So I've got an older house, built in the late 1950's. All the lights in the bathroom fixtures and the garage are fluorescent. Sometimes, but not always, they take several minutes to actually turn on when you flip the light switch. I can see that there's a glow at the ends of the tube when they do this. I've tried switching out older light tubes for newer ones, but it doesn't seem to matter. What's going on with this? Why do these lights do that? Any way to fix it?
Since you've got an older house, your fluorescents probably have starters. Fixtures that take a long time to turn on may have a bad starter. I'd look into replacing the starter if you can find a matching one - it should be a relatively cheap alternative to replacing the entire fixture.
If its cold (unheated garage). Your fluorescent fixtures could have problems.