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Change them out annually. They lose so much of their output over that time. This is not just my opionion but is a known fact that bulb manufacturers can provide. All fluorescent tubes have a cathode tube and ALL cathode tubes decay over time. T12s, T10s should be changed every 6 months. T8s can be streached a bit longer.
 

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Change them out annually. They lose so much of their output over that time. This is not just my opionion but is a known fact that bulb manufacturers can provide. All fluorescent tubes have a cathode tube and ALL cathode tubes decay over time. T12s, T10s should be changed every 6 months. T8s can be streached a bit longer.
How often should T5's be changed? :D
 

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CFs are T5, so annually. I am getting a TEK T5HO (linear tubes) and will look into this. I suspect it will not be much longer than a year. 2 years tops. So 1 to 2 years is my questimate.

The decay may not be very apparent to us (humans) as we are only sensitive to the green light bnad and not the light that plant utilize - red and blue. Green light emitted from a tube is the last to be affected. If you can see discoloring/blackening at the end of the tube it is a sign that the cathode tube is weakening.
 
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