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PSA regarding Philips current production F40T12

PSA regarding Philips current production F40T12

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There are a few office buildings I service that still use magnetic or electronic F40T12 troffers and the building owners refuse to retrofit, which im fine with, however T12 lamps of at least halfway decent quality are becoming harder and harder to acquire in the quantities needed to maintain hundreds of 4-lamp troffers. Our local Crescent Electric discontinued stocking T12's as of the first of January, so we decided to order a few 30-lamp cases of Philips F40T12/D for a relamping job in one of the aforementioned office buildings. It became immediately apparent that Philips has once again severely cut costs on T12 (or maybe all linear fluorescents) as these are probably the cheapest big name T12's ive seen to date. They are using the paper-thin glass tubes you used to see in some of their T8's, and the phosphor coat is so thin that not only can you clearly see the filaments, but you can also make out the green mercury discharge, the resulting color is slightly greener than the existing lamps in the fixtures, as well as noticeably less light, less light from brand new tubes than the 3-year old sylvania's in the same fixture. Its unfortunate, but these clients will probably be forced to retrofit by the next relamping

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Filename:20190325_170032.jpg
Album name:BlueHalide / New album
Keywords:Lamps
File Size:250 KB
Date added:Mar 25, 2019
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Date Time:2019:03:25 17:00:32
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BlueHalide
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Mar 25, 2019 at 08:37 PM Author: BlueHalide
Also forgot to mention, I broke three lamps by just installing them, the glass thickness is unbelievably thin, nearly half that of what I would consider acceptable. They also took excessively long to warm up, which isnt normal for full-power T12 in a 70 degree office
xmaslightguy
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^homebuilt fixture


GoL ATL
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Mar 25, 2019 at 09:08 PM Author: xmaslightguy
The Philips F40/DX alto's used to be fairly decent ... though its not uncommon for the phosphor to be a bit thinner at one end.

Sounds like they've really cheapened them out now

Colored Fluorescent's such as F40T12 Red or  Green or Blue are awesome...

DetroitTwoStroke
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Luke


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Mar 25, 2019 at 09:53 PM Author: DetroitTwoStroke
There are F40T10s from Japan that are far brighter than current production T12s. They are slightly more expensive, though - $4 a tube from 1000bulbs. I'm sure there are plenty of supply places with old stock T12s as well, but it's not practical to search for them for large jobs.

Are GE tubes still great like they were a few years ago? I installed a case of F32T8/SPP41 tubes at work a year ago, and they are working great so far.

Pride and quality workmanship should lie behind manufacturing, not greed.

Silverliner
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Verd a ray classic.


GoL
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Mar 26, 2019 at 02:30 AM Author: Silverliner
What a shame. JUNK!

May all the great lighting technologies have their place in history.

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streetlight98
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Mike McCann


GoL Mike McCann 88219189@N04/albums
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Mar 26, 2019 at 04:35 AM Author: streetlight98
This is very sad.

Please check out my newly-updated website! McCann Lighting Company is where my street light collection is displayed in detail.

RyanF40T12
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Mar 26, 2019 at 08:50 PM Author: RyanF40T12
they have been like this for quite some time. I'd say since 2004/2005ish.

The more you hate the LED movement, the stronger it becomes.

Silverliner
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Verd a ray classic.


GoL
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Mar 26, 2019 at 08:53 PM Author: Silverliner
Checked out some Philips fluorescent tubes at Home Depot. Yeah, feather light. Some recent ones got pretty crappy etches. The phosphor distribution still looks OK. One end is thin, but not really much worse than most other fluorescent tubes. I’ve seen way worse.

May all the great lighting technologies have their place in history.

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LightingGallery
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Mar 26, 2019 at 09:11 PM Author: Patrick
I'd think GE T12s wouldn't be a bad alternative. The bipin lamps are still made in house, and they certainly have thicker glass. Also at 2900 lumens they are brighter than most of Philips's offerings. The Sylvania T12 lamps being made in Kentucky again seem promising as well, though those might not stick around much longer. Of course, mercury starvation is potential concern, but that can impact T8 also. If they convert to T8, T8 XL lamps are the way to go these days. With the right ballast combination, top of the line T8s can attain 80,000 hours on paper at least.

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BlueHalide
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Mar 26, 2019 at 09:17 PM Author: BlueHalide
Does Home Depot get different lamps than the commercial market? My company ordered these cases from a Philips distributor and the box design was totally different than the same size packs at Home Depot, also these tubes didnt have ALTO stamped on them, but still have the green endcaps. I cant imagine Philips would be producing two versions of obsolete technology for both consumer and commercial markets right? Regarding the phosphor on the lamps I installed, while it was consistent along the tube, it was just very thin. One end wasnt coated thicker than the other, or at least didnt appear to be.

What do you think the actual motive is behind crippling certain older technologies like this? Are they trying to spur the growth of LED conversions and retrofits by purposely decreasing the reliability and efficiency of fluorescent as some on here have suggested? Or do you think that as sales of T12 dwindle, they begin cutting corners on manufacturing to keep cost of production as low as possible without totally discontinuing the lamps? Maybe its both.
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Mar 26, 2019 at 09:54 PM Author: Lightingguy1994
A few months ago I ordered in several 30 cases from my home depot of the F40T12 Alto Supreme CW for $49.99 or so. They are 2018 made but they don't have the issues you describe, they start up great and uniform and don't have the ghost coating phosphor, the glass is the usual thin glass id expect of an Alto but not to the point of breaking. Those are 90 CRI and 2600 lumens, they have some mercury dust in them so they don't have any warm up or signs of starvation out the box. USA made. To me these are the best of the new tubes i was able to buy.

The LedVance Sylvania tubes from USA, the CWX and the WWX seem OK , they need to warm up a little on power up but do not seem to be ready to go HG starved unlike the Canadian made ones were. The CWX is 2500 Lumens and the WWX is 3000 Lumens.

The GE 2900 Lumens I tried are hit or miss depending on the colour. The Warm White ones I got were dim and flickery when powered up cold and had a long warm up time. the Daylight ones did not need to warm up and worked about as good as the Ecolux tubes did. I didn't get any cool white because GE does not sell that colour in Canada.


You'll need to stock up on any old stock you can get, such as from warehouses or distributors. Some members on here have been getting huge hauls lately from those sources. Restore is also a good bet at cases can show up. Pick up any older cases you see , even the old 34w Supersaver tubes or wattmisers were good
RyanF40T12
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Mar 27, 2019 at 08:42 PM Author: RyanF40T12
Yes, I do believe the stuff sent to Home Depot and other reseller stores are packaged and different vs stuff ordered directly from Philips from say a contractor or lighting outfit. I think Phili is the only one who does it.

The more you hate the LED movement, the stronger it becomes.

Lightingguy1994
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Mar 27, 2019 at 09:33 PM Author: Lightingguy1994
Yes I have 4 cases of 30 Philips CW Supreme in the white box with all the fancy labels and specs from home depot and the 5th 30 case i got at restore but it was a brown contractor style box but the lamps were the same with no issues
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