Fluorescent Lamps – Main Disadvantages
The light is not comfortable
Only some of the energy is transformed to light. The rest is heat, UV and an unnatural light spectrum. The light is pulsing with the mains frequency (50/60Hz). Especially when many tubes are connected to only one power line, the light feels uncomfortable and can cause health problems.
Questionable energy savings and lifetime
Pre-heating and an inductive kick from the ballast is needed to start the lamp. If the lamp is frequently switched on and off, the energy savings of FL tubes and CFL’s are very limited.
On top of it, the lamps will age rapidly.
Defect rate of new fluorescent tubes and CFL’s
Due to glass breakage and leakage problems 5%-10% of defective new fluorescent lamps are considered to be acceptable.
Low power factor
In buildings where many tubes are installed the capacitive and inductive electricity waves will be unsynchronized. For more than 500 tubes, a special power control unit is needed to correct this problem.
Mercury is poisonous
Old FL lamps need to be collected as dangerous goods, and specially disposed of.
No recycling possible.
If such a lamp or tube breaks, the whole building and its A/C ducts need to be cleaned (recommendation by US government EPA).