emitted is dimmed quite a bit. I was told some time ago that aged flourescent lights waste power/money and should be replaced at a certain time interval…otherwise the light starts to malfunction and you end up wasting energy.

Is this true? Is there a way to determine the savings by keeping these fixtures operating at optimum performance by making sure the bulbs aren’t too old?

The light fixture is going to require the same energy. So if you are getting lesss light then yes you would be better off changing them. Look at the watage of the fixture, run time, cost of electricity to see what it is costing you. Then cost of changingthe lights. Except for flickering lights, I nave never noticed a large loss of light out put.

If the light is flickering and dim, current draw will be less because there is no longer a continuous flow of current through the bulb, so yes, less power will be drawn (as evidenced if you touch the bulb - it will be cooler than usual). This also includes power drawn by the ballast, which in the fixtures that I have taken apart, is wired in series with the bulbs so no current will flow if they are bad (electronic ballasts may behave differently, with those in cheap CFLs suiciding, ones in fixtures will usually shut down, at least if the bulb is completely bad).

Spelling nitpick:

It’s not florescent (which is a valid word, but not the right one).

It’s not flourescent (not a valid word).

It’s fluorescent.