Putting a fluorescent tube through its startup cycle reduces its operational lifetime by approximately 30 minutes. The Osram tubes fitted to Cyclos have a guaranteed life of approximately 20 000 hours or 50 000 startup cycles. If tubes are extinguished completely during fast color-changing light shows, the maximum of 50 000 startup cycles can be reached surpisingly quickly.

Cyclos running in stand-alone mode will give longer tube life if they are set to slower program speeds that put tubes through less startup cycles. Stand-alone program settings are set by DIP switches on or in the products. Settings are explained in the user manuals supplied with products and available for download from www.martin.com/service.

When Cyclos are controlled via DMX, the programmer can choose to either optimize tube life or obtain maximum color purity:

- To optimize tube life, tubes should not be dimmed to lower than DMX value 3 (i.e. approx. 1%) when they are not required in the color mix. Keeping minimum DMX value 3 will avoid extinguishing and reigniting tubes. Since the light output when a tube is dimmed to DMX value 3 is extremely low compared with maximum light output, the output of the dimmed tube will be virtually unnoticeable in the color mix.

- To obtain maximum color purity, tubes should be dimmed to zero when not required in the color mix. Calculating the number of startup cycles per hour will help estimate the tube life that can be expected.

Cyclos that are controlled using analog 0 - 10 V systems are not dimmed to zero during color mixing, so the effect of color changing on tube life is not an issue for these models.