Working Under Fluorescent Lights

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Can fluorescent lights hurt your vision?
    I've been working at the same place for two years and I constantly work under fluorescent lighting. I have begun to see spots and blurry sections in my vision. Other places outside of work I don't notice it as much. Could the UV from the lights (as well as my computer) be a factor? I went to an optometrist and the spots he said look like cataracts, I'm only 27 so I'm getting worried that I may need to change my daily routine or I'm in big trouble.

    • ANSWER:
      I very much doubt it, the UV from fluorescent lamps is very low, you'd have to sit under one for hours to get the same effect as about 1 minute of sun exposure.

      If the computer monitor is a CRT one (one of the really deep ones with a glass screen) then the flickering from it my not help you, it wont cause cataracts but it might cause a headache. You'll have to adjust the refresh rate to something higher, if you're using Microsoft Windows then you need to do this (this is copied from the Microsoft website):

      How to Change the Screen Refresh Rate of Your Monitor

      1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display.

      Alternatively, right-click the desktop, and then click Properties.
      2. Click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.
      3. Click the Monitor tab, and then click the screen refresh rate that you want to use.

      I'd recommend 85Hz or higher (I can see the monitor flickering even at 85Hz and from asking other people it seems that I'm just weird and no one else can)

  2. QUESTION:
    Does fluorescent paint glow under fluorescent light?
    My friend has these cool fluorescent lights in his bedroom. They have different settings so that you can change the colors.
    For a birthday gift, I want to make him a painting using fluorescent paint so that it will glow under the lights. Will this work? Does fluorescent paint work/react with fluorescent light?
    Sorry if I sound naive, I don't know much about lighting.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes it will glow

  3. QUESTION:
    What causes plants to grow better under fluorescent lighting instead of incandescent or UV(blacklight)?
    I've been working with three plants under three different light settings. When I finished my experiment, the fluorescent lighting caused the plants to flourish while the other two types of bulbs caused the plants to look unhealthy. Yet, I've been searching to find out what is in the fluorescent lighting that caused it to grow the plant best and can't come up with any solid answers..help?

    • ANSWER:
      Plants use red light and blue light. Plants do well when you use cool white and warm white in equal proportions.

  4. QUESTION:
    Do you use reflector material around your plants when you grow them under fluorescent tube lights?
    The kind that comes in sheets looks like aluminum foil.

    Does it really help or is it necessary?

    Will aluminum foil work?

    Have some shop lights against the wall growing some small herbs and put aluminum foil on the wall and it gets good reflection.

    Only thing is though, the light escapes into the rest of the room, lighting up the whole room pretty much.

    So i was thinking about putting a mirror on the other side of the wall or something.

    Will that work?

    Does anyone use mirrors? Wouldn't that be best?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, it does help to use aluminum foil and it is necessary to give them the most light possible, if not by using more or better light, then by using what you can like aluminum foil.

  5. QUESTION:
    How to get slow shutter speed to work under natural lighting?
    I have a canon sx130 is, whenever I set the shutter speed to low it works if I am indoors under fluorescent lighting, but once I go outside and try it the picture just comes out blank. Is there other settings I have to change?

    • ANSWER:
      You do not know about either the differences in the amount of light indoors vs. outdoors.

      The picture you are taking outdoors is NOT blank, it is just grossly over exposed.

      You need to understand how all that works.

      Try this site to understand the relationships between ISO, shutter speed and lens aperture.

      http://camerasim.com/camera-simulator.html

  6. QUESTION:
    Hair help?! I dyed my hair recently and under fluorescent lights my eyebrows dont match.?
    I used to have dark blonde hair, and brownish blonde eyebrows. My eyebrows looked fine in good lighting, but under fluorescent lights in my school they look really blonde, with the faintest hint of brown. Recently, I have dyed my hair light brown, and dyed my eyebrows too. I went under fluorescent lights and my eyebrows still looked the same as they did before under fluorescents, light blonde. What can I do? Is there any sort of eyebrow/eyelash dye that you could recommend that would work for me, when I go under fluorescents?

    • ANSWER:
      I think there is, but usually its recommended not to color your brows/lashes. My father is a hairstylist and although its done, he dont like doing it. use an eyebrow pencil.

  7. QUESTION:
    Will a cactus live under fluorescent lighting?
    I have a small cactus in a small pot on my desk at work. I am not near a window with sunlight. But, there are fluorescent lights everywhere that are always on. Will this lighting be sufficient for the cactus to live? If so, how often do I water it?
    I want to emphasize there is no natural sunlight around my desk, only artificial light.

    • ANSWER:
      Depending on the cactus some live quite happily under flourescent lighting.

      Water less frequently than you normally would. Let soil completely dry out before you water.

  8. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Lighting - Eyesight?
    Looking for others who have difficulties when working under fluorescent lighting.
    Ex: Eye focus, trouble concentrating, eye strain, etc.

    • ANSWER:
      Man, I worked in a quality control lab in a paper mill usually over 60 hours a week by myself. I had insane headaches, sensitivity to all light, and blurry vision sometimes. The one thing that I did that worked was wearing my tinted safety glasses even when I was in the lab to block out some of the rays that can be damaging to your eyes. Also, I'm epileptic so I have to be careful when only under fluorescent lights because when the bulbs are going dead and when they are warming up, they can strobe so fast that to most people it's unnoticeable.
      But there's nothing wrong with you, it bothers lots of people; the only thing I can suggest is some type of eye protection.

      Hope this helps

  9. QUESTION:
    Is there a difference in 4' Fluorescent lights?
    I didn't know there was any difference in the 4' Fluorescent shop lights and just got one at Walmart. On the box it say's "Lights of America SHOP LIGHT on/off pull chain Model 8055 SS [PREMIUM PERFORMANCE WHEN OPERATED WITH 4' (32W T8 LAMPS)" In the different Fluorescent Light tubes on the shelf above where I got the 4' shop light fixture I couldn't find any that said they were T8 and I've never heard of them before. So I just got a pair of GE 4' 40W tubes like the ones in the shop lights in my dads shop. Before hanging the light I tested it with the tubes I got. They fit perfectly in the fixture but when I turned it on it immediately tripped the circuit breaker. I tried it in a different plug in, same thing. So I figured it had a short in it and took it back to Walmart and got another one. The first one was the cheaper white one so I got the more expensive one with the stainless steel finish. When I tested it the light tubes fit perfectly in it, but when I turned it on, same thing, it immediately tripped the circuit breaker. So did I get another defective light making it two in a row? Or is it I got the wrong light tubes? If they are the wrong tubes, why do they fit perfectly in the fixture? It doesn't say that it will only work with the T8 32W lamps, it just says "Premium Performance" with the 32W T8 lamps. I've been a machinist for over 30 years and worked under lights like this most of my life but I've never heard of T8 lights or of any differences in the 4 ft. Fluorescent lights. Other than black lights and grow lights any who.
    I've tried two different fixtures with the same light tubes. When the first fixture kept tripping the breaker I figured it was defective and had a direct short in it. So I took it back and got another fixture, same 4 ft size but different model. I tried the same tubes that I tried in the first one. On the tubes it has "GE ECIUOX, F40SP-ECO, SP65 40W USA." There is no T size on them. They have two pins on each end that slide into the fittings and rotate 90 degrees into the spring loaded contacts just like they are supposed to. But when I turn the light fixture on it still trips the 30 AMP Breaker.
    And yes, I saw where they have them in different levels or quality of light like soft white, bright white, day light. But, (at the Walmart where I bought the one I'm talking about) the ones for the 4 foot long light fixture that they have at the store, on the shelf above where the shop light fixtures are, all of those are the same physical size, diameter and length are the same. And none o
    The light fixtures I got were from Walmart and Plug & Play. They came with a 5 foot cord with plug. Supposed to just put the light tubes in and hang it, & plug it in. I'm installing it in my new 12'x20' garage workshop I had built last summer. I've tried them in different outlets, and with a power strip that I know works right, and in a outlet that I know works. They still tripped the power strip when tried with that and tripped the 30 AMP Breaker when tried in a regular outlet that I know works.
    So part of the question is, if they are the wrong light tubes, would they still trip a 30 AMP Breaker? And if they are the wrong tubes, why do they fit in the fixture perfectly? Another thing is why would Walmart sell a Shop Light fixture and not have the right light tubes for it?
    So have I got two defective light fixtures in a row? Or is it because I have the wrong light tubes?

    • ANSWER:
      Just a couple thoughts I have not read here:
      1) Are you sure you have both prongs on both ends of each bulb are properly seated inside the the fixture recepticales BEFORE rotating them into place? Silly, but one prong rotating outside the receptical has happened (but should not trip a breaker).
      2) A 30 amp breaker in a 120V system will handle 3600 watts on that breaker, IF the breaker is not going bad. Count up what you have on that circuit.
      3) T-8 bulbs are 1 inch in diameter, T-12's are 1.5 inch diameter and are the most common, as in your dad's shop years ago. They are being replaced by the T-8's.
      4) T-8's and T-12's are interchangable in the same fixtures.
      5) The "Kelvin"(?) temperature, the 1,800K to 5,500K are the light colors, lower being yellow-ish ("Bathroom" tone) and higher (5,000+) being more "daylight" (light blue in color) effect only the color tone, nothing else.

  10. QUESTION:
    What does it mean when lights seem like they are all too bright?
    I have this problem quite often especially when I am working under bright fluorescent lights and when I am on the computer and look away everything is very dark for a few minutes...sometimes longer and when I blink I still see a spot in my vision where the computer screen was (like if someone took a picture with a very bright flash and you see those spots...I am very sensitive to that too!) It happens a lot when I am tired too and my mom thinks it is tiredness or eye strain! Am I losing my sight? Has anyone else experienced this? It has also been hard for me to read and focus lately but I have had these problems off and on for over 13 years but lately it has been bad. Thanks and any and all help is greatly appreciated! Take Care! :)

    • ANSWER:
      Could be you are developing migraine. Headache is not the only symptom and I find that light sensitivity and problems focussing are one of hte first signs. Again its intermittent because migraine is a bit intermittent. I ignored these symptoms for years until one day I threw up into 30000 pounds worth of computer kit because I wasn't allowed home from work when I felt tired an unable to focus. The hospital diagnosed migraine which is now easier to control. however you don't seem to have some of the other symptoms. Go to you optiician and have your eyes checked and then keep a note of the exact symptoms and times adn see if any of them correspond with migrain. Fluorescent lights adn computer screens are wholly incompatible - when working they are one of the combinations that health and safety dont' allow.

  11. QUESTION:
    Does anyone have an Allergy to Fluorescent lighting??
    Does anyone have health problems when they are exposed to Florescent lighting? When I leave a big store like Wal-Mart or a large supermarket with Florescent lighting, I feel very sick with symptoms of feeling drained, fatigued, dizzy, sick, and have a headache and confusion. Is this a allergic reaction to Fluorescent lights? I work under these same type lights and feel similar after several hours of work. My eyes are dry and burn all the time at work. Has anyone experienced this type of problem with lighting? If so what does a person do about it. Wear sunglasses???

    • ANSWER:
      Your condition is well known to those of us who are ion sensitve as well as color range sensitive. I personally have a problem with it and my immune system is very bad due to genetics. I suggest you counter act this feeling with exposure to natural light when ever possible, make sure you use sun screen and get full spectrum lighting above your desk at work. Your employer will need this information to get the point across. http://www.naturallighting.com/

      It is well known in the Holistic Medicine community that regular exposure to fluorescent lighting can cause or contribute to health problems. Many years ago, I studied the work of Dr. John Ott. He was a pioneer in the study of the health effects of lighting and magnetic & electric fields on plants and animals. He conducted many studies on plants and humans showing adverse health effects.

      Dr. Ott conducted research using natural lighting in a chickenhouse that produced outstanding results. He installed special radiation-shielded, full-spectrum lights in schools to show a significant reduction in behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and academic improvement. (See Academic Therapy, Volume 10, No. 1, 1973. Also, see the comparison between a well-designed study and a poorly design, industry-sponsored study in Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Volume 6, No. 3, 1978.) Some of the causes of health problems from regular, extended exposure to fluorescent light could include:

      Lack of shielding for certain types of radiation (e.g., x-rays) given off.
      Spectrum of fluorescent light is far different than natural lighting.
      Lack of natural levels of ultra-violet light exposure from fluorescent lighting.
      Regular, extended exposure to fluorescent lighting has been implicated in other disorders as well. In the Volume 7, 1985 Special Subject Issue of "The International Journal of Biosocial Research", the work of John Ott was discussed in more detail. Case histories were presented showing the how the lack of natural lighting and/or exposure to fluorescent lighting might contribute to health conditions such as infertility, tumors, etc. More recent research has shown the importance of light on the pineal gland which affects the brain and hormonal system. Because of this, one should expect that regular, extended exposures to fluorescent lighting may contribute to health problems.

      At first, Dr. Ott's work was ridiculed (as innovative work often is). Later in his career he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Loyola University and the Grand Honors Award of the National Eye Research Foundation. Much of Dr. Ott's research was detailed in the books, Health and Light : The Effects of Natural and Artificial Light on Man and Other Living Things and Light, Radiation, and You How to Stay Healthy.

      Exposure to natural lighting and avoidance of fluorescent lighting can be enormously healing for some people. For others, it should be considered a good way to help prevent the development of chronic health problems. The Ott Biolight Systems web page is a commercial web site which includes some additional information about health and lighting.

  12. QUESTION:
    What is a good under eye dark circle concealer?
    I always think I have a good under eye concealer, then when I get in fluorescent lighting (ex. work) my under eye circles look terrible. what is a good coverage brand of concealer?
    also I have very fair skin if that matters

    • ANSWER:
      Maybelliner Instant Age Rewind Eraser Makeup. I love it! Works best if you let it sit in the cap for 2-3 weeks.

  13. QUESTION:
    Will herbs like basil and lemon balm grow indoors under just some fluorescent shop lights?
    Like those 4ft shop lights that have 2 bulbs and hang on chains?

    Thinking about getting two of those next to each other to try to grow basil and lemon balm indoors, but I will either go from cuttings, or seed, and try to bring a couple to maturity and flowering under these lights.

    I will probably use two cool lights on the outside, two plant and aquarium lights on the inside and then two cool lights for the other two between those.

    Will this setup work for going from seedling to flowering?

    • ANSWER:
      Fluorescent will worl as long as you have a mix of colors and growlites. Keep them close to the plants. I'd invest in a magnetic ballast fixture - those 'shop lites' are crap

  14. QUESTION:
    How many watts can I use for lighting under CA Title 24?
    I am helping my friend build a coffee shop in San Diego and I'm working on the lighting plan. Under Title 24, is there a rough guideline for how many watts per square foot I can use of dimmable incandescent light in the dining area? How about for fluorescent light? Also, am I allowed more or less wattage for the food prep area and the office?

    • ANSWER:
      Title 24 Download at http://www.energy.ca.gov or http://www.energy.ca.gov/2008publications/CEC-400-2008-001/CEC-400-2008-001-CMF.PDF section 130
      You probably need 90.1 to comply with a local code. ( Section 401 of the 90.1 Code contains requirements for electric power and lighting systems.) www.ashrae.org

      or www.lumialightstudio.com Great lighting guys in San Diego

  15. QUESTION:
    Why do fluorescent lights make my skin turn red and burn?
    I have been having this problem since I started college three years ago. I sit under fluorescent lights for about three hours or more a day either at work or at classes. Usually, I use sun screen everyday, but I have noticed that if I forget, I start feeling like I am running a fever. Any exposed skin turns red and has a tingly burning sensation. My eyes also become dry and red. It is obviously the lights because the way my hair parts it covers a portion of my forehead, which never turns red. I have heard this is a symptom of immune disorders such as lupus. I'm also concerned because my mom has fibromyalgia and my aunt has Grave's disease. I can't afford to go to a doctor now, but I'm trying to save money. Should I bring this up when I go? Thanks for your answers.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes you should bring it up. The fluorescent lights have UVA and UVB radiation. People who are photosensitive have reactions to that light. If you have no other symptoms, you probably don't have active autoimmune disease but you should definitely bring this up with your doctor. Be sure to include your family history and and other weird symptoms you might be having.

  16. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent lighting for under shelves, wiring for 4 tubes from one ballast?
    I want to install some fluorescent lights under some shelves, but rather than going out and buying fittings I'm going to create the whole thing myself. I have all the equipment to do it except the ballast.
    I will be using 4, 8w fluorescent tubes and to save a lot of money I would like to run them all from one single ballast, I think a 30w ballast would be best for running all 4 tubes as 4x8w = 32w and that's the closest to 32w that I can get. I would be using a magnetic ballast.
    I live in the UK where the line voltage is 240V just to let you know.
    I'm wondering if this plan will even work at all and if it does, should the tubes be wired in series or parallel? So could someone please tell me how they should be wired?
    Starting may also be an issue too, I've found that with most T8 tubes that i've tried (13, 8, and 6W) seem to self-strike if the tubes are positioned within about 2" of any earthed metal so i'm wondering if the tubes can just be earthed and that will be enough to start them?

    I know this is all a bit long winded and thanks in advance for your help!

    • ANSWER:
      Use an electronic ballast instead of magnetic. Magnetics tend to hum, which drives me crazy, Most ballasts carry a list of bulb sizes and quantities that a particular ballast will support as well as a wiring diagram.
      Mark

  17. QUESTION:
    What is the BEST mascara for very sensitive eyes? PLEASE HELP!?
    I have super sensitive eyes but I HAVE to wear mascara, I feel weird without it! I work under fluorescent lights and stare at computer screens all day at work. My eyes are also either dry and itchy, or watery a lot. I take antihistamines, use eye drops, etc. I have used Cover Girl, Almay, Rimmel, and Loreal mascaras. The Almay was good but they discontinued the kind I liked awhile back (Bright Eyes) so I wasn't sure what to use. Loreal smudges too much, so does Rimmel, and Cover Girl makes my eyes burn. I also will be wearing contacts in the next few months and can't hardly leave the house without sunglasses. Any suggestions on a good mascara? At this point, I don't care about price much, but preferably something affordable. And also, does it make a difference if I use waterproof or regular? Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Try perscriptives brand mascara. They are great for sensative eyes. Or like the person above said try sephora they have great mascara for great prices. FYI if you have sensative eyes don't ever let them try Cargo mascara on you that that burned like hell on my eyes and I have sensative eyes and skin.

  18. QUESTION:
    Would it be possible to grow habaneros in a pot indoors?
    I'm contemplating keeping a pot with a habanero plant on my desk @ work. My plan is to take a habanero, de-seed, & put the seeds in a medium sized clay pot with soil. I work under fluorescent lights & the temperature is always kept as a comfortable level. Would habaneros grow in this environment?
    Thanks for the suggestions! My desk is away from any windows, but I have friends that have desks by windows that I may get to let me keep their plant there for a few hours/days. And I could keep it on the smokers porch during the day when the weather is nice. Keep the suggestions coming, thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      I had a friend who had a huge potted habanero plant for a couple of years. he eventually killed it trying to rid it of aphids by keeping it out in the cold.

      So yes it is quite possible to grow them in a pot but watch out for aphid infestation in winter. All peppers are perennials and can live over 100 years. They do need over 13 hours of light a day to flower and set fruit.

      As another answerer said dry the seeds before planting

  19. QUESTION:
    How can I make myself look less washed out with makeup?
    My makeup is usually fine for everyday... when I'm outside. But I work a lot under fluorescent light. Which is never a good lighting and it always makes me look drab and washed out.

    What tricks can I use to make myself still have a glow?

    I have fair skin, light brown/red/blondish hair, and blue eyes.

    • ANSWER:
      Use a light gold or peach bronzer and brush that on lightly over your cheek, collar bone, and under your eyebrows. Use brown and peachy-pink eyeshadow to bring out your eyes to make the focus on them, and put a quick swipe of blush on your cheek bones :} (Smile when you put it on, it'll make you cheek bones more distinct.

      Hope this helped! <3

  20. QUESTION:
    Economics. Which is the correct answer?
    A study found that the incidence of skin cancer increases along with the amount of time people work under fluorescent light, leading some people to conclude that fluorescent lighting is a cause of skin cancer. But further analysis found that people who work in offices, where fluorescent light is common, suffer more sunburn on their vacations than other workers. The sunburns, not the fluorescent light, were the cause of the higher incidence of skin cancer. The original conclusion illustrates:

    a) the fallacy of composition.
    b) confusion of correlation and causation.
    c) identifying marginal costs and marginal benefits.
    d) biases and loaded terminology.

    • ANSWER:
      B)
      Confusion of Correlation
      and Causation

      ~ ~ ~

  21. QUESTION:
    Can i grow plants with a fluorescent light?
    i dont have any grow lamps, but i have a fluorescent light in my closet and a shelf at the top about a foot under the light, would that work?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, but.........the tubes have to be quite close to the plants. Ceiling lights won't give you enough. I'd keep my plants about 6" average from the tubes. I used four tubes, 2 cool and 2 warm.

  22. QUESTION:
    Anyone else hate fluorescent lighting?
    I really hate fluorescent lighting. The envirmentalist are trying to get everyone to change to them because of all the energy they save. However the lighting they put out depresses me. My job has them and the moment I leave work I feel so much better. Don't believe me look at yourself in the mirror under a fluorescent light and them look at yourself under incandescent light. There are people out there that want to ban them in the states. Of course CA is leading that. If this ever happens I will stock up on them to last me a life time.

    I believe schools and workplaces would be much nicer without them. I think they have a impact on our mood. What do you think?
    In fact I know they do. Imagin your workplace if one day they changed out all of the fluorescent lighting. Wouldn't it be a nicer place to work?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes im still using the old light bulbs at home? nothing worse than looking in the mirror getting your make up on then looking at your self in the mirror looks like you have been touched with the ugly stick, plus its far too bright oh i dont like it at all, any way there finding here in australia there hard to break down for recycling, so cross fingers they change back to the good old ones...

  23. QUESTION:
    Question about taking plants in and growing under lights?
    Thinking about taking some cuttings in this year and growing under lights, also want to start some from seeds too.

    Right now I have a 8ft x 1.5ft table to work with.

    I'm just going to get some low cost shop fluorescent lights (the ones that hold two bulbs) and are 4ft.

    I'm not sure though if I should get 2, or 4?

    I'd do two 4ft lights going across the 8ft table.

    I could add two more beside those though.

    However, with only 1.5 feet width space to work with, two as opposed to 4 may be plenty of light, but will more light be even better?

    I plan to grow plants to flower which I hope they will. And I will be able to raise the lights at least 4ft from the ground.

    What do you guys think?

    • ANSWER:
      Good idea. I have mine hanging from chains with "S" hooks so I can lower and raise them as needed. You do need to leave a little space to work, so with 1.5' of depth, one shop light will be fine. Two end to end for the 8' length.

      I have a 4 x 8 piece of plywood on saw horses with 5 shop lights. My seeds do wonderfully well, but I have not used them to bring plants in or take cuttings. Some annuals have a life span and will not live beyond their expected term. But with perennials, you should have some luck with cuttings, especially mums.

      Mine are plugged into one power strip so all I have to do is press the on/off button on the strip, works perfectly. Be sure you get the shop lights with the plug on the end, not the kind you have to hard wire into a socket.

  24. QUESTION:
    Will redwood seeds grow under artificial light?
    I've planted some redwood seeds in a pot in my cube at work, I keep it well watered but it's just sitting under an artificial fluorescent light. Will the seeds grow or do they need the outdoors and real sun?

    • ANSWER:
      They should germinate and grow into seedlings indoors, though they prefer direct sunlight (so the previous tip of using a dedicating growing lamp would be wise).

      According to www.giant-sequoia.com you'll need to keep the soil moist at all times and when it's established itself you should move it outdoors for most of the day. According to that site they are suitable for bonsai (probably a good thing as it's the fastest growing conifer there is).

      Good luck!

  25. QUESTION:
    under cabinet fluorescent lighting?
    what type of wire can i use in order to hard wire them? someone suggested lamp wire will that work?

    • ANSWER:
      Lamp wire/ zip cord is not permitted for this purpose. You should use "NMC" type cable The best solution is to have a qualified professional electrician do the work.

  26. QUESTION:
    Where can I find lightly tinted sunglasses?
    Whenever I'm in a very light room like work, a store, or a classroom, my vision gets really messed up. It is hard for me to read anything under fluorescent lights. I was wondering if there are sunglasses that are lightly tinted that I could wear inside and not look like a total d bag. Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      You can probably check the optical stores in your area. You can also have lenses made to order, with the tint of your choice. An Anti-Reflective coating on the lenses may also be helpful to you.

  27. QUESTION:
    How to fault detect a bad fluorescent light fixture?
    A few of my under counter fluorescent fixtures in the kitchen don't work. they are all less than 3 years old. I replace the light bulb, but it still doesn't light. How do you test what part of the fixture has failed- ie the ballast, a connection, etc

    • ANSWER:
      It is actually quite uncommon to find flourescent fixtures that use starters anymore unless they are very old. If the fixture is that old it would most likely be cost effective to simple replace the fixture. Starters are not expensive, but may be difficult to find and there are more energy efficient fixtures on the market today that also offer more pleasing light colors.

      If your fixture is newer and doesnt have a starter or even if it does have a starter there will be a ballast and this is the most likely reason for failure or the light to come on. A ballast is simply a transformer that boosts your household voltage to a voltage that is needed to cause the gas inside the tube to "burn". Standard mechanical ballasts will eventually wear out. This is often evidenced by visually inspecting the ballast where you will often times find a black tarry substance leaking from the case of the ballast. The ballast, by the way, will be located inside the cover of the fixture, it is not exposed. Newer flourescent fixtures will have an electronic ballast that often will look like a small printed circuit board like that as you may find in a radio.

      If you feel comfortable replacing the ballast it is a fairly simple procedure. First be absolutely sure that you have turned the circuit off before attempting to replace a ballast. Simply turning the light switch off is not good enough. You can check to see that the circuit is off by testing with a circuit tester that does not require live contact. These are available at hardware stores. The tester will "chirp" if voltage is present. Also once you think the circuit is off, check with a "wiggy" tester, also available from a hardware store. This tester requires live contact with the wiring. Always check your testers on a known live outlet before proceeding to the circuit in question to ensure that the tester works properly. Once you are sure the circuit is turned off you can proceed with replacing the ballast. It is a simple process of disconnecting the wires from the faulty ballast and removing it then install the new ballast matching the colors of the wires. To make sure that you purchase the correct ballast you can either look at the label of the old ballast or tell the clerk at the store about your fixture. Is it an 8 foot, 2 tube fixture or a 4 foot 4 tube, 18 inch single tube fixture, just let the clerk know. Again consider that if the fixture is old just replacing the entire fixture.

      Warning: You have been told to be sure the circuit is off before working on the fixture. Household current can be DEADLY if you come into contact with it. If you do not understand how to use a circuit tester or are at all uncomfortable with working with electricity call an electrician. This type of repair is quite inexpensive and you will be certain that the job is done right and safely. I will assume NO responsibility if you decide to perform this repair yourself. Often times it is much less costly to hire a professional than to put yourself at risk.

  28. QUESTION:
    Poll: Do you believe fluorescent lighting destroys gray matter?
    OK...this is for all the cube rats out there. Do you think the fluorescent lighting you have to work under is affecting your mind? Specifically, affecting your ability to read or do the simplest of tasks? Such as:

    "I can't open the door..."

    "Someone stole my car stereo, 'cuz I left my car unlocked and the window down..."

    Bin marked "Confidential Company Scrap Only", but you still put your old bank books, snotrags, birthday cards, WalMart receipts, last year's Hooter's calendars, candy wrappers, etc. in it

    Parking in someone else's reserved parking spot

    Bringing a camera/letting visitors take pictures against company policy

    I'm talking about the everyday, ordinary cubicle hamster, not managers (since we all know they're brainless anyway, and have some poor schlub do their dirty work for them). I mean, how hard can it be to put a piece of plastic in a recepticle marked "For Plastics Only" that's 18" away from the one used for paper only?

    Just wonderin'...

    • ANSWER:
      Certainly you're on to something big ... I bet it's a huge corporate secrete buying out governments throughout the world to destroy the gray matter.

      Have you ever put on socks that don't match ... or shoes that don't' match ... That door thing you're talking about, yeah ... I'm now addicted to using that big blue button with the stick person in the wheel chair to open the door. ... This is getting spooky.

      Gosh, I hope we're safe ... this is on the internet and they may now come after you and me since we know the truth ... quick ... run to that mountain from"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (True Headquarters of the Gray Matter Destroyers), and we'll find a way to keep our gray matter.

  29. QUESTION:
    Solar charger question?
    I just recently bought one, and i was wondering about something. Is it possible for a solar panel to capture energy from the light of your room(for example, a fluorescent light?) Because I always remember being in grade school, and the solar powered calculators always worked under the fluorescent tube lights. Thanks!
    What about semi-cloudy days?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, you will be able too, although not as much as sunlight of course - how much you get depends on the rating of the bulb.

      You will be able to use a solar charger on a semi cloudy or even cloudy day - of course, the amount of charge you get isn't as much as full sunlight but it will still work.

  30. QUESTION:
    How to get rid of STUBBORN bags under the eyes?
    These dark bags under my eyes are horrible. I get plenty of sleep, but they don't go away. I've tried cosmetics, cucumbers, and I even heard potato slices can help. I tried them and it didn't work. It doesn't matter what light I'm in you can ALWAYS see them, especially in sunlight and fluorescent lights.

    • ANSWER:
      Water is one of the most amazing health benefits, so make sure you are getting in enough every day!
      I have the same problem with stubborn dark spots. The only things I can recommend are concealer and powder, or a green tea ice facial- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGt3DBDHLy4
      Good luck!

  31. QUESTION:
    Why do white objects look fluorescent inside a greenhouse?
    I got a job in a greenhouse and I noticed that everything white looked fluorescent inside of it. There weren't any special lights on, but I noticed there was a tinting on the glass. Is it harmful to one's health to work under this sort of glass? Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      The tinting is to help keep the interior from overheating, and is not harmful to your health (it breaks overhead).

  32. QUESTION:
    What will show up under ultra-violet light?
    I've been invited to a party with the theme of "ultra-violet heaven" and I want to make my own costume but have very little money to spend on it... any bright ideas!? (excuse the pun!)

    Does fluorescent show up under ultra violet light, or only white? How does UV even work?

    • ANSWER:
      Hello,

      They are also called "black lights" especially relating to creative uses. Here is a cool page that sells fluorescent paints, that work incredibly well. http://www.blacklight.com/BlacklightPaintAndInk

  33. QUESTION:
    Could I grow Marijuana with this Cummins plug in light? Read description?
    I wish I had a photo but it looks like a fluorescent light but much smaller and you plug it onto the wall. Very bright white light when turned on. Kind of humming noise with it too. It has a hook for hanging it on something and I think it is meant for people working under a car.

    • ANSWER:
      My moms ex did this: he made a hole in a small cubbord with two long drawers and closed it up and his light made a sound too. Kept it in the closet like that all the time. Yeah you can grow it

  34. QUESTION:
    what is the best thesis statement for this essay?
    The thesis most include how the setting and first-person narrator affect the theme.

    The Inner Sammy
    The short story “A&P” by John Updike takes place in a grocery store called “The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company” (A&P) on a hot summer day in the middle of a town near a beach.. It is narrated by a first-person narrator. Sammy, the main character, is a creative nineteen year old cashier, who seems not to enjoy his job in the A&P. The story begins when three girls in swimsuits walk in to the store to buy some snacks. Sammy starts to describe each girl in comparison to the products that are sold in the grocery store, and he even gives each girl a name. In the end of the story, Lengel, A&P’s manager, comments "Girls, this isn't the beach" on the way the girls are dressed, and asks them to come with their shoulders covered next time they visit the store (Updike, par. 13). In the perspective of Sammy, Lengel’s commentaries were a humiliation for the girls, and he quits in an attempt to gain the girls’ appreciation. The theme of the story is how the setting and first-person narration affects the broad imagination that male teenagers have on women.
    The grocery store setting helps to shape the central theme by the opportunities that it gives Sammy to expand his imagination. In the grocery store, there are a lot of items. This is an advantage for the author to use his imagination to compare the girls with the items available. For instance, “there was this one, with one of those chubby berry-faces” (Updike, par. 2). In this quote Sammy is comparing one of the girls’ faces with chubby berry. Also, the grocery store is a place where a myriad of people visit and where Sammy can see lots of unconventional stuff. These three girls can be one of his experiences in his work. It is also a place where Sammy can have more freedom to look at the girls, especially on a non-busy day. For example, at one point he thinks to himself, “The store's pretty empty, it being Thursday afternoon, so there was nothing much to do except lean on the register and wait for the girls to show up again” (Updike, par. 12). Sammy has the opportunity to look at these girls in different angles as they walk through the aisle; “From the third slot I look straight up this aisle to the meat counter, and I watched them all the way” (Updike, par. 5). If he would have worked in the newspaper store or in the real-estate office, he might not have the opportunities to describe the girls with such detail. For instance, “She had sort of okay hair that the sun and salt had bleached, done up in a bun that was unraveling, and a kind of prim face” (Updike, par. 4). Sammy has the opportunity to use his creativity in describing women in the story as a consequence of the spare time, and the views that his job offers.
    Another component that helped shape the central theme of “A&P” is the narration in first person point of view. By narrating the story in first-person, the readers can understand what is happening in Sammy’s head. For example, “I could feel in the silence everybody getting nervous, most of all Lengel, who asks me, "Sammy, have you rung up this purchase?" I thought and said "No" but it wasn't about that I was thinking.” (Updike par 20-21). First person point of view is more personal, and expresses accurately the purpose or cause of Sammy’s behavior.
    You know, it's one thing to have a girl in a bathing suit down on the beach, where what with the glare nobody can look at each other much anyway, and another thing in the cool of the A & P, under the fluorescent lights, against all those stacked packages, with her feet paddling along naked over our checkerboard green-and-cream rubber-tile floor (Updike, par.6)
    In this quote the readers can appreciate the admiration and desires that Sammy has on these girls; Sammy is contrasting the difference between having the girls almost naked in the A&P and having these girls on the beach. Sammy’s point of view makes the story more interesting by giving the readers the imaginative thoughts on women the he had.
    There are many aspects that can have a direct influence on the theme of a story. In “A&P”, the grocery store setting expresses the stereotypical job of a teenager (cashier). It also helps Sammy to use his creativity to describe the girls with the products they sell. The setting of a story is a helpful tool to convey the author’s ideas. Clearly, in this story, John Updike wants to express the typical characteristics of a male teenager, particularly the way they think about women. The first person narration allows the readers to understand what he is thinking, experiencing, and feeling in the story. Sometimes imagination exceeds reality, and the consequences can be not as expected. In Sammy’s case, he thinks that by defending the girls, he is going to be their hero, and may have a relationship with the girls, but in the end he lost his job, and did not find the girls as he imagined.

    • ANSWER:
      Thesis statement...

      The male fantasy of idealizing the male role with women actually involves seeing women as sexual objects...with the inevitable consequence of failure in the real world.

  35. QUESTION:
    What uses more electricity? 3 CFLs or 1 14" fluorescent?
    Trying to determine if it is more cost effective to use my over head kitchen light when working in the kitchen, which compromises 3 60-watt replacement CFLs or the 1 small fluorescent that is under the cabinets over-looking the sink area.

    Any expert electricians out there?

    Any help is greatly appreciated and thanks in advance. Best answer lands the 10!

    • ANSWER:
      Keep in mind that you get different amounts of light in different areas from each. The tube might not light up the other side of the kitchen as well. The overhead might be brighter but your head might throw a shadow on your work. Neither light uses enough electricity to worry about. I personally would just use both of them simultataneously, and turn them both off when done.

  36. QUESTION:
    What kind of light should I use for my cockatiel's cage?
    I'm getting ready to build a cockatiel cage for my future cockatiel. It won't be near a window because the only window in the room the cage will be is above the vent for the a/c. My cage will be 4 foot long, 2 foot wide, and 2 foot tall. I was thinking about using a 25-1/2" under cabinet fluorescent light: would this work? If not, do you have any suggestions on what to use that's effective and not too pricey? Also- does anyone have any pictures of a lighted bird cage?

    • ANSWER:
      Be certain the wire you use does NOT have zinc in it. Almost all wire does. It will kill the bird in time.

      The bird will need full spectrum light. Not fluorescent (you are a good speller!). Full spectrum is now more available than a few years ago. If you get any light for her, it should only be on for the same time (0r less if you do not want eggs) the sun is up in your area.

      You can get by with no light on her if you take her and cage outdoors for a half hour a couple times a week, into the sunlight/semi shade. You can take her out in a smaller, commercial cage. Be sure to use tree branches with bark for perches. She will love that. Get the size to fit her little feet.

      Sounds like you will be a great bird owner and she will be very happy with you. I hope you buy a hand raised bird and build her a nice playstand for time out of the cage.

  37. QUESTION:
    Which lights are proper to use for growing small herbs over winter?
    Don't have a window, and the garden did well this year, so looking to save a coupe plants under some 4' fluorescent lights this year.

    My only question is which kind of bulbs to get?

    My plants include many from the mint family.

