Q&A – How Often to Replace Fluorescent Tubes


Janice H. asks Annie:

Q  In regard to fluorescent tubes:  when should they be replaced?  In the past I’ve let the tubes burn out on their own.  Now I’m wondering if that is not the best.  Does the amount of light that the plants receive weaken as the tubes age?  Would it be better to replace the tubes on a 12-month or 18-month  basis?  Normally the tubes that I have used last for several years.

And I’m wondering about LED lights.  Are they good for growing violets or any other houseplants?


A  There are multiple schools of thought on this.  I generally let my fluorescents go until they burn out.  Pauline Bartholomew used to suggest changing the tubes out for new ones during the pre-show schedule.  That, however, can get expensive, particularly now that these tubes are really spendy.  Yes, the amount of light does change over time.  They are brighter when they are newer.  LEDs appear to be the coming thing – I will be talking about them on the Podcast soon.

I hope this helps,
Annie :-)


 If you have a question about African Violets that you would like answered, you can submit it at  Ask Annie!