Frequent Lamp Cycling Greatly
Reduces Lamp Life


The effect of frequent starting on lamp life is the main concern when using occupancy sensors. The life of fluorescent lamps is proportional to the lamp emitter loss rate, which occurs naturally during each start cycle and during steady state operation.

Because of the design of the lamps and the characteristics of the lamp electrode system, fluorescent lamps perform best when switching is kept to a minimum: the longer the lamps are allowed to operate, the longer the expected life.

Lamps are rated to be started once every three hours during their lifetime. Depending on the frequency of starts, lamp life can be reduced from a rated life of 24,000 hours to as few as 1,000 hours when the cycled time is less than 1 minute. Most fluorescent lamp manufacturers will not offer their standard warranty on their lamps when used with sensors due to the rapid cycling.