    Lemon balm, mint, holy basil, also have thyme, oregano, aloe vera, lavender, rosemary, some struggling lemon grass that is just the root ball from what I harvested (it started growing shoots again so I figure why not)

    Also trying at some radishes, lettuce, and spinach.

    And also trying juniper cuttings, mum cuttings. ( in the shade for now, as they're still new)

    May throw a few more in the mix, not sure yet though.

    But back to the original question. For such a variety, should I just go for ALL 6500K Daylights?

    I keep hearing mix warm/cool. Then I heard that is a myth.

    since many of my plants are desired not to flower, do I need warm lights?

    How warm should I go? 4100K looks warm....but then 3000K looks warmer.

    Here is the set up I'm thinking of:

    -One GE Cool Light 4100K 3350 lumens on the outside.
    -Four GE Daylight 6500K 3050 lumens on the inside.
    -One GE Warm 3000K 3250 lumens on the outside near the wall.

    And one cool 1200 lumen cfl on the side.

    How does that sound will that work?

    *Please no info on any other plants other than the ones listed above

    • ANSWER:
      LED lights are flexible slim neon bulbs that can be fixed anywhere. They can be easily attached and detached from any spot if you feel that the placement of the lighting is not proper for your garden. It mainly uses two types of LEDS, red and blue, to give natural light feeling to the plants. They can efficiently work for a longer time with consistent temperature, unlike other normal lighting systems.

  38. QUESTION:
    Why do people think that having a big house, flashy expensive car, and a career = win at life?
    It doesn't. you just wasted your one and only life under fluorescent lights by slaving away at a job everyday of your existence. The government takes half of everything you make so you have to work extra and cant retire early.

    And then you die. what happens to your precious mercedes?

    I'm about to graduate high school so now everyone is asking what my dream career. My dream career is to not have a career.

    But it seems like everyone else whats to work, work, work. Like little bees in a colony and thats it. That's the purpose of life.

    Wow, another reason to pro choice. Saving millions of kids from this average 72 year life sentence. Who the hell would want to live like this?
    I wouldnt mind working 3 days of the weak, but right now im working 6 days. and im miserable because of it. i dont want the rest my life to be like this.
    **********week****

    • ANSWER:
      Nice to see someone at your young age already starting to see through the ruse. Remember that your life is much more than just the way you earn a living. Find something you really care about in life (something meaningful, not just something self-indulgent like partying) and pursue it with your whole heart. Follow your bliss and you will be much happier. You can do that and make a living at the same time. Just remember though that if you're going to make that work you have to stay off of drugs and you have to not be suckered into the idea that happiness comes from what you own. You become addicted to either drugs or materialism and you've made yourself a prisoner.

  39. QUESTION:
    Machine compound vs. polish. Also removing hail dents?
    Ok so first off, my car has a lot of swirls and some small scratches as does most black cars. So i want to get it detailed but there are two packages. One includes just a machine polish while the other includes a compound and polish. The scratches and swirls aren't so severe, you can see them in direct sunlight or under fluorescent lights. So would i need to get the surface compounded also or just polished. I know its hard to tell without pics, but im not understanding the differences. Its a 30 dollar difference and if i don't need it, i wont spend the money. Also, my car was outside work a while ago when it hailed, the roof has maybe 9 or 10 small dents, but none on the rest of the car, is there any secret to popping them out, i heard heating then cooling quickly may work? they can only be seen when youre level with the roof, theyre just annoying. Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      You dont need it,it only money making from them,.

  40. QUESTION:
    I fell head over heels in love 1 year ago and now I can't get over her. It's her BIRTHDAY tomorrow.Help?
    I met the most incredible girl in the universe a year ago. She went to my school. She grinned at me and gave me a hug when I was about to kill myself (she didn't even know what was going on with me, that was within literally 2 seconds of meeting me) she makes everyone around her laugh so hard they cry within 5 minutes of meeting her. I've fallen in love with her smile that radiates kindness and her eyes that glimmer even under fluorescent lighting and the arms that hug you when you're dying inside. I fell in love with her in every tiny way. I fell in love with her everything and now I can't get her out of my mind. Her smile is haunting my mind and that precious innocent beautiful twinkling face is hovering just behind the surface of my eyes and I know it's there. It's killing me that I probably will never see her again. I know no way to contact her -I'm not allowed to have a facebook yet, and I don't know her email or phone number or anything!! I can't ask her friends because I can't set foot in that school again. I can't believe this. I can't believe it's working out like this. Is she thinking about me now? Probably not. She's older than me, kinder than me and I doubt there's anyone in the world, male or female, who can help but fall in love with her. Still I can't help myself. her soul just envelops you when you're around her and I can't help falling in love!! I can't get her out of my mind. She is way too wonderful for a human being to touch, i can't believe her but I find myself trusting in her because I can't not. I'm absolutely in love.
    Tomorrow's her birthday. She doesn't know I even know that. I feel like I'm crushed and weeping my own blood. I can't believe this, what if I never see her again.
    You see I bet everything on seeing her when she came back to visit, but then things changed and I had to leave the school over the summer and I can't go back. I left no contact info and I don't know hers. I can't get her off my mind. Help me..

    • ANSWER:
      You seem pretty young, and love isn't just some small label. I think you have an extreme 'infatuation' with this young lady. I can completely understand where you are coming from though, I have had many of those moments in my life as well. I would fall head over heals for some guy and not realized until 6 months later that it was not meant to be. I know you think she's the only girl in the world, but she's not! That's the great thing about being so young! You have so much time to find someone! Just stop thinking about such intense things and have fun! Also, I hope that you have someone to talk to about your emotional problems. I know it is so hard to be a teenager, and it seems like you are having a harder time than most kids, so maybe talk to your parents about this? Or a trusted adult, or maybe a school councilor/ social worker. I think that talking to someone about your emotions will help you through these hard times! good luck!

  41. QUESTION:
    Have you ever noticed that 1st-world societies are established by, and in the best interest of, intellectuals?
    This is how the world is currently run: People who slave away miserably in classrooms and offices, sedentary and physically unhealthy...are busying themselves in those classrooms & offices to make the world function to benefit themselves. They use their intellectual, sitting-around, directive-giving powers to make the healthy, active people do all of their grunt work for them. If you don't graduate from a university and slave away in an office building, you can hardly afford to feed and shelter your family.

    What if the tables were turned? Imagine if all of the healthy, able-bodied people were running the world, and the sedentary people who like to sit still under fluorescent lights all day were at the mercy of the healthy people. Imagine if society was organized and functioned in the best interest of healthy, active, able-bodied people. Do you think people would be more motivated to be healthy so that they could keep up with the status quo?

    As things are now...people are sacrificing their health and well-being and true happiness in order to do all of the tedious things that are expected of them: expensive and useless college educations, agonizing careers.
    True, the most financially well-off people are self-made, and they "get ahead" in life. But why do they get to define what it means to "get ahead?"

    I think that healthy people should rule the world!!!

    • ANSWER:
      most of the billionaire and millionaire are self made...work hard and get ahead in life

  42. QUESTION:
    Should I find a new job?
    I work in a factory, and my normal job entails stacking boxes all day. On Monday, I had an afternoon of training to run one of the production machines, which was cool. It's a lot to learn, but a much better job overall, with better peers as well. I wouldn't necessarily get promoted to machine operator right away...it would probably be at least 2 months before I would be able to make that my full time job and see a pay increase. Assuming that the training continues, anyway.

    However, I really hate this factory. the box stacking job is 2/10 for enjoyment and pay, and the machine operating is 4/10. A big improvement, but still crappy. I've come to dislike the facility in general, and I don't feel great about the company. My hope was that I could put some time in here, go back to school for a degree, and then maybe apply for a job in the main office based on familiarity with the company and some management staff. But I'm not sure about that now...I just don't feel comfortable with the atmosphere there anymore. Being stuck indoors under fluorescent lights all night...the drabness and constant din of the production lines...the fact that there are only a couple people I can chat with as friends because they speak decent English...I hate it there.

    Also, I met the owner of the company yesterday on bad terms. I had been sent to palletize in an area I had never been before. Turns out, they didn't need me yet. They hadn't even started producing boxes. I wanted to help, but had no idea how to, and nobody was directing me. It didn't help that nobody but me is a native English speaker, so even telling them *why* I had come there was hard, and they didn't know what to do with me since I'm not a production line guy or machine operator.

    All I could do was stand there being confused. And wouldn't ya know it, the director of production and the owner/president walked by at that moment and caught me doing nothing. Needless to say, I got scolded. Twice actually, the second one being for a misunderstanding about what exactly I was throwing into the trash (he thought I was tossing good product, but I wasn't, and I couldn't correct him just then.)

    Do my aspirations for a better job in the future justify staying here?
    Or should I bail on the prospect of earning more as a machine operator, and find a job that I enjoy more?

    • ANSWER:
      Start looking for another job ... That factory will only make you miserable ....................

  43. QUESTION:
    Will halogen lights give me seizures?
    I had a job in high school at K-Mart. Prior to that job, I had never had a seizure in my life. Yet, after I started working there, I started getting seizures while at work sometimes. It was a mystery, I never got them at home, while out, or even on the days I worked a few hours after school. But on weekends and then summer break, when I was working for normal 8 hour shifts, I started getting them. My parents took me to a bunch of specialists, who traced it back to the fluorescent lighting in the store. That particular kind of lighting makes my brain misfire. I can't be under it for long periods of time. Kind of like how some people get siezures from tv and video games, I get it from flourecent lights.

    Now, they're trying to change all the lightbulbs you'd use in your home to fluorescent (CFL) and I'm scrambling to try and figure out what to do come next year. I found 2 options beyond stockpiling incandecents- halogen and led. Led bulbs cost a pop, and I simply can't afford that. Hologen, however, are only or so a piece, and while I've never used them, I don't think they're going away with regular bulbs. Being that the fluorescents give me siezures, do you think halogen will too? I'm really not sure what a halogen light source is comparatively to a incandescent, or how similar it is to fluorescent. Anyone have any insight?
    This is kind of a serious question. I had to quit that job because I cracked my head open on the register stand after having a siezure. I don't want lights in my home that could put me in danger of something like that happening again. What if I had one while cooking and fell in the hot oven or something? My husband isn't home all day, we have no kids or people who drop by unexpectedly. If I had a siezure in a dangerous situation or an injury resulted, there wouldn't be anyone around to help.

    • ANSWER:
      The references I found say that fluorescent lighting flashes at double the mains frequency, i.e. 120Hz in the US, and that photosensitive epilepsy is usually triggered by frequencies between 3-30Hz.
      Wikipedia suggests that only a faulty fluorescent tube would cause flicker in that range.
      If that's true, then perhaps K-Mart had a faulty tube. This problem is not unknown, so in that case they should replace it as it is putting their customers at risk.

      Other articles say that the problem only exists with old electromagnetic ballasts, and that newer electronic ballasts run the lamp at 25,000Hz which would be too high to cause a seizure (or for that matter a strobe effect making you think a rotating circular saw was stationary). I believe all CFLs use an electronic ballast, so they should be safe for you to use.

      Halogen lamps are just incandescent lamps that run hotter and whiter than regular ones. They would flicker at 120Hz, except that there is a thermal inertia that damps the effect down.

  44. QUESTION:
    Social Security Disability for Lupus?
    I have recently been diagnosed with Lupus and Fibromyalgia. I am very photosensitive to the point that I cannot sit in the doctors office under the fluorescent lights without having a flare. I feel sick all of the time and I am extremely tired. What would be the chances of me receiving disability? I am 42 years old and I have been working since I was 17 years old. I have an Associates degree in Accounting and have been at the same job since 1995.
    By the way I forgot to mention that I am allergic to steroids which is the main treatment for Lupus. Also I have migraines. So I have Lupus fog, migraine fog and fibro fog. I have a hard time concentrating and have been making many mistakes that has cost my employer lots of money over the last couple of years. Fortunately my employer (my mother) has been very kind but it has become very hard for her to take care of my clients and her clients too.

    • ANSWER:
      if you were recently diagnosed with both--you were not properly diagnosed with fms...

      the lupus needs to be thoroughly addressed 1st...if its recent-that is not possible

      fms is highly overdiagnosed...most people actually ONLY have something else

      many docs are using as a general label for pain...they are saying the pain of Lupus is FMS---that is completely wrong...

      If SSA is smarter than your doc--listing FMS can cause problems for you..

      can you work under different lights (low/non flourescent)

      have you exhausted all possible treatment/job accommodations...

      as an accountant--you can work in an office where you can control the light....

      have you tried contacting vocational rehab to get help with job accommodations?

      if you were to get approved, it will probably take a few years...

      and you would have to show you cannot work any job under any circumstances for at least a year...work credit wise you should be eligible...

      http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_aboutdiagnosis.aspx?articleid=94&zoneid=15
      this relates it to sunlight

      http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_magazineback.aspx?articleid=2563&zoneid=67
      http://www.crslight.com/photosens.htm
      this refers to flourescent

      Sontheimer notes that an acrylic plastic diffuser will shield UVB emission from standard fluorescent lights if shielded bulbs are not available. If you experience photosensitivity reactions at work (such as lesions or rashes, joint pain in hands or wrists, fatigue, or other symptoms of systemic lupus), talk to your boss or the human resources department about switching to shielded bulbs or getting acrylic shades for overhead and desk lamps

      the Health Sciences Center at the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City recommends 60-watt shielded compact fluorescent light bulbs, also called “encapsulated” or "double-envelope" bulbs.

      how frequent are the migraines? I assume they do not respond good enough to meds (ie imitrex)

      can you cut your work load in half...and your income? that way you can attend to less clients.

      have you considered another area of employment?

      you must be unable to do any job you currently have skills for or can obtain the skills for in the next year..

  45. QUESTION:
    What causes an itchy tongue and itchy gums?
    My tongue and gums are prone to itching. My GP has recommended vitamin b complex which helps. This problem started a couple of years ago. The 1 change in my life which occurred at the same time is my change of job. Where I now work is a department which has no windows, so I am working under in an environment full of air conditioners and fluorescent lights, and, coincidentally, I have been prone to tiredness. The vitamins have helped alleviate my itching as well as helping to combat my tiredness.

    Is it possible my tongue and gums are sensitive to the air conditioning at my work? or is it possible the tiredness is contributing to my itchiness?

    • ANSWER:
      Oral thrush ,allergy to food Here's a site where other people are experiencing similar problems. . .http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=293633

  46. QUESTION:
    I work in a factory that is lit by 2 metre 2-bar flourescent lights overhead that are spaced 10ft apart?
    There's at least 100 hundred in the factory and I'm under this 12hrs a day, 3 times per week. What's the question? Is fluorescent light bad for your health. If so, how and is there a medical study on it's effect?
    No effect on the immune system?

    • ANSWER:
      no danger, apart from it falling on you. lol

  47. QUESTION:
    Can I cancel a check if I return the purchase?
    I bought a stove from a local charity restore. Under their lighting and next to a bunch of old bisque stoves we thought is was white. I'm sure the person there heard us saying we were looking for white stove. He told us if it didn't work we cold return it within 7 days. When I got it inside under our fluorescent lights, it turns out it was a light almond. I called the guy and told him that it turns out it wasn't white and wanted to return it. He said he wouldn't take it back. I even offered to return it for 75% of what I paid for it and he wouldn't accept. I now have a stove that I don't want, it will take me a while to recover from this expense, and I don't think I'll be able to sell it for what I paid for it. I over paid because it was to a charity and it was saving me money. What I'd like to do it cancel the check and return the stove plus some cash to cover any fees they will incur from a canceled check. Could they do anything to me legally if I do this?

    • ANSWER:

  48. QUESTION:
    Can these types of light help my peppers grow?
    I have been looking on the internet for tips to grow peppers and in one of the websites it said that "Lights ensure stocky seedlings. As soon as you see the first sign of sprouting, if not before, put your seed starting tray under lights. You don't need fancy grow lights for seedlings; inexpensive cool fluorescent "shop" lights will work fine"

    I couldn't find those 48 inch flourecent tubes so i bought these instead --> http://www.lowes.com/pd_75232-371-60124_0__?productId=3427912&Ntt=flourecent+lights&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dflourecent%2Blights&facetInfo=

    Do these lights work just as good?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes.
      You have two 26 watt bulbs totaling 52, a single 48" fluorescent is only 40 watts.
      They should be enough light to get a half dozen plants to the transplant stage without any additional sun.

      RScott

  49. QUESTION:
    how do I connect TWO 5watt fluorescent stick bulbs to a 15watt single stick bulb fixture?
    Okies,
    I am building a vehicle for Flint's annual "back to bricks". Four days of people showing off their hotrods. But I do not have money, instead I have loads of electronics I have been collecting from devices found in trash and such.
    I have the vehicle built and am currently working on the lighting, and I thought I understood fluorescent bulbs(stick style with two prongs at each end)but I was wrong.

    I have two sharper image 11-in-1 emergency devices that have been installed in the vehicle, but one of them quit working AHHHHHH! Each device has two fluorescent fixtures for the lantern that use the very common F4T5D 5watt bulbs. And most of the other lanterns on the market use these bulbs. On each of the sharper image devices I installed is a switch that turns the left fluorescent on, or both, or the right. So I have a grand total of FOUR 5watt fluorescent fixtures that are waterproof and simply perfect for the exterior of the vehicle, with the REAR left and right fixtures controlled and powered by the WORKING sharper image device. But now that the second sharper image fixture broke, I must find another method for powering the front left and right fixtures.
    I don't have any other lanterns to use but I do have many single bulb fluorescent fixtures. I have a 15watt single bulb fixture that I want to use to power the two 5watt bulbs(which total 10watts) I thought I could figure out the configuration, but failed,.... the 5 watt bulbs have the standard two prongs at each end, but both the prongs on one side are the positive and both the prongs on the other side are connected to the negative in the sharper image fixtures,.... this is way different than the way the single bulb fixture is powered,..... it uses a ballast and a button that needs to be held down for a few seconds then released for the single bulb to turn on. I rigged up a single 5watt bulb to the 15watt fixture and it worked fine, but I could not get two 5watt bulbs to turn on using the 15watt fixture, and I tried many configurations,.... one of the 5watters would always come on, but not both,... in some configurations I got a bit of light from the second bulb, and sometimes an entire half of the second bulb would shine perfectly. the best I could do is get 1.5 bulbs lit,... meaning one bulb fully lit with the other with only half of it lit, but the lit half was as bright as normal,... very strange.
    These devices have a B/W TV also that is totally useless which is why they are hard to get, and none are on ebay.
    I really want to know how to get these bulbs to work in these particular sharper image fixtures cuz they are perfect for my vehicle's exterior! And all the bulbs I worked with do work cuz I check them often.
    This vehicle will do everything a house can do, tho it is as wide as a standard sidewalk, can go where a car can't. Everything will be powered by a high amp gasoline generator with battery backup for emergencies. Going to have many exterior lights all over the body and TV, warm running water, heat and air conditioning, PA system, many speakers, dual mic's, bug repeller, two B/W tv's for the fake headlights with the station being broadcast via a vcr in the cabin sending a local signal of my choosing, karaoke, electric motor for up to 40mph and a backup tractor motor capable of 10mph, both can be used together for severe inclines, many radios, PC and a separate dvd player so all media is supported, cassette recorders, amplifiers, six car batteries, ten tires so I can afford to loose a few. This vehicle was supposed to float so it could be taken into lakes and rivers, but I am worried there will be a heavy spot and the vehicle will tilt too much causing water to go into bad places.

    I have pictures if anyone is interested tho I don't know how to post them for yahoo answers

    Sorrie if I was over or under descriptive or insanely confusing. Luckily I have five months before I need this vehicle finished and I will send you pictures when its finished. Thankies for your time!

    • ANSWER:
      Bottom line, you cannot. You need a ballast for each individual bulb, sized for the bulb.

  50. QUESTION:
    Looking for advice because I don’t trust my dentist (long but I need help)?
    I'm just 21 but in high school I had an eating disorder which completely f-ed up my teeth. Under fluorescent lighting, the ends of my teeth are see-through and my bottom front teeth are slightly chipped, but this was never a problem because I had an overbite that basically hid the issue.

    Well it just so happens that I grind my teeth and the 0 night guard I bought put pressure on my front top teeth (dumb idea, whoever created that one), and I ended up slightly chipping a top front tooth. It was ever-so-slight, but my dentist acted like it shaving was my only option, and it was this gift from the heavens that would look so much better.

    Well he shaved SO much, way more than he had to and I know this because I can see where my top teeth used to stop on my slightly chipped bottom teeth. I have this gigantic open bite now, which wouldn’t look so bad if my bottom teeth weren’t so messed up. The clear ends make the open bite larger under certain lighting.
    .
    Well I think about my teeth 24/7 and feel almost 'unworthy,' so to speak, to smile. I work with the unforgiving public which makes this feel so much worse. I probably stare at my teeth 20xs a day, and think about them every time I open my mouth and feel like crying.

    I don’t have much money but I am thinking about investing in veneers for my sanity. My dentist says he’s not sure they will bond but I don’t trust him considering he made my situation what it is.

    The thing is, I don’t know how to find a good dentist (I live in RI) and I’m so afraid of someone messing things up more, but I really feel something needs to be done. This will help me be more confident considering my self-esteem is borderline non-existent to begin with.

    I feel lost and tired.
    Any advice on where to begin? Basically what would you do if you were me.

    • ANSWER:
      If you are unhappy with your current dentist for any reason it is best to look into seeing another. I would do a search on Google using the search terms "dentist reviews Rhode Island" or the town in which you live and surrounding areas. See what others have to say about them first.


working under fluorescent lights

Replace Light Ballast

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Can I replace a fluorescent light fixture with ballast with a florescent light fixture without a ballast?
    My kitchen light fixture cover fell off, the clips that held the cover in place all cracked off. the light and ballast, florescent tubes (2 of them) all work, they are just ugly and I want to replace them. Since there is a ballast, I am unsure if I can replace them with a light fixture that doesn't have a ballast.

    • ANSWER:
      If you replace to ENTIRE fixture, it doesn't matter what the old fixture used. The NEW fixture should have everything needed to connect directly to your home wiring.

  2. QUESTION:
    Is it possible to change a 4' standard fluorescent light fixture ballast and replace with a 3' bulb?
    Is it possible to use the same ballast from a 4 feet light fixture and use it with a 3 feet florescent light bulb?

    • ANSWER:
      The fluorescent ballasts are designed to operate specifically desingned fluorescent bulbs. It takes a higher voltage to start a 4 foot fluorescent bulb than a 3 foot fluorescent bulb.

      You will definitely greatly shorten the life of the 3 foot fluorescent bulb if you connect it to a fluroescent ballast desingned for a 4 foot fluorescent bulb if it does not burn out almost immediately.

  3. QUESTION:
    How difficult is it to replace an electronic ballast in a kitchen light fixture?
    I have a strange electrical problem. Our kitchen light went out, and after several weeks, suddenly came back on. It remained functional for several weeks, then went back out again. During this time it would intermittently go out for several minutes, and come back on. Both of the bulbs were very dark so we replaced them, to no avail. Everyone we spoke to advised us to buy a new fixture, as the ballast would be more expensive to replace. Oddly enough, I ordered a new, electronic ballast from the manufacturer (Sunpark Electronics) for .50. The fixture sells at Home Depot for . Can anyone tell me if they think a new ballast will resolve the problem? I'm also curious to know why the electricians & diy'ers were so certain the ballast would cost more than a new fixture. Admittedly, I haven't tested anything as I am respectful of something I know very little about, and quite frankly...it scares me! Thanks in advance.

    • ANSWER:
      you have a simple fix, turn the light off, read the directions and wiring diagram on the ballast, they are easy to replace, you may need some small wirenuts as you will have to cut the wire going to the sockets so you can splice the new ballast in, Electronic ballast DO NOT have starters so no need to look for one...Hope this helps

  4. QUESTION:
    Do you need an electrician to replace a ballast in a flourescent light fixture?

    • ANSWER:
      Legaly, you don't if you are the owner of the home (assuming it's a home), but in most states you must get a homowners permit. It is a relatively simple procedure. The most important thing is to make a good connection, and make absolutely sure that the wattage, voltage, current, and temperature ratings on your new ballast, are identical to the old one. Only install it yourself if you are absolutely sure of what you are doing, because you could cause a fire if you do it wrong (as with most electrical repairs). And as with any electrical repair, SHUT OFF POWER FIRST at the Circuit breaker/fuse/disconnect, and check to make sure there is NO VOLTAGE present BEFORE you begin work (you can do this with a voltameter, which you can buy at almost any store with a hardware department). Also, as always, wear your safety glasses.

      and as for what cathygirl32 said, colors can vary, in the U.S., the most comon are Black/Red=Hot, White=Neutral Green=Ground, white to black in a 120V system can result in a DIRECT SHORT! (as can Red to Black)!, this is very dangerous advice, and should be completely dissreguarded, it angers me to see someone answering an electrical question when they don't know what the hell they are talking about, electicity can kill you very easily, and an electrical question is not trivia, nor merely "points" in some internet game!

      Hope this helps!
      Be Safe!

  5. QUESTION:
    How hard is it to replace the ballast in a fluorescent reading light?

    • ANSWER:
      On the provisions that you can find a replacement ballast and that it is mounted in the base of the lamp, it should not be difficult at all. Even if it is not in the base of the lamp, the same sized device will fit, just use a little care with re-assembly.

  6. QUESTION:
    how can I replace the ballast in an old florescent light?

    • ANSWER:
      good luck if you follow any of those answer my friend,, it is not hard to change but is completely off base,, as the ballast will cost as much or more than a whole new light!!!get a new one that has the newer longer lasting ballast and uses the more energy efficent bulbs with better light quality,, they are the same price or sligthly higher depending on size and design!!!!

  7. QUESTION:
    Help identifying fluorescent light ballast?
    I have a four foot, 2 lamp fluorescent light that I would like to replace the ballast in. The catalog number on the ballast reads "2011 B" and it also says "2-F40T10". It uses 2 4' T8 bulbs. I am having trouble locating information on this for replacement. It would be great if someone could provide me with a Lowe's or Home Depot part number! Any help would be appreciated!

    • ANSWER:
      2011 B
      B-sound rating (A-good through F-bad)

      2-F40T10
      2- quantity of bulbs
      F-Fluorescent
      40- Wattage
      T-shape "Tubular"
      10- Diameter of light in eights of an inch so 1-1/8" (this is old) so you can still go with the T8 bulbs.

      Find a class P(thermal protected)- so the ballast wont start itself or surrounding material on fire. Go to this source to find a good one.

  8. QUESTION:
    Is it possible that all 4 tube lights are burned out, or is it the ballast? I replaced one light and nothing?
    Its an electronic ballast house is 3 years old, fixture takes 4 t8 32 bulbs but it appears only to have one ballast
    It is a kitchen fixture, takes 4 t8 32 bulbs, house is 3 yrs old, so i assume ballast is electronic, and there is only one ballast in fixture.

    • ANSWER:
      change the ballast

  9. QUESTION:
    will a 220v f. lamp w/ matching ballast work if i remove the ballast and replace it with a 110v ballast?
    i bought a 220v fluorescent lamp with matching ballast. we tried to remove the ballast and used a 110 ballast for the lamp. the problem is that the lamp isn't turning on. will it really light or do we have to use a 220v ballast to light up the lamp?

    • ANSWER:
      I assume you're changing a lamp that was originally set for 220 volts to work with 110 volts. If it's the correct ballast for the lamp it should work. Make sure you have it wired correctly. Also make sure the bulb in the lamp is good.

  10. QUESTION:
    Do i need to replace the ballast?
    I have a 4 foot 4 bulb flourescent light fixture. A bulb went out so i decided to replace all of them. I did. When i turn on the lights, the two outside bulbs come on nice and bright, but the 2 inside ones are dim. When i pull out one outside bulb, the other two inside ones will come on very brightly (the other outside one turns off completely). what do i need to do? replace the ballast? I do not see a starter.

    • ANSWER:
      first, get a continuity tester and see if there is a short.
      next, check that the bulbs you have bought are the proper rating.
      if none of that works, either get a new ballast or a new fixture. whichever is cheapest.

  11. QUESTION:
    my fluorescent light keeps burning out ,i replaced the ballast twice and it still doesnt work?

    • ANSWER:
      There are lots of different kinds of fluoresents and ballasts and not knowing a little more detail it's hard to answer you acurately. But if you've replaced the ballast twice it's not that.

      The fixture could be wired wrong - You could have a short from a loose wire - the lamp itself may have been bad. - you could be using a dimming switch (this will burn out a ballast if the ballast isn't designed to be dimmed) - Check those things out.

  12. QUESTION:
    When a fluoresent light goes out & the other bu flicker & the bulb isnt replaced can this cause the ballast to?
    when a fluorescent light goes out & the other is flickering and the bulbs aren't replaced quickly can this cause the ballast to go bad?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes it can. The starter is still trying to ignite the bulb. Failure of the bulb to ignite will eventually cause the starter to overheat and fail. If the ballast is a self starting type, then the ballast will fail right along with the starter.

  13. QUESTION:
    I have replaced both the ballast and fluorescent lights. The flickering continues. Need suggestions?
    Light switch in bathroom controls overhead fan and fluorescent lights. They begain flickering after many years of bright non-flickering use. I followed suggestions found on internet. Replaced bulbs and, when that did not solve problem, replaced the ballast. Problem continues with flickering and low level of illumination. No problem with fan.

    • ANSWER:
      Several good suggestions were offered - and most should be followed. Make sure you have the right lamps matched to the ballast. If there is a starter, replace it. Definitely check the grounds and bonding, not only at the lights, but at all other junctions in the circuit feeding the switch and lights. Connections can corrode. Make sure they are clean, bright and tight. Cold temperatures - generally below 40 degrees F, will affect performance. But if temperature didn't affect you for several years, there is no need to start now. Don't worry about a surge protector - that has nothing to do with it.

  14. QUESTION:
    can i use any 54 watt ballast for my t5 aquarium light?
    my ballast on my t5 light fixture blew. but its too expensive to replace it. can i put together two 54 watt ballast that i could buy at home depot??? this will cause the lights to turn on one at a time but will it work?

    • ANSWER:
      Here are a couple you can use. You must use a ballast that is rated for T-5 lighting.

      http://www.specialty-lights.com/010492.html
      http://www.1000bulbs.com/Fulham-Ballast-Workhorse-3/

      http://www.hellolights.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=708

  15. QUESTION:
    How to change a ballast on a fluorescent lighting fixture?
    I'm applying for a new job as a maintenance technician at a local college and need to know how to repair and replace ballasts attached to fluorescent lighting fixtures. Generally what are the steps taken to do so and what kind of tools would you use?

    • ANSWER:
      Pie mash found a great one for you.

      It really is very simple. You just need to make sure the new ballast is the right voltage 120 or 277. But most are dual voltage now. You need to make sure that the ballast you are putting in will do the same light bulbs you have.

      If you can not shut the light fixture off, cut the hot wire first. That wire is gonna hurt if you are not careful but the other wires will hurt more.

      You can't mess it up if you just wire nut color to color.

  16. QUESTION:
    How do you remove wires from fluorescent light sockets?
    I need to replace a ballast in a fluorescent light fixture but can't remove the wires from the sockets. I can push the wires in but not out. Is there some way to remove them or are these going to have to be replaced? Is it normal to have to replace the sockets when you replace the ballast?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      They DO come out of the sockets and that IS the right way to fix them. With the power off take a pliers and grip the wire close to the socket. Pull and twist until the wire comes out. it's not soldered or anything so feel free to pull hard, just hang on to the socket so you don't break it.

      Simply push in the new wire and you're done.

  17. QUESTION:
    Where can you buy a Ballast, And how to replace it?
    I have a PC (Power Compact) light that has a bad ballast but i don't know where i can find one. It's from oddysea for and aquarium.

    • ANSWER:
      Contact MarineDepot.com They have a wide variety of supplies and parts for aquariums

  18. QUESTION:
    replacement of lighting ballast?
    I'm replacing my lighting ballast and the salesperson at Lowes gave me a 277 volt ballast to replace my 120 volt ballast. I inquired and he said it should be fine. Is there any issue with this? Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      Some are, some are not. It should say on the label of the ballast whether it's compatible with 120V or not. If it doesn't say that, take it back and go to an electrical supply house. You'll pay a little more, but you'll be dealing with a person that knows what they are talking about. Hope this helps.

  19. QUESTION:
    Need step by step process on replacing a ballast in a fluorescent ,4 foot,4 light fixture.?

    • ANSWER:
      clip the wires running from the ballast to the end pieces near the ballast, un-do the power wires (usually one black, one white). remove ballast holder (usually screws). Install new matching ballast (if the mounting holes don't line up, drill new ones). Using wire nuts connect the power wires to the power source. Cut off excess wire from fixture and wire nut the end wires to the ballast. (doesn't matter which wire where)

  20. QUESTION:
    How do you buy and replace a ballst on a circle light fixture in a kitchen ceiling?
    I purchsed the 22w 8 inch light and it stays on for about 3 hours then goes off. I assume its a ballast problem. How do I find these and does that sound like the issue?

    • ANSWER:
      Most of these type of lights have a starter type ballast built into the light itself. I suggest you replace the light. If this doesn't correct the problem then it would be best for you to discuss this with a representative at a local home improvement store.

  21. QUESTION:
    light switch or light ballast problem?
    Light went out in laundry room. Replaced bulb with a new one (G24Q-3 4-pin base) and still no light. I used a tool that detects current and first checked the switch. Tested on and off (switch) and current flows when switch is on. Then I checked the light fixture which has the electronic ballasts attached. The light switch is off, tested the current where you plug in the bulb, no current. Turned on the light switch, i have current. What else can i troubleshoot?

    • ANSWER:
      First using a test meter check the voltage at the fixture in question. You should have between 110 and 120 Volts AC present. If the voltage is less or varies you have a problem with the switch or wiring, If the voltage is steady and between 110 to 120 volts then the problem is in the fixture. The lamp, the ballast or in some older fixtures you could have a starter. A starter is the least expensive, then the lamp and the ballast is the most expensive. Sometimes with an older fixture it is better to replace the fixture if the ballast is bad. If unsure of how to test voltage safely get an electrician as this can be dangerous.

  22. QUESTION:
    What type of ballast do I need for a 4ft long flourescent bulbs?
    I need to replace my ballast in one of my flourescent light, because there's a black oily thing that is coming out of my old ballast. My old ballast is too old that I can't read it's specifications anymore.

    • ANSWER:
      Ballasts are not worth replacing, because you can buy a fixture cheaper than a ballast. I would recommend a T8 rather than a T12. T12 doesn't work reliably in cold weather, and they tend to flicker.

  23. QUESTION:
    can i use a 2x 30w ballast to run 2x 25w t8 tubes?
    cant seem to find a 2x 25w ballast on the net. its to replace the ballast in my aquarium light unit.

    • ANSWER:
      Should be OK but get the supplier to verify and keep a record of the verification.

  24. QUESTION:
    Porch Light Electrical Ballast Question?
    All of my porch lights have an 26watt electrical ballast that the bulb connects too. Two of the three lights have quit working an I have narrowed it down to the electrical ballasts being the cause of the problem. I have since bypassed the ballast by replacing the bulb with the same connector (GU-24) to connect to the base and the light works fine. Questions are, what does the electrical ballast actually do? And will bypassing the ballast cause any problems down the road? Thank you!
    The electrical ballast I am referring to is the Rhine RB-FLA26 (pictured here:http://www.rhine-e.com.tw/ballast.htm ). Is this the same thing as the Iron ballasts that you are referring too? The problem is with the piece on the left.

    Thanks for your help!

    • ANSWER:

  25. QUESTION:
    how to replace a florescent light bulb?
    ballast lighting

    • ANSWER:
      The 1st answer is correct if you have a tube that does indeed twist in and out. If it does twist it will have two pins on each end.
      Some bulbs do however push in and out. If they do they will have a single pin to push in one end and simply pull the tube out.
      Some older models are round if you do have one of these they pull in and out by snap rings that hold them in place after disconnecting the pull pin that wires it to the light.
      Hopefully this will help you as far as changing your fluorescent light bulb.

      Good luck :)

  26. QUESTION:
    Where is the ballast board for my Mitsubishi wd62530 and how do I replace it?
    I have a mitsubishi wd 62530. The lamp blew and I replaced it. Then 2 weeks layer the tv shutt off and the lamp light was blinking again

    • ANSWER:
      If it was NOT a Genuine Mitsubishi lamp, you should try one.

      Some sets don't like generic type replacement bulbs.

  27. QUESTION:
    Flourescent light fixture?
    I have replaced the ballast but the light tubes burn out after only a few weeks.
    Any suggestions ?

    • ANSWER:
      check incoming voltage and compare with fixture, right ballast, right tubes, connections right? Maybe cheap tubes, defective ballast? Remote possibility: on and off too much?

  28. QUESTION:
    how can i tell if the ballast or the bulb needs to be replaced on my metal halide reef tank light?
    the bulb has what look like small metal shavings on the bottom and one can look directly at the bulb.

    • ANSWER:
      It sounds like the bulb to me. For best results get the bulb made by the same manufacturer of the light.

