I have a desk lamp that takes 2 fluorescent tubes F15 T8. The current tubes work but I wanted new ones. I just purchased new tubes and they don't work at all. Any idea what is the difference between the old and the new?

This is the old Tube: This is the Old Tubes markings

This is the new tube enter image description here

On closer examination I notice that the pins on the old tube have been 'Tinned' with solder so I have done the same on the new ones. This results in the pins being a little thicker.

This appears to have solved the problem and the tubes now light!! I'm not sure if it is the lamp manufacturer that did this or if the pins used to be a little thicker.

The 2 lamps I have are fairly old 60's? Made by Luxo.

Tinned pins

  • One does work and one doesn't. Can you give us any more details? The new tubes are better. But it is possible to buy the wrong things, try to shoot us a photo of the old and new, and by that I mean the writing found on one end of the tube. For the new one, the packaging material may suffice. Are the letters "LED" involved in any way? Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 22:03
  • No these are not LED they are just plain old fluorescent. I'll add pics
    – GDutton
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 22:10
  • Improper handling may have damaged them.
    – DDS
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 22:18
  • 4 of them!!! I gotta assume Lowes is not selling junk tubes
    – GDutton
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 22:23
  • 1
    Why would you assume that Lowes makes an exception for the tubes? BTW, your picture shows the labeling on one tube but not the other. What does the fixture label say are the intended bulbs?
    – fixer1234
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


I 'Tinned' the contact pins with solder, this seems to have solved the problem.

  • 1
    so it is a bad desk lamp socket, not the tube.
    – jsotola
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 1:40
  • I agree, that type of socket is called a lampholder or "tombstone" and are relatively standard, there are about 4 types with the most common type in 3 heights. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 2:54

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