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Thread: Spectacular T5 bulb failure

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    Spectacular T5 bulb failure

    Anyone ever seen anything like it? Yes, there is a hole in the bulb. The other bulb in the fixture failed as well, but not quite this badly.


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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    I would be afraid of the ballast, this is probably a secondary failure.

    T5's fixtures by nature increase current flow as the bulb ages, so to protect themselves the ballast have integral over current and open circuit protection.
    (or at least any major manufacturer UL listed ballast)
    Looks to me like your ballast safety circuit (if so equipped) has failed to shut down current flow when it needed to.

    IMHO, I would not use the light until I replaced that ballast

    Av
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 12-25-2015 at 07:28 PM.

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    I Am the Terror Of the Night! NemJones's Avatar
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    Im always really afraid of that, however have never actually SEEN it..
    Until now.

    What fixture were you using for it, and how much humidity was it in?
    Also curious to what was being lit by the t5..
    (Would the bent prongs have any part to do with it)?

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    I'm not sure why the prongs are bent like that, they are the original bulbs that came with the fixture. It is a Hydrofarm FLP22 fixture in open air with 50-60% humidity and has been running on a mechanical timer for about a year and a half. I do have another small fluorescent light daisy chained with this fixture that is still functioning.

    Could a failure like this be caused by a power surge?

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    I Am the Terror Of the Night! NemJones's Avatar
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    Its possible that IT could be caused by a power surge, however I would think that others would blow out
    too, or atleast blacken..

    What plants did you have under this? I know that a good portion of t5 bulbs have mercury in them

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    My entire tropical collection, except Nepenthes was under this fixture: A variety of sundews, butterworts, some Utricularia and a couple of Heliamphora. I checked the plants underneath the hole and didn't see any visible debris or damage so I'm hoping they'll be fine. If not, it's just my second pot of D. scorpiodes.

    If it is in fact the ballast that's failed, I believe it's still under warranty. I'll have to send it in and who knows how long it'll take to get a replacement. I hope I can find some backup lights to use in the meantime. But...I've already been wanting to switch over to LEDs and this seems like as good of a time as any now.

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    Nimbulan...go leds you won't be disappointed. Do it yourself build and you won't be disappointed. Look forward to hearing what route you go.

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    I've been following the thread on COB LED's and it looks like the most efficient and cost-effective way to go, as well as being fairly easy to build.

    I found a couple of ancient T8's I can set up in the meantime while I figure out warranty replacement for this fixture, and what I need to order for an LED fixture.

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