Fluorescent bulbs can go for years without replacement—even when the ends start to blacken. Don't worry about them until the light they put out starts to weaken.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:September 2008
Black ends don't require immediate
replacement. But you should have new
bulbs on hand so you can replace them
promptly when they do burn out.
Bulbs with black ends can run for
a long time and they won't damage
your ballast at all. But you should have
replacement bulbs on hand for the day
when they begin flickering, take a long
time to fire up or finally give up completely.
That's because running a fluorescent
fixture with a burned-out bulb
will damage the ballast.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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