Can you test fluorescent tubes?

The really short answer? No – unless you have a fitting you know to be working

The simplest way to test tubes is to put them in a fitting that definately works and see if they light.

A continuity test of either end of the tube doesnt mean it will work as that only checks if the filaments are intact. The clever bit of a fluorescent tube is the gas mixture inside it and if this is wrong or a bit has leaked out the tube will not light even if the filaments at either end are intact.

If the tube rattles when you tip it it doesnt always mean it is broken as there are sometimes loose bits of mercury in them – this doesnt stop them from working.

If you have bought a smilight replacement tube from us and it doesnt light in your fitting then please try it in another fitting you know to be working as we test each and every one that leaves us. Often it turns out the fitting is actually at fault and not the tube. The good news is that your smilight tube will go in one of our (much cheaper) fittings so you havent lost out even if it does turn out to be the fitting.

Generally fluorescent tubes are very reliable and once they are running they tend to stay that way for a long time!

A handy thing to note:

If you use a germicidal or UV (its actually UVC to be specific) lamp to clean drinking water from a bore hole you MUST change it on calendar (i.e change it in January every year for example.)
With UVC tubes the UVC output drops off even though the tube still lights so it becomes less and less effective at sterilising the water over time. After about a year it will not be protecting you properly. If you arent sure which tube you need then give us a call or hit the contact us button and we will help you identify it. We can get hold of pretty much any UV lamp that exists!

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One Response to Can you test fluorescent tubes?

  1. Gary Powell says:

    Regarding the testing of lamps, their is a product i used to use whilst working for Oldham Ltg who are a specialist ltg company fitting various types of hf lamps. I used a lamp tester to check if the lamps were blown and i have searched the internet and i think a UNITEST lamp tester model no LT277 is the product we used. This product actually lights up the lamp by passing a current onto the glass, and it was a pretty accurate piece of kit. Hope this helps.
    Regards Gary

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