  29. QUESTION:
    How to fault detect a bad fluorescent light fixture?
    A few of my under counter fluorescent fixtures in the kitchen don't work. they are all less than 3 years old. I replace the light bulb, but it still doesn't light. How do you test what part of the fixture has failed- ie the ballast, a connection, etc

    • ANSWER:
      It is actually quite uncommon to find flourescent fixtures that use starters anymore unless they are very old. If the fixture is that old it would most likely be cost effective to simple replace the fixture. Starters are not expensive, but may be difficult to find and there are more energy efficient fixtures on the market today that also offer more pleasing light colors.

      If your fixture is newer and doesnt have a starter or even if it does have a starter there will be a ballast and this is the most likely reason for failure or the light to come on. A ballast is simply a transformer that boosts your household voltage to a voltage that is needed to cause the gas inside the tube to "burn". Standard mechanical ballasts will eventually wear out. This is often evidenced by visually inspecting the ballast where you will often times find a black tarry substance leaking from the case of the ballast. The ballast, by the way, will be located inside the cover of the fixture, it is not exposed. Newer flourescent fixtures will have an electronic ballast that often will look like a small printed circuit board like that as you may find in a radio.

      If you feel comfortable replacing the ballast it is a fairly simple procedure. First be absolutely sure that you have turned the circuit off before attempting to replace a ballast. Simply turning the light switch off is not good enough. You can check to see that the circuit is off by testing with a circuit tester that does not require live contact. These are available at hardware stores. The tester will "chirp" if voltage is present. Also once you think the circuit is off, check with a "wiggy" tester, also available from a hardware store. This tester requires live contact with the wiring. Always check your testers on a known live outlet before proceeding to the circuit in question to ensure that the tester works properly. Once you are sure the circuit is turned off you can proceed with replacing the ballast. It is a simple process of disconnecting the wires from the faulty ballast and removing it then install the new ballast matching the colors of the wires. To make sure that you purchase the correct ballast you can either look at the label of the old ballast or tell the clerk at the store about your fixture. Is it an 8 foot, 2 tube fixture or a 4 foot 4 tube, 18 inch single tube fixture, just let the clerk know. Again consider that if the fixture is old just replacing the entire fixture.

      Warning: You have been told to be sure the circuit is off before working on the fixture. Household current can be DEADLY if you come into contact with it. If you do not understand how to use a circuit tester or are at all uncomfortable with working with electricity call an electrician. This type of repair is quite inexpensive and you will be certain that the job is done right and safely. I will assume NO responsibility if you decide to perform this repair yourself. Often times it is much less costly to hire a professional than to put yourself at risk.

  30. QUESTION:
    Does anyone know a way to use a T5 light in a T8 fixture?
    Ignore the need to replace the ballast and all other details, just is there a product that will make a t5 light fit inside a t8 fixture?

    • ANSWER:
      Here's one, but it looks like it's not a single-piece sale kind of item. They want to sell you a gross or three, I think: http://www.eiko.ie/Certified%20Green%20-%20Energy%20Conservation/Convert%20T8%20Fluorescent%20to%20T5.htm

      Then there's these guys: http://www.goodmart.com/pdfs/eiko/T5refit.pdf

      Same product, maybe smaller volumes. Good luck!

  31. QUESTION:
    Can I replace a 2 T8 bulb ballast with a ballast that is designed for 3 or 4 T8 bulbs? It's running hot.?
    I am replacing a ballast in a 4 foot twin T8 bulb aquarium fixture. I purchased a replacement ballast from Lowes and was told that even though the replacement ballast was designed for 3 or 4 bulbs it would still work if it was wired the same way. They said it could last half as long as the first one, or it could last twice as long. I wired it up and it does work. However the bulbs are older(slightly black on one end) and they are a little hot at one end. Typically heat isn't good when wiring something up.....am I going to run into a problem? Will this even work out for me? I am going to leave the light off until I get some feedback. Perhaps I will try out some replacement bulbs to see if I get the same result. FYI....I never noticed whether or not the fixture ran hot when it was set up with the original ballast. Any advice??????

    • ANSWER:
      Replace the bulbs with a new ballast. If a bulb burns out its like it isn't in the circuit and people let them go for years that way, so your ok not having all bulbs hooked up. The 3 or 4 bulb ballast will draw more power than a 2 bulb and will get hotter. Make sure the other wires not used are capped and secured. Try to find a 2 bulb ballast and it will save you money if you want.

  32. QUESTION:
    I need to replace the florecense light fixture.?
    or ballast. is it hard? how can I learn to do it?
    where is the best place to buy? how much?
    thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      In most cases it is cheaper and a little more straightforward to just replace the whole fixture vs. the ballast.Write down any info you can find on the fiture and go to home depot or lowes, they can be very helpful and most are knowledgeable in this category. Ask anyone working in electrical dept.

  33. QUESTION:
    how do i remove a ballast from a t8 lamp?
    i want to buy this led tube light to replace my t8 tube at the moment

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=223740&C=Froogle&U=223740&T=Module

    but how do i remove the ballast what wiring do i need to do after i have removed the ballast for this light to work

    • ANSWER:
      The tube being advertised is a T8 , just put it in your T8 Luminaire ( Fixture ). The Ballast would only need changing if your Luinaire was T10 or T12.

  34. QUESTION:
    Question about fluorescent light fixtures. Do they unplug?
    Suppose you have to service a fluorescent light fixture in an office. However, you can't turn off the circut as that would shut down power to other areas of the office, which people don't want to happen. Could you do things such as replacing the ballast or a cracked socket. I would imagine that you couldn't do this. If I'm right, how could someone repair a fluorescent light fixture of the kind you find in offices and buildings. Is there a way to unplug it like you can with the ones you commonly find in people's basements?

    • ANSWER:
      you can only unplug it if it has been wired that way. If it is wired in a series with other lights, then there is no way and than killing power, to shut it off.

  35. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light fixture: should it be able to hum if I've turned off the circuit (breaker)?
    I think I need to replace a ballast and wanted to check it out last night. But my wife and mother-in-law were in the kitchen so I kinda rushed things. I turned the light on (the lights don't come on but the fixture hums) thinking when I cut the right circuit the noise would stop. It never did. Is it more likely I missed the circuit, or could the humming have continued in spite of the fact I cut power to it?
    Note: I did replace the bulbs, unfortunately the new ones don't work either.

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like either something is miss-wired, you have bad bulbs, or your light fixture is bad.

      Replace the bulbs. If it still hums, I'd start checking all the wiring to make sure it is correct. It shouldn't hum if there is no power going to it. I'd say you have power going to it when it hums.

      Turn the main power off and see if it still hums. I wouldn't work on it if you hear it humming. You run the chance of getting electrocuted. I'd turn the main house power off. You may have power coming in from somewhere else or you may have picked the wrong circuit breaker. You might need to get an electric tester to figure out where your wires run to.

  36. QUESTION:
    I've got some fluorescent light fixtures (the tube kind) that always flicker, even with new bulbs, what to do?
    Do I need to replace the ballast or fixtures (again, the first time didn't help)?

    • ANSWER:
      Change the ballast.

  37. QUESTION:
    What is the difference between a T8 and a T12 ballast?
    I have a shop that I need to replace some of the fluorescent light - ballasts...the ones that are currently in there (lights were just your typical 8 foot lights purchased at lowes - not high output lights). On the current ballast it states the lamp types to be used are: F72T12 or F96T12. Looking on ebay about the only thing I can find are ballast for T8 lamps. Is there a major difference between the two ---simply - will the T8s work for me? or do I need the exact same specs...
    thanks

    • ANSWER:
      T8 and T12 describe the diameter of the tube in 8ths of an inch. The electrical characteristics of each are different. Unless you can find a ballast that can work for both types, you'll need to find a T12 type for your existing lamps.

      Don

  38. QUESTION:
    How do I fix Fluorescent light?
    I recently installed 4(2 bulb) fluorescent lights -about a month ago. They worked fine til recently one bulb in one light went out. Replaced bulb same thing??? New fixtures so no "starter". If ballast was bad wouldn't it affect both bulbs?

    • ANSWER:
      Its not the Ballast first of all. Sometimes bulbs will go bad fast depending on shipping mishandling where inner filaments are damaged some or manufacturers. Just replace both bulbs instead of just 1. See how long it will last. If they burn out again then you have a short in the end connectors. Dont bother changing the ballasts.I recommend a return for a totally new fixture before the manufacturer warranty runs out.

  39. QUESTION:
    is it easy to change t8 fluorescent light fixture?
    i have a t12 fluorescent light fixture, instead of changing the ballast to t8, someone on here sugguests that it is cheaper to replace the whole thing.

    i wonder if it is easy to change it all by myself or i need to hire someone to do it for me?

    thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      It depends on the fixture, if you not sure what you are doing, call a qualified professional electrician to do the work. Much safer and easier on you. If you were able to DIY, you would not be asking here.

  40. QUESTION:
    Where can I find a replacement ballast for an old beer sign I found?
    I just got a sign, probably from the 70s. I plugged it in in the store and it lit up but when I got it home and plugged it in it only flicked once brightly. I'm guessing I may have fried some of the old electronics in this thing. I want to make it work so I want to replace all the guts. I can find the bulb no problem but there's a couple things I just don't know about before hooking up wires. The ballast in the light says BALLAST 14-15-20 WATT 118V. 60CY .38 AMP. I know what all that means but idk how to buy a modern ballast to replace this one. Any input would be very helpful. Thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Does this older sign have a starter?
      Many early signs like this used both a ballast and a small, round metal can about 1 inch high by about 1/2 inch diameter, with a bakelite base with two metal contacts. If you have one of these, loosen a quarter turn and clean contacts, and re-install. Chances are this is your problem.
      If the ballast is gone, try a lighting supply store or a Home Depot electrical section.

  41. QUESTION:
    is there a reset button on a T8 floresent light fixture?
    i have a 3 bulb T8 floresent light fixture. i replaced the bulbs but didnt work, can it be the ballast or is there a reset button?

    • ANSWER:
      If it's a newer fixture there may be a supplementary overcurrent protective device (in line fuse) located inside the fixture. Typically a 15 amp Bussman fuse.

  42. QUESTION:
    How do you know if you have to change a ballast?
    I have 3 light fixtures, 2 of which looked like the bulbs were burnt out so when I put in new bulbs and they still didn't work, I learned that's because the ballast needs to be replaced. There is 1 more light fixture that is a two-lamp fixture, and one of the bulbs has burnt out and the other one is still working but the light is very dim. I'm wondering if that fixture needs to get the ballast replaced too because someone told me that if there is light, then the ballast does not need to be replaced.

    • ANSWER:
      In flourescent fixtures, usually when the ballast is going the lamps flicker - sometimes regularly, sometimes intermittently. Seems as if you just have bad tubes in the fixture. Won't hurt to replace them - and if their light is not up to par, or they flicker, then you know the ballast has to go, too.

  43. QUESTION:
    Flickering fluorescent light replaced, still flickering!!?
    We have two fluorescent lights in our shop. They are both plugged in to the same outlet.
    One of them was flickering so we replaced the bulbs. It still flickered so we figured it was
    a bad ballast and replaced that too. The damned light is still flickering! So we switched
    the plugs in the outlet and it made no difference. So we thought maybe that outlet couldn't
    take having two lights plugged in, so we unplugged the one not flickering.. Still made
    no difference. Damned thing is still flickering.

    Any suggestions?
    Herb,
    The first fixture we had for about a year before we could replace it. We replaced it entirely. Fixture and bulbs are all brand new. We got the bulbs the package said to get.
    Tried the bulb swapping, same light still flickers. But it can't be the ballast, that was the first thing we replaced.

    • ANSWER:
      To complete the troubleshooting i would recommend you move the lamps to a different outlet. Preferably on a different circuit. If they no longer flicker then atleast you can isolate the issue to the outlet and not the lights.

  44. QUESTION:
    Why don't my flourescent light bulbs light up completely, but instead emit a faint glow?
    They're the big long tube type of bulbs that connect with two short metal rods on each side of the bulb (40 watt). Do I most likely need to replace the "ballasts"? If in a rented place, is it usually the landlord that deals with ballasts replacement?

    Also, if it helps, one of the tubes has a blackened end, despite being a new bulb.

    • ANSWER:
      A blackened end usually means a bad bulb.

      And most ballasts are self starting these days, no separate starter (electronic). So it could be a bad ballast and yes that would be the landlords responsibility. But I have purchased the four foot double shop fixtures for on sale and the ballasts are all the same.

  45. QUESTION:
    I have a fluorescent tube light that constantly buzzes. Any ideas?
    I have tried replacing the starter / ballast with no success. I could try replacing the tube but that would be an expensive option if thats not the problem. Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      Umm...turn it off. duh!

  46. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent ballast question?
    I have a two bulb T12 fluorescent light fixture and for some reason only one bulb lights up. I changed bulbs to rule out a burnt bulb but it did not fix the problem. Only one side lights up while the other does not. When I turn it on it does not make any noise that I can hear and turns on without a problem. It' just one side does not turn on. Does that mean I have to replace the ballast? Or could it be just be a wiring issue?

    • ANSWER:
      Replace the Starter when: The fluorescent lamp lights only at the ends.
      Replace the Fluorescent Lamp when: the lamp blinks continuously.
      Replace the Ballast when: The light is completely out and you are sure the lamp is good.
      I would say it is the ballast. Be sure to take your old one into the store with you for a match up. You would be surprised how many different ones there are. All look the same but are very different.

  47. QUESTION:
    How can I tell if the lamp or ballast needs to be replaced on my Samsung dlp tv?
    My bulb went out and I replaced it. Two months later, the bulb will not come on and I am getting the Indicator lights that show the lamp is out. When I turn on the tv, I can see the ballast in there trying to fire the bulb. I do not know how to tell if it is a faulty bulb or if the ballast does not have enough juice to start the bulb.

    • ANSWER:
      Where did you buy the lamp from? Was it a cheap aftermarket bulb or did you get it from Samsung?

      Chances are that the problem is the ballast. But if you got a cheap bulb from some no-name place, it's possible the lamp is dead already! Contact Samsung for assistance and for certified parts!

      If you want to attempt putting in a new ballast yourself, here's a good site for that: http://www.consumermeet.com/entry/samsung-dlp-ballast.html

      Good luck!

  48. QUESTION:
    Can i replace my HID lights with a different color temp.?
    I currently have a 10000k HID kit on my honda. I want a different color temp. like 12000k or 15000k. Would i need a new ballast or can i just buy replacement Bulbs and use the current ballast? Can anyone help?

    • ANSWER:
      You will probably have to replace the ballast to fit the higher wattage bulbs and maybe the wiring to handle the extra current draw.

  49. QUESTION:
    Do I need a starter for a T8 electronic ballast?
    Silly question here: I am replacing an old magnetic ballast with an electronic one. The bulb lights without a starter in the hole with the elect. ballast in. Do I need to keep the wires that used to go to the starter? Do they complete a circuit or anything or can I take them out? I don't want to burn the house down or anything.

    • ANSWER:
      Nope, the electronic ballasts do not need starter units.

  50. QUESTION:
    Should I switch my office to CFL bulbs replacing 45 sets of 4 tube florescent lights with ballast.?
    The cost per KW of energy for me is 15.5 cents delivered with all taxes and fees. Thanks, Mark Tahiliani

    • ANSWER:
      As the 4 tube fixtures go bad, replace them with the new T-8 tubes and ballasts.
      They are more energy efficient than the old T-12, and less costly than going all CFL.


replace light ballast

Fluorescent Light Ballast Wiring

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    I just shocked myself while wiring a new ballast on a fluorescent light fixture. Should I be concerned?
    I was putting in a new ballast and accidentally touched the white (hot) wire while stripping the wire. ( Had to leave power on as to get light from other fluorescent to see what I was doing) This was on just a four light fluorescent fixture in an office type space if that is any help.

    • ANSWER:
      The fact that you posted your question indicates you suffered no additional damage. You've already got some brain damage before you started (LOL). Next time, run an extension cord from another room and use an auxiliary light to light your work area. If you have a pacemaker, your battery just got recharged.

  2. QUESTION:
    I need a wiring diagram to retrofit a 40-yr-old ballast fluorescent light fixture for LED tubes. 4-foot tubes.?
    I'm having trouble finding a diagram that shows how to re-wire a fluorescent light fixture to work with LED 4' bulbs. The LED tube sellers told me to short circuit the fixture and remove the ballast. No one can seem to help me and there's not much information online yet. The starter was included in the ballast. The LED tubes look exactly like the fluorescent tubes in length and shape with the two prongs at each end of bulb. Each fixture has two bulbs. When I removed the ballast, there were lots of wires in the fixture but only the neutral (white) and hot (black) wires coming in from the ceiling. Any direction would be helpful! Thank you. Mary
    Our Home Depot hadn't even heard of the 4' LED tube!

    • ANSWER:
      Just go get a new one 29 bucks at Home depot

  3. QUESTION:
    How to rewire a fluorescent light ballast with a jumper?
    Old ballast - Two red wires wired to the two sockets on the right end. ONE yellow wire wired directly to one socket on the other end with a jumper connecting to the other socket. Apparently, the ballast came with the lighting kit because nothing was spliced except for the power and neutral. The wires from inside the ballast went directly into the sockets.

    New ballast -

    • ANSWER:
      The wiring diagram is on the box the ballast came in as well as the number and type of tubes it is designed to lite. If they match what you have, and your question is how to interrupt the old wires and attach the new ones, then this is what you do. TURN OFF THE POWER to the fixture. Then cut ALL the wires as close to the old ballast as possible. Remove the ballast and install the new one. Then strip back *about*1/2" of insulation from the old ballast's wires that are still in the fixture, and if you have the correct replacement ballast, you will be able to scotch lock (also called wire nuts, see link for picture) the wires back together using the colors one for one. Black to black, white to white, red to red, etc. You will most likely need the small blue ones for the ballast wires and the orange ones for the black-white power wires. That's about it. Tuck the wires together inside the cover and you're done. If I have misunderstood the problem, I'm sorry, but this is what I surmised from your question.
      Al

  4. QUESTION:
    Trouble Wiring Fluorescent Light Fixtures?
    Need to install 2 fluorescent light fixtures on circuit controlled by wall switch. Each fixture has a separate ballast and 1 30w tube. Tried wiring the 2 fixtures in parallel (not in series) but tripped breaker each attempt; ensured that black wires were wired to black, and white to white; puzzled why this will not work; any electrician who can offer some explanation, solution, etc? Problem seems to defy the principles of basic home wiring??

    • ANSWER:
      It is hard to say without seeing what you are doing but lets cover the basics:
      1. you said your ballasts are parallel and that would be right.
      2. Check your ballasts incoming and output ratings to make sure that is correct.
      3. Follow the wires back to the tombstones (where the prongs go) make sure you didn't get any wires switched.
      4. If all else fails, rip out the wiring in the fixture and wire it exactly as pictured on the ballast.
      5. Don't let it beat you, it's only a lighting circuit.

  5. QUESTION:
    How do you remove wires from fluorescent light sockets?
    I need to replace a ballast in a fluorescent light fixture but can't remove the wires from the sockets. I can push the wires in but not out. Is there some way to remove them or are these going to have to be replaced? Is it normal to have to replace the sockets when you replace the ballast?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      They DO come out of the sockets and that IS the right way to fix them. With the power off take a pliers and grip the wire close to the socket. Pull and twist until the wire comes out. it's not soldered or anything so feel free to pull hard, just hang on to the socket so you don't break it.

      Simply push in the new wire and you're done.

  6. QUESTION:
    What causes a fluorescent light ballast to overheat?
    I have a few 48" fluorescent light fixtures in my garage and one of them keeps turning off so I checked it and it was extremely hot on the inside metal cover just between the lights (and stayed hot for several minutes). The other two fixtures seem just fine with no unusual heat.

    Is this a sign of a fixture that is bad or should I be more worried about the wiring? This is an older garage that has been worked on by some amamteur electricians over the years. I've been living here for almost 10 years now and I haven't noticed anything else alarmining so I don't want to re-wire the whole thing if I don't need to. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      It is a breakdown of one of the components in the ballast, like a transformer or capacitor, usually also causing higher current to flow. There is a thermal protector that shuts it down when it reaches a predetermined temperature, this is a normal end of life pattern for a magnetic ballast. Several answers have referenced changing the fixture, so I will address the cost. Replacement ballasts are less than .

      New energy laws have made many replacement catalog numbers obsolete, if it has two T12 lamps (F40T12 , 1 1/2 lamp diameter) an available electronic replacement is an icn2s40 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WCPMUA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=undehomepowe-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004WCPMUA

      or if it has T8 lamps (F32t12 one inch) a replacement model is http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003U7NTT4/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=undehomepowe-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B003U7NTT4

      You may want to consider changing to one inch diameter lamps, T12 lamps will get harder and harder to find, and the 1 inch produce nearly the same amount of light for less energy, the wiring pattern is not hard, when you cut the wires to the sockets cap off one yellow, one red, and one blue. then connect the red from the new ballast to the yellow socket wire, one blue to the remaining red socket, and one red ballast wire to the remaining red socket wire.

      If your fixtures have F48t12 lamps (single pin slimline or HO) with plunger type sockets on one end you then probably should be thinking about replacing the fixture, an affordable replacement strip fixture could be http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JQWKIA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=undehomepowe-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000JQWKIA, they are less than .

  7. QUESTION:
    how to check a fluorescent light ballast to see if it's bad. what should the resistance be between wires.?

    • ANSWER:
      i'm not quite sure.

  8. QUESTION:
    Garage fluorescent lights are flakey. Does this sound like a ballast problem?
    We have 5 ceiling-mounted, hard-wired, dual-tube flourescent lights in our garage, switched from the wall. The ballasts are black rectangular boxes.

    When I turn them on, two of them don't usually light. If I flip the switch 15-20 times, these lights will come on - sometimes one bulb, sometimes both bulbs, & sometimes one or both will just flicker.

    If I continue flipping the switch until they both illuminate fully, and leave them on for an hour or more (approximately), then they will light with no problem when I turn them off and back on again.

    Are fluorescent ballasts heat sensitive, so even if failing, they will work okay if heated up? Or does it sound like it could be just the bulbs?

    I'd just change the bulbs, but it's an 18 foot ceiling, and I'd rather at least have a clue before I climb up there and start messing around.

    Also, even the ballasts for these fixtures are a bit pricey, so I'd like to know before I invest the money in ballasts I may not need.

    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      I am not clear of what you actually have. But I assume/picture that you have five seperate fixtures and each one holds two bulbs.
      If that is the case it could be the bulbs. Look at the end of the bulbs and if they are black on the white part then it is an indication that the bulbs are bad or going.
      Usually flouresent fixtures have seperate ballast. You complain of the 18 foot ceiling. No matter which way you go you still got to climb the 18 feet.
      Do the work step by step. It is unlikely that all five ballast go bad at the same time, but here is what I would do.
      Buy five ballast and ten bulbs. Climb to each fixture and change the bulbs. Have a helper turn on the switch for that fixture and leave the others off. If they work you know it was the bulbs. If not change the ballast -and the bulbs to start fresh.
      After you go thru that proccess and you find it was the bulbs, then take the ballast back for your refund. Be sure not to open the box till the fixtures light up.
      Depending on the age of the ballast they could all or many, go in the same time frame. I recall when in the service and they had electtricians changing many of them at the same time.
      One clue, what makes the life of ballast shorter is frequently turning them on and off. If you want leave them all on or turn them off at night.
      Second clue, hire someone to install lower suspended ceiling. In the long run it will save on electric for AC and gas for heat. Also the lower the ceiling the more the light will spread out and you may not need so many at once.

  9. QUESTION:
    In a 4 tube fluorescent light fixture, do I need all 4 tubes to produce maximum light?
    I have a 4 tube fluorescent light fixture in my garage. The wiring is seperate for both pairs of tubes. (Does this mean it has 2 ballasts?)

    I wired up only one connection, with 2 tubes. The tubes lit up but were very dim!

    My friend said I need all 4 tubes in place to produce maximum light. Is this true, even though the wiring for both pairs is seperate?

    • ANSWER:
      i would use all 4 if it were me.there should be 2 ballast and you can wire them in separately by just not hooking up 1 black and1 white wire from the other ballast,make sure you have the tube in right and no prongs showing from the tube otherwise it won't light up all the way,have the prongs on the tubes straight up and down,slide into socket and twist 1/4 to 1/2 turn,the 2 outside sockets are for one ballast and the 2 inside sockets are for the other

  10. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent lighting for under shelves, wiring for 4 tubes from one ballast?
    I want to install some fluorescent lights under some shelves, but rather than going out and buying fittings I'm going to create the whole thing myself. I have all the equipment to do it except the ballast.
    I will be using 4, 8w fluorescent tubes and to save a lot of money I would like to run them all from one single ballast, I think a 30w ballast would be best for running all 4 tubes as 4x8w = 32w and that's the closest to 32w that I can get. I would be using a magnetic ballast.
    I live in the UK where the line voltage is 240V just to let you know.
    I'm wondering if this plan will even work at all and if it does, should the tubes be wired in series or parallel? So could someone please tell me how they should be wired?
    Starting may also be an issue too, I've found that with most T8 tubes that i've tried (13, 8, and 6W) seem to self-strike if the tubes are positioned within about 2" of any earthed metal so i'm wondering if the tubes can just be earthed and that will be enough to start them?

    I know this is all a bit long winded and thanks in advance for your help!

    • ANSWER:
      Use an electronic ballast instead of magnetic. Magnetics tend to hum, which drives me crazy, Most ballasts carry a list of bulb sizes and quantities that a particular ballast will support as well as a wiring diagram.
      Mark

  11. QUESTION:
    Changing ballast in parallel fluorescent lights?
    There are 4 sets of fluorescent light fixtures in a room. I believe they are wired parellel. The lights are old, and a ballast went out in one of them. It was the old kind of ballast where it has one red and one blue wire going to the bulbs. The new ballast has one common red wire for the bulbs and 2 separate blue wires for the bulbs. Redoing the wiring for the new ballast is fairly straightforward.

    But the difficult part for me is how to do it parallel. There was a hot & neutral wire coming to the end of the old light fixture which then fed into the old ballast and also fed to the next set of light fixtures. I'm not sure how to rewire it.

    In a nutshell, I've got a hot & neutral coming in. The black and white wire for the ballast, and a hot and neutral going out. I have the single red wire from the new ballast going to both ends of the 2 bulbs. Both blue wires are connected separetly to the other ends of the bulbs.

    How do I connect the remaining 6 wires?

    • ANSWER:
      First check to make sure that the ballast that you purchased is appropriate for the bulbs that you will be putting back into the fixture. The old fixture required T-12 bulbs and it sounds like you have an electronic ballast intended for the newer T-8 bulbs.

      Once you have the right ballast you will notice that it has a wiring diagram on the ballast. Following the diagram two wires will be intended to be connected to hot and neutral. It may be that the wire that is to be connected to hot and neutral will come from one end of the clips and not from the ball use. When you have the ballast wired into the fixture and you have isolated the two appropriate wires you will simply connect all the blacks together and all the whites together (assuming that all the color designations are consistent and correct.)

      You may have to extend some wires within the fixture to do this.

  12. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent ballast question?
    I have a two bulb T12 fluorescent light fixture and for some reason only one bulb lights up. I changed bulbs to rule out a burnt bulb but it did not fix the problem. Only one side lights up while the other does not. When I turn it on it does not make any noise that I can hear and turns on without a problem. It' just one side does not turn on. Does that mean I have to replace the ballast? Or could it be just be a wiring issue?

    • ANSWER:
      Replace the Starter when: The fluorescent lamp lights only at the ends.
      Replace the Fluorescent Lamp when: the lamp blinks continuously.
      Replace the Ballast when: The light is completely out and you are sure the lamp is good.
      I would say it is the ballast. Be sure to take your old one into the store with you for a match up. You would be surprised how many different ones there are. All look the same but are very different.

  13. QUESTION:
    how to wire up a four lamp single fixture fluorescent light?
    I need to know how to wire up the tombstones on a four lamp fixture.
    I know how to get the ballast but cannot remember the tombstone wiring.
    the ballast is a four lamp. one single four lamp ballast.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi P,

      The new ballast will have a wiring diagram right on it.

      Click the link for a PDF for your files.

      http://www.skynetpower.com.tw/lighting/WIRING_DIAGRAM.pdf

  14. QUESTION:
    Convert a hard-wired fluorescent light into a plug-in...?
    So, there is a similar question in here regarding this, but it did not answer my problem. I have a 3-bulb fluorescent fixture that I would like to convert to plug-in. It has 2 wires coming out that are black and white. The ballast has 3 blue wires running to one side of the bulbs and ONE red wire running daisy chain to the other side of the bulbs and the two live wires and that is it.

    What I've tried:
    -I tried snipping off an extension cord and wiring the flat prong plug to black and the wide prong to white. NOTHING. Then tried the reverse. NOTHING
    -I then scraped a little paint off near a screw hole on the ballast. I used a 3 wire extension cord. Black to black, white to white, and the green wire screwed to the bare paint area of the ballast and through the metal fixture. NOTHING.

    What am I missing?! I have racked my brain over this. I have 5 of these fixtures that cannot be returned. How can I wire these to work OR how can I discover if the ballast is bad? Or is that even possible?

    Thank you in advance,
    Jed

    The lights are not "known working" since I have never had them working before, but they are new (in-the-sealed-box), so I guess I am assuming. I have tried the same thing with 2 different fixtures with the same result. I am also assuming that at least 1 of the 3 bulbs that came with it are working as well.
    It IS a GFI socket. Fluorescent does not work with GFI sockets?! That might be it! Brilliant!
    It is a GFI outlet, and it is working. I plug all of my power tools into it.....one at a time.....don't ask.

    The ballast says 220.

    I am quite sure that everything is grounded and grounded well. I have tried the ground wire to the grounding screw and to the screw attached to the ballast. My last hope is that it is something to do with the GFI. I will try it out tonight with an outlet upstairs in the house.

    If that does not work, then it has got to be the ballast I guess. These lights were left behind in a warehouse that my family acquired all shrink wrapped on a pallet. I am wondering if they were there for a reason. :(

    Thank you all!

    • ANSWER:
      HOUSEHOLD VOLTAGE IS 110-120 VOLTS AC. The reason your fixtures do not work is because you got them from a commercial building or application. They will not work unless you change the ballast.

      If your ballast says 220v then you have the wrong voltage and it will not work. You can replace the ballasts pretty easily with new ones that are designed for 110-120 volts. They have a wiring diagam on the ballast itself. It's not that difficult if you take your time.

      Cut all of the old wires off the old ballast at the ballast and not where the light bulbs attach (tombstones). Buy some wire nuts and hook up the new ballast accrding to the instructions. The ballasts can cost anywhere from 15-30 dollars. If you already have bulbs for all of the fixtures then buy a ballast that is compatible with your bulbs (T-8 or T-12) Make sure your new ballasts are capable of running the amount of bulbs that are designed for the fixture.

      It sounds like the you have T8 fixtures because T12 fixtures would have more wires running to each bulb. It should be an easy fix, but definitely not free.

  15. QUESTION:
    I need some help assembling a fluorescent light. Can you help me out with the sockets wired to the ballast?
    This is a 4 light 8 foot strip. I know the 4 sockets with the yellow wire go on the end ( 2 sockets on each end). Now there are 4 sockets left that go in the middle.
    1 socket has 2 red wires connected to ballast
    1 has 2 blue wires
    1 has 2 gray wires
    1 has 2 brown wires
    Does it matter where I put them in the middle?

    ___________________________________________
    I yellow red? I I blue? yellow I
    I yellow brown? I I gray? yellow I
    ___________________________________________

    • ANSWER:
      Order does not matter as long as each lamp has a color/yellow combination.

  16. QUESTION:
    Can a person fix a "throw-away" (non-ballast/dual transformer) fluorescent light fixture?
    My 48" garage fixture doesn't work on side. It does not have a ballast/silver little canisters. It is run off of 2 small transformers with a little breadboard containing a ceramic capacitor and some resistors. When I took the thing apart, I wasn't sure if the transformer on one side ran bulb 1 or bulb 2. Or if one transformer was in charge of both bulb sockets on either end. To me the wiring looks as if I would not be able to take 2 "one-bulb working" fixtures and make a "2 bulber" without having to throw both the onesies away and spending $ for a new one.
    Ive done the bulb swaps and even took out my multimeter to check voltage on each of the four contact pairs. I found that only one of the four had about 22-24v while the other 3 had something around 1-2v. Funny thing is one would think to expect both the contact ends for a single bulb to be reading the ~22v...and yet the bulb lights up. This is what is puzzling me and made me question the wiring of the fixture. As for the fixing of said fixture(s), I found 3 others in my garage which were the predecessors to the current one. They all have the same problem, making me think that I can frankenstein all four into 2 working fixtures. I will next test out the capacitors since the "trannys" don't seem burnt out. BTW the caps look like a totinos pizza roll. I would assume resistors are not faulty or burnt out.

    • ANSWER:
      have you tried new lamps or swapping over the lamps to see if the fault is in the ballast, i think you call that the transformer, sometimes the capacitor goes faulty and one side stops working, all fluros have ballasts to boost the voltage and a starter that gives it he initial stricking current, except for the newer electronic fluro fittings that dont need a starter and strike instantly. if your fitting has two"transformers" it has one for each tube,so if its really old and has two large "transformers"in it one of them is probably had it causing one side not to work. if you have a spare transformer that still works in the other fitting you should be able to take the working one out and replace it for the faulty one ,. sounds like a lot of hassle you should treat yourself to a new fitting that will last for years and be done with it.

  17. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent wiring help?
    Sorry if this is confusing but I am making an unusual blacklight box for someone and I need to wire 2 single 40W T12 fluorescent striplites together so that they can plugin to a standard residential outlet. I would also like to put a single pole on/off light switch inside the box for convenience. (assuming black=power white=neutral green=ground) If I am correct can I just wire

    the black wire from light1 with the black wire from light2
    then the white wire from light1 to the white wire from light2
    the ground from light1 to the ground from light2
    then run the combined black wires to the light switch output
    then the whites to the plugins white wire
    the lights grounds to lightswitch ground then wire to plugin ground
    then power to plugin input

    My main concern is safety the 2 ballasts are 120v 60Hz but only run a single fluorescent light. I'd appreciate some professional input. Thankyou

    • ANSWER:
      That should do it. Wire the switch on the hot/ black wires.

  18. QUESTION:
    I have a gas tube luminaire fluorescent light that should go in the ceiling can i make it a plug in lamp?
    It has 3 fluorescent bulbs it has 3 ballasts and its got wiring done I just need to know if there's a way to make it a plug in light it would be more usefull

    • ANSWER:
      buy a cord grip and a cord. Use a knock out hole and install the cord and the grip and wire it to the three ballast and plug it in.

  19. QUESTION:
    How to make Fluorescent lamps wiring?
    I am making a light table with 12 fluorescent lamps, and 6 trigger start ballasts.
    The thing here is that I am using 2 kinds of lamps, 8 black lights and 4 daylight lamps.
    The lamps types are F20T12 (24 in.) and I want to know if its possible to make 2 different circuits to individually turn on each set of lamps, as well as another switch to turn on the 12 lamps at the same time.
    Professional help is required here....
    Thanks in advance.

    • ANSWER:
      simple, wire the main hot to the switch to control both lights and from there tap 2 hots to the 2 switches and have each switch go to the load (or specific lamp ballasts) you want to control. as for how to wire the ballasts and starters, the wiring diagram is right on the ballast itself.

  20. QUESTION:
    Lighting/Ballast Question?
    I currently have a 40W T12 fluorescent light ballast. I was wondering if I could connect two 20W T12 bulbs in series with this ballast. I would need to buy a 40W fuse and get two pair of end caps.

    Does this sound ok?

    Anyone have a wiring diagrams I could use?

    • ANSWER:
      No!!!!! It won't work. Buy the correct lamps for the fixture. the ballasts are designed for a certain wattage lamp and will fail if the wrong wattage are used

  21. QUESTION:
    I have a gas tube luminaire fluorescent light that goes in the ceiling can i make it a plug in light?
    The light it self has 3 small fluorescent bulbs and 3 ballasts on it all the wires connecting the bulbs and ballasts are connected but there are wires coming out of the back of the light that I have no clue what to do with now all the wires look the same almost they all have black rubber tubing. 1 wire comes out of each ballast and then connct together and they have copper looking ends and then there is a wire that comes out of each bulb that connected to nothing what do I do from here please help

    • ANSWER:
      OK.... easiest way to answer this is if you take a picture of what you are talking about, post it on Flickr, then put the link here. I have wired up numerous flourescent light fixtures with 'pig tails' so that I could plug them in to a common receptacle. It's pretty easy, but I need to see what you are working with to tell you how to properly wire it......

  22. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light and starter problem?
    My fluorescent light recently stopped working, it just kept flickering and would not go on properly. I replaced the starter and the light but now nothing works. I've used three different starters and the woman at the store checked the light with one of those voltage reader things to check that it was ok. I guess the problem lies in the wiring or the ballast but I was just wondering if there was anything else I might have overlooked when changing the light or the starter or if there is anything else i can do myself before calling the electrician?
    The starter flickers but i get nothing from the new lamp. I had it tested before i bought it so i know it works...

    • ANSWER:
      Buy an electrician's tester screwdriver, it will only cost you about a pound and will always come in handy.

      Switch the power off at the mains and remove the cover of the fluorescent light so that you can see where the wire enters from the switch.

      Switch the mains back on and then carefully touch the live wire with the tester, if it lights up you know you have power and it will be cheaper if you replace the whole light fitting than calling an electrician.

      Switch off the mains and put everything back in its place.

      If the tester doesn't light up the odds are that the problem is with the switch, maybe even a loose connection.

      Again, turn off the mains, remove the switch cover, put the mains back on and check the wiring of the switch with the tester as before, testing with the switch on and off.

      If the switch is faulty, it is easilly replaced if you are competent at DIY electrical work.

      As in all cases, if in doubt, then call an electrician.

  23. QUESTION:
    Why are all the wires hooked to my light fixture live?
    I recently went to install a new fluorescent light fixture in a room of my house only to discover some strange wiring on the old fixture.
    The previous owner had a basic porcelain fixture for a 60 watt bulb installed and working properly connected to a switch. When I pulled the fixture off, there were two sets of wires (black white and ground) in the box. The ground wires were connected to the box, both black wires were connected with a marette, and the two white wires were connected to the gold and silver screws on the fixture.
    I checked all the wires with my tick and all of them had voltage present.
    Now when I separated all the wires and held my tick up to them, only one black wire had voltage present. I tried connecting black to black and white to white but when I went to flip the breaker back on, it tripped instantly.
    The breaker is back on and all the wires have been separated and everything else on the circuit seems to be working fine.
    All that being said, I just want to know if it would be safe for me to wire the ballast from the fluorescent fixture to the live neutral wires as the previous fixture was.
    Dragon:
    I did as you said. I took the neutral wire that ran alongside the one live hot wire and hooked it to the hot wire on the ballast, then the other neutral wire to the ballast's neutral wire and boom, light!
    Thank you very much!

    • ANSWER:
      It is hard to diagnose wiring problems without being on-site, but it sounds like the feed wire went directly to the fixture box. At the box, the white wire from the supply was connected to the fixture. The black wire was connected to another black wire (of a second cable) which goes to the switch, The switched power comes back to the fixture using the white wire of this same cable. Usually they will tape this white wire black, so you know it is a switched hot lead. This is quite common, it is called a switch loop. To hook it back up, take the black wire that showed voltage (of course have it off when you do this) and hook it to the other black wire that goes to the switch. The white wire coming back from the switch (will be part of the same cable) is now your "hot" wire, you might want to tape the last few inches black, then connect it to the black wire or "hot" connection of your new fixture, Now there is just one wire left over, this white wire will go to the white wire or neutral connection of the new fixture.

  24. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Light fixture *Hum* grounding Issue?
    I installed three new 48" fluorescent light fixtures in my shop. My shop is a metal style carport garage. I wired them in using normal household 14-awg wire in the standard white/black/bare solid copper wire. The black and white went to the ballast and the bare copper wire went to the green ground wire that just grounds to the body of the fixture. All three lights are on one string of wire connected to a light switch and then going to the breaker box with their own 15-amp breaker.
    The light fixtures are mounted directly to the metal framing of the garage with a 3/8" thick by 1" wide universal automotive weatherstripping in 48" strips so the metal fixture case don't come into contact to the metal framing of the garage.

    The lights have been hooked up for a few days now but I just got bulbs today. When I turn the lights on the fixtures buzz/hum quite loud. When I read the manual that came with the fixtures it says that a buzz/hum could be caused from a bad ground.
    If it is a bad ground I don't see what I did wrong. I used all new 14awg wire, and installed them on a their own 15-amp breaker. Ive checked all the connections at the breaker box and light fixtures and light switch they are all connected.

    So my questions are:
    Could this be just because the lights are new? Or it's 40*f here, Could cold weather cause them to hum? If it is a grounding issue, Should I take the bare copper (green) ground and connect it to the metal framing of the garage as well as the fixture case?
    OR what other things can I do to fix the ground (if that is the issue)?

    BTW: The "hum" is not the normal fluorescent light hum, This is quite loud, Ive never herd one this loud before.

    Thanks for your time!
    ***responce to answers***
    It IS grounded all the way to the box. Im sure the box is grounded to the earth because it just passed inspection in july when I bought the house. I forgot to mention, the breaker box is the house's breaker box. I have two power leads from the main house breaker box to the shop. One for plugs and one for lights. Both are wired with outdoor grade 12 awg wire and then connected in the shop to the indoor 14awg wire.

    They are cheap lowe's light fixtures. Im 99% sure they are indoor lights. I never figured tempture would effect the lights. I figured indoor = Dry outdoor = wet. Never thought about the tempature.
    Thanks for the help.

    • ANSWER:
      Do you have a sub panel in this shop I think that is what I am reading here. You say two hot wires then you have to have a neutral and if you do not have a fourth wire then you do not have a ground in this shop. Or do you have two 12/2 w/ grounds ran to the shop and if this is the case then you do have two circuits and two neutral and two grounds. If you do have 2 12/ 2 wires ran then you do have a ground and you said all connections are tight. So now if you do have proper grounding then you can go to the next step.
      I would venture to say to undo one light at a time and turn them on after you have taken one off the circuit, it could be one has a bad ballast or even loose on the mounting device. If you can eliminate the one that is bad or loose you have done what you asked.
      Look on the ballast it should tell you a F or C rating this is how cold the ballast will work to. Some ballast do not work below freezing and some ar rated at -20 degrees. They do make a light ballast that goes outside called high output ballast but you would be better off not to spend this kind of money in a shed for this purpose. I have purchased cheap lights that are rated for -20 F and they work fine for the most part.
      Maybe you just do not have the lights tight or the ballast are loose as I said in the light and this could be your problem as well.

      Good Luck :)

  25. QUESTION:
    Recessed fluorescent Lights: Where's the power line?
    Removed an over head fluorescent light to find another recessed (very old) one behind the new one. I don't see where the power source comes into the old unit and can't figure out how to install the new pendant lamp. Could the wires be behind the ballast? The whole unit is really in there and pulling it out would cause lots of damage. Just trying to figure out how to work this. Someone had rigged the new fluorescent light to run off wires coming out of the bulb plugs themselves. It was kinda scary.

    • ANSWER:
      The power is wired before the ballast.

      line=======[ballast]========fixture

      Your best bet would be to locate the line, cut off the old lines from the old fixture and run them directly into the new light fixture. Make sure you have the breakers turned off and verify that the power is off before doing any electrical work though. It may be only 110 but you can still get hurt by it.

  26. QUESTION:
    Why doesn't my fluorescent light work?
    My kitchen fluorescent light fixture has stopped working. How can I make it work again?

    There are three light bulbs in the fixture with two ballasts (a small one for the center bulb and a large one for two bulbs on each side - both do not use starters). Before the fixture stopped working, one of the side light bulbs stopped lighting and when I replaced the bulb with a new one it didn't light. Rotating the bulbs didn't work either. I checked the ballasts with a multimeter and they seem to be fine (no resistance). I can't figure out how to open the tombstones to check the connections, but they seem okay from a visual inspection on the outside. The wiring to the ballasts and from the ballasts to the tombstones look good.

    Any ideas of what is wrong or what to check next would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      1) Maybe you replaced the wrong bulb? When you replace one, you should do them both.
      #2) Did you replace with the same type of bulbs(wattage wise)
      #3) The ballast has an end of life relay in it. The other bulb may be bad and won't light unless you replace them both.
      #4) It will usually be the bulbs or ballast before the holders.

  27. QUESTION:
    Switching from analong to digital fluorescent ballasts?
    I've got a long series of fluorescent light fixtures. There are 6 fixtures in the series. Each fixture has 2 bulbs and 1 ballast. The old ballasts are the kind with 4 wires (hot, neutral, blue and red). The ballast I bought is digital, it has the hot/neutral, 2 blue wires and one red wire. How do I go about wiring the new type of ballast to the old fixture with the old style of wiring? I tried my best, but still can't get the light to come on. I know it's some simple trick, because I've done it a few years ago.

    • ANSWER:
      The red on the new ballast goes to one side of the fixture. If its four wires, combine all together with red and wire nut. The ballast should have a diagram on it that show you how to wire it.

  28. QUESTION:
    Can I rewire my two tube fluorescent light fixture from series to parallel?
    I bought some inexpensive fluorescent light fixtures. Lithonia Model 3324. They take two tubes. The instructions say they are wired in series, so if one bulb dies, both bulbs won't work. I am wondering if there is any issue in simply re-wiring the bulbs in a parallel circuit to avoid the issue, and if need be, have only one bulb on if I want a lower lighting level. Fixture uses an electronic ballast, according to the specs from Lithonia.

    http://www.acuitybrandslighting.com/library/LL/documents/SpecSheets/NEWU.pdf

    • ANSWER:
      Hi There,
      Personally I would not attempt rewiring the lamps.
      I do not believe they would work.
      Sorry,
      Al

  29. QUESTION:
    Does the fluorescent light that I'm installing need to have a polarized plug?
    I'm installing a small fluorescent light (a Cooper / Metalux striplite) and it requires me to do my own wiring. I'd like it to plug directly into an outlet, so I have installed my lamp cable. This is a simple fluorescent light with this small black box called a "ballast".

    The unfortunate part is that one hardware store says that I don't need a polarized plug for the light while the other store says I do need a polarized plug.

    Which one is right? I'd prefer to use my non-polarized flat plug, but I won't if it's dangerous to have it unpolarized.

    • ANSWER:
      Having it unpolorized will cause the lamp starter in the ballast to go out very quickly. youll be replacing it about every 10 cycles. It is not dangerous, just shouldnt do it :) Polorized just means one blade is wider that the other so the same wire is used to hot every time. Initially a rule of thumb is that if the inside wiring has white and black or red and white, that indicates that there should be a specific hot wire.

  30. QUESTION:
    I have a shop fluorescent light fixture that has 2- 48" bulbs. One of the sockets doesn't work anymore.?
    Trading places of the bulbs proves that both bulbs are good, and that one socket has no power. I've checked all the wire connections and squeezed the terminal connectors on the sockets a little tighter, but it still doesn't work. I wouldn't think that the ballast would go half bad, or is this the likely problem?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes the problem is the ballast.

      It is cheaper to buy a whole new fixture than it is to buy a ballast for the light.

  31. QUESTION:
    Why will my fluorescent lights will not turn on?
    Should i change the ballast in my fluorescent fixture if my lights do not turn on. I put brand new bulbs in and still nothing. There is 83V at the black and yellow wires.

    • ANSWER:
      If you are not reading 120 volts on the wires at the fixture you need to find out why first. Look for any splices in the ceiling box and tighten them. Then check the same at the wall box. If you still don't have 120 volts you will need to check at each receptacle on that circuit/lights in adjacent rooms. I suspect you will find a loose neutral somewhere. Once you have power the light should work, but if not or if the lamps struggle to come on then replace the ballast.

  32. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Ballast/Fixture/Socket?
    Hi, I just picked up a used four foot long, four slot, fluorescent ballast free on Craigslist. One of the sockets is damaged. I know it's a T12 ballast, what type of replacement socket would I need? Also, it's clear that it used to be hardwired, how would I go about wiring it to a cord that I could just plug into a standard 120v wall socket? By the way, there are actually 2 ballasts inside, each one controls 2 lights, would I need two cords or could I wire them both up to one? Thanks.
    Thanks for your response. I saw those, they're .97 a piece. I think I can fix this one for less than , ease and time spent is not my concern. Cheap, is. If the socket I found is correct, they're $.50 a piece. I could replace them all for , then roughly another for the cord, unless I need two cords, then your suggestion is the better route.

    • ANSWER:
      Ok, But I really agree with the first one. For all that work, why not just go buy another one for .

      Now. If there are two ballast then the ballast are a 2 light ballast controlling 2 lights each. Now they sell 4 light ballast also. Now read carefully. There should be 2or 1 yellow. They go to one side of the fixture and are sometimes jump from one socket to another. On the other side there should be 2 reds and/or 2 blues. They go to the other side of the sockets but they are not jump out. One red goes to a socket and the other red goes to the other socket. Just picture it like this 1 yellow for 2 reds. Sometimes there is a diagram on the ballast.

      To wire it to a male cord. Simple, there should be a black and white on the ballast as well. On the cord there should be a black, white, green. Black to black, white to white, green to the fixture. If there are two ballast the two black splice together and the two white splice together.

      O make sure it is grounded because fluorescent fixture won't work right if it's not grounded. That is if it not an electronic ballast.

      Hope this helped out.
      Tommy.

      I would just go buy a new one already prewired. Lol.
      happy holidays.

  33. QUESTION:
    Ballast replacement: should the diagram be exactly the same as the old ballast?
    Everything in the old and new ballasts (for 2 40w fluorescent lights) lines up except the diagram for the new one shows the 2 blue wires above the 2 red ones. On the old one, the red ones are above the blue ones. Is that okay?

    • ANSWER:
      Yeah, it will work. Just make sure the power is off.

  34. QUESTION:
    What is wrong with my fluorescent light?
    It's a 96" T12 light fixture, it has 2 bulbs. The ballast started smoking, and then the light would trip the breaker when the light switch was turned on. I replaced the ballast with a new one of the same type. Now when I turn on the switch, the breaker does not trip, but the 2 fluorescent lights do not turn completely on. They are dim. The other sets of lights in the room turn on fine, they are on the same switch. I also replaced the bulbs in the fixture, but that didn't help. I double checked all the electrical connections (even stripped new bare wire), and they are good. What could be the problem?

    • ANSWER:
      Double check the voltage on your ballast. You may be replacing a 120 volt ballast with a 277 V ballast, If that's the case, the bulbs will burn really dim. The label on the ballast will tell you what the voltage is.

  35. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent fixture: Bad Lightswitch or bad wiring?
    A few months ago I had a fluorescent fixture (electronic ballast) that would not always come on when the lightswitch was turned on. Sometimes it would take a few on/off cycles of the switch to get the fixture to fully illuminate, otherwise it would flicker once then nothing. So I replaced the fixture thinking the ballast/starter/etc.. had gone bad. No problems for a couple months with the new fixture, but now I'm seeing the same behavior in a practically brand new fixture. Could it be a bad lightswitch? Could a faulty switch damage an electronic ballast? The new light worked like a charm at first, but now it barely works at all, so I don't seem to have a cut and dry scenerio to work with. I don't mind calling an electrician, but if I can spend on a new switch that is a lot cheaper then 0 for a service call.

    • ANSWER:
      It's easier to test the switch if you have the equipment to do so. Switches do go bad and usually will not allow the voltage to pass through when this happens. The light you are using... is this a good quality light or one of the cheap ones from home depot, etc? If the fixture is a cheap one it could be the fixture... you get what you pay for. Probably not what you wanted to hear. You may also want to check your connections on you switch and the wire nuts/connectors you used to connect it to the ballast in the new fixture... they may be loose and could be arcing and causing the same problem. Good Luck

  36. QUESTION:
    (Lighting and Electrical) What gauge of wire do I need when changing out some wire in a fluorescent fitting?
    I'm replacing a couple of ballasts in a 'light box' which contains 3 fluorescent tube lamps. The new ballasts are in place, and they don't have screw down connectors, you're just supposed to push one end of a bare wire (solid core) into a small hole on the ballast. (2 wires per ballast obviously!)

    I don't know what gauge of wire I need, where to find it, or how to ask for it by name?! Does anyone know the type of wire I'm talking about - it's also found in indoor light fittings for tube lights. Cheers.
    Also if anyone knows any websites which stock this, i'd be grateful.
    I really hope I can get some consensus on some of these conflicting answers! I'm inclined to think it's either 16 or 18 going by the answers thus far.

    To those who think the wire may need to be thicker - please remember, the diameter of the inlet on these push-fit connectors to these ballasts isn't very big at all (put another way, you cannot get general lighting grade electrical wire into it without damaging the unit - see also: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-wire-gauge.htm - so I'm thinking 12 or 14 is out of the question)

    • ANSWER:
      Fixture wires should be no smaller than 16 AWG.

  37. QUESTION:
    How can i ground a fluorescent light?
    I've run into a problem while finishing my aquarium canopy. after installing all the fluorescent end caps and everything where I wanted, I didn't realize that they need to be grounded to work until i moved my hand over then and just like magic they lit up. What can I do to ground these, I'm not using a metal reflector and the ballast has no ground wire coming out of it.... can I put a ground wire in one in each of the unused holes in the end caps and then run it through a three prong??

    • ANSWER:
      I suspect there is more wrong with your wiring than a missing ground.

      Black wire from small blade of plug is hot. This means 120v between the neutral conductor or the grounded conductor.

      White wire from large blade of plug is neutral. This means the conductor is grounded at the electrical panel in your house.

      Green wire from the rounded prong is of course the ground. That means that the conductor is also connected to your ground at the electrical panel, but electricity should not be flowing in the ground wire.

      The black and white wires should power the device and the green wire should be connected to all metal parts of the fixture so that if there is a short (black wire touches metal) the breaker at your electrical panel will trip.

      The case of you ballast should be grounded, but this should not effect the operation just your safety.

  38. QUESTION:
    Problems replacing fluorescent ballast?
    I have done a couple of these without an issue before butt this one is giving me a hard time. I took out the old ballast replaces it with a new one that was exactly the same 120V 60hHertz 40Wattsl. Even the color cables were the same, Red x2, blue x2, yellow x2, and black and white for power. I even replaced the bulbs with 2 brand new 40watt ones. I turn the power on and each end if the bulb lights up a little orange but that's it nothing else happens. All the cable's are nice and tight I am sure all the wires are correct.

    When I touch any metal part of the light fixture I feel a little tingling sensation and I guess its a little shock but I can barely feel it.

    • ANSWER:
      Might be a faulty ballast. But before you remove it test for 120 v across the wires. I think you are going to find you don't have full power.
      In the process of moving the wires around in the fixture they moved some in the junction box above the light. Now you have a loose connection at a wire nut or a wire is nicked and bleeding current to the body of the light. Hence the "tingling" you report. Try that first.
      Then try tugging on the wires at the sockets. One of them may have pulled out and is touching the fixture.

  39. QUESTION:
    8 foot fluorescent tube lights go off after a few minutes and then back on a few minutes later?
    We have three 8 foot fluorescent tube lights lighting our kitchen, connected to a wall switch (I assume wired in series). After a few minutes, they will all go out and then back on a few minutes later. The tubes look okay. I understand that it could be the ballast or the starter, but could one bad one cause them all to act this way?

    • ANSWER:
      They are wired in parallel, otherwise they would only be half as bright as they should be - if they lit at all. The ballasts are bad and if they have starters then they are way past due for replacement. Starters haven't been used for years. Do yourself a favor and replace both units with the newer T-8 units that have electronic ballasts. They will probably outlive you unless you are very young, and they cost less to use than the older T12's.
      Al

  40. QUESTION:
    Ballast, Bulbs, or the Circuit - Please help...?
    I have a light box with three 8' fluorescent lights - 120V. All three comes on fine then goes off after an hour or so. Then after a few hours later, they come back on. A friend of mine told me that the ballast is getting too hot, and told me to replace it. I did with a new one with the exact wiring that the new light box came with, but the problem persists. I've read postings about ballast problems but I am not sure. Am I having a bad electrical circuit (power), a bad ballast, or bad bulbs???

    • ANSWER:
      Make sure you have the correct lamps and ballast combination. The wrong lamps will overheat a perfectly good ballast.

      Make sure you are not using a ballast that is designed for T8 lamps with T12 lamps or vise versa.

      Since you have already replaced the ballast you should now replace the lamps. Make sure you have the correct wattages on the lamps.

  41. QUESTION:
    Please help, Unable to rewire my fluorescent fixture.?
    I am trying to do some wiring around the house but unfortunately this house does not have any colored wires. Almost all of the wires in the house, which is a very old house by the way, have the old corded material type insulation which makes it difficult to tell whether it's hot , neutral, or ground. I did puchase a voltage tester so that now I know which wire is hot and which is cold but when putting my fluorescent fixture back I did connect the house hot wire to the black wire on the fixture and I connected the house cold wire to the fixture's white wire and there is still no light. I am now wondering if maybe I might have blown the ballast with all my attempts and that is why the fluorescent light is not working. Please help. Thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Most likely is that the connections didn't take or fell apart during assembly and installation. Take the fixture off and tug on the wires to see if they are loose.

      Ballasts are pretty tough and not easily damaged by reasonable efforts.

      With the fixture detached but wired, insert the voltage tester probe into the wire nut open end firmly and see if there is voltage present. If not, something is wrong with the power source.

  42. QUESTION:
    What is mean by tube light wire?
    FLUORESCENT LAMP
    A fluorescent lamp or fluorescent tube is a gas-discharge lamp that uses electricity to excite mercury vapor. The excited mercury atoms produce short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor to fluoresce, producing visible light. A fluorescent lamp converts electrical power into useful light more efficiently than an incandescent lamp. Lower energy cost typically offsets the higher initial cost of the lamp. The lamp is more costly because it requires a ballast to regulate the current through the lamp.
    While larger fluorescent lamps have been mostly used in commercial or institutional buildings, the compact fluorescent lamp is now available in the same popular sizes as incandescents and is used as an energy-saving alternative in homes

    COLD CATHODE TUBE
    A cold cathode is an element used within some nixie tubes, gas discharge lamps, discharge tubes, and vacuum tubes. The term cold cathode refers to the fact that the cathode is not independently heated. In spite of this, the cathode itself may still operate at temperatures as high as if the cathode were heated.
    Cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) are usually also called cold cathodes. Neon lamps are a very common example of a cold cathode lamp. Cold cathodes remain popular for LCD backlighting and enthusiast computer case madders.

    • ANSWER:
      What is the question here?
      Where do we stand to answer?

  43. QUESTION:
    How do I install a Overhead Fluorescent lamp to an outlet?
    I bought it and the ballast has to lead to wire into the electrical system but I would prefer a ac jack or a light out fixture. Please help.
    essentially i have this: http://www.zdsicc.com/images/fluorescent_lamp.jpg

    how to i get the black and white leads to working in a standard ac outlet or light bulb fixture

    • ANSWER:
      I'm not really sure what you're asking.

      Would you please reword your question?

      Additional Details

      With your additional info, I agree with the answer below.

      It is VERY important the connection of the lamp to the power cord is in an electrical box, or in the housing of the fixture. The cord going from the box or fixture to the electrical outlet needs to be protected from any contact with the exit point of the box or fixture.

  44. QUESTION:
    I'm looking for a job as a electrician's helper. How come it is not listed in monster or craigslist?
    In-fact through the internet. All I see is jobs listed making 13-14 dollars per hour. I know i'm not worth that much.

    I do have some experience about 2 years. I took basic electricity in high school. Had couple jobs doing electrical work. I did some wiring on my house. But it was during 1980s. Recently I had job at a sign company. Putting in electrical parts (wires, transformers, ballasts, fluorescent tubes, LED lights).

    I heard through the news on TV that there are a shortage electrician's helpers. I wonder why they don't announce it on the internet?

    Your response is welcome.
    Do you agree with me, most people look for a job on internet?
    Joni H.
    Next time I'll look in General Labor (on craigslist).

    On T V, it's shortage of electrician's helper, not electricians.

    Thanks again for your response.

    • ANSWER:
      On Craig's List, this type of job is listed under General Labor. The thought process is that electrician's helpers are less skilled than the "skilled trade / craft" category.

      There is no nationwide shortage of electricians or electricians helpers. I think it's more likely that the item you saw on TV was an add for a trade school. If you like this type of work, it might be a good idea to take a few classes.

      Yes, statistics show that most people look for work online at sites like the ones you mentioned.

  45. QUESTION:
    No ground to fluorescent fixture?
    None of the 3 fluorescent light fixtures in my grandmother's kitchen are grounded. The grounding wire was just snipped off and I don't even see a place for it to be used on the fixture.

    I was thinking about drilling a hole into the fixture, then carefully cutting the jacket where the grounding wire was snipped off and connect with a length of wire.

    Is that the right thing to do? The fixture is also painted, should I sand a small spot where the ground will be screwed on so metal will be against metal. What about connecting the grounding wire to the screw and bolt that holds the ballast on?

    I was also wondering if I had to use one of those green ground screws?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      The first answer was correct as to connecting the ground. Ungrounded florescent fixtures sometimes have intermittent problems. They're usually very slow to start and sometimes won't start at all. Also in an area around a sink they're down right dangerous. Try to find the other end of the cable, probably the switch box and make sure the ground is also connected there. Won't do any good to only have it connected at one end.

  46. QUESTION:
    Cutting live 120V wire?
    I have this fluorescent light fixture in which I cannot shut the breaker off and the ballast needs to be replaced. In what order would I cut or remove wire nuts and why? Also is the order the same for wiring the new ballast? For example, do I cut the neutral wire then the live hot wire or vice versa? Thanks.
    There is a breaker but it's shared with my security alarm and the the light doesn't have a switch. It stays on 24/7.

    • ANSWER:
      From what I see here..You don't know how to do this... Call an electrician.....Before you hurt yourself

      The output voltage on most ballast is about 800 volts...And it will get your attention....The only way I would suggest would be if you use electricians rubber gloves...This way if something goes wrong the only thing you would do would be to burn your house

  47. QUESTION:
    I can't get my fluorescent bulbs to work.?
    The two fluorescent bulbs in my kitchen quit working. I bought new ones, they worked a few days, and then they stopped working. By stop working, I mean they turn on but flicker and are very dim. I bought a starter to discover my lights don't use a starter, they use this thing I have never heard of called a ballast. So, I bought a ballast and some wire connectors to connect it. I bought new bulbs to be on the safe side, and they worked great for a few days, and now are doing the same thing again. Does anyone know anything else I can try?

    • ANSWER:
      The replacement ballast you bought could be bad. I change them out everyday and it happens more than you would think. Make sure the ballast is the right type(electronic start, rapid start). Also make sure the ballast can support the length of the fluorescent bulbs in the fixture. For example if the light contains two 8ft bulbs you need a ballast that can support 16 feet of circuit. Double check and make sure it's wired correctly too. Remember in some ballasts not all of the wires(jumpers) are used. If all else fails get a new fixture.

  48. QUESTION:
    SURVEY... NEED A LOT OF PEOPLE TO ANSWER SURVEY. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO HELP!?
    Survey Sheet on Energy-Saving Light bulbs

    COMPACT FLOURESCENT LIGHTS VERSUS INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULBS,ETC.

    INFORMATION:

    A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light, and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent lamp; some types fit into light fixtures formerly used for incandescent lamps. The lamps use a tube which is curved or folded to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb, and a compact electronic ballast in the base of the lamp.

    The incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe produces light by heating a filament wire to a high temperature until it glows. The hot filament is protected from oxidation in the air with a glass enclosure that is filled with inert gas or evacuated. In a halogen lamp, filament evaporation is prevented by a chemical process that redeposits metal vapor onto the filament, extending its life. The light bulb is supplied with electrical current by feed-through terminals or wires embedded in the glass. Most bulbs are used in a socket which provides mechanical support and electrical connections.

    SURVEY

    1. Do you rent or own?

    2. How old are you?

    3. Do you use CFLs (Compact Flourescent light) bulbs in your house?

    4. Why/why not?

    3. # of bulbs used in house?

    4. What type of bulbs are in your home? Example, incandescent, CFL, etc.

    • ANSWER:
      Own
      17
      Yep
      They last longer
      About 8
      Incandscnt & those CFl's =D

  49. QUESTION:
    Hey,native english speakers, I need some advise from yours.?
    one of my friend's company is going to make an advertisement in english,So i have translated all chinese into english for her .

    Could you do me a favor,As you know,i am not a native english speaker,so please kindly let me know if i made some mistakes on grammar or somewhere.or you can write to me in a different way but with the same idea.

    Any good suggestions are greatly appreaciated.
    Thanks a lot.

    Pls see the following as i translated for her.
    20 years ago, an enterprise with condensed dream and hope, began her bright journey in Shunde,Foshan, which is full of energy;
    Over the past 20 years, she ceaselessly strived, pursued excellence and was creating agreeable and comfortable life for numerous people through high-quality lighting products;
    20 years later, she has become an large enterprise, specialized in developping, producing and managing of architecture electric appliance fittings and lighting products, with the production base of a total area of more than 40, 000 m2 and a professional team of over 2,000 people and an annual growth rate of more than 45% for nearly 3 years;
    The former unknown XXX company, has become famous in lighting industry of China now.
    During the process of development of over 20 years,XXX Company had adhered to continual revolution and management innovation and made efforts to push forward construction of enterprise system and carried out the responsibility mechanism of enterprise management and incentive mechanism of benefit; Moreover, the enterprise had always taken the talents construction as the core of increasing enterprise’s competitive strength and built up a professional team of high quality gradually through long-term and effective talents cultivation and introduction.
    Following the idea of “pursuit of excellent quality and creation of permanent brand”, XXX company spares no effort to improve production capacity: the Company had paid a lot of money to build the large production base and logistics center integrating design with research&development, manufacturing, assembly and marketing, introduced the industrial leading powder coating machines, automatic wire stretching machine,, automatic bridging machine, automatic powder coating production line, full automatic punch, plastic injection machine, light source optical spectrum analyser, photospheric analyzer and other advanced production and testing equipments, which promoted innovation in production technology continuously and took a leading position in the field of science and technology of lighting products research and development for the past many years
    XXX company has been insisted on the principle of customer-based and market-oriented as for product development and launched new products continually, and up to now, XXX has 9 types of products of switch, socket, energy-saving lamp, ceiling lamp, electronic ballast, electronic transformer, magnetic ballast, fluorescent fixture,office and commercial lights, with more than 2,000 varieties of products.
    While increasing the varieties of products, XXX strictly controls the product quality, which is the basis for enterprises to establish credibility, and it carries out strict quality control in each links from purchase of raw materials to product design, development as well as production. The Company has the import and export right and has obtained ISO9001:2000 quality management system certificate, China Compulsory Certification(CCC), UL, CUL, CE ,ROHS,United Nations Supplier and energy efficiency certificate. The Company was awarded the laurel of contract abiding & trustworthy enterprise, China credit brand for superior quality and reliable service, civilized enterprise,China quality credit enterprise and other honorable titles; Moreover, it acquired the product appearance design and letter of patent of utility-type.
    Products of XXX are popular at home and abroad with their excellent performance and good decoration effect and have become the first choice of various large building and engineering lighting system.
    During long-term practice, XXX company had always recognized and cultivated the market actively with advanced concepts and motions, carried out “planed market extension”, “service marketing” as well as “development strategy of regional market” and other market expansion idea and adhered to the strategy of brand construction and banged the market with such 3 advantageous brands as “XXX”, “XXX” and “XXX”; At present, the marketing network has covered 32 domestic Provinces and over 1,000 Counties and Cities and the enterprise is developing international market actively and the products were sold far to Europe, Canada, the United States, South America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East etc., and the enterprise will become one of the most competitive enterprises in switch and lighting products manufacturing.

    XXX Company bases itself upon today and cherishes the future and will move forward with everlasting first-class management, first gra

    • ANSWER:
      too long ques

  50. QUESTION:
    How to ground a ballast ? - Aquarium help !!! ?
    Ok i bought a ready to use shop light fixture,, I took it apart and mounted it on my Fish tank Canopy made of wood.. The fluorescent end caps are also mounted on the wood,, I have 2 wires that were screwed together on the fixture to ground it.. But now i dont have the fixture to ground it beacuse i mounted everything on my WOOD canapy.. So what should i do to ground those two wires>>?
    More about the 2 wires---- the 2 wires had medal circles at the ends of them.. one circle was on top of the other and then screwed down onto the fixture.

    • ANSWER:
      I think you're asking for trouble with this diy project. Aquarium products are not the thing to go cheap on. A groundless fixture on top of your fish is an accident waiting to happen. They make double insulated fixtures for that purpose. Cheaper than buying new fish, or replacing your house.
      could ground out to the water killing your fish or ground out and start a fire.


fluorescent light ballast wiring

Installing Fluorescent Light Fixtures

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    When installing a fluorescent light fixture, where to I run the wires from the ceiling to the light?
    I'm replacing a fluorescent light fixture. My old fixture has a big square hole in the middle. The black and white wires from the ceiling run through the hole and connect to the black and white wires in the fixture.

    However, this new fixture doesn't have a big hole in the middle. There are some really small holes though. Where exactly do I run the wires through?
    i'm using a lithonia brand two bulb light fixture

    • ANSWER:
      There should be at least one 1/2 inch knockout for this purpose, be sure however to protect the wires by using a 1/2 inch plastic bushing or romex connector that pops right into the hole. Make sure you connect the proper wires to the fixture wires & ground to the green screen screw on the fixture.

  2. QUESTION:
    Trouble Wiring Fluorescent Light Fixtures?
    Need to install 2 fluorescent light fixtures on circuit controlled by wall switch. Each fixture has a separate ballast and 1 30w tube. Tried wiring the 2 fixtures in parallel (not in series) but tripped breaker each attempt; ensured that black wires were wired to black, and white to white; puzzled why this will not work; any electrician who can offer some explanation, solution, etc? Problem seems to defy the principles of basic home wiring??

    • ANSWER:
      It is hard to say without seeing what you are doing but lets cover the basics:
      1. you said your ballasts are parallel and that would be right.
      2. Check your ballasts incoming and output ratings to make sure that is correct.
      3. Follow the wires back to the tombstones (where the prongs go) make sure you didn't get any wires switched.
      4. If all else fails, rip out the wiring in the fixture and wire it exactly as pictured on the ballast.
      5. Don't let it beat you, it's only a lighting circuit.

  3. QUESTION:
    Installing a fluorescent light fixture to replace an incandescent bulb...?
    Do I need to turn the power off at the circuit box, or can I just turn the light switch off. Problem is... I have to get a key off of someone to get to the circuit box. This is paid work, but there are always logistic issues. At this point the fixture is in place, the buildings wires need to be connected to the fluorescent fixture (they are still connected to the incandescent bulb). Thank you for your answers.
    I get what guys are saying. I think a meter is definitely going to be what I need. Thanks for your careful responses. I appreciate it.

    • ANSWER:
      The safest and most correct response is to turn off the circuit breaker. That being said, you can do it by turning off the switch, but it isn't recommended. If you have a meter you can turn off the switch and check the wires for power if there are more in the box than JUST those from the switch. I would do it myself, but I NEVER advise others to do it. I do not know your knowledge base, so I don't want to get you killed. Now if you are good at reading between the lines, you will know what to do. {wink}
      Al

  4. QUESTION:
    Cover up fluorescent light fixtures?
    I have fluorescent light fixtures (appx. 4'x6') in my kitchen and they are hideous. I'd like to install track lighting. What would be the easiest route to do so? How would I cover up the area where the fluorescent fixtures sit now so it'd be flush with the rest of the ceiling so that I can then install track lighting?
    The fixture isn't attached to the ceiling, it's recessed, so if I take everything out, I'll have a 4x6' hole in my ceiling. I'm wondering what steps could be taken to cover up this hole. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      One simple approach is to hide the fixtures with translucent plastic panels. There are a variety of patterns available, and you could install these to be level with the rest of the ceiling (leaving the fixtures recessed in the box). A neat solution, and it maintains the efficiency of fluorescent lights -- which, with track lights, you will probably lose: most track light fixtures don't distribute CFL light effectively.

  5. QUESTION:
    Why can't I buy/find fluorescent shop light fixtures with magnetic rapid start ballast?
    I recently installed a PR-180 Leviton motion sensor switch. It only works with incandescent lights or fluorescent lights with magnetic rapid start ballast. I cannot seem to buy a 48" fluorescent shop light with a magnetic rapid start ballast. These lights seem only to come with electronic ballasts. Thanks for any help.

    • ANSWER:
      You can find them, not as common anymore, the main reason is the new energy rules that were passed a few years back, all you will find are electronic ballasts, they were supposed to stop making the T-12 lamps as well, so depending on where you are all you will see are T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts, or T-5 lamps and electronic ballasts.
      You are probably better off just getting some of the new style fixtures, go to the electrical supply house and get a regular motion sensor, or occupancy switch

  6. QUESTION:
    How can we determine the numbers of fluorescent light fixtiures needed for a fixed area and fixed height?
    The numbers of fluorescent light fixtures that should be installed in a room to give suitable amount of light according to the standards specifications is required.

    • ANSWER:

      Depends on the number and type of fluorescent lamps in each fixture, the mounting height of the fixtures, the reflectance of the surfaces in the room, the dimensions of the room, and the coefficient of utilization of the fixtures, as well as the required footcandles, and at what height above the floor those footcandles should be measured.
      But you'll come out ABOUT 1 fixture for each 56 sq ft (each fixture assumed to have 4 ea 4-ft 40-watt fluorescent lamps.
      here's a lighting layout estimator
      http://www.gelighting.com/na/business_lighting/education_resources/tools_software/toolkit/layout.htm

  7. QUESTION:
    Installing a fluorescent light with no ground wire to work with.?
    I have three fluorescent lights that I've installed with no ground wires since my home doesn't have that. Two work fine but one will only come on when I touch the bulbs, creating a ground through my body. Is there a way to psuedo ground it? A cheap capacitor or maybe just a long wire attached to nothing? The problem fixture is too far away from plumbing for that old trick and it's upstairs or else I'd just run a wire out the window.
    To those who've said it's dangerous. You do realize I mean a ground wire to the metal fixture itself and not attatched to the power source.
    Let me also add that it is a circline fixture using a 12 inch and 8 inch bulb. It works fine typically but often it doesn't want to start. If I reach up and touch both bulbs it comes on fine. I've been told that this is most likely a ground issue since the fuxture is new and many weak ballasts require a good ground for starting.
    In response to answer 3, it's not exactly defective but more along the lines of cheap. It's an oldstyle magnetic ballast that needs the bulb casing to be grounded for it to start. It's starting voltage is too low.

    Response to 4, there's only one way to put a circline in.

    I've verified it's a ground by attaching a speaker wire to the fixture case and running it out the window to the ground. The fixture works like a charm. When I undo that it won't start again. I just don't like having a wire running out the window.

    • ANSWER:
      Defective unit. You need a new ballast.

  8. QUESTION:
    How to wire fluorescent lighting with two switches?
    I want to install four fluorescent lighting fixtures where one switch turns on white tubes, and the other turns on blacklight tubes. We'll run the black lights during club hour, but at last call the harsh white tubes come on. I've seen this style of wiring in classrooms before (without blacklight tubes), and just wondering what fixture and wiring process supports this outcome.

    • ANSWER:
      First of all, you need fluorescent fixtures that support a split circuit. That is, separate hot wires that can be connected to two or more switched hots. Usually the larger fixtures will have four or more tubes with two or more ballasts and you can connect each ballast to whichever switched hot you want.

      As for wiring, the easiest would probably be to run power to your switch box and then run 14/3 or 12/3 from your two switches to each fixture (where each switch controls one of the hots).

  9. QUESTION:
    Installing fluorescent light?
    Hello,
    I decided to grow pepper plants in the closet of my apartment and would like to install 2 fluorescent light bulbs (tubes) right above them. How do I go about doing that? I need a fixture right? Can I plug the fixture right into the wall socket? What's the most inexpensive way? The plant has to grow, and I will make it happen. Thanks in advance.

    • ANSWER:
      For several years, I grew plants, very well, with fluorescent lighting (a "shop light" fixture ) plugged into a 24 hour timer. I gave them food, water, and just over 12 hours of light each day to produce a jungle. Some fixtures don't come with plugs on them. It will be helpful to find one that has it already if you are not comfortable with installing it yourself.

      Some plants like light with more red in it. For them you can get "grow light" bulbs. These come in 2 flavors, incandescent or fluorescent. I wouldn't try leaving a heat lamp on plants that you like for any length of time.

  10. QUESTION:
    Where to place power cord on fluorescent light fixture?
    Hello I bought a HO T5 fluorescent fixture from hydrofarm..and its pretty much all set up but the power cord was not hooked into the ballast when i bought the thing.

    In fact, contrary to the directions...the light was already installed. I cannot find where the power cord goes...there are to white pieces on the ends of the fixture where the light sockets go into. Im scared to try and pull them off because i might break the whole thing

    • ANSWER:
      remove the light bulb(s) then remove the ballast cover to find where in the housing the ballast is mounted, there should be knockouts at or near the ballast punch out the appropriate knockout ,installa cord grip and run cord thruogh the grip and wire to ballast. reassemble everything and plug in

  11. QUESTION:
    Central AC, maintenance, install fluoresent black light to kill mold , has anyone heard of this?
    Local AC repair company who we use for annual maintenance of our AC unit in attic. They want to install a black light fluorescent fixture in our unit after they clean unit of mold. They said that by installing this light, it will keep mold from growing in unit and will maintain our warranty service.
    I live in South Texas.

    • ANSWER:
      ?

  12. QUESTION:
    What is proper use of junction box to connect to fluorescent light fixture?
    I am installing four inexpensive enclosed fluorescent tube light fixtures in my unfinished basement. The instructions say I should have the twist on connections between the light fixture leads and the nonmetallic cable inside a junction box. I have each junction box screwed to a cross piece between the ceiling joists, facing down so that when I screw each light fixture to the ceiling joists, the junction box will be flush with the top of the light fixture covering the hole where the light leads exit the light fixture. So, the junction box is not directly attached to the light fixture. It now occurs to me that making the wire connections will be awkward, as I will need to raise the light fixture high enough for the wires to reach each other, but low enough for me to get my hands in to twist on the wire nuts. So, I suspect I am doing this wrong. What is the proper way to have the wire connections remain in the junction box for these light fixtures?

    Thanks in advance for the time and effort to give advice.

    • ANSWER:
      Since you specified the box was going to be covered, which will conceal the box, and that the fixture was not supported by the box then NEC 410.24(b) applies:

      Access to Boxes: Electric-discharge luminaires surface mounted over concealed outlet, pull, or junction boxes and not designed to be supported solely by the outlet box shall be provided with suitable openings in the back of the luminaire to provide access to the wiring in the box.

      The proper way is to punch (drill) 3" holes in the back of the fixture so the splices can be accessed through the fixture.

      http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=nec%20410.24(b)&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lni.wa.gov%2FTradesLicensing%2FElectrical%2Ffiles%2Fcurrents%2Felc0912.pdf&ei=zOgfT9DGOeag2gXP7rWODw&usg=AFQjCNE13_nG1geaacWcIiI1Jnx2nKW-iA&cad=rja
      http://ecmweb.com/nec/code_qa/code_qa_091307/

  13. QUESTION:
    I've installed 3 fluorescent fixtures in the house. They randomly go off whY!?
    I've replace fixtures before. This time I got 3 fluorescent fixtures round style lighting and put them up. THey worked nice but lately been giving me headache.

    The lights goes on for 2 sec and goes off.

    sometimes it can go on normally.

    They are relatively new from costco. made by lights of america.

    i bought lights of america before (table lamps and they work great)

    • ANSWER:
      Check to see if your light switch is going bad or if there is a loose wire.

  14. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light flickering - new tubes and fixtures?
    Fixtures are new and the lamps have been replaced. They are two lamp fixtures and worked when first installed. These are hanging fixtures with plugs. I have surface mounted the fixture and installed horizontally on a side wall. These are in Florida so cold temperature should not be an issue. Any suggestions for solutions?

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like a loose connection if all is new. Check the wires that plug into the sockets that lock in the bulbs. Most of these sockets have plug in wires and don't make the best contact. It is nothing more than a little piece of metal under spring tension that holds the wires in. Also check the wire nuts. If that doesn't fix it, it might be a bad ballast or even a loose connection at the switch

  15. QUESTION:
    Can T5 Grow light bulbs be installed in a regular fixture?
    Can I use regular fluorescent light fixtures from the store. And run T5 grow bulbs in them?

    • ANSWER:
      The wattage of each type of fluorescent is different. You need to have the right ballast for each type T5, T8, T12 etc. There are also High Output variations.

  16. QUESTION:
    Can I operate a fluorescent light with a solid state ceiling fan/light remote controller?
    I'm installing a Hampton Bay ceiling fan in my garage. The fan has a light kit and comes with a wireless remote controller that operates the fan and the light. I plan to remove the attached light kit and use the wires to connect to a ceiling mounted fluorescent fixture I'd like to install near the fan. Since I can't easily hardwire a wall switch to operate the new light without poking a lot of holes in the drywall, I'd like to use the remote controller to operate the light. The remote controller says "incandescent only". But if the controller only turns the light on/off, with no dimming capability, is there any reason why it wouldn't work with the fluorescent light? Would doing so damage the controller or cause some other problem? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • ANSWER:
      I don't think it will damage anything and it should work as long as there is no dimmer. The only problem I can see is the wiring may not be heavy enough in the fan light. A lot of fan lights say 15 watt max or something like that. If it doesn't work you can always buy Home decor conduit that goes on the outside of the wall and run a wire for a switch off of the wire that feeds the fan to operate your light.

  17. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Light fixture *Hum* grounding Issue?
    I installed three new 48" fluorescent light fixtures in my shop. My shop is a metal style carport garage. I wired them in using normal household 14-awg wire in the standard white/black/bare solid copper wire. The black and white went to the ballast and the bare copper wire went to the green ground wire that just grounds to the body of the fixture. All three lights are on one string of wire connected to a light switch and then going to the breaker box with their own 15-amp breaker.
    The light fixtures are mounted directly to the metal framing of the garage with a 3/8" thick by 1" wide universal automotive weatherstripping in 48" strips so the metal fixture case don't come into contact to the metal framing of the garage.

    The lights have been hooked up for a few days now but I just got bulbs today. When I turn the lights on the fixtures buzz/hum quite loud. When I read the manual that came with the fixtures it says that a buzz/hum could be caused from a bad ground.
    If it is a bad ground I don't see what I did wrong. I used all new 14awg wire, and installed them on a their own 15-amp breaker. Ive checked all the connections at the breaker box and light fixtures and light switch they are all connected.

    So my questions are:
    Could this be just because the lights are new? Or it's 40*f here, Could cold weather cause them to hum? If it is a grounding issue, Should I take the bare copper (green) ground and connect it to the metal framing of the garage as well as the fixture case?
    OR what other things can I do to fix the ground (if that is the issue)?

    BTW: The "hum" is not the normal fluorescent light hum, This is quite loud, Ive never herd one this loud before.

    Thanks for your time!
    ***responce to answers***
    It IS grounded all the way to the box. Im sure the box is grounded to the earth because it just passed inspection in july when I bought the house. I forgot to mention, the breaker box is the house's breaker box. I have two power leads from the main house breaker box to the shop. One for plugs and one for lights. Both are wired with outdoor grade 12 awg wire and then connected in the shop to the indoor 14awg wire.

    They are cheap lowe's light fixtures. Im 99% sure they are indoor lights. I never figured tempture would effect the lights. I figured indoor = Dry outdoor = wet. Never thought about the tempature.
    Thanks for the help.

    • ANSWER:
      Do you have a sub panel in this shop I think that is what I am reading here. You say two hot wires then you have to have a neutral and if you do not have a fourth wire then you do not have a ground in this shop. Or do you have two 12/2 w/ grounds ran to the shop and if this is the case then you do have two circuits and two neutral and two grounds. If you do have 2 12/ 2 wires ran then you do have a ground and you said all connections are tight. So now if you do have proper grounding then you can go to the next step.
      I would venture to say to undo one light at a time and turn them on after you have taken one off the circuit, it could be one has a bad ballast or even loose on the mounting device. If you can eliminate the one that is bad or loose you have done what you asked.
      Look on the ballast it should tell you a F or C rating this is how cold the ballast will work to. Some ballast do not work below freezing and some ar rated at -20 degrees. They do make a light ballast that goes outside called high output ballast but you would be better off not to spend this kind of money in a shed for this purpose. I have purchased cheap lights that are rated for -20 F and they work fine for the most part.
      Maybe you just do not have the lights tight or the ballast are loose as I said in the light and this could be your problem as well.

      Good Luck :)

  18. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Light fixture Dilemma?
    Hi,I have a 2 light fluorescent fixture that I think is working improperly but installed correctly.When the light switch is flipped the light does not luminate to full brightness.Instead there is this orange like color in the tubes.After flipping the switch on and off many times or sometimes,the light will come on but 1 fluorescent tube is slightly discolored.I am using daylight 6500k tubes.I guess you can say the slight color is kinda orange in one of them.The other strange thing is when the light does not come on,if I touch the bulbs they light up just about everytime.So,the company I bought the fixture from sent me another fixture brand new,And I get the same thing.Now I lead to believe it could be the light bulbs.I think this is rapid start ballast system just guessing.It does say something about
    being grounded.But I have a 4 light 4 footer in my kitchen that is not grounded and works fine.Is the kitchen on a different circuit and so therefore the bath is? Please Help

    • ANSWER:
      I don't mean to make light of your problem, but...

      If you're changed the fixture with the new one you can rule out the faulty ballast. I doubt it's a grounding issues. I suggest:

      1. Make sure both tubes are properly installed. It's common for people to put the tubes in and all four contacts not be fully engaged.

      2. If you have another working fixture, swap the working tubes in. If one of the existing tubes is weak it will effect both.

  19. QUESTION:
    Do all compact fluorescent light bulbs give off that terrible blue glare? Or are some softer and warmer?
    We bought a six-pack at Costco and they are AWFUL. The light was so bright and had this blue tone, it gave us a headache. We had to remove them all and go back to the regular bulbs.

    Is there a particular kind of fluorescent bulb I could buy that does not have such a horrid glare? Our light fixtures are glass, installed by the landlords, not removable.

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      At the local hardware store by my house I accidentally bought a fluro light bulb in 'warm light' it was horrible. It made everything have a yellow glare.
      I know you can fluro bulbs in different 'whites' but I think you might need to check a hardware store for the whole range.

  20. QUESTION:
    How to switch direct wire fluorescent light fixture to a 3 prong plug?
    I just recently bought a 120V T8 17W 2 bulb fluorescent light fixture that I am planning on installing in my home built sand blast box. I want to take the hardwires from the fixture and connect them to a 3 prong plug so the box is portable. First, I will tell you all of the things I did and the results I got. To start I just simply took an extension cord, cut off the end, connected the black wire of the cord to the black on the fixture, white wire to white wire, and green wire (ground) to a ground screw located in the light fixture. When I went to plug the light in, about 1/3 of the first bulb lit up and the second one was completely dark. I then switched the white and black wires thinking maybe the wires in the extension cord were not color coated right, but I got the same result as the first scenario. I also tried not using the ground and using a 2 prong plug instead of 3, but in both cases I got the same result as the first two scenarios, 1/3 of the first bulb lit up and the second completely dark. Again, the fixture is 120v, so I doubt the voltage is the problem. Please help me on this one, I cannot seem to figure out what the problem is. I'll take any suggestions.

    • ANSWER:
      New fixture, new bulbs, wired correctly, not working. Test the voltage at the receptacle where you are plugging it into. Got proper voltage? "Just because it's new, doesn't mean it's good". Good luck in all you do and may God bless.

  21. QUESTION:
    is it safe to install a compact fluorescent light bulb in an enclosed fixture?

    • ANSWER:
      Read the UL listing information on the box when buying them. Don't take advise from the guessers on yahoo answers. Those lamps do run cooler on the glass part, but the base where the ballast is located gives off heat. I have seen the bases burned black and charred, looking a lot like a fire. They are great energy savers but a fire will negate any savings.

      Here is a link and an excerpt from an interesting web site:

      http://members.misty.com/don/cfbest.html

      Quote:
      High wattage compact fluorescent should not be used in recessed ceiling fixtures nor in small enclosed fixtures unless the bulb is specifically rated for such use. Heat buildup in recessed ceiling fixtures and in small enclosed fixtures can easily overheat compact fluorescent, especially of wattage's over 20 watts.

  22. QUESTION:
    how do i install an outlet cord to a fluorescent fixture?
    I have a fluorescent light fixture just sitting around, i wanted to use it but it just has wires sticking out of it, i know how to attach it to the ceiling but i dont wanna do that. I want to put a cord that plugs into an outlet so that i can put it anywhere. now how would i go about doing that?

    • ANSWER:
      All fluorescent fixtures I've seen have a black, white and green wire to bring power into the fixture (USA). It's no different than wiring any other 120vac appliance. Other colors used (yellow, red, blue) are outputs from the ballast that are connected the light socket(s). Make sure you use a grommet to keep the sharp metal from cutting into the power cable.

  23. QUESTION:
    Problem fluorescent light fixture?
    A few years ago the bulb started to flicker and turn black at the ends. I replaced the bulb, but it didn't take the new bulb long to also turn black and flicker. I concluded that the ballast must be going bad. So I replaced it with an Advanced Transformer Co. rapid start ballast (RL-140 TP) and installed a new bulb (F40T12). As before, in a few weeks the bulb was shot. I spoke with a friend who does a lot of electrical work and he suggested that one of the lamp holders must have gone bad or wasn't making a clean connection and thus there wasn't a good electrical path. Today I replaced both lamp holders and the bulb. Now the bulb doesn't light at all, unless I turn it as to remove it and once it lights, I can then rotate it back to the normal position. However, if I turn it off and then back on, it won't light without the turning I just described unless it is still warm. There is no starter in this fixture. This is 1 of 2 identical (the other works fine). Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      you are using rapid start fluorescent lamp, this lamp needs 2 second pre-heating. you should change it to instant start fluorescent fixture and use instant start ballast.

      next time when the tube is flickering before the tube get blacken, change the tube right away, otherwise as the tube blackened the ballast will be overheated. the tube is much cheaper than the ballast. also replace the fixture as the cost of replacing the ballast is not too far from replacing the whole fixture.

  24. QUESTION:
    How do I fix Fluorescent light?
    I recently installed 4(2 bulb) fluorescent lights -about a month ago. They worked fine til recently one bulb in one light went out. Replaced bulb same thing??? New fixtures so no "starter". If ballast was bad wouldn't it affect both bulbs?

    • ANSWER:
      Its not the Ballast first of all. Sometimes bulbs will go bad fast depending on shipping mishandling where inner filaments are damaged some or manufacturers. Just replace both bulbs instead of just 1. See how long it will last. If they burn out again then you have a short in the end connectors. Dont bother changing the ballasts.I recommend a return for a totally new fixture before the manufacturer warranty runs out.

  25. QUESTION:
    Installed Lithonia Lighting Wrap Lite fluorescent fixture and T8 bulbs are only partially lighting up, why?
    I had a cheap fluorescent light fixture in my closet. The (2) 4 ft bulbs were always very dull and appeared to only light up about half way, even when brand new. I replaced the light fixture with a new Lithonia Wrap Lite 4' fixture using T8 bulbs thinking the ballast was defective on the old fixture. Even with the new fixture I have the same problem. New bulbs in new light fixture were nice and bright for about 10 seconds and then started flickering and now they are dull, just like the old fixture. Any ideas on what's going on here?

    • ANSWER:
      Make sure the fixture is grounded. Some ballasts need to be grounded to operate properly. If that doesn't work you need a volt meter to insure you have 120v to the fixture.

  26. QUESTION:
    how do I wire an outlet onto an existing switch that's controlled by the switch as well?
    I apologize for the long rant, but here goes:

    quick info: I want to install fluorescent lighting in my garage that comes on when the one single bulb comes on without having to bust into the plaster that covers all of the wiring.

    There is an okay amount of data out there for putting an outlet onto the end of a circuit by using another switch or if it isn't necessary to be controlled by the switch, etc. But I'd like the new circuit to be controlled by the original switch and work on & off at the same time as the original circuit.

    with that said, my only option is to use the wiring at the switch. I've ran wire from that and installed the outlet and plugged in one of two fluorescent light fixtures and it actually works. BUT it only works if the fluorescent fixture is plugged in & with it plugged in the original bulb takes about 6 seconds to even come on and is very very dim. you can see the heated wire inside it. I'm thinking if I put a 40w bulb or some low 15w fluorescent light it may work properly when both fixtures are installed instead of the 100-150w or whatever is in there. thoughts? It seems the only remaining voltage getting through the new circuit is getting through the low voltage fluorescent light.

    when I wire it differently, the original circuit closes and the bulb will work when ON and then when switched OFF the new circuit with the outlet works and the original light is off. As if it has two separate circuits. haha. doesn't really help me out much, but maybe another project another day.

    Is there a better way to wire it? I've read about wiring a second switch to control the outlet but then I'll have two switches and I don't know that I'll get around the on / off issues of having two circuits. eek.

    another option would be to install another breaker, run my own wire, etc and I'm trying to avoid that at the moment. I have that planned for another day down the road

    thank you for reading and any efforts ahead of time
    ThatGuy... thanks for the response. I'm surprised it took you that long to figure out I'm not certified. I don't think any of the certified guys are on here trying to figure out how to do what I want to. I looked around the basement and saw comparable junction boxes just like the one covered up in the garage and went ahead and removed the mud that covered the ceramic plate and removed it and wired it like lediy99 stated to...except with some minor changes? Or I could have just misread what was stated. I wanted to prevent a mess but now there's a decent amount of dust and sawdust. I also didn't mention that before the light in the garage there is the basement light junction box which has 3 other additional legs to outlets and whatever else connected. So 50+ years of old wiring and no overloads I doubt 4 fluorescent bulbs are going to overload anything. Thankfully whoever redid the wiring in 89 made enough room for about 16 breakers. My neighbor only has 4 for the entire house!! anyways,

    • ANSWER:
      If I understand your description correctly the problem is "no neutral" at the existing switch location.(but see possibility #2)
      In the box, if all you have are black, white and (bare) ground then you have what is sometimes referred to as a switch loop. Wired correctly the white is the supply (hot) and should have been identified as such by colored tape or magic marker. The black would then be the returning switch leg to the existing light fixture. The neutral for the light stops at the ceiling box. If this is indeed what you have you cannot wire a receptacle to it. This would explain why the new light "works" the way it does.
      If you run a race way (pipe or wire mold, no exposed wire of any sort) from the existing light down to the receptacle the new wires would splice as follows.
      Splice the grounds together. Then the white would splice to the white going to the existing lights white wire (silver screw). If the splices were done to code, you will find a black spliced to the white going to the switch. Add your new black to this splice. If it was not wired to code you probably have 2 white wires attached to the light. If so, look for the black that runs with the white to the switch. Starting to get a little hard to follow? Sorry.

      However, I see where you say "when wired differently" you get the receptacle to work "correctly" but not the existing light. Which sounds like you are confusing constant hot/switch leg/neutrals. Start with a meter and determine which wire is the hot, the neutral (I suspect there is one) and the switch leg. Splice the new wire as follows:
      Grounds to grounds
      White to whatever wire tested as being neutral, should be white.
      And the black to the switch leg going to the existing light.
      Now it will work the way you want it to.
      If not then I may have missed something. Hopefully not.

  27. QUESTION:
    Why are all the wires hooked to my light fixture live?
    I recently went to install a new fluorescent light fixture in a room of my house only to discover some strange wiring on the old fixture.
    The previous owner had a basic porcelain fixture for a 60 watt bulb installed and working properly connected to a switch. When I pulled the fixture off, there were two sets of wires (black white and ground) in the box. The ground wires were connected to the box, both black wires were connected with a marette, and the two white wires were connected to the gold and silver screws on the fixture.
    I checked all the wires with my tick and all of them had voltage present.
    Now when I separated all the wires and held my tick up to them, only one black wire had voltage present. I tried connecting black to black and white to white but when I went to flip the breaker back on, it tripped instantly.
    The breaker is back on and all the wires have been separated and everything else on the circuit seems to be working fine.
    All that being said, I just want to know if it would be safe for me to wire the ballast from the fluorescent fixture to the live neutral wires as the previous fixture was.
    Dragon:
    I did as you said. I took the neutral wire that ran alongside the one live hot wire and hooked it to the hot wire on the ballast, then the other neutral wire to the ballast's neutral wire and boom, light!
    Thank you very much!

    • ANSWER:
      It is hard to diagnose wiring problems without being on-site, but it sounds like the feed wire went directly to the fixture box. At the box, the white wire from the supply was connected to the fixture. The black wire was connected to another black wire (of a second cable) which goes to the switch, The switched power comes back to the fixture using the white wire of this same cable. Usually they will tape this white wire black, so you know it is a switched hot lead. This is quite common, it is called a switch loop. To hook it back up, take the black wire that showed voltage (of course have it off when you do this) and hook it to the other black wire that goes to the switch. The white wire coming back from the switch (will be part of the same cable) is now your "hot" wire, you might want to tape the last few inches black, then connect it to the black wire or "hot" connection of your new fixture, Now there is just one wire left over, this white wire will go to the white wire or neutral connection of the new fixture.

  28. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Light Broke - Mercury Danger?
    I am 16 years old. I was installing a Sylvania F40CW 32 Watt Fluorescent Light Tube in my grandpa's garage for him. I was standing on a ladder installing it in a suspended light fixture. I put one side in and went for the other, when the first side slipped out and smashed against the side of the ladder. There was a bang and it shattered. I was still holding the remaining half in my hand. He told me to throw the light away and clean up the mess which I did. I wasn't cut. Later that day, I wondered if there could of been mercury in that lamp. I looked at another of the same model and it didn't say anything about having mercury on the tube. But, what if it did? I stayed around the area of impact and cleaned up the mess without a mask. Am I at risk of mercury poisoning? This is the first and only fluorescent light I've ever broken.

    Can an expert please help me? I have anxiety and get very paranoid easily. Right now I am worried because I read that mercury vapor is rated "extreme" on the poison scale.

    Can anyone bring me closure?
    Wow thank you very much.

    My grandpa kept telling me to not worrying about it, but I wanted to hear it from an expert.

    I should've believed him, but thank you

    • ANSWER:
      when i was in school, the teacher passed a jar of mercury around and most of us got it on our hands.
      if you coat a coin in mercury, it'll be very shiny.
      but the next day, it'll be quite dull, as the mercury oxidizes.

      and i'm still around.
      don't worry.
      you're not the first, by any means, to break, or clean up, a fluorescent bulb.

  29. QUESTION:
    What caused the electricity in my room to go out?
    I went outside to the side of the house and switched off all the circuit breakers and switched them back on again and it still didn't work.

    The electricity went out as I was turning on a fluorescent light fixture in the room.

    I personally installed the light fixture not long ago. I don't think I connected the grounding wire. Could this have caused the problem?

    • ANSWER:
      Unfortunately, your question doesn't give enough information for an accurate answer.

      "The electricity went out". . .where? Did just the light go out or did it go out in the whole room?

      First of all, yes, I would definitely attach the ground wire. If you have a GFCB (ground-fault circuit breaker) in your panel, it may not reset with an open ground. Double check your wiring. Make sure you don't have the hot wire (black) and neutral (white) reversed.

      If the problem still persists, then there is another problem keeping power off. When you reset the breaker for that room, does it trip immediately? If it does, then you have a short on that circuit. Unplug everything from the outlets, then try again. If it still trips, then it's a lighting fixture or a hard-wired appliance.

      I recommend you get a licensed electrician to help if grounding the light and unplugging all loads from that circuit don't solve the problem.

  30. QUESTION:
    I need help diagnosing the problem with a fluorescent light fixture.?
    This fixture and two others installed within the last few years by the same installer have simply stopped working. The bulbs do not glow or flicker, there is no discernible hum or buzz. I have power to the switch, and have replaced the switch with no success. However, if I bridge the wires themselves with a tester, the light fixture immediately comes on, and will stay on until the switch is flipped off again.
    With the light I'm referring to, at the time this problem began, we had an older UPS fail on the same circuit. Those wall outlets all still test live. What do I check next, or is the proper tool for this problem the phone book?
    There are no starters - it is a quite new rapid-start fixture. There is no flickering, no humming, no glowing. The fixture lights immediately when the wires at the switch are bridged. This does not sound like any of the possible bad ballast scenarios I have ever read. If the ballast were faulty, would the light come on at all?

    • ANSWER:
      did you check the ballast?

  31. QUESTION:
    I installed a long life fluorescent light bulb in an porch fixture and it flickers. Why is it flickering?

    • ANSWER:
      If you're referring to a compact fluorescent, such as the swirly type, you cannot use those in fixtures controlled by a dimmer, or photocell. If the fixture is controlled by a photocell, only the older style compact fluorescents such as the Earthlight with a magnetic ballast are compatible for use with a photocell, but they may not physically fit into smaller fixtures because of their size.

      Using the new electronic ballasted compact fluorescent lamps in fixtures with a dimmer, photocell, and some timers will ruin them, causing them to flicker or flash on and off like a strobe.

      Fluorescent lighting is a great choice for porch lights, but you might consider changing to a fixture that is fluorescent to start with, rather than using Compact fluorescents in an existing one.. Do not use a dimmer to control them.

  32. QUESTION:
    Question about Fluorescent Light Covers?
    Looking for suggestions to dress up an ugly fluorescent light in my kitchen. Either the previous owner or builder opted to put a fluorescent light in my kitchen. It appears to be a very standard light set with the aluminum "dome" covering two 48 inch bulbs. Then it is covered with what appears to be the following:
    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100078177&N=10000003+90401+502059

    While this light cover might warm up a garage or basement, it gives a very cold, industrial feeling to my kitchen.

    Ideally I'd like something more along the lines of:
    http://lightingbygregory.com/lighting/product/kl-10307oak.html?lbgc=ntag_131387

    However, I don't really want to install an entirely new light fixture, I'm just looking for something that hooks onto the fixture I've got. Anyone with experience or suggestions on this? Or do I just need to bite the bullet and put up a new fixture?

    • ANSWER:
      best bet would be a new fixture...35 +/- years in home remodeling says you wont really be happy with the look till then.BUT - you can try hanging whats known as eggcrate suspended beneath fixture with wire,or constuct something that will serve as utensil rack if in good location.

  33. QUESTION:
    Can I use a lower wattage fluorescent bulb in a higher wattage fluorescent fixture?
    I recently had a fluorescent fixture installed in my kitchen. It uses two 20 watt bulbs. However, it is a bit brighter than I had hoped (I just want to leave it on all the time as light to see in kitchen at night.) Is it possible to use two 15 watt bulbs instead or will that cause problems? Or could I take one of the 20 watt bulbs out and leave the other?

    • ANSWER:
      Remove the fixture cover so you can see the ballast. The ballast is a rectangular block with wires connecting to the AC power and to the tube holders. The label on the ballast should state the type and watt rating of fluorescent tubes it will accept.

  34. QUESTION:
    new fluorescent fixture seen to reduce brightness of light for long periods?
    Ok ...I installed a new 4 ft Simkar fluorescent ceiling that uses 3 8 4 ft bulbs.I have bought a good brand which is
    skybright daylight output lumens/light color.The effect is very
    whitish and crisp but there is a slight problem.It seem to dim
    at certain long periods of time during just after sunset or
    at night.I know it is not my vision because these are not heap.It is bright and makes what is white look clean white
    in the daytime and when evening starts to dawn in around
    5 or 6'ish it seem to slightly dull off some and I am wondering
    where all the brightness went? The old fixture used 2 40 watt fluorescent.I need to mention that I think
    the wire coming from the ceiling was short in reaching one
    side of lighting hook-up wire and I think it could be touching
    the top frame plus I had very little electrical tape..I was going
    to fix this been about 2 months.
    Could the hot and neutral be crossed or is it wiring touching
    frame or fixture itself? please help paid 0
    thanx
    It uses 3 T8 bulbs.Other people have commented it look a little dim.when I
    remove the cover full brightness,funny...
    thanx

    • ANSWER:
      Relax, nothing is crossed. If your wires were crossed the breaker would have tripped as soon as you flipped the switch.
      Actually it sounds like an optical illusion, Flourescent bulbs put out their rated lumens, that's it. They do'nt sense light & change their brightness, it's an illusion, flourescent bulbs are known to play tricks on the eyes.
      Hope this helped, good luck!!

  35. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent shop light trips GFCI?
    I recently replaced a 24-year-old GFCI outlet with a new one, Leviton model 7599. In my 1987 home, this is the only GFCI, with other protected outlets wired downstream of it. I am 100% sure the new GFCI is wired correctly. I triple-checked it while installing. The green LED on the Leviton is lit, meaning "OK". Test and Reset buttons work correctly. My 3-LED circuit tester shows correct wiring both at the GFCI and at the downstream outlets.

    The problem is that a grounded fluorescent shop light downstream of the GFCI trips the GFCI. Thinking the fluorescent fixture was defective, I swapped in a different one. Same result. Every time I turn on the fluorescent light, the GFCI trips. This did not occur with the old GFCI. But the old one was worn out and having trouble staying engaged, so I replaced it. The old one appears to be Eagle brand. Both old and new are rated 15A at the outlets and 20A downstream. The GFCI and its downstream outlets are on a 20A circuit all by themselves.

    I have tested both the local GFCI outlets and the downstream outlets with other grounded and ungrounded appliances. They all work fine. Only the fluorescent shop lights trip the GFCI.

    If I lift the ground from the shop light with a 2-prong adapter, it works fine. If I restore the ground, the GFCI trips. Now, I'm not quite sure why a fluorescent shop light needs a ground in the first place. But I sure am curious why a fluorescent fixture would consistently trip a GFCI.

    Can anyone explain?
    Thanks for the good fast answers. They make perfect sense, and I should have thought of using an ohmmeter myself. But I can't verify the hypothesis.

    I put a fresh battery in my meter to make sure, and I get no connectivity (infinite ohms) between ground and anything else with the fixture in the On position. I do get connectivity (

    [Hmm, did you know that a "less than" sign will truncate your additional details? Pesky HTML. Trying again.]

    I put a fresh battery in my meter to make sure, and I get no connectivity (infinite ohms) between ground and anything else. I do get connectivity (less than 2 ohms) between the ground plug and metal frame. So while I'm fully prepared to accept that these are cheap faulty Chinese fixtures, I can't verify.

    I should have clarified why I don't care terribly much about grounding these lights. They hang from the ceiling out of reach, they are enamel-coated, and they are operated by a non-conductive pull string. I had to scrape a little to get to bare metal to verify ground connectivity.

    I'm OK with lifting the ground so the light will work. I just hate it when a 15 minute project turns into hours of fruitless troubleshooting.
    Another good, plausible answer. I remember the old removable "silver can" ballasts. This fixture is maybe 10 years old and doesn't have an externally visible ballast. And it didn't trip the old GFCI.

    • ANSWER:
      I suspect that both of your shop lights are wired incorrectly internally, I have observed a similar problem on various Chinese-made electrical appliances, fraudulently carrying a CSA sticker. To check, use an ohmeter to look for continuity between the ground prong and each of the other two prongs on the plug. There should be NO continuity between the ground prong and either of the other two. There should, of course, be continuity between the ground prong and any exposed metal parts or screws on the chassis of the appliance.

      The reason your light - and any other appliance with any exposed metal parts needs a grounded plug is that should internal insulation breakdown over time and allow the chassis to become energized, a user standing on wet ground or touching a grounded pipe could sustain severe injury or even death as the current travels through her body from the energized chassis to the ground.

  36. QUESTION:
    Removed light fixture, no junction box behind it, just BX cable. How can I install new fixture?
    I removed an old school fluorescent light from the wall and found that the white, black and green cables come directly from a BX cable. There is a junction box located near, half way down the wall and way to low to use for a fixture. It looks like the BX cable runs from the junction box up to the where the light was? If I install the new fixture there will obviously be cables dangling because no box to tuck into? What do i do? or how can I do to put up a new fixture.

    P.S the old light was a long wall fluorescent so the original installer just hid the wires inside there!

    Thanks!
    Edit: I was wrong the junction box is right beside the BX cable just, but it's attached to the stud and opens up facing the next room.
    Can anyone provide with a link to an appropriate old work box? Just came back from Home Depot and 2 other stores and no luck finding one. I'll order one online if I have to?

    I'm more than newbie and appreciate all your help so far. What do I need to attach the BX cable into the old work box once I get the box?

    Thanks again!
    Chris you are a lifesaver! Thank you! Can I run through the BX through any hole I want? And i think I read it says that box was for a switch. Can I still use the box you linked to me for a light fixture or do I need a bigger box?

    • ANSWER:
      Just go to any supply store (Home Depot) and ask for an "Old Work" box for BX cable. It will have tabs on the side that will wedge against the back of the sheetrock when you tighten the screws.
      Good luck
      Chris

      Additional
      Here is a link to what you need but it's kind of pricey!
      I know Home Depot carries them but the guy may not have understood.
      The clamps inside hold the BX but you have to use a flat head screwdriver to snap off the cover of the hole you choose to use. Then slide in the cable and tighten the clamp around the end of the metal sleeve. Don't cut the hole in the sheetrock too big! The tabs on the top and bottom of the opening have to be against the outside of the sheetrock. Then the tabs on the sides will fold against the inside of the sheetrock. Done.

  37. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Light Starter?
    I'm confused about my aquarium. Both sides of the light fixture require a starter but only one has one right now. When I turn it on, neither bulb lights, with starter in, NOR with starter out. But if I put starter in each side and then take it out, both lights come on. This confuses me. If it needs the starter to light at all, then why won't either light with the starter installed? Why will they only light when I put the starter in and then immediately take it back out?

    • ANSWER:
      could be that the starter is not the correct wattage for the tubes look at the tube and see what wattage they are.
      and then look at the starter it should also say what wattage they are for should be same wattage as the tubes
      that's the only thing i can think of that could be wrong hope this helps

  38. QUESTION:
    How do I keep from getting a shock while looking for an open ground?
    I just installed 4 used fluorescent light fixtures in my garage. Two of them i tested independently and they worked fine. After installing all four i wired them up to two switches and put two fixtures on each switch. While strapping up the conduit as I had them all running I got a shock from the conduit. When I went to turn them off i also got a shock from the metal on the switches. Therefore obviously something is grounding out but I have no idea how to trace it without getting a shock each time i check one of the fixtures. Is there a way or tester that will tell me if the conduit or fixture is hot before i touch it to find out?

    • ANSWER:
      I think it's time to get in a professional on this..... you obviously have a hot wire to ground, please keep in mind it only takes about 5 to 10 milliamps to cause death... you have been lucky so far......... get a pro

  39. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Fixtures - how to wire four together?
    I have four single tube T8 four foot fluorescent fixtures that I am installing end to end. Wall wires are at one end. I have plastic 'joiners' between the fixtures to link/hold them together end to end.
    Out of my wall I have black, white and a bare copper wire, which I assume is ground.
    1) Do I run a separate white wire to each fixtures white wire from the wall white? Or can I start at one end and link the whites together bringing them to the wall white?
    2) Same question for black wires?
    3) Each fixture has a blue wire with a bare end that does not go to the end sockets. I assume this is ground. Each fixture has a green screw. Do I have to run a separate wire from the wall ground to each blue fixture ground wire? Do I have to wire something to the screen screw? I dont see why, if I am running a ground wire to the wal ground.

    Anyways, thanks for the help. I want the lights to work and have no hum, which is what the T8's are good for.

    All help appreciated.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes copper is earth(ground)

      If you want them all to come on togerther as they are low wattage- you dont need a ring main on them (eg set them up in series and end one back to the mains)

      Start at the first and run blue to blue and black to black on the 2nd and so on (and earth to each)

  40. QUESTION:
    Is a F32T8 the same as a T8? (Q for professional electrician)?
    I am trying to install a fluorescent light fixture (48")

    After making a few trips back and forth between the store to try to get the bulbs and the plastic "tube guards" and getting the wrong size combination I finally ended up with F32T8 bulbs and "tube guards" for that size. only then to discover that there is a sticker on the fixture saying "do NOT use T8 bulbs"

    And they only light up on one end (opposite ends)

    WHY???

    F25T12 F40T12

    • ANSWER:
      Okay, you're caught in the web of terminology. Quick glossary:

      T12, T8 - the number is the diameter of the tube in eighths of an inch. T8 = 1" tube; T12 = 1-1/2" (twelve eighths). "T" stands for "tube." In regular incandescent bulbs, the letter designation is "A," which stands for "ampoule." Fancy French word, means "bulb." Go figure.

      F32 = Fluorescent, 32 watts.

      Sounds like you've got a shop light kind of fixture, designed for use with T12 tubes. Bad choice, T12 tubes are being phased out, and the lowest-bidder ballast can't generate the kick to start the T8 tubes. Take the fixture back and get one suited for T8 tubes - and maybe ask a manager why someone didn't warn you about the phaseout. Could've save you some hassle.

      Since you're going to wind up with T8 tubes, just hang on to the tube sleeves.

  41. QUESTION:
    Just installed 24 inch fluorescent single tube fixture but when I turn on switch tube will not light up.?
    One can see on the ends of the tube when turned on a little glow but fails to light the bulb. When I twist the tube back and forth a few times I can get it to light up and stay lit. Then when I turn it off at the switch and try again it does the same thing. Everything is brand new. Thanks for your help.

    • ANSWER:
      be sure the bulb is in correctly, with the pins in the socket.... try twisting the bulb another half turn or so... it has to seat properly.... or just take it back...maybe it is a defect from the manufacturer... but it just sounds like poor continuity to the contacts... try another bulb...

  42. QUESTION:
    Why did all of my new fluorescent fixtures break at once?
    I had about 20 fixtures installed at my business, all with new units and new bulbs. they have worked fine for the last few weeks- my son flipped the light switch on and off very quickly a few times (I yelled at him to stop and he did after about 10 switches on and off) and now, they won't turn on. I tried flipping the breaker switch and the light switch but they still won't turn on. Is this a wiring issue or is it possible he burnt out a component on one or all of the units causing them all to go out at once?

    • ANSWER:
      I would say that when he flipped the switch he could have sparked and blew or even disconnected a wire behind that switch
      however I suspect your wiring may not be up to par, and you have a major conundrum get an electrician to come in and run a diagnostic they have tools for this.
      be sure it is a bonded licensed individual not a creep who flies by the seat of his pants and just wants to make a quick buck

  43. QUESTION:
    Is it best to hire a plumber or electrician to install a garbage disposal?
    I currently do not have a garbage disposal and want to obtain quotes to install a new garbage disposal and have it tied to the nearby light switch that currently turns on/off the fluorescent light fixture above the sink (the light fixture also has an on/off switch directly on the fixture). Is it best to go to an electrician or a plumber for this type of work?

    • ANSWER:
      Plumber; the electrical work is trivial, but you don't want water leaks. However, any handyman can do this, it's not a difficult job.

  44. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light bulbs...why does one hum?
    I just replaced two fluorescent bulbs in my ceiling fixtures tonight...the first one popped in and lit up nice and brightly. When I installed the second one, in a different fixture, it lit up just fine but has a loud hum.
    Anyone have a clue why? Or what I can do to quiet it?

    • ANSWER:
      All fluorescent lights require a ballast to function. All ballasts hum to some minor degree.
      Ballasts for 48 inch, 72 inch and 96 inch slimline lamps are sound rated C and D and are the least quiet. Both magnetic and electronic fluorescent ballasts give off a slight humming noise; harmonics is the technical term.
      Slimline ballasts should only be used in industrial/commercial applications where noise is not a problem. Energy saving ballasts, residential ballasts, and solid state (electronic) ballasts are sound rated A.

      By design an electronic ballast has reduced harmonics and therefore the hum is less noticeable than when using a magnetic ballast. You may hear them in a quiet room. However, in most applications, noise from sound rated A ballasts is covered up by the usual amount of ambient noise in a typical room.

      A loose magnetic ballast can be the cause of ballast hum. Check that ballast mounting screws are tight. If the hum is louder than usual the ballast may need to be replaced.

  45. QUESTION:
    Track lighting problems!! Help!!?
    Here is the situation..

    I removed a fluorescent light fixture from my ceiling. The white wire and the black wire had been extended by a cap to make the fixture work. The fixture was not grounded and was only attached to the two wires.

    I am now installing track lighting.

    I look in the ceiling box and I see:

    2 white wires that were capped in with the white extention wire
    1 black wire that was extended
    2 bluish colored wires that are capped to eachother

    I removed the white and the black extention so I now have the following in the box:

    2 white wires capped to eachother.
    2 bluish wires capped to eachother.
    1 black wire

    My track lighting has a white,black and green wire.

    I attached the white wire to the two white wires that are capped together.

    I attached the black wire to the single black wire.

    I attached my ground green wire to the two capped bluish wires.

    I assemble the rest of the lighting and turn back on the power and...

    I break my circuit breaker.

    I checked my connections and all points of the lighting. Nothing seems to be wrong but my wiring.

    My questions...

    Am I wired correctly?

    Anyone have a reason as to why I would have spliced neutral and ground wires?

    Am I fair to assume that the bluish wires are my ground?

    Why do I keep blowing my breaker?

    Do I need to ground my track lighting?

    What consequences do I have if I do not ground?

    and finally...

    How do i fix it?!?!?

    Heh.. I know it is a lot of questions to ask...
    I would appreciate any help.

    :)

    • ANSWER:
      The blue wires are more than likely the feed for the light passing through the box.

      Just leave the two blue wires tied together and your problem should be fixed.

  46. QUESTION:
    I need some help with an electrical outlet?
    in my shop i was wanting to install a new fluorescent light fixture.I took down the old one and found it was just splices into a line with no junction box.Since the new light plugs into an outlet i installed a junction box and ran a cable to a new box for a receptacle.plugged in light ,turned on switch and nothing,got out the meter and checked voltages 110 at breaker ,110 at junction box,110 at outlet,but when i plug something into the outlet it doesn't work.im scratching my head, any any advice would be appreciated.
    .

    • ANSWER:
      What kind of meter are you using? Is it just a pen meter that lights up if power is to some thing, A clamp on meter, or is it a meter you hook across a connection and get a reading?

      The first 2 can give you a false complete circuit. They only indicate that power is supplied to a location. Not that it will return, or complete. This is clear when you think about plugging the pen style tester in the outlet. It does not complete the circuit.

      Today's outlets have the little push in connections along with the screw. I recommend you use the screw. just make sure to loop the wire the direction the screw tightens.
      Finally I have on more than one occasion found the inner prongs on the out let where too wide to make contact with the plug.

  47. QUESTION:
    When do I need a building permit or inspection?
    I guess I'm a little fuzzy on when I "need" to apply for a permit for work I am doing around my house. Can I just call the city I live in and ask someone every time I work on a larger project?

    1a) I install a ceiling fan, I don't think I need a permit.
    1b) I remove a single fluorescent tube light fixture and install recessed lighting in my kitchen. Do I need a permit (or inspection) since I'm rewiring/placing new wire in the ceiling?

    2a) I change a faucet. No permit.
    2b) I install a water softener. I was told I would need a permit for this because if it isn't installed properly the resin could backflow into the city water header.

    I feel it is my home and I can do what I want and I guess that is true for the most part. I can understand issues arising like mentioned with the water softener (I'm not planning on doing this and haven't looked into any details so I don't know if the resin backflowing is even a concern but I think it's a good example). If I do the work correctly, no one is really going to know that I installed recessed lighting, but still...

    When do I NEED to get permits or have inspections performed when I am working on my own house?

    • ANSWER:
      As a general rule (most municipalities follow this) you technically would need a permit for anything connected to the city which would include any changes to the electrical or plumbing within the walls, ceilings, etc or anything that would be a possible safety issue which would included any structural changes.

      The only exclusions are external items such paint, carpet, fixtures, etc (ie: changes to a faucet, toilet, ceiling fan) that don't require any changes to the internal (hidden, within walls, etc.) areas of the house.

      This is just a general guideline.

      And to your examples:
      1a. If replacing an existing fan, NO. If installing a new one YES. (because of electrical changes to the house)

      1b. Changing lighting within ceiling - YES. (because of electrical changes to the house)

      2a. Change a faucet. NO.

      2b. Water softener. I don't have any experience with these but again if that requires the alteration of the internal plumbing then YES.

      Something else to keep in mind is if you do, for example, install recessed lighting, and your house burns down because you didn't install the correct housing for your ceiling insulation type, in addition to the fact that your house insurance will not cover you, but you may be liable for other costs as well.

  48. QUESTION:
    No ground wire and no electric box.?
    I want to install a fluorescent closet light that has a ground wire, but the wiring in my house has no ground wire and there is no electric box. In this case the wire just comes through a hole in the plaster wall of the closet (The house is 70 years old). The wire was hooked up to a door activated light switch in the corner of the door jamb but the switch finally failed and I've not been able to find one like it. I bought a fluorescent type fixture to use since I don't have a conventional light fixture can to work with. Can I wire without the ground?

    • ANSWER:
      Hi, All you need to do is attach the ground wire on the light fixture to a screw in the light and cut off any extra wire. . There are a lot of lights that aren't grounded such as lamps with the old type two prong endings. A lot of times if it is an interior light, I will just cut the ground wire off. Good luck!! JOSA

  49. QUESTION:
    why do I need a ballast with track lighting. my fluorescent tube fixture stopped working for same reason?
    when my fluorescent tube fixture went out, I was hoping to eliminate the problem of a ballast outage in the future. I bought track lights and electrician installed. My wife said he also installed a ballast. why is this needed? any reason I couldn't remove it? I can use either incandescent or cfl in the track light or regular socket to any light, so why a ballast here. Unfortunately, my wife didn't ask him

    • ANSWER:
      Are you sure its a ballast as I cant see how any lamp would work if a fluorescent ballast has been wired into the circuit as this will give a high voltage kicking surge to strike a tube. Is it possibly just a capacitor to maybe reduce interference.

  50. QUESTION:
    How do I install a Overhead Fluorescent lamp to an outlet?
    I bought it and the ballast has to lead to wire into the electrical system but I would prefer a ac jack or a light out fixture. Please help.
    essentially i have this: http://www.zdsicc.com/images/fluorescent_lamp.jpg

    how to i get the black and white leads to working in a standard ac outlet or light bulb fixture

    • ANSWER:
      I'm not really sure what you're asking.

      Would you please reword your question?

      Additional Details

      With your additional info, I agree with the answer below.

      It is VERY important the connection of the lamp to the power cord is in an electrical box, or in the housing of the fixture. The cord going from the box or fixture to the electrical outlet needs to be protected from any contact with the exit point of the box or fixture.


installing fluorescent light fixtures

Change Fluorescent Light

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    How to change fluorescent light bulb?
    We need to change a fluorescent bulb which has two tubes but only one socket. It fits into a standard bulb socket so it is not to be confused with the standard long cylindrical fluorescent lamp. No matter how I try to remove the bulb (by twisting), it does not want to budge.

    • ANSWER:
      A common problem, it sounds like the pins inside the lampholder have pressed deeply into the solder contacts on the lamp cap, which is now 'locked' from turning by the indents. The best bet is to turn it back and forth without forcing it too much, untill the pins smooth off a 'ramp' and then it will come out. This is caused by the heat build up in the cap and pins and the fact that the lamps last so long that they have more time to indent. If this fails you will have to dismantle the lampholder top to remove it.

  2. QUESTION:
    Would putting a filter in front of a fluorescent light change the actual light given off it for plant growth?
    Sorry if that sounds confusing, but I'm considering doing an experiment and I'm not sure if simply putting a colored piece of plastic or something like that in front of a light bulb would change the actual rays of light going to the plants. For example, if I were to put a green filter over a fluorescent light, would the plant still be receiving the red and blue light that comes normally from a fluorescent bulb? Or would it only be collecting green light, hindering its growth?

    • ANSWER:
      The second. Adding a filter doesn't change the light that's given off by the light - but it removes ("filters") out different wavelengths selectively. A green filter may not remove all of the red and blue, but it will remove most of it and hinder the ability of the plant to perform photosynthesis.

  3. QUESTION:
    How to change fluorescent light bulb in fish tank?
    We have a fairly new hood for our fish tank but the old bulb burnt out. We bought a new one (same length and wattage as the old bulb) but can't get it to work. What am I doing wrong?

    • ANSWER:
      Are you sure the problem is with the bulb, not the ballast itself? I don't know what kind of hood you've got, and it's a really long shot, but you could try rubbing the bulb or letting it warm up first... Sometimes bulbs need to reach a certain temperature before they actually light up... If that doesn't work, take the entire hood back and either get a replacement or have it fixed (should be free)... A lot times, if you don't have something to prevent it, water vapor can get into the wiring, shorting the circuitry.

  4. QUESTION:
    is it easy to change t8 fluorescent light fixture?
    i have a t12 fluorescent light fixture, instead of changing the ballast to t8, someone on here sugguests that it is cheaper to replace the whole thing.

    i wonder if it is easy to change it all by myself or i need to hire someone to do it for me?

    thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      It depends on the fixture, if you not sure what you are doing, call a qualified professional electrician to do the work. Much safer and easier on you. If you were able to DIY, you would not be asking here.

  5. QUESTION:
    How can I change a fluorescent light fixture to normal one?
    Hi, we have some kind of new fluorescent light sockets where they use single, stick like fluorescent lights in a recessed fixture. I thought it might be a fluorescent light in a normal socket, but the socket is weird. Is there an adaptor or something so I can use regular incandescent lights in these fixtures?

    • ANSWER:
      I would just replace the whole fixture. Turn of the circuit breaker for that fixture, take it down disconnect the white, black and green wires, and when reconnecting simply rematch the colors, reattach the fixture, turn on the breaker and test. I do not know of any adapters so I think this is what you will have to do.

  6. QUESTION:
    How to change a fluorescent light bulb?
    I have a circular fluorescent light bulb in my kitchen which recently burned out. I've never worked with one of these before, so I have no idea how to remove and install another one. Can you help me out?

    Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      When implaced, the lamp "snaps" into curve-shaped springs, so you will have to pull down on the lamp to extract it from the base.

      You will find a plug at the end of the wires that extend from inside the base. The plug is fitted into prongs on the lamp, so you will have to "tug" on the plug to seperate the lamp from the base.

      When installing the re-placement lamp, the plug must be carefully aligned with the prongs on the lamp, and them firmly pressed into place.

  7. QUESTION:
    How can compact fluorescent light bulbs change the weather compared to incandescent?
    I need to know the difference in the weather when i use compact fluorescent rather than incandescent in numbers.

    • ANSWER:
      For same light ouput, an incandecent lamp requires around ten times power compared to a fluorescent lamp. Wasted energey escapes into atmosphere as heat. This heat will increase average atmospheric temperature in course of hundreds of years. This will in turn melt polar ice.

      If you reduce waste heat dischsrged into air for same useful work, in long term it will decelerate polar ice melting in centuries.

      An old saying says: Small drops of water make an ocean.

  8. QUESTION:
    how can compact fluorescent light bulbs change the weather compared to incandescent?
    I need to know the difference in the weather when i use compact fluorescent rather than incandescent.

    • ANSWER:
      The effect is indirect but a step worth taking. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less energy to produce the same amount of light compared to incandescent bulbs. In the long run, less energy used could lead to less energy needed to be generated which leads to less hydrocarbon fuels being used which leads to less pollution and a lower greenhouse effect; therefore, less global warming.

  9. QUESTION:
    When you change to more energy friendly fluorescent light bulbs, is it better to use up the regular bulbs 1st?
    or go ahead and change to the fluorescent?

    • ANSWER:
      If it were me I'd replace the regular bulbs with the energy savers when they burn out. It seems to make more sense that way.

  10. QUESTION:
    How do I change this round fluorescent light bulb in my kitchen?
    You know those old fashioned ones I'm talking about right? The problem is I don't know how to get it out! Its held in by three c-shaped metal things and I'm trying to pull it out towards me but its not really budging. If that's the way to do it I could pull a little harder but I don't want it to shatter!

    • ANSWER:
      The c clips are a little bit like a spring. Pull the clip away from the bulb (only one of them does not matter which one)you will need to move about 3/4 of width of the bulb .Then you should be able to get the bulb off that clamp the other 2 clamps will not be a problem. Then grasp the part where the wires connect and pull it loose. Take the bulb to a good hardware store and you should be able to get a new bulb. Reverse the whole operation to install a new bulb.

      Problems? email me

  11. QUESTION:
    can a fluorescent light change from plug to hard wire?

    and how also >.<
    i am noob in electronic stuff

    • ANSWER:
      Def polarity doesn't matter so as long as you have a hit and a neutral the light will work. You can cut the cord to length and strip the wires and use wire nuts to fasten the wires together

  12. QUESTION:
    How can I open my fluorescent light fixture to change the bulb?
    It's recessed into the ceiling, with no obvious hinges, knobs, or latches. The clear plastic cover that the light shines through doesn't move out of the way. The cover of the fixture is almost flush with the ceiling.

    • ANSWER:
      ive seen them with a little arm that just sticks out at the edge of the metal frame next to the plastic. There should be two of them on oone side that you pull out and they release the cover.

  13. QUESTION:
    Is it possible to change a 4' standard fluorescent light fixture ballast and replace with a 3' bulb?
    Is it possible to use the same ballast from a 4 feet light fixture and use it with a 3 feet florescent light bulb?

    • ANSWER:
      The fluorescent ballasts are designed to operate specifically desingned fluorescent bulbs. It takes a higher voltage to start a 4 foot fluorescent bulb than a 3 foot fluorescent bulb.

      You will definitely greatly shorten the life of the 3 foot fluorescent bulb if you connect it to a fluroescent ballast desingned for a 4 foot fluorescent bulb if it does not burn out almost immediately.

  14. QUESTION:
    How many Yamsters does it take to change a compact fluorescent light bulb?

    • ANSWER:
      Zero........ they are too busy reporting the outage of the little itty bitty 45 watt bulbs that can barely survive than to notice a MAJOR need of fluorescent light bulb replacement. But don't worry........ if you write them and notify them of this need, they will gladly send you back a form letter informing you that they did indeed receive your letter and will consult the powers at be as to what the next form of action will be. So I would expect to have the light bulb replaced...... ohhhh somewhere around Y3K.

      Thank you for asking. :)

  15. QUESTION:
    How do you change a ballast in a fluorescent light?

    • ANSWER:
      TURN OFF POWER TO THE LIGHT AT THE CIRCUIT BREAKER!!!

      After you turn off the power turn the light switch on and test to see if the light is off.

      After you turn the light switch back off, test the circuit with a non contact tester to check if the power is off.

      I have never been electrocuted by following these steps.

      Remove cover from light, remove inner cover and expose large black boxs with multiple wires.

      Label all wires with tape.
      Disconnect the wires to the black box (ballast) and then unmount the box from the fixture. Take the ballast to an electrical supplier and match up the make and model and input and output. Some fluorescent lights run on 220 and some on 110.

      It is usally cheaper to buy a new night fixture than to replace the ballast.

  16. QUESTION:
    How to turn a 240v fluorescent light into a 12v light?
    Ok I was told by a Friend that you can change a 240v fluorescent light (strip lights) into 12v lights by removing certain parts from inside them.This would be great because my solar powered shed runs on 12v and I could just run it straight from the battery

    How and is this possible and what parts can I remove to make this happen

    • ANSWER:
      Strip light is a lot different from fluorescent light.

      No, you can't "remove some parts" and make a fluorescent light operate on 12 VDC. But you can get an inverter that converts 12 VDC to 240 VAC for not much money.

      .

  17. QUESTION:
    How difficult would it be to change my fluorescent lighting in my kitchen to a chandelier?
    My current kitchen lighting is a rectangular traditional fixture. I want to change it to something like the chandelier seen at this page: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stor… . Would this be a simple fixture swap, or something that would require electrical changes that an electrician would have to do?

    • ANSWER:
      It is possible there is no junction box in the ceiling to mount chandelier to. If there isn't, you can use a box support like in the link. If there is a box, you should be able to take old light down and install new one with no problem. Might be a few holes to patch and some painting to be done.

  18. QUESTION:
    how often do i need to change the fluorescent tubes in my T5 light system?
    ive owned the marine lighting system for about a year now and wanted to know when it was time to replace the bulbs.

    • ANSWER:
      if there just for viewing then every 2-3 years is fine..

      if they serve a purpose like feeding corals or plants then every year is best

  19. QUESTION:
    Can fluorescent light bulb use lead us to more environmentally friendly hope and change?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes it is saving the planet already. Excuse me I have a tree to hug.

  20. QUESTION:
    Why do my new fluorescent light bulbs flick when I turn the switch off?
    I recently bought fluorescent light bulbs to change the old ones. At night, when I turn the switches off I can see some of the new bulbs flickering. Why is this happening? What can I do to fix it?

    Additional info:
    The switch does not make any sound or buzz.
    It didn't happen with my old incandescent light bulbs.
    They keep doing this indefinitely (I see them flicking at dawn)
    My flat is old and so I guess the electrical wiring is old as well

    • ANSWER:
      Start by replacing the switches, simple job, two wires, your done. It sounds like the switch is going bad and is not completely turning off. If you don't understand all the safety concerns about working with electricity, find someone that does and get them to do it.

  21. QUESTION:
    How to change circular fluorescent bulb HELP!?
    I need step by step or video or pictures as I know nothing about it. it's a ceiling circular fluorescent light and I have no clue how to remove it in order to change it. Thanks in advance

    • ANSWER:
      A circular flourescent bulb will have metal clips & a base w/ contacts that fit into the fixture.
      White base connector may be at a slight angle to the fixture.
      Spread the clips to free the bulb & pull the bulb away from the fixture at the same angle it fits in.
      Much easier to install new one ...base first then clips.
      If its been up there a while, might take some wiggling.

  22. QUESTION:
    how do I change a ballast in a fluorescent light?

    • ANSWER:
      (1) Not a physics answer:

      Take out the bulb(s)
      Remove the cover
      Take out the long HEAVY box with wires coming out of it (the ballast)
      Replace the old ballast with a new one.
      Replace cover
      Replace bulb(s)

      (2) Physics answer:
      Ballast is a transformer. So ballast can be changed by increasing or decreasing the number of windings of the transformer.

  23. QUESTION:
    Why is my compact fluorescent light keeps on flickering even the switch is OFF?
    I used a "lighted switch" when the power is OFF so I can locate the switch when it is OFF. But the CFL(compact fluorescent light) in that circuit flickers continuously. When I changed the lighted switch to a regular switch the flickering stop.Is there something wrong with the switch? I have a 220V

    • ANSWER:
      When the switch is off, a small current passes through the small bulb in the switch to light it.

      When the switch is on, all the current is delivered to the light bulb, and there is none passing through the small bulb in the switch.

      This works fine with normal bulbs, but the small trickle of power can cause CFLs to flicker and may produce large amounts of radio interference.

      So the switch is probably fine, but it won't work with CFLs. Depending on where the light is you may be fine with a normal bulb. CFLs work best where they are on for extended periods of time, and poorly where they are turned off and on repeatedly for brief periods.

      There may be newer lighted switches that overcome this problem, but they'll probably cost more.

  24. QUESTION:
    i have a 71 litre tropical tank with an 18w fluorescent light?
    i want to change my lighting to allow plants to grow better. i was wondering what lighting to go for. i have about £30-£40 to spare. i need the controller which i will buy and the actual light. what one is the best.
    im planning on going to pets at home to buy these items. any help thanks. x
    the flourecent light isn't benifical for the growth of plants. im set on growing quite alot of plants and i need the right bulb.

    • ANSWER:
      18 watts is not stong enough light to grow most plants.There is more to consider in growing plants than you might imagine. The deeper the tank depth the stronger the light has to be to peneterate though the water. Also various plants have different needs so do some reading so you have a better chace at success. Note most tropical fish and plants come from areas near the equator where all year the day /nite is 12hr X 12 hr . This is more critical for plants than fish Good luck

  25. QUESTION:
    Why can't they make fluorescent light less white?
    Couldn't they change the color on the bulb itself, or change the gasses inside? Fluorescent light is really ugly compared to incandescent light, I'm just wondering why it's so hard to fix.

    • ANSWER:
      They do. They are available in "cool white" which is more the "bright white" that you are talking about, and they are available in "warm white" which has a more yellow/warm tone to it. Those tones are available in virtually all forms of flourescent bulbs now, from sticks to floods and lamp bulbs.

  26. QUESTION:
    How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb?
    Well...

    How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent light bulb?

    • ANSWER:
      the light bulb is cheap - it's the taxes & labor that will get you everytime (and they don't ven know what they are doing)

  27. QUESTION:
    A compact fluorescent light bulb broke in my pocket?
    Okay, I know this sounds stupid, but I wanted to change two light bulbs so I put one in my pocket to climb a ladder. I didn't even feel the light bulb break, but it did. I collected the glass fragments and have them in a bag, but I don't know what to do about the shorts I was wearing. Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      Turn the pocket inside out and spray with a water hose. Then wash in the washer like you always do.

  28. QUESTION:
    how do you replace a fluorescent light and what if it doesnt turn on when you change the bulb?
    you wouldnt think this would be such a hard task, but i am having soo much trouble trying to figure out why these new bulbs wont turn on ...

    • ANSWER:
      Hire an insured handyman.
      Mark

  29. QUESTION:
    How easy is it to replace a fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen?
    I have a flourescsent light fixture in the kitchen which I do not like. The fixture uses two U-shaped flourescent tubes and is a pain in the neck (literally) to change the tubes. I'm thinking of changing the fixture into a ceiling light that uses compact flourescent bulbs instead. Because the fixture uses the U-shaped tubes, would replacing the fixture be any more difficult than if I was to replace a light fixture that didn't use a fluorescent light fixture? Is there anything special I'd have to do? thx

    • ANSWER:
      The only thing u have to do is turn off the breaker, and install the fixture of your choice. you don't need to hire an electrician or anyone else. Kill the power...Verify that its off. disconnect wiring. black to black, white to white, green or bare wire to the fixture body..make darn sure your connections are tight, secure fixture to box or ceiling....sit back and enjoy

  30. QUESTION:
    How to change a ballast on a fluorescent lighting fixture?
    I'm applying for a new job as a maintenance technician at a local college and need to know how to repair and replace ballasts attached to fluorescent lighting fixtures. Generally what are the steps taken to do so and what kind of tools would you use?

    • ANSWER:
      Pie mash found a great one for you.

      It really is very simple. You just need to make sure the new ballast is the right voltage 120 or 277. But most are dual voltage now. You need to make sure that the ballast you are putting in will do the same light bulbs you have.

      If you can not shut the light fixture off, cut the hot wire first. That wire is gonna hurt if you are not careful but the other wires will hurt more.

      You can't mess it up if you just wire nut color to color.

  31. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Light ballast changing?
    What do I need to know about changing ballasts as sometimes the fluorescents hesitate before coming on and sometimes not at all.
    Thks. My wife has been on me for some time and felt stuck on where to begin. This will be respved this coming week. Going to look at the electronic ballast.

    • ANSWER:
      It could be that the bulb itself is just not seated well. Next time it doesn't come on try jiggling the bulb so that the contacts move. If it doesn't come on then you probably need to change the ballast.

      You can buy a new ballast at the big-chain stores like Home Depot and Lowes. First of all, disconnect all power (usually just turning off the light switch). Remove and disassemble the fixture and take note as to whether you have a magnetic or electronic ballast (it should say so on the ballast - it is probably magnetic).

      Bring the old ballast to the store with you to help you know which kind you need. Since it is probably a magnetic ballast, it would be simplest to buy another one of the same size and spec and hook it up exactly the same way as your old one. Test it, put it all back together, and you're done.

      If you are feeling up to the challenge, you could instead upgrade to an electronic ballast. Electronic ballasts are more efficient, don't hum, and are instant-on when you flip the switch. Just keep in mind that you will need to wire the fixture according to the diagram that comes with/on the electronic ballast. Usually this means replacing the 4 wires per bulb that a magnetic ballast uses (2 per end) with just 2 wires (one per end). The one wire on each end actually hooks to both of the contacts on that end. It actually turns out to be a simpler wiring design than the magnetic ballast. Through the magic of electronics, it manages to work - and works quite well.

      Good luck!

  32. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent lights change my whole face!?
    At home while getting ready my skin looks fine, my pores aren't very visible, and my face color is even. When I get to school and look at my face in the mirror under fluorescent lighting, my whole appearance changes! Every little flaw on my face is brought out! And ideas on what is happening? Or how I can fix this?
    I don't have any acne, but my pores are medium sized, and my faces coloring tends to get a bit uneven at times.

    • ANSWER:
      Whats happening? Basically the Fluorescent light is most likely brighter then the light at your house.. This will show up evey little blackhead, scar and pimple..

  33. QUESTION:
    How do I get a 48" fluorescent light fixture from flickering for several minutes when I turn it on?
    I already changed the light bulbs.

    • ANSWER:
      Sometimes that normal, but sometimes you need to twist your bulb, it might not making good contect at the ends of the bulb. does it just flicker for few minutes and than ok to full light? if it flicker all the time, your balace is going out inside if it does it after changing and putting new bulbs in. balace cost about . to . If I lived near by, i can get one and fix it free.

  34. QUESTION:
    Is there like a triangle looking Fluorescent light that puts out the same as HID lights?
    what is the best to change a HID light with a flurosecent so i get the maximum light with the lowest running cost i heard of a traingular looking one that has the same lumination but a quarter of the power , can someone suggest some good flurosecent lights and are they as good or better than HID lights, do they put out the same spectrum???

    • ANSWER:
      I'm not sure why you'd want to replace an HID with a fluorescent. HID's are called High Intensity Discharge for a reason; it's their ability to provide a lot of light with a little power. Typically, a 250-watt high pressure sodium light provides 23000 lumens at 80 lumens per watt. You would need fourteen 26-watt compact fluorescents at 1710 lumens each to get the same light output, with only 75 lumens per watt. If you want to save energy and you are o.k. with a significant reduction in light output, then maybe fluorescent is the way to go.

      HID's are normally more efficient than fluorescents. Fluorescents are normally more efficient than incandescents.

      I can tell you there is no such thing as a triangular fluorescent light bulb. Maybe you're thinking of a triangular shaped light fixture.

  35. QUESTION:
    If I'm starting seeds from fluorescent light how long should i leave the lights on for/ what about when they e?
    If starting seeds from fluorescent light what should the light schedule be? Do i need to change this once the seeds germinate and they become seedlings?

    • ANSWER:
      I leave my seed starting lamps on 24/7, seedlings are hungry for light and contrary to popular beliefs plants don't need sleep or periods of darkness until it's time for them to flower.

      RScott

  36. QUESTION:
    Best fluorescent light for a Chinese Water Dragon?
    My CWD tank has a 22 inch fluorescent lamp which as I understand it, simulates the sun for vitamin synthesis.

    The pet shop says I need a "special" fluorescent light which delivers the proper wave length of UV energy.

    Do I really need to buy the light from the pet shop or can I use a standard fluorescent light from a non-pet store?

    Also, do the wave forms of these bulbs really change after several months necessitating their replacement every couple of months?

    • ANSWER:

  37. QUESTION:
    Why do new fluorescent lights not come on or only light up at the ends?
    I have installed a few new fluorescent lights recently. Some have worked, others didn't come on. So I decided to replace the starters. With the power on, I turned the starter out, to my surprise, the light comes on. I haven't made changes to any wiring circuit. Why would this happen please?
    Thanks for the answer IrvS. All the ballast, starters and fluorescent lights are the same. Some work others don't.

    • ANSWER:
      Did you match the new lamps to the ballast system?
      'Starter' type ballasts and 'instant start' or 'rapid start' lamps don't mix.

  38. QUESTION:
    Does fluorescent paint glow under fluorescent light?
    My friend has these cool fluorescent lights in his bedroom. They have different settings so that you can change the colors.
    For a birthday gift, I want to make him a painting using fluorescent paint so that it will glow under the lights. Will this work? Does fluorescent paint work/react with fluorescent light?
    Sorry if I sound naive, I don't know much about lighting.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes it will glow

  39. QUESTION:
    Is it normal for a fluorescent light bulb to last 9 years with heavy daily use?
    I don't guess this is a parenting question, but do any of you know? My kitchen lights are 16 feet up and I am having a handy man fix the fan today and while he is up there on the ladder I wonder if I should have him change them. They were here when we got the house, so I don't know how long they have been working, but at least 9.5 years. They are super bulbs I guess....What is the normal life of a kitchen light, lol?

    • ANSWER:
      We have had our house 5 years now, and our lights still work. Not sure how long before us they were put in.

      I would go a head and have him change the bulbs if you have the money for them, and if there is a casing around it ask him to bring it down so you can clean it.

  40. QUESTION:
    Why is my fluorescent light flickering and/or not turning on?
    Is my fluorescent light flickering and/or not turning on because the bulbs need to be changed? Or is that an indication that the fixture itself is somehow broken? It's made up of two fixtures wired together, with two long fluorescent bulbs each.

    Until recently, I've always had incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs, so I'm not familiar with the big fluorescent lights.

    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Usually if bulb needs replacement it will start turning black on the ends. A bad ballast can also cause flickering. if you pinched a wire with the ballast cover this will also cause flickering. Lastly some lights have starters that cause this when bad. You will see a round silver canister near the bulbs somewhere, it will stick out so you can grab it. Starters are not very common any more. If this is a 4' fixture you probably do not have a starter. I replace bulbs first, if problem remains its somthing else I mentioned.

  41. QUESTION:
    Are they changing the incandescent Light Bulbs to Fluorescent ?
    Do they look the same? Do they fit in a standard lamp? And what is the price range?

    • ANSWER:
      You're likely taking about compact fluorescent (CF). There are bulbs that are made to fit in standard light bulb sockets, and therefore don't require new fixtures. They are typically either "sticks" or "spirals."

      They use less energy and are cooler. The latest crop of them are more-or-less instant start. While not as bad as tubes, most still have a flicker effect for some people. And they give off "fluorescent" coloring instead of incandescent. This isn't necessarily bad, though.

      They are MUCH more expensive. Where as regular light bulb is under , one of these will run you or so. However, they last much longer, so the cost/year ends up about the same.

      If you break one, however, you've lost instead of .

      While they fit in standard sockets, they are not exactly the same size or shape. So, some fixtures won't work, if they rely on the bulb being exactly shaped/sized correctly (e.g., clip on lampshades).

  42. QUESTION:
    Change the fluorescent tubes of a laptop?
    I have a NEC Versa P7100 Laptop. Two months ago, the screen looked dimmer and dimmer and reddish. Finally the screen darkened but the image can still be seen in strong reflected light. I am sure that it is because the two fluorescent tubes on the top and bottom of the LCD screen finished. Anyone can advice me where to buy the fluorescent tubes and how to change them?

    • ANSWER:
      ebay is the best place to buy this part. They are called ccfl tubes. Your best bet is to remove the LCD entirely and find out the lcd information. That way you can find out the exact size of the screen and see what size ccfl you need (13.3/14in/15in/16/17in or 4:3 or widescreen) It may even be easier to just get the entire lcd and replace it or buy a broken lcd with a good bulb and switch them...it may only be -40 more for a working lcd or more for a broken one. Please keep in mind replacing a ccfl is not easy and actually can be very hard. You may need to pull apart the lcd or resolder the connection. It all depends on the laptop & the brand of lcd. If you are a novice at computer repair, this is not something you will want to do yourself.
      Example auctions:
      http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-14-1-WXGA-CCFL-BACKLIGHT-LAMP-COMPAQ-NC6000-NX6110-/260362130087?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3c9ecad2a7
      http://cgi.ebay.com/NW-14-1-XGA-CCFL-BACKLIGHT-DELL-INSPIRON-600M-500M-/170402325306?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27acc5233a

      For answers to questions like these as well as any other questions you may have, please feel free to join my Computer Support forums at almostfreepc.freeforums.org. I am there everyday and answer questions very quickly.

  43. QUESTION:
    what is wrong with my fluorescent light bulb?
    we have two 4- 5 foot fluorescent light bulbs in our laundry room and every time we turn them on, their light flickers/ quivers. we have tried changing the bulbs multiple times but it has the same problem. What do you think is causing this problem? thank you for your help.

    • ANSWER:
      Good possible causes listed above, should also consider that the wrong 4' lamps maybe used, 1" (F32T8) and 1 1/2" (F40T12) are the same length and have the same sockets, but different starting and operating characteristics. Check for label on fixture or on ballast. Also some low power factor F40T12 ballasts don't like energy saving 34 watt lamps, (often labeled with terms like econowatt, wattmiser, or supersaver).

  44. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent kitchen light flashing?
    I have a rather standard fluorescent light in my kitchen that uses the tubular bulbs. But every time I try to turn it on it just flashes, like a strobe light. Is this a sign that I need to change the bulbs, or is it misfiring when trying to light the bulbs, which may require changing the entire lamp?

    Thanks for any help.

    • ANSWER:
      You need to change the bulbs, if that doesn't work then the fixture needs a new balast.

  45. QUESTION:
    How can you tell if a fluorescent light ballast is bad?
    I know the obvious "change the bulb". Does anyone know the acceptable output voltage ranges and how to check them safely? I have a lot of fixtures and when doing trouble shooting/maintenance, I always end up with bulbs and ballast of unknown condition.
    Ideally what I'd like to do is check the ballast with my meter before replacing the bulbs. Then I won't replace good bulbs with new ones and have the old(but good) bulbs mixed in with the bad bulbs only to find out that the ballast is bad.

    • ANSWER:
      I think the ballast rating is written on the thing itself. They all vary. I know that one is going bad when you notice a more frequent change of bulbs. Eventually a bad ballast will just burn out a brand new set of bulbs. why don't you write down the bulb change date and ballast change date on each fixture? Hope this helps.

  46. QUESTION:
    I broke a fluorescent light bulb in my bedroom, will I be okay?
    So today I was changing a fluorescent light bulb in my bedroom, you know, the long and white color light bulb and I accidentally drop it and it landed on the chair then fell onto the carpet, now the glass pieces are everywhere on the carpet and some white powdery stuff and then I quickly grab the big glass pieces and then vacuum it with a vacuum cleaner then it was pretty clean then I researched online and found out that these light bulbs contain mercury which is harmful, and the websites said that it shouldn't be vacuum and that I have to pick these shattered glasses up with a glove, and that if you vacuum it the white powder stuff would get airborne so I would get mercury on my skin, inhale it in my nose, lung, so will I get mercury poisoning or be fatal? Would I get cancer, help please.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, you'll be fine.

      Not only is there barely any mercury such that you would get more from just about anything in the house including gold jewelry but the form of mercury that's in the bulbs isn't bio-available and isn't easily absorbed by your body.

      The concern over mercury in the bulbs is because if they end up in anaerobic landfills, the anaerobic bacteria will bio-methlyase the mercury into methly-mercury which is bioavailable and will bioaccumulate up the food chain to toxic levels. You would have to break millions of bulbs in your room, remove all oxygen to let the anaerobic bacteria at it, then have an entire ecosystem to bio-accumulate up the food chain and then eat the bald eagle at the top of the food chain for you to be harmed.

      Now pass me that bald eagle egg salad.

  47. QUESTION:
    changed out old fluorescent light fixture to new ones?
    changed out old fluorescent light fixture to new ones old ones had two ballast and the new one has one ballast hooked the new lights the same way as the old ones and the lights wont turn on it's 2 sets of lights on a 2 way switch. what can i do to fix it?
    the old lights were t12 the new ones are t8, so there is is t8 lights in the new fixture, the lights do work to trouble shoot I hooked up the lights white to white & black to black, when done i turn the power on lights come on and switch does not affect the lights, when hooked up the other way i put black to black and white to red, turn power on lights are off and switch does not affect the lights.

    Do i need to hook up black to red and white to white?

    • ANSWER:
      Did you buy new lamps?

      If you bought a new fixture, it takes T8 (or T5) lamps. Chances are good that your old fixture took T12 lamps. These do not work well (or not at all) with new electronic ballasts.

      If I'm wrong, update the question

  48. QUESTION:
    What kind of light should i use for baby turtles a fluorescent or Halogen?
    I had them for two months and i have not seen a change what can i do to help them grow. Whats a better light for the turtle a fluorescent or Halogen light bulb, i know they have to be uv A and B but which one is better for growth

    • ANSWER:
      I would use fluorescent for your turtles. I had a turtle and halogen gives off pretty good heat but uses a lot of electricity. You don't want too much heat for your tank. The water temperature has to be between 70 F in the day and 80 F at night.

  49. QUESTION:
    y do colors change in uv beads wen fluorescent lite shined on it how is related to uv transmission? HELPP!!?
    y do colors change in uv beads wen fluorescent lite shined on it how is related to uv transmission? HELPP!!?

    PLZ HELP ME...!! OKAY WUT COLOURS IN "ROY G BIV" HAVE THE HIGHEST FREQUENCYY!AND WHY DO MY BEADS CHANGE COLOUR WHEN MY FLUORESCENT LIGHT IS SHINED ON MY ULTRAVIOLET DETECTION BEADS. HOW IS RELATED TO UV TRANSMISSIO?WHAT IS UV TRANSMISSION? IF U NOE THE ANSWERS TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS PLZ ANSWERR THANK U SOOO MUCHHHHHH!!!

    • ANSWER:
      wrong category sonny, but here goes, light of different colors travel at different frequencies, uv and lets say red are different enough that a refractiuve surface (a surface that deflects light rather than absorbing, reflecting or transmiting light) causes the different wavelengths of light to travel in different directions. hence the uv beads appear to change color under uv lights.

  50. QUESTION:
    Changing the ballast on a fluorescent light fixture.....?
    I just bought a fluorescent light fixture from Home Depot. It's a residential fixture for a bedroom. I was lookng on the Lutron website and found that you can change the ballast to one that's dimmable. I would like to do that. But I have almost no experience with this type of thing. Is it do-able?
    Also, I do not have dimming switches. Do I have to change any of the wiring? Or can I just change the ballast and the regular rocker switches to the the dimming ballast and dimming switches?

    • ANSWER:
      You can do it.Just follow the instruction and printed wiring diagram and do it.


change fluorescent light

Wiring Fluorescent Light Fixture

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Trouble wiring fluorescent light fixture to three-pronged plug?
    The other day I bought a fluorescent light fixture that I want to use for growing carnivorous plants. I paid extra for the light to come pre wired with a three-pronged plug and cord but, alas, it did not. So instead of waiting an extra week for them to send me the cord and or have to pay the extra money to send the light back to them, I've decided to just do it myself.

    So far, everything seems ok. I bought an 8 foot pre-stripped cord that can be plugged into the wall, a bag of wire nuts, and a knock-out adaptor to hold the cord in the fixture.

    The cord has three wires: black, white, and green. I've already connected them to the black and white cords from the fixture, and the green ground wire has been wrapped around a green screw in the fixture.

    The fixture, on the other hand, has three wires, too: black, white, and grey with red striped. The problem I'm having is what to do with this grey/red wire. When I put bulbs in the fixture, only half of them lit up, so obviously this is because the grey/red wire is not connected to anything, and it clearly powers half the lights.

    My question is, how do I connect this grey/red wire to the cord if the black wires are already connected? There are no more wires for me to connect to. Is it possible to wire both the black and grey/red wires from the fixture to the one black wire on the cord?

    Thanks a lot!
    - Mat

    • ANSWER:
      Is the grey wire with red striping? It is possible this a European style ground wire. Most of the times the Europeans use a green wire with a yellow stripe.

      Most likely it is another wire for another voltage besides 120v. For example 240v or a European standard outlet voltage.

      The best place to see is to look for a tag on the wire, owner's manual, or company web site.

  2. QUESTION:
    I just shocked myself while wiring a new ballast on a fluorescent light fixture. Should I be concerned?
    I was putting in a new ballast and accidentally touched the white (hot) wire while stripping the wire. ( Had to leave power on as to get light from other fluorescent to see what I was doing) This was on just a four light fluorescent fixture in an office type space if that is any help.

    • ANSWER:
      The fact that you posted your question indicates you suffered no additional damage. You've already got some brain damage before you started (LOL). Next time, run an extension cord from another room and use an auxiliary light to light your work area. If you have a pacemaker, your battery just got recharged.

  3. QUESTION:
    Trouble Wiring Fluorescent Light Fixtures?
    Need to install 2 fluorescent light fixtures on circuit controlled by wall switch. Each fixture has a separate ballast and 1 30w tube. Tried wiring the 2 fixtures in parallel (not in series) but tripped breaker each attempt; ensured that black wires were wired to black, and white to white; puzzled why this will not work; any electrician who can offer some explanation, solution, etc? Problem seems to defy the principles of basic home wiring??

    • ANSWER:
      It is hard to say without seeing what you are doing but lets cover the basics:
      1. you said your ballasts are parallel and that would be right.
      2. Check your ballasts incoming and output ratings to make sure that is correct.
      3. Follow the wires back to the tombstones (where the prongs go) make sure you didn't get any wires switched.
      4. If all else fails, rip out the wiring in the fixture and wire it exactly as pictured on the ballast.
      5. Don't let it beat you, it's only a lighting circuit.

  4. QUESTION:
    I need a wiring diagram to retrofit a 40-yr-old ballast fluorescent light fixture for LED tubes. 4-foot tubes.?
    I'm having trouble finding a diagram that shows how to re-wire a fluorescent light fixture to work with LED 4' bulbs. The LED tube sellers told me to short circuit the fixture and remove the ballast. No one can seem to help me and there's not much information online yet. The starter was included in the ballast. The LED tubes look exactly like the fluorescent tubes in length and shape with the two prongs at each end of bulb. Each fixture has two bulbs. When I removed the ballast, there were lots of wires in the fixture but only the neutral (white) and hot (black) wires coming in from the ceiling. Any direction would be helpful! Thank you. Mary
    Our Home Depot hadn't even heard of the 4' LED tube!

    • ANSWER:
      Just go get a new one 29 bucks at Home depot

  5. QUESTION:
    How to switch direct wire fluorescent light fixture to a 3 prong plug?
    I just recently bought a 120V T8 17W 2 bulb fluorescent light fixture that I am planning on installing in my home built sand blast box. I want to take the hardwires from the fixture and connect them to a 3 prong plug so the box is portable. First, I will tell you all of the things I did and the results I got. To start I just simply took an extension cord, cut off the end, connected the black wire of the cord to the black on the fixture, white wire to white wire, and green wire (ground) to a ground screw located in the light fixture. When I went to plug the light in, about 1/3 of the first bulb lit up and the second one was completely dark. I then switched the white and black wires thinking maybe the wires in the extension cord were not color coated right, but I got the same result as the first scenario. I also tried not using the ground and using a 2 prong plug instead of 3, but in both cases I got the same result as the first two scenarios, 1/3 of the first bulb lit up and the second completely dark. Again, the fixture is 120v, so I doubt the voltage is the problem. Please help me on this one, I cannot seem to figure out what the problem is. I'll take any suggestions.

    • ANSWER:
      New fixture, new bulbs, wired correctly, not working. Test the voltage at the receptacle where you are plugging it into. Got proper voltage? "Just because it's new, doesn't mean it's good". Good luck in all you do and may God bless.

  6. QUESTION:
    When installing a fluorescent light fixture, where to I run the wires from the ceiling to the light?
    I'm replacing a fluorescent light fixture. My old fixture has a big square hole in the middle. The black and white wires from the ceiling run through the hole and connect to the black and white wires in the fixture.

    However, this new fixture doesn't have a big hole in the middle. There are some really small holes though. Where exactly do I run the wires through?
    i'm using a lithonia brand two bulb light fixture

    • ANSWER:
      There should be at least one 1/2 inch knockout for this purpose, be sure however to protect the wires by using a 1/2 inch plastic bushing or romex connector that pops right into the hole. Make sure you connect the proper wires to the fixture wires & ground to the green screen screw on the fixture.

  7. QUESTION:
    Can the wiring/volts for a 2 tube fluorescent light fixture (being replaced) handle 2 hanging pendant lights?
    Hi. I am planning to take a fluorescent light down that is over my kitchen sink (it has 2 tubes in it) and wire in two pendant lights (that are separate). Each pendant light is 100 watts and they are on separate fixtures. Will the original wiring be able to handle the 200 watts? Do I need to add wire? Can I do this myself?
    Erin,
    You said I need more wiring and another box, does this mean that I only need the one wire though that goes to the fluorescent now. My brother may be doing this and his wife thought the 2 100 watt fixtures would overload the wire and blow a fuse, i.e. so it won't work.
    So one wire (that went to the fluorescent) - hang pendant light 100 watts - add a wire to this wire that will reach to the next pendant light 100 watt spot?

    • ANSWER:
      yes but you will need more wire for the second light

  8. QUESTION:
    Adding a plug to hard wired fluorescent fixture?
    I want to take a fluorescent light fixture meant to be hard wired and add a plug to make it a plug in fixture. Bad idea? Okay?

    I have added new plugs to appliances and lights and envision this to be similiar...?

    • ANSWER:
      This is a simple thing to do. I am sure you can take the fixture apart so we will start with an open fixture.
      You will have a black wire, a white wire, and there should have a green screw somewhere in the inside top of the fixture. You can use part of an old drop cord or even a 2 prong plug from an old appliance such as a toaster or coffee pot, but doing so will leave it ungrounded. That is OK if it is used in a dry location, but if it is somewhere the floor gets wet or even really damp, it should be grounded if you can touch it from the floor or if you will be useing a metal ladder to change bulbs when the floor is wet.
      If so buy a # 16 or #18 - 2 wire with ground cord from lowes/home depot/ etc., with a plug already installed.
      You will need two yellow wire nuts also and sta-con for the ground would be nice but not a real big deal.
      There is what is called knock-outs in the ends and top of the fixture. Decide where you want the wire to come out at and take a screw driver and something to tap it with, ( I use my side cutters) and tap it and it will start coming out. Take your pliers or side cutters and twist it untill it breaks out.
      You need to put a 3/8" Romex connector in the hole and tighten the nut on it.
      Run the wire through it and then tighten the screws to hold the wire and connect the white to white, Black to black and the green wire, if you use a grounding plug on the wire goes under the green screw. If the connector doesn't tighten down on the wire enough to hold it tight, wrap enough electrical tape around the wire until it will do so.
      Put it back together, hang it up, put the tubes in, plug it up, and as the Good Lord said, let there be light.

  9. QUESTION:
    In a 4 tube fluorescent light fixture, do I need all 4 tubes to produce maximum light?
    I have a 4 tube fluorescent light fixture in my garage. The wiring is seperate for both pairs of tubes. (Does this mean it has 2 ballasts?)

    I wired up only one connection, with 2 tubes. The tubes lit up but were very dim!

    My friend said I need all 4 tubes in place to produce maximum light. Is this true, even though the wiring for both pairs is seperate?

    • ANSWER:
      i would use all 4 if it were me.there should be 2 ballast and you can wire them in separately by just not hooking up 1 black and1 white wire from the other ballast,make sure you have the tube in right and no prongs showing from the tube otherwise it won't light up all the way,have the prongs on the tubes straight up and down,slide into socket and twist 1/4 to 1/2 turn,the 2 outside sockets are for one ballast and the 2 inside sockets are for the other

  10. QUESTION:
    Electrical Wiring--Light Fixture--Grounded?!?
    I have an under-cabinet 13W T5 fluorescent light fixture that is direct wire. I am adding a simple power cord to it. It has a ground wire, and the box says the fixture may employ a grounded-type receptacle and must be grounded to avoid electrical shocks and to ensure reliable lamp starting...

    So what do I do with the grounding wire?

    I can't imagine a simple fixture like this--where millions are sold with a power cord--can be that complicated or dangerous...?

    • ANSWER:
      The grounding wire should attach to the metal frame of the fixture. There is a grounding stud or screw on the frame. The cord should be a three wire cord restrained to the frame of the light. The plug of the cord will have two blades on it one of which is larger than the other. The larger one should be attached to the white wire of the light. This is the neutral. The smaller blade should be attached to the black wire in the unit. This is the power or hot side of the outlet and plug. Wire it just like this and you will not have any starting issues.Hope this helps.

  11. QUESTION:
    Question on Ethernet-wiring(cat5/e/6) over typical 12-2 gauge wire and fluorescent light fixtures?
    It seems that I remember having heard of fluorescent lights causing interference with unshielded twisted pair cabling (cat5/cat5e/cat6)--may someone confirm or deny this for me and cite credentials/and or source please. Also any other tips on things that I should avoid when running network/patch cabling would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    P.S. I realise that there is a shielded twisted pair cabling but I am hoping to save a bit of money.

    • ANSWER:
      General rule is to keep network cables six inches away from fluorescent fixtures and electrical wiring.

  12. QUESTION:
    fluorescent light wiring?
    Hello,
    I am trying to wire 2 fluorescent light fixtures (24" single bulb) to a one way switch then from the switch to a plug. can anyone help me? I keep blowing fuses. haha

    • ANSWER:

  13. QUESTION:
    How do you remove wires from fluorescent light sockets?
    I need to replace a ballast in a fluorescent light fixture but can't remove the wires from the sockets. I can push the wires in but not out. Is there some way to remove them or are these going to have to be replaced? Is it normal to have to replace the sockets when you replace the ballast?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      They DO come out of the sockets and that IS the right way to fix them. With the power off take a pliers and grip the wire close to the socket. Pull and twist until the wire comes out. it's not soldered or anything so feel free to pull hard, just hang on to the socket so you don't break it.

      Simply push in the new wire and you're done.

  14. QUESTION:
    How to wire fluorescent lighting with two switches?
    I want to install four fluorescent lighting fixtures where one switch turns on white tubes, and the other turns on blacklight tubes. We'll run the black lights during club hour, but at last call the harsh white tubes come on. I've seen this style of wiring in classrooms before (without blacklight tubes), and just wondering what fixture and wiring process supports this outcome.

    • ANSWER:
      First of all, you need fluorescent fixtures that support a split circuit. That is, separate hot wires that can be connected to two or more switched hots. Usually the larger fixtures will have four or more tubes with two or more ballasts and you can connect each ballast to whichever switched hot you want.

      As for wiring, the easiest would probably be to run power to your switch box and then run 14/3 or 12/3 from your two switches to each fixture (where each switch controls one of the hots).

  15. QUESTION:
    how to wire up a four lamp single fixture fluorescent light?
    I need to know how to wire up the tombstones on a four lamp fixture.
    I know how to get the ballast but cannot remember the tombstone wiring.
    the ballast is a four lamp. one single four lamp ballast.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi P,

      The new ballast will have a wiring diagram right on it.

      Click the link for a PDF for your files.

      http://www.skynetpower.com.tw/lighting/WIRING_DIAGRAM.pdf

  16. QUESTION:
    Can a fluorescent lighting fixture be easily converted to a standard fixture?
    We want to switch a fluorescent light fixture over to a standard light fixture. We assume that the electrical wiring is the same, but don't want to get in over our heads. Is the wiring the same, and the job relatively simple? Or is this a job that requires an electrician to actually switch them out?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, the electrical is the same. Pull it down and put the new one up. :) Good luck!

  17. QUESTION:
    Attaching a plug and cord system to Flourescent light fixture?
    I would like to purchase 48" fluorescent light fixtures to mount on the walls or ceiling of my apartment, however the only fixtures i can find require wiring to electrical sockets. I would like to buy the fixtures then attach a plug and cord to the fixture as opposed to hardwiring them to the house. Is this feasible and how can i go about doing this?

    • ANSWER:
      Sure easy way.
      Buy an extension cord, 3 prong, in the color you want.
      Cut off the female end , the one that you plug things into, not the end that plugs into the wall. Split the outside casing back about 5 inches, separate the wires from any fill material. You should have 1 black, 1 white and 1 green or bare wire.
      Simply run the cord into the knock out hole in the new fixture,Or knock one out if not allready open, then either install a 3/8 nm wire clamp or tie a loop in the cord so it does not pull back out or strain the wires. Simply wire nut the same color wires inside the light with the ones in the cord. Wrap a small amount of electrical tape around the each joint so they will stay together. Plug it in and it will light up. All done.

  18. QUESTION:
    new fluorescent fixture seen to reduce brightness of light for long periods?
    Ok ...I installed a new 4 ft Simkar fluorescent ceiling that uses 3 8 4 ft bulbs.I have bought a good brand which is
    skybright daylight output lumens/light color.The effect is very
    whitish and crisp but there is a slight problem.It seem to dim
    at certain long periods of time during just after sunset or
    at night.I know it is not my vision because these are not heap.It is bright and makes what is white look clean white
    in the daytime and when evening starts to dawn in around
    5 or 6'ish it seem to slightly dull off some and I am wondering
    where all the brightness went? The old fixture used 2 40 watt fluorescent.I need to mention that I think
    the wire coming from the ceiling was short in reaching one
    side of lighting hook-up wire and I think it could be touching
    the top frame plus I had very little electrical tape..I was going
    to fix this been about 2 months.
    Could the hot and neutral be crossed or is it wiring touching
    frame or fixture itself? please help paid 0
    thanx
    It uses 3 T8 bulbs.Other people have commented it look a little dim.when I
    remove the cover full brightness,funny...
    thanx

    • ANSWER:
      Relax, nothing is crossed. If your wires were crossed the breaker would have tripped as soon as you flipped the switch.
      Actually it sounds like an optical illusion, Flourescent bulbs put out their rated lumens, that's it. They do'nt sense light & change their brightness, it's an illusion, flourescent bulbs are known to play tricks on the eyes.
      Hope this helped, good luck!!

  19. QUESTION:
    Installing a fluorescent light fixture to replace an incandescent bulb...?
    Do I need to turn the power off at the circuit box, or can I just turn the light switch off. Problem is... I have to get a key off of someone to get to the circuit box. This is paid work, but there are always logistic issues. At this point the fixture is in place, the buildings wires need to be connected to the fluorescent fixture (they are still connected to the incandescent bulb). Thank you for your answers.
    I get what guys are saying. I think a meter is definitely going to be what I need. Thanks for your careful responses. I appreciate it.

    • ANSWER:
      The safest and most correct response is to turn off the circuit breaker. That being said, you can do it by turning off the switch, but it isn't recommended. If you have a meter you can turn off the switch and check the wires for power if there are more in the box than JUST those from the switch. I would do it myself, but I NEVER advise others to do it. I do not know your knowledge base, so I don't want to get you killed. Now if you are good at reading between the lines, you will know what to do. {wink}
      Al

  20. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Light fixture *Hum* grounding Issue?
    I installed three new 48" fluorescent light fixtures in my shop. My shop is a metal style carport garage. I wired them in using normal household 14-awg wire in the standard white/black/bare solid copper wire. The black and white went to the ballast and the bare copper wire went to the green ground wire that just grounds to the body of the fixture. All three lights are on one string of wire connected to a light switch and then going to the breaker box with their own 15-amp breaker.
    The light fixtures are mounted directly to the metal framing of the garage with a 3/8" thick by 1" wide universal automotive weatherstripping in 48" strips so the metal fixture case don't come into contact to the metal framing of the garage.

    The lights have been hooked up for a few days now but I just got bulbs today. When I turn the lights on the fixtures buzz/hum quite loud. When I read the manual that came with the fixtures it says that a buzz/hum could be caused from a bad ground.
    If it is a bad ground I don't see what I did wrong. I used all new 14awg wire, and installed them on a their own 15-amp breaker. Ive checked all the connections at the breaker box and light fixtures and light switch they are all connected.

    So my questions are:
    Could this be just because the lights are new? Or it's 40*f here, Could cold weather cause them to hum? If it is a grounding issue, Should I take the bare copper (green) ground and connect it to the metal framing of the garage as well as the fixture case?
    OR what other things can I do to fix the ground (if that is the issue)?

    BTW: The "hum" is not the normal fluorescent light hum, This is quite loud, Ive never herd one this loud before.

    Thanks for your time!
    ***responce to answers***
    It IS grounded all the way to the box. Im sure the box is grounded to the earth because it just passed inspection in july when I bought the house. I forgot to mention, the breaker box is the house's breaker box. I have two power leads from the main house breaker box to the shop. One for plugs and one for lights. Both are wired with outdoor grade 12 awg wire and then connected in the shop to the indoor 14awg wire.

    They are cheap lowe's light fixtures. Im 99% sure they are indoor lights. I never figured tempture would effect the lights. I figured indoor = Dry outdoor = wet. Never thought about the tempature.
    Thanks for the help.

    • ANSWER:
      Do you have a sub panel in this shop I think that is what I am reading here. You say two hot wires then you have to have a neutral and if you do not have a fourth wire then you do not have a ground in this shop. Or do you have two 12/2 w/ grounds ran to the shop and if this is the case then you do have two circuits and two neutral and two grounds. If you do have 2 12/ 2 wires ran then you do have a ground and you said all connections are tight. So now if you do have proper grounding then you can go to the next step.
      I would venture to say to undo one light at a time and turn them on after you have taken one off the circuit, it could be one has a bad ballast or even loose on the mounting device. If you can eliminate the one that is bad or loose you have done what you asked.
      Look on the ballast it should tell you a F or C rating this is how cold the ballast will work to. Some ballast do not work below freezing and some ar rated at -20 degrees. They do make a light ballast that goes outside called high output ballast but you would be better off not to spend this kind of money in a shed for this purpose. I have purchased cheap lights that are rated for -20 F and they work fine for the most part.
      Maybe you just do not have the lights tight or the ballast are loose as I said in the light and this could be your problem as well.

      Good Luck :)

  21. QUESTION:
    Why are all the wires hooked to my light fixture live?
    I recently went to install a new fluorescent light fixture in a room of my house only to discover some strange wiring on the old fixture.
    The previous owner had a basic porcelain fixture for a 60 watt bulb installed and working properly connected to a switch. When I pulled the fixture off, there were two sets of wires (black white and ground) in the box. The ground wires were connected to the box, both black wires were connected with a marette, and the two white wires were connected to the gold and silver screws on the fixture.
    I checked all the wires with my tick and all of them had voltage present.
    Now when I separated all the wires and held my tick up to them, only one black wire had voltage present. I tried connecting black to black and white to white but when I went to flip the breaker back on, it tripped instantly.
    The breaker is back on and all the wires have been separated and everything else on the circuit seems to be working fine.
    All that being said, I just want to know if it would be safe for me to wire the ballast from the fluorescent fixture to the live neutral wires as the previous fixture was.
    Dragon:
    I did as you said. I took the neutral wire that ran alongside the one live hot wire and hooked it to the hot wire on the ballast, then the other neutral wire to the ballast's neutral wire and boom, light!
    Thank you very much!

    • ANSWER:
      It is hard to diagnose wiring problems without being on-site, but it sounds like the feed wire went directly to the fixture box. At the box, the white wire from the supply was connected to the fixture. The black wire was connected to another black wire (of a second cable) which goes to the switch, The switched power comes back to the fixture using the white wire of this same cable. Usually they will tape this white wire black, so you know it is a switched hot lead. This is quite common, it is called a switch loop. To hook it back up, take the black wire that showed voltage (of course have it off when you do this) and hook it to the other black wire that goes to the switch. The white wire coming back from the switch (will be part of the same cable) is now your "hot" wire, you might want to tape the last few inches black, then connect it to the black wire or "hot" connection of your new fixture, Now there is just one wire left over, this white wire will go to the white wire or neutral connection of the new fixture.

  22. QUESTION:
    Can I replace a 75 watt rated light fixture with 3 separate - 23 watt compact fluorescent lights safely?
    I want to know if i need to replace / update the wiring.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, you should be able to do this switch safely as long as you shut off the power source to the light either by the wall switch or from the circuit breaker. You asked about replacing/updating the wiring. Is there a reason for you to suspect that it needs replacing? The existing wires should be just fine unless there is visible damage or the insulation is hard and brittle from the heat of the light fixture. Anyways, the short answer is yes, you can make this change safely.
      Good luck!!
      Steve

  23. QUESTION:
    What is proper use of junction box to connect to fluorescent light fixture?
    I am installing four inexpensive enclosed fluorescent tube light fixtures in my unfinished basement. The instructions say I should have the twist on connections between the light fixture leads and the nonmetallic cable inside a junction box. I have each junction box screwed to a cross piece between the ceiling joists, facing down so that when I screw each light fixture to the ceiling joists, the junction box will be flush with the top of the light fixture covering the hole where the light leads exit the light fixture. So, the junction box is not directly attached to the light fixture. It now occurs to me that making the wire connections will be awkward, as I will need to raise the light fixture high enough for the wires to reach each other, but low enough for me to get my hands in to twist on the wire nuts. So, I suspect I am doing this wrong. What is the proper way to have the wire connections remain in the junction box for these light fixtures?

    Thanks in advance for the time and effort to give advice.

    • ANSWER:
      Since you specified the box was going to be covered, which will conceal the box, and that the fixture was not supported by the box then NEC 410.24(b) applies:

      Access to Boxes: Electric-discharge luminaires surface mounted over concealed outlet, pull, or junction boxes and not designed to be supported solely by the outlet box shall be provided with suitable openings in the back of the luminaire to provide access to the wiring in the box.

      The proper way is to punch (drill) 3" holes in the back of the fixture so the splices can be accessed through the fixture.

      http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=nec%20410.24(b)&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lni.wa.gov%2FTradesLicensing%2FElectrical%2Ffiles%2Fcurrents%2Felc0912.pdf&ei=zOgfT9DGOeag2gXP7rWODw&usg=AFQjCNE13_nG1geaacWcIiI1Jnx2nKW-iA&cad=rja
      http://ecmweb.com/nec/code_qa/code_qa_091307/

  24. QUESTION:
    how do i install an outlet cord to a fluorescent fixture?
    I have a fluorescent light fixture just sitting around, i wanted to use it but it just has wires sticking out of it, i know how to attach it to the ceiling but i dont wanna do that. I want to put a cord that plugs into an outlet so that i can put it anywhere. now how would i go about doing that?

    • ANSWER:
      All fluorescent fixtures I've seen have a black, white and green wire to bring power into the fixture (USA). It's no different than wiring any other 120vac appliance. Other colors used (yellow, red, blue) are outputs from the ballast that are connected the light socket(s). Make sure you use a grommet to keep the sharp metal from cutting into the power cable.

  25. QUESTION:
    Can I rewire my two tube fluorescent light fixture from series to parallel?
    I bought some inexpensive fluorescent light fixtures. Lithonia Model 3324. They take two tubes. The instructions say they are wired in series, so if one bulb dies, both bulbs won't work. I am wondering if there is any issue in simply re-wiring the bulbs in a parallel circuit to avoid the issue, and if need be, have only one bulb on if I want a lower lighting level. Fixture uses an electronic ballast, according to the specs from Lithonia.

    http://www.acuitybrandslighting.com/library/LL/documents/SpecSheets/NEWU.pdf

    • ANSWER:
      Hi There,
      Personally I would not attempt rewiring the lamps.
      I do not believe they would work.
      Sorry,
      Al

  26. QUESTION:
    I have a shop fluorescent light fixture that has 2- 48" bulbs. One of the sockets doesn't work anymore.?
    Trading places of the bulbs proves that both bulbs are good, and that one socket has no power. I've checked all the wire connections and squeezed the terminal connectors on the sockets a little tighter, but it still doesn't work. I wouldn't think that the ballast would go half bad, or is this the likely problem?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes the problem is the ballast.

      It is cheaper to buy a whole new fixture than it is to buy a ballast for the light.

  27. QUESTION:
    How do I wire a light fixture to a light switch & plug in?
    Before I get started, I have images stored online so that you can see what I'm working with http://s998.photobucket.com/albums/af104/YMS_1975/My%20New%20Wiring%20Job/

    I have a regular store bought fluorescent tube - light fixture. The exact model is shown here : http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/3/HouseHome/Lighting/FluorescentLighting/PRD~0523222P/Single+Strip+Fluorescent+Lighting.jsp?locale=en

    I need to know two things ;

    1) Which type of wire (or is it cable?) I should purchase to connect from the light fixture to the light switch & which type of wire I should purchase to connect from the light switch to the 3 pronged plug (please provide specifics like voltage/watts/amps/wire gauge/etc. and links to pictures to give me that visual aid) and which type of wire (or is it cable?) I should purchase to connect from the light switch to the 3 pronged plug (shown in my images).

    and

    2) How do I wire it? PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG but I beleive I'll have 2 separate wires running here; one from the light fixture to the light switch and another separate wire from the light switch to the 3 pronged plug. I also need to confirm that the black screw protruding from the light switch is in fact intended for the ground wire.

    NOTE : I realize that in some states/provinces it's illegal to perform electrical work on your own, so please spare me the lecture of hiring a pro. I fully agree with the reasoning and the logic behind hiring a pro (especially for something as dangerous as electrical appliances/devices), but I simply want to know HOW to do this.

    5 STARS to the person who can CLEARLY answer this question and provide links to show me the type of wiring I should use.
    @Tony -- I realized that it was the wrong switch, so I went out and replaced it. I've UPDATED the pictures with the correct light switch. Please take another look at the pictures again. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      EDIT: I JUST LOOKED AT YOUR PHOTOS. THE FIRST TWO PICTURES IS OF A THREE WAY LIGHT SWITCH. THE BLACK SCREW IS COMMON - NOT GROUND. DON'T WIRE IT UP THAT WAY. IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAVE ANOTHER SWITCH IN THE PICTURES, ONE WITH TWO BRASS SCREWS - USE THAT ONE.

      ORIGINAL ANSWER: Here's what I have to say on the subject:

      Hardware stores cary lamp cord. In the case of your fluorescent lamp you'll need sufficient length of lamp cord to go from the lamp to the plug. That shouldn't be hard to figure out. Typically 16 gage wire should be way more than enough but I wouldn't go anything less than 18 gage. (numbers go higher as wire size gets smaller)

      You'll need a three wire set. You can buy an extension cord and cut it to the length you desire. The black wire is the hot wire, the white is the neutral and the green (or bare) wire is the ground. You SHOULD hook up the ground to the frame of the fluorescent lamp. As for your question about the socket on the wall, yes, the black (actually dark green) screw located down to one side is the ground. The silver is the neutral (white) and the brass is the hot (black).

      NOW: As for the switch, you can use two wire lamp cord (same gage) for that. Inside the fluorescent lamp you want to tie into the black wire so that you are switching hot on and off. I've seen people switch the neutral - which works but is dangerous. I've had enough shocks from people doing that. I hate stupidity like that. So don't switch the white wire, switch the black.

      And I don't know of any states that say you are not allowed to work on your own lamps. I'll do up a quick drawing and post it to flicker in a few minutes to show how to wire this.

      Hope this helps.

      'av'a g'day mate.

      ")

      IN ADDITION TO YOUR MODIFICATIONS: Looks like you have everything you need. The drawing I posted remains unchanged. However, as I've drawn it, you don't NEED the ground going to the switch, but it doesn't hurt anything to go ahead and hook it up. Obviously you know that it goes to the ground screw on the opposite side of the switch, opposite of the contact screws.

      As for the steel electrical box, nothing wrong with using that. Personally I would have gotten a plastic box. For what you will be using it - the plastic will be lighter. But you still can use the steel box with no problems. In fact it may outlast a plastic one. But the plastic one should have lasted 60 years easily.

      Have fun. Be safe with electricity. If you have any further questions feel free to contact me.

      ")

  28. QUESTION:
    How do I ground a fluorescent light fixture. It will be on a lowered ceiling, so it is two?
    feet below the original plastered ceiling with the box. Should I just hammer out the plaster so I can get to the box, and use some copper wire as an extension to the ground wire that the light came with to connect to the box? Thank you.
    There is no jacket conduit.
    I don't know if the box behind it is grounded. Why wouldn't you hammer out a section of plaster? I don't know if it were ungrounded that it would pose a danger at 7 .5 feet up, but maybe if they left the switch on when they changed a bulb it would.

    • ANSWER:
      Are you sure that the box above your ceiling is grounded? Do you not have a box at the ceiling level? If you need access above the ceiling you might consider carefully cutting away some plaster, but I would refrain from "just hammering it out".

      Most older homes did not have grounds for any of the light fixtures. It is not necessary to ground the new fixture when replacing an old ungrounded fixture.

  29. QUESTION:
    My fluorescent light fixture flickers. Whats wrong?
    My fluorescent double-bulb fixture flickers. I have bought new bulbs, and the problem persists. Is this something I can fix myself (I am handy enough to be dangerous)? Its easy to access and the wiring is new, panel fuse is fine and nothing else in the circuit flickers.
    It is in a heated basement. Not sure what T8 or 12s are.
    The bulb is GE "watt-miser" F40CW-RS-WM Cool White E 34 Watt - and it's 4' long. Embarrassed to admit the kid at HomeDepot showed me what matched the one I brought in. Most help I've ever had in that store ;)

    Not sure about starters or age either.

    • ANSWER:
      If you changes the tubes and they still flicker then the ballast is the next thing to replace. You should be able to open the fixture pretty easily (usually the panel above the tubes is removable). Turn off the circuit at the fuse or breaker panel then take a good look at the way the ballast is wired, or better yet, take a digital photo or two of the wiring so you can duplicate it later. The ballast is usually mounted with just 1 or 2 screws. Remove it and take it with you to a hardware or electrical store so you can get a direct replacement. Refer to your photo or sketch to install the new unit, it's really quite a simple process. Good luck.

  30. QUESTION:
    Convert a hard-wired fluorescent light into a plug-in...?
    So, there is a similar question in here regarding this, but it did not answer my problem. I have a 3-bulb fluorescent fixture that I would like to convert to plug-in. It has 2 wires coming out that are black and white. The ballast has 3 blue wires running to one side of the bulbs and ONE red wire running daisy chain to the other side of the bulbs and the two live wires and that is it.

    What I've tried:
    -I tried snipping off an extension cord and wiring the flat prong plug to black and the wide prong to white. NOTHING. Then tried the reverse. NOTHING
    -I then scraped a little paint off near a screw hole on the ballast. I used a 3 wire extension cord. Black to black, white to white, and the green wire screwed to the bare paint area of the ballast and through the metal fixture. NOTHING.

    What am I missing?! I have racked my brain over this. I have 5 of these fixtures that cannot be returned. How can I wire these to work OR how can I discover if the ballast is bad? Or is that even possible?

    Thank you in advance,
    Jed

    The lights are not "known working" since I have never had them working before, but they are new (in-the-sealed-box), so I guess I am assuming. I have tried the same thing with 2 different fixtures with the same result. I am also assuming that at least 1 of the 3 bulbs that came with it are working as well.
    It IS a GFI socket. Fluorescent does not work with GFI sockets?! That might be it! Brilliant!
    It is a GFI outlet, and it is working. I plug all of my power tools into it.....one at a time.....don't ask.

    The ballast says 220.

    I am quite sure that everything is grounded and grounded well. I have tried the ground wire to the grounding screw and to the screw attached to the ballast. My last hope is that it is something to do with the GFI. I will try it out tonight with an outlet upstairs in the house.

    If that does not work, then it has got to be the ballast I guess. These lights were left behind in a warehouse that my family acquired all shrink wrapped on a pallet. I am wondering if they were there for a reason. :(

    Thank you all!

    • ANSWER:
      HOUSEHOLD VOLTAGE IS 110-120 VOLTS AC. The reason your fixtures do not work is because you got them from a commercial building or application. They will not work unless you change the ballast.

      If your ballast says 220v then you have the wrong voltage and it will not work. You can replace the ballasts pretty easily with new ones that are designed for 110-120 volts. They have a wiring diagam on the ballast itself. It's not that difficult if you take your time.

      Cut all of the old wires off the old ballast at the ballast and not where the light bulbs attach (tombstones). Buy some wire nuts and hook up the new ballast accrding to the instructions. The ballasts can cost anywhere from 15-30 dollars. If you already have bulbs for all of the fixtures then buy a ballast that is compatible with your bulbs (T-8 or T-12) Make sure your new ballasts are capable of running the amount of bulbs that are designed for the fixture.

      It sounds like the you have T8 fixtures because T12 fixtures would have more wires running to each bulb. It should be an easy fix, but definitely not free.

  31. QUESTION:
    I need help diagnosing the problem with a fluorescent light fixture.?
    This fixture and two others installed within the last few years by the same installer have simply stopped working. The bulbs do not glow or flicker, there is no discernible hum or buzz. I have power to the switch, and have replaced the switch with no success. However, if I bridge the wires themselves with a tester, the light fixture immediately comes on, and will stay on until the switch is flipped off again.
    With the light I'm referring to, at the time this problem began, we had an older UPS fail on the same circuit. Those wall outlets all still test live. What do I check next, or is the proper tool for this problem the phone book?
    There are no starters - it is a quite new rapid-start fixture. There is no flickering, no humming, no glowing. The fixture lights immediately when the wires at the switch are bridged. This does not sound like any of the possible bad ballast scenarios I have ever read. If the ballast were faulty, would the light come on at all?

    • ANSWER:
      did you check the ballast?

  32. QUESTION:
    Remove fluorescent light bulbs and building code?
    In order to save electric bill (about 35%), i removed long flourescent light bulbs from the fixtures. I have couple questions regard this

    1. If i remove JUST the flourescent light bulbs, do i violate building codes or city codes?

    2. Theoritically, is there any possibly fire danger caused by removing those bulbs from the fixture? (some people advice me to disconnect wires from the light fixture to maximize electricity saving,but other peoples say that would violates building code and insurance company won't cover if fire occured)

    thanks for your advice
    and, do i need to ask landlord's permission to remove those light bulbs?

    • ANSWER:
      USA The above answers are good. If you are operating a business, you might violate local ordinance or insurance policy by not providing enough light. If you are renting, you should be able to remove the lamps (bulbs) without the landlord's permission, but you cannot cut the wires or disconnect the wires at the ballasts without that permission. After all, it is the landlord's property, not yours.

      Removing the lamps will not create a fire hazard. However, the ballasts will still be energized, and they will consume some power.

      The folks who have told you that the insurance company won't cover for a fire if your actions caused the fire are probably right, but you want to check with the insurance company to make sure.

  33. QUESTION:
    Can a person fix a "throw-away" (non-ballast/dual transformer) fluorescent light fixture?
    My 48" garage fixture doesn't work on side. It does not have a ballast/silver little canisters. It is run off of 2 small transformers with a little breadboard containing a ceramic capacitor and some resistors. When I took the thing apart, I wasn't sure if the transformer on one side ran bulb 1 or bulb 2. Or if one transformer was in charge of both bulb sockets on either end. To me the wiring looks as if I would not be able to take 2 "one-bulb working" fixtures and make a "2 bulber" without having to throw both the onesies away and spending $ for a new one.
    Ive done the bulb swaps and even took out my multimeter to check voltage on each of the four contact pairs. I found that only one of the four had about 22-24v while the other 3 had something around 1-2v. Funny thing is one would think to expect both the contact ends for a single bulb to be reading the ~22v...and yet the bulb lights up. This is what is puzzling me and made me question the wiring of the fixture. As for the fixing of said fixture(s), I found 3 others in my garage which were the predecessors to the current one. They all have the same problem, making me think that I can frankenstein all four into 2 working fixtures. I will next test out the capacitors since the "trannys" don't seem burnt out. BTW the caps look like a totinos pizza roll. I would assume resistors are not faulty or burnt out.

    • ANSWER:
      have you tried new lamps or swapping over the lamps to see if the fault is in the ballast, i think you call that the transformer, sometimes the capacitor goes faulty and one side stops working, all fluros have ballasts to boost the voltage and a starter that gives it he initial stricking current, except for the newer electronic fluro fittings that dont need a starter and strike instantly. if your fitting has two"transformers" it has one for each tube,so if its really old and has two large "transformers"in it one of them is probably had it causing one side not to work. if you have a spare transformer that still works in the other fitting you should be able to take the working one out and replace it for the faulty one ,. sounds like a lot of hassle you should treat yourself to a new fitting that will last for years and be done with it.

  34. QUESTION:
    Can I operate a fluorescent light with a solid state ceiling fan/light remote controller?
    I'm installing a Hampton Bay ceiling fan in my garage. The fan has a light kit and comes with a wireless remote controller that operates the fan and the light. I plan to remove the attached light kit and use the wires to connect to a ceiling mounted fluorescent fixture I'd like to install near the fan. Since I can't easily hardwire a wall switch to operate the new light without poking a lot of holes in the drywall, I'd like to use the remote controller to operate the light. The remote controller says "incandescent only". But if the controller only turns the light on/off, with no dimming capability, is there any reason why it wouldn't work with the fluorescent light? Would doing so damage the controller or cause some other problem? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • ANSWER:
      I don't think it will damage anything and it should work as long as there is no dimmer. The only problem I can see is the wiring may not be heavy enough in the fan light. A lot of fan lights say 15 watt max or something like that. If it doesn't work you can always buy Home decor conduit that goes on the outside of the wall and run a wire for a switch off of the wire that feeds the fan to operate your light.

  35. QUESTION:
    wiring a 4 tube fluorescent fixture?
    How do you wire a 4 tube flurorescent fixture so that 2 tubes work off of 1 light switch and 2 work off another switch?

    • ANSWER:
      I dont know for sure that you can do this unless the light fixture contains seperate ballasts for each pair of tubes.

      You can try running a line from the ballast to each switch. Then running a line out back to the respective tube connections to control the tubes you want the switch to control.

  36. QUESTION:
    Why is my fluorescent light flickering and/or not turning on?
    Is my fluorescent light flickering and/or not turning on because the bulbs need to be changed? Or is that an indication that the fixture itself is somehow broken? It's made up of two fixtures wired together, with two long fluorescent bulbs each.

    Until recently, I've always had incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs, so I'm not familiar with the big fluorescent lights.

    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Usually if bulb needs replacement it will start turning black on the ends. A bad ballast can also cause flickering. if you pinched a wire with the ballast cover this will also cause flickering. Lastly some lights have starters that cause this when bad. You will see a round silver canister near the bulbs somewhere, it will stick out so you can grab it. Starters are not very common any more. If this is a 4' fixture you probably do not have a starter. I replace bulbs first, if problem remains its somthing else I mentioned.

  37. QUESTION:
    Converting fluorescent lights to plug into a standard outlet?
    I have a fluorescent light fixture that has some hard wires coming out of it. they're the standard positive negative and ground. can i convert these to be able to plug it into the wall? i have some extra plugs lying around. thanks!
    What is a surface mounting fixture and what is not a surface mounting fixture?

    • ANSWER:
      Short Answer: Yes. As long as you can safely protect the connections.

      I would get a cord with a pre-attached 3 prong plug on it from Home Depot or Lowes and then just use wire nuts to attach it to the appropriate wires from the fixture. Just be really sure that your connections are safe and secure in such a way that the wire nuts can not be accidentally knocked off, causing a hazard.

      Keep in mind that pulling on the cord to plug it in, etc, will put strain on the connections so you'll need to be sure that you have found a way to put the strain of the cord on the fixture (or wall or whatever) and NOT the connections. You can probably do this with Zip Ties or a screw down cable clamp.

  38. QUESTION:
    No ground to fluorescent fixture?
    None of the 3 fluorescent light fixtures in my grandmother's kitchen are grounded. The grounding wire was just snipped off and I don't even see a place for it to be used on the fixture.

    I was thinking about drilling a hole into the fixture, then carefully cutting the jacket where the grounding wire was snipped off and connect with a length of wire.

    Is that the right thing to do? The fixture is also painted, should I sand a small spot where the ground will be screwed on so metal will be against metal. What about connecting the grounding wire to the screw and bolt that holds the ballast on?

    I was also wondering if I had to use one of those green ground screws?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      The first answer was correct as to connecting the ground. Ungrounded florescent fixtures sometimes have intermittent problems. They're usually very slow to start and sometimes won't start at all. Also in an area around a sink they're down right dangerous. Try to find the other end of the cable, probably the switch box and make sure the ground is also connected there. Won't do any good to only have it connected at one end.

  39. QUESTION:
    Please help, Unable to rewire my fluorescent fixture.?
    I am trying to do some wiring around the house but unfortunately this house does not have any colored wires. Almost all of the wires in the house, which is a very old house by the way, have the old corded material type insulation which makes it difficult to tell whether it's hot , neutral, or ground. I did puchase a voltage tester so that now I know which wire is hot and which is cold but when putting my fluorescent fixture back I did connect the house hot wire to the black wire on the fixture and I connected the house cold wire to the fixture's white wire and there is still no light. I am now wondering if maybe I might have blown the ballast with all my attempts and that is why the fluorescent light is not working. Please help. Thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Most likely is that the connections didn't take or fell apart during assembly and installation. Take the fixture off and tug on the wires to see if they are loose.

      Ballasts are pretty tough and not easily damaged by reasonable efforts.

      With the fixture detached but wired, insert the voltage tester probe into the wire nut open end firmly and see if there is voltage present. If not, something is wrong with the power source.

  40. QUESTION:
    What causes a fluorescent light ballast to overheat?
    I have a few 48" fluorescent light fixtures in my garage and one of them keeps turning off so I checked it and it was extremely hot on the inside metal cover just between the lights (and stayed hot for several minutes). The other two fixtures seem just fine with no unusual heat.

    Is this a sign of a fixture that is bad or should I be more worried about the wiring? This is an older garage that has been worked on by some amamteur electricians over the years. I've been living here for almost 10 years now and I haven't noticed anything else alarmining so I don't want to re-wire the whole thing if I don't need to. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      It is a breakdown of one of the components in the ballast, like a transformer or capacitor, usually also causing higher current to flow. There is a thermal protector that shuts it down when it reaches a predetermined temperature, this is a normal end of life pattern for a magnetic ballast. Several answers have referenced changing the fixture, so I will address the cost. Replacement ballasts are less than .

      New energy laws have made many replacement catalog numbers obsolete, if it has two T12 lamps (F40T12 , 1 1/2 lamp diameter) an available electronic replacement is an icn2s40 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WCPMUA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=undehomepowe-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004WCPMUA

      or if it has T8 lamps (F32t12 one inch) a replacement model is http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003U7NTT4/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=undehomepowe-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B003U7NTT4

      You may want to consider changing to one inch diameter lamps, T12 lamps will get harder and harder to find, and the 1 inch produce nearly the same amount of light for less energy, the wiring pattern is not hard, when you cut the wires to the sockets cap off one yellow, one red, and one blue. then connect the red from the new ballast to the yellow socket wire, one blue to the remaining red socket, and one red ballast wire to the remaining red socket wire.

      If your fixtures have F48t12 lamps (single pin slimline or HO) with plunger type sockets on one end you then probably should be thinking about replacing the fixture, an affordable replacement strip fixture could be http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JQWKIA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=undehomepowe-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000JQWKIA, they are less than .

  41. QUESTION:
    Need Electrical Help: Light switch keeps tripping breaker?
    I have several lights and receptacles on one circuit. One switch controls 2 tandem fluorescent light fixtures in one room and throws the breaker when it's turned on. None of the other switches or receptacles on this circuit causes a tripped fuse. These are not new.....they've been working fine for a long time, then one day one fixture went out and the other still worked. Then while the second was on (this was about a month later), it popped and tripped the fuse and continues to when switched on (trips immediately).

    I don't want to call in an electrician if I just need to replace the fixtures or balasts, but I don't want to try replacing them if it's a wiring/short problem (it's old wiring, so the insulation could have worn over the years causing contact, but I can't see any evidence......I won't try playing electrician anymore unless it's something simple). Any thoughts on what's causing this or how to correct or at least test for it? Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      More than likely the problem is in the fixture that went out first. It could also be a problem with the switch itself or possibly damage to the wires from the switch to the lights.

      With the breaker off, open the fixtures and inspect them for obvious damage/burns. If you don't see any damage, disconnect the feed (with the breaker OFF) and make the bare ends safe by putting the connectors back on the wires (the feed will come to one light and then a black & a white wire will connect to the second light). With the feed DISCONNECTED from the light and the switch OFF, turn the breaker ON making sure you stand clear of the breaker as it may pop instantly. If you have fuses take the same precaution (doesn't hurt to wear a glove - and DON'T look at the breaker as you turn it on!). Now with the breaker on turn the light switch on. Did the breaker trip? If not, then the problem is with one of the fixtures. Since the fixtures are old, I would replace both of them (a new 4' fixture isn't more then 20 bucks). At the same time you are replacing the fixtures, buy a NEW switch. Since you were tripping the breaker when you turned on the switch, you were causing a dead short at the switch. A dead short WILL damage the switch, it may still work, but replace it anyway.

      If it does trip, I would replace the switch first. Now perform the above test with the lights disconnected.

      If the breaker still trips after a new switch has been installed the problem is with the wiring. Have you screwed or nailed anything into the walls recently? You may have damaged the wire in doing so. In which case you need to rewire the light from the switch to the light. Rewire and buy a NEW switch again.

      Best answer?

      Cheers.

  42. QUESTION:
    Why doesn't my fluorescent light work?
    My kitchen fluorescent light fixture has stopped working. How can I make it work again?

    There are three light bulbs in the fixture with two ballasts (a small one for the center bulb and a large one for two bulbs on each side - both do not use starters). Before the fixture stopped working, one of the side light bulbs stopped lighting and when I replaced the bulb with a new one it didn't light. Rotating the bulbs didn't work either. I checked the ballasts with a multimeter and they seem to be fine (no resistance). I can't figure out how to open the tombstones to check the connections, but they seem okay from a visual inspection on the outside. The wiring to the ballasts and from the ballasts to the tombstones look good.

    Any ideas of what is wrong or what to check next would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      1) Maybe you replaced the wrong bulb? When you replace one, you should do them both.
      #2) Did you replace with the same type of bulbs(wattage wise)
      #3) The ballast has an end of life relay in it. The other bulb may be bad and won't light unless you replace them both.
      #4) It will usually be the bulbs or ballast before the holders.

  43. QUESTION:
    im wanting to make my old florescent light fixture in to a led light fixture?
    im wanting to make my old florescent light fixture in to a led light fixture

    im wanting to make my old florescent light fixture in to a led light fixture
    but im wanting to know if i just hard wire the led strip into the power lines of the house

    The easiest way that I can think of is buy a similar product like this one

    http://www.xledpanellights.com/4-feet12m-15-watt-t8-led-fluorescent-tube-light-36w-fluorescent-replacement-p-242.html

    will the led lights go bad?

    • ANSWER:
      it is a good choice.

  44. QUESTION:
    Can I do this wiring?
    Can I take the existing wiring that presently goes to a fluorescent light fixture, disconnect it, and run it down inside a wall to create a wall outlet for plug ins? If so, do I need a junction box? How many? How do I extend the wire to make it long enough to do this?

    • ANSWER:
      It can be done. But it is not a job for a do it yourselfer. All splices and connections have to be made inside boxes. The boxes need to be accessible. The wire to the light fixture is probably switched. So your outlet would be also. Why not just add a receptacle outlet and wiring the proper way?

  45. QUESTION:
    The non fluorescent ceiling light in the kitchen is making a buzzing and crackling sound when it's turned on.
    Is this more likely a wiring problem or do I need a new light fixture? Is this a fairly easy do it yourself project? Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      A "buzzing and crackling sound indicates an arc,
      and is a serious matter.
      First change the bulb and see if it solves the problem.
      (Sometimes they fail and arc inside.)
      If it doesn't, keep the light 'off` and call an electrician.
      Changing a light fixture is 'DIY possible` with a bit of
      study, evaluating possibly damaged wiring is not.

  46. QUESTION:
    Installing a fluorescent light with no ground wire to work with.?
    I have three fluorescent lights that I've installed with no ground wires since my home doesn't have that. Two work fine but one will only come on when I touch the bulbs, creating a ground through my body. Is there a way to psuedo ground it? A cheap capacitor or maybe just a long wire attached to nothing? The problem fixture is too far away from plumbing for that old trick and it's upstairs or else I'd just run a wire out the window.
    To those who've said it's dangerous. You do realize I mean a ground wire to the metal fixture itself and not attatched to the power source.
    Let me also add that it is a circline fixture using a 12 inch and 8 inch bulb. It works fine typically but often it doesn't want to start. If I reach up and touch both bulbs it comes on fine. I've been told that this is most likely a ground issue since the fuxture is new and many weak ballasts require a good ground for starting.
    In response to answer 3, it's not exactly defective but more along the lines of cheap. It's an oldstyle magnetic ballast that needs the bulb casing to be grounded for it to start. It's starting voltage is too low.

    Response to 4, there's only one way to put a circline in.

    I've verified it's a ground by attaching a speaker wire to the fixture case and running it out the window to the ground. The fixture works like a charm. When I undo that it won't start again. I just don't like having a wire running out the window.

    • ANSWER:
      Defective unit. You need a new ballast.

  47. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent fixture: Bad Lightswitch or bad wiring?
    A few months ago I had a fluorescent fixture (electronic ballast) that would not always come on when the lightswitch was turned on. Sometimes it would take a few on/off cycles of the switch to get the fixture to fully illuminate, otherwise it would flicker once then nothing. So I replaced the fixture thinking the ballast/starter/etc.. had gone bad. No problems for a couple months with the new fixture, but now I'm seeing the same behavior in a practically brand new fixture. Could it be a bad lightswitch? Could a faulty switch damage an electronic ballast? The new light worked like a charm at first, but now it barely works at all, so I don't seem to have a cut and dry scenerio to work with. I don't mind calling an electrician, but if I can spend on a new switch that is a lot cheaper then 0 for a service call.

    • ANSWER:
      It's easier to test the switch if you have the equipment to do so. Switches do go bad and usually will not allow the voltage to pass through when this happens. The light you are using... is this a good quality light or one of the cheap ones from home depot, etc? If the fixture is a cheap one it could be the fixture... you get what you pay for. Probably not what you wanted to hear. You may also want to check your connections on you switch and the wire nuts/connectors you used to connect it to the ballast in the new fixture... they may be loose and could be arcing and causing the same problem. Good Luck

  48. QUESTION:
    Changing ballast in parallel fluorescent lights?
    There are 4 sets of fluorescent light fixtures in a room. I believe they are wired parellel. The lights are old, and a ballast went out in one of them. It was the old kind of ballast where it has one red and one blue wire going to the bulbs. The new ballast has one common red wire for the bulbs and 2 separate blue wires for the bulbs. Redoing the wiring for the new ballast is fairly straightforward.

    But the difficult part for me is how to do it parallel. There was a hot & neutral wire coming to the end of the old light fixture which then fed into the old ballast and also fed to the next set of light fixtures. I'm not sure how to rewire it.

    In a nutshell, I've got a hot & neutral coming in. The black and white wire for the ballast, and a hot and neutral going out. I have the single red wire from the new ballast going to both ends of the 2 bulbs. Both blue wires are connected separetly to the other ends of the bulbs.

    How do I connect the remaining 6 wires?

    • ANSWER:
      First check to make sure that the ballast that you purchased is appropriate for the bulbs that you will be putting back into the fixture. The old fixture required T-12 bulbs and it sounds like you have an electronic ballast intended for the newer T-8 bulbs.

      Once you have the right ballast you will notice that it has a wiring diagram on the ballast. Following the diagram two wires will be intended to be connected to hot and neutral. It may be that the wire that is to be connected to hot and neutral will come from one end of the clips and not from the ball use. When you have the ballast wired into the fixture and you have isolated the two appropriate wires you will simply connect all the blacks together and all the whites together (assuming that all the color designations are consistent and correct.)

      You may have to extend some wires within the fixture to do this.

  49. QUESTION:
    Trying to replace a light fixture in the kitchen. Breaker is off, but felt an electric current. Whats wrong?
    After turning off the breaker, the light is completely off. But when I tried to touch the fluorescent panel, I felt an electric current. THe wiring looks correct...although the ground wire is just connecting to a screw in the drywall.

    And now after turning the whole house off and replacing the fluorescent fixture, the fixture died in less than a day. I suspect the electrical current issue is what killed the new fixture. And after getting zapped, I dont want to try it again until I figure out whats wrong.

    • ANSWER:
      I would get a pro on this as it sounds too complicated for us to help you trouble shoot. Be careful with it if you decide to mess with it yourself

  50. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent shop light trips GFCI?
    I recently replaced a 24-year-old GFCI outlet with a new one, Leviton model 7599. In my 1987 home, this is the only GFCI, with other protected outlets wired downstream of it. I am 100% sure the new GFCI is wired correctly. I triple-checked it while installing. The green LED on the Leviton is lit, meaning "OK". Test and Reset buttons work correctly. My 3-LED circuit tester shows correct wiring both at the GFCI and at the downstream outlets.

    The problem is that a grounded fluorescent shop light downstream of the GFCI trips the GFCI. Thinking the fluorescent fixture was defective, I swapped in a different one. Same result. Every time I turn on the fluorescent light, the GFCI trips. This did not occur with the old GFCI. But the old one was worn out and having trouble staying engaged, so I replaced it. The old one appears to be Eagle brand. Both old and new are rated 15A at the outlets and 20A downstream. The GFCI and its downstream outlets are on a 20A circuit all by themselves.

    I have tested both the local GFCI outlets and the downstream outlets with other grounded and ungrounded appliances. They all work fine. Only the fluorescent shop lights trip the GFCI.

    If I lift the ground from the shop light with a 2-prong adapter, it works fine. If I restore the ground, the GFCI trips. Now, I'm not quite sure why a fluorescent shop light needs a ground in the first place. But I sure am curious why a fluorescent fixture would consistently trip a GFCI.

    Can anyone explain?
    Thanks for the good fast answers. They make perfect sense, and I should have thought of using an ohmmeter myself. But I can't verify the hypothesis.

    I put a fresh battery in my meter to make sure, and I get no connectivity (infinite ohms) between ground and anything else with the fixture in the On position. I do get connectivity (

    [Hmm, did you know that a "less than" sign will truncate your additional details? Pesky HTML. Trying again.]

    I put a fresh battery in my meter to make sure, and I get no connectivity (infinite ohms) between ground and anything else. I do get connectivity (less than 2 ohms) between the ground plug and metal frame. So while I'm fully prepared to accept that these are cheap faulty Chinese fixtures, I can't verify.

    I should have clarified why I don't care terribly much about grounding these lights. They hang from the ceiling out of reach, they are enamel-coated, and they are operated by a non-conductive pull string. I had to scrape a little to get to bare metal to verify ground connectivity.

    I'm OK with lifting the ground so the light will work. I just hate it when a 15 minute project turns into hours of fruitless troubleshooting.
    Another good, plausible answer. I remember the old removable "silver can" ballasts. This fixture is maybe 10 years old and doesn't have an externally visible ballast. And it didn't trip the old GFCI.

    • ANSWER:
      I suspect that both of your shop lights are wired incorrectly internally, I have observed a similar problem on various Chinese-made electrical appliances, fraudulently carrying a CSA sticker. To check, use an ohmeter to look for continuity between the ground prong and each of the other two prongs on the plug. There should be NO continuity between the ground prong and either of the other two. There should, of course, be continuity between the ground prong and any exposed metal parts or screws on the chassis of the appliance.

      The reason your light - and any other appliance with any exposed metal parts needs a grounded plug is that should internal insulation breakdown over time and allow the chassis to become energized, a user standing on wet ground or touching a grounded pipe could sustain severe injury or even death as the current travels through her body from the energized chassis to the ground.


wiring fluorescent light fixture

Fixing Fluorescent Light

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    How do I fix Fluorescent light?
    I recently installed 4(2 bulb) fluorescent lights -about a month ago. They worked fine til recently one bulb in one light went out. Replaced bulb same thing??? New fixtures so no "starter". If ballast was bad wouldn't it affect both bulbs?

    • ANSWER:
      Its not the Ballast first of all. Sometimes bulbs will go bad fast depending on shipping mishandling where inner filaments are damaged some or manufacturers. Just replace both bulbs instead of just 1. See how long it will last. If they burn out again then you have a short in the end connectors. Dont bother changing the ballasts.I recommend a return for a totally new fixture before the manufacturer warranty runs out.

  2. QUESTION:
    How can I fix my Fluorescent light?
    I have a fluorescent light in my bathroom. It started to flicker so I replace the light bulbs. Two weeks later, it is doing it again? What is the problem? How do I fix it?

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like you need a new ballast, the black rectangular object inside the fixture. Turn off the light, remove the lamp/s and pan. Inside you will see a ballast with 8 wires. Disconnect the black and white wires. Now cut the red, blue and yellow wires, about 6 inches from the ballast. Remove the ballast supporting screw and the ballast will come out. It is heavier than it appears, so be ready. It may also be leaking a tarry substance, avoid touching this. Make note of the numbers on the ballast (eg. F40 - T12) and dispose of it.
      Install a ballast with the same markings.
      Connect the wires colour to colour, 1 red to 1 red, 1 blue to 1 blue, 1 yellow to 1 yellow and the same with the rest. Last connections are white to white and black to black. Use marrettes to make these joints. (Be sure to pick up new lamp/s and 6 # 31 marrettes when buying the ballast.)
      Reinstall the pan and lamps. That's it, hit the switch.

  3. QUESTION:
    Fixing a burnt out a compact fluorescent light bulb?
    I have been buying these CFL light bulbs to save energy even though they cost more and they never even make it close to the life of a normal bulb. So when one of them burnt out the other day I took it apart and it had a circuit board in it so I put a new circuit board out of a new CFL in it and the old light bulb lit right up. So I was wondering if anyone knows what has to be replaced on the circuit board to make it work again.

    • ANSWER:
      Look at where they are made. When I first went to CFL I bought the cheapest and they lasted about as long as a regular bulb. Now I buy only from name brands and none made in China. Some of those have been in use for more than 5 years. Also if you turn the light off and on often, a CFL may not be the best bulb.

  4. QUESTION:
    How do I fix an undercabinet fluorescent light that won't remain lit?
    I turn it on and it comes on. But a little while later, it goes out. None of the other ones in the kitchen do this. What is the remedy?

    • ANSWER:
      Try replacing the bulb, if that doesn't work it is probably a bad ballast. Usually the ballasts are not easily replaceable on these smaller models so you might be replacing the whole light.

  5. QUESTION:
    How can we determine the numbers of fluorescent light fixtiures needed for a fixed area and fixed height?
    The numbers of fluorescent light fixtures that should be installed in a room to give suitable amount of light according to the standards specifications is required.

    • ANSWER:

      Depends on the number and type of fluorescent lamps in each fixture, the mounting height of the fixtures, the reflectance of the surfaces in the room, the dimensions of the room, and the coefficient of utilization of the fixtures, as well as the required footcandles, and at what height above the floor those footcandles should be measured.
      But you'll come out ABOUT 1 fixture for each 56 sq ft (each fixture assumed to have 4 ea 4-ft 40-watt fluorescent lamps.
      here's a lighting layout estimator
      http://www.gelighting.com/na/business_lighting/education_resources/tools_software/toolkit/layout.htm

  6. QUESTION:
    i need to fix my fluorescent light?
    The two little prongs on the end and a little wooden thing holding them kinda broke and fell out so they wont stay still when i just try to put it in its place. (the just bend over) and i know that it still lights up cuz it lit up for about a second. does anybody know anyway to kinda make them stay still? i cant buy another one because its a very expensive black light ( about 0) so thats out of the option.

    • ANSWER:
      If you are speaking of the pins on the ends of your bulb, they are anchored to the base by epoxy glue. You may be able to re-glue the pins using the same method. Just take your time and just use enough epoxy to do the job. Let it set for at least 24 hours before attempting to reinsert the bulb back into the socket. I'm sorry but I'm not aware of a "little wooden thing" on a fluorescent bulb. Good luck!

  7. QUESTION:
    how do i fix my fluorescent light?
    my light bulb gets a soft red hue at the ends only- i cant seem to get any actual light from it though- i twist and turn and hear a popping noise and am guessing that is the point i should keep it at but why then am i getting no light even with new bulbs??? ty

    • ANSWER:
      If it is just a generic light it will be cheaper to replace the entire light fixture. But it it is a custom fixture, just go to an electricial store and buy a new ballast.

      It could be a ballast or it could be you are using the new 34 watt green tubes (identified by the green ends) in an older light with a ballast that can't handle the mismatch.

      Older lights used 40 watt tubes that are no longer made. The new ballast can handle both types.

      Another problem could be if you have a very old light and it requires a starter to fire the bulb. And it could be bad.

      Mike

  8. QUESTION:
    Why do my new fluorescent light bulbs flick when I turn the switch off?
    I recently bought fluorescent light bulbs to change the old ones. At night, when I turn the switches off I can see some of the new bulbs flickering. Why is this happening? What can I do to fix it?

    Additional info:
    The switch does not make any sound or buzz.
    It didn't happen with my old incandescent light bulbs.
    They keep doing this indefinitely (I see them flicking at dawn)
    My flat is old and so I guess the electrical wiring is old as well

    • ANSWER:
      Start by replacing the switches, simple job, two wires, your done. It sounds like the switch is going bad and is not completely turning off. If you don't understand all the safety concerns about working with electricity, find someone that does and get them to do it.

  9. QUESTION:
    How do I fix this fluorescent light?
    I have a fluorescent light in my kitchen over the sink. A week or so ago it started flickering for quite a long time before it lit. Then it started to flicker intermittently while it was lit. This evening I was cleaning up from dinner and the light just went out with a cloud of blue smoke. The bulb now just lights right at the ends. (I am, or course, not using it anymore.) What do I do with this?
    The light is built in to the ceiling. Under the cover there is the bulb which connects with four pins into the socket. There is also a silver can with a hole in it next to the bulb. I'm concerned with the smoke that came out of the fixture.

    • ANSWER:
      Ok It sounds like the starter went out on you,and you need to replace it,and the bulbs.If you grab the bulb with your finger tips,about 4" from each end,and turn the bulb a 1/4 turn the bulb shuld pull down out of the socket.There should be a round silver thing that looks kind of like a battery.Grab it with your fingers,and twist it a 1/3 turn,and it should pull out.Go to hardware store,and get new bulbs,and a starter exactly like the ones that came out.Put the new ones back in,and turn on the switch.If all went well your light is working fine.If not,you might need a ballast,and if so,that is another problem.

  10. QUESTION:
    Why can't they make fluorescent light less white?
    Couldn't they change the color on the bulb itself, or change the gasses inside? Fluorescent light is really ugly compared to incandescent light, I'm just wondering why it's so hard to fix.

    • ANSWER:
      They do. They are available in "cool white" which is more the "bright white" that you are talking about, and they are available in "warm white" which has a more yellow/warm tone to it. Those tones are available in virtually all forms of flourescent bulbs now, from sticks to floods and lamp bulbs.

  11. QUESTION:
    fluorescent shop light wont light up unless i jiggle the bulbs. how can i fix this?
    When i pull the chain nothing happens. I have to mess with the tubes to get them to light. Have had this problem since day 1. Any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      Usually it's the recepticals at the ends of the fixture. Turn the breaker off for safety and with the bulb out try to tighten the metal where the bulb pins make contact or perhaps the receptical itself is loose in the fixture.

  12. QUESTION:
    How do I fix the power button/switch on my aquarium fluorescent strip light?
    It's a Perfecto brand 72" strip lights. When i press the button, it doesn't click stop anymore. The lights start to go on when i press it, but when i release it, it turns off. And when i do manage to turn on the lights after several tries, its hard to turn it back off.

    • ANSWER:
      The contacts on the switch might be either loose or corroded due to water. If could simply replace the switch. You cay buy one of those switches at Home Depot or Lowes.

  13. QUESTION:
    Is it normal for a fluorescent light bulb to last 9 years with heavy daily use?
    I don't guess this is a parenting question, but do any of you know? My kitchen lights are 16 feet up and I am having a handy man fix the fan today and while he is up there on the ladder I wonder if I should have him change them. They were here when we got the house, so I don't know how long they have been working, but at least 9.5 years. They are super bulbs I guess....What is the normal life of a kitchen light, lol?

    • ANSWER:
      We have had our house 5 years now, and our lights still work. Not sure how long before us they were put in.

      I would go a head and have him change the bulbs if you have the money for them, and if there is a casing around it ask him to bring it down so you can clean it.

  14. QUESTION:
    How do I fix the noise on fluorescent lights?
    I checked all the light bulbs but still hear a loud buzz/humm.

    The lights are across the entire room on both sides, giving wonderful mood lighting, but the noise is too annoying.

    Any thoughts as to how to fix this problem?

    Thank you

    • ANSWER:
      The noise that you hear is from the ballast within each light. As they age the ballast begin to buzz. You can change them out by removing the bulbs and the cover plate. You'll see where all the wires are connected to the ballast. Good luck.

  15. QUESTION:
    I installed a fluorescent light and it won't turn on.?
    We just installed new fluorescent light bulbs in the bathroom, but the light doesn't turn on; it flickers but never completely engages. What can I do to fix this? Is there maybe a certain direction that the bulb is supposed to be put in?
    We installed this light and tried everything we could, but it still only flickers. I don't think there is anything wrong with the starter, but we can't figure out the problem. Could the wattage be wrong? Does it has to be a specific wattage to work?

    • ANSWER:
      You may have the bulbs installed incorrectly, and the bulb is not making a good contact, or you might have a short in the unit.

  16. QUESTION:
    Our fluorescent tube light switches off after about an hour or so. If I turn off the switch for 5-10 minutes?
    and then switch on, it starts.... Can I fix the problem without investing again on another tube light frame?

    • ANSWER:
      The problem may be in the bulb or the starter or the baluster, depending on a few things.

      If the end of the bulb is starting to turn black it MAY then be the bulb.

      If you have a screw in starter (small silver cylinder) then it is probably the starter.

      If you have no starter and the bulb is not turning black then the baluster may be starting to go bad. It shuts off because it is overheating. Turning it off and then back on let it cool down. You can just replace the baluster. But by the time you hire an electrician (if you can't do it yourself) a new fixture might be cheaper (if you can install the new one yourself.

  17. QUESTION:
    Need to fix fluorescent kitchen lights- fixtures not lighting up completely. Any ideas?
    I bought new bulbs for my 2 kitchen lights thinking my bulbs were burned out but they're still not working right. I have a round fluorescent light fixture as well as a fixture that contains 6 very long lights. I turn the switch on & it turns on but very very faintly like it's not getting enough power or something. Is this something I can fix myself or should I call an electrician? I don't have too much experience with this stuff but do have a little bit of general knowledge. Any ideas anyone?

    • ANSWER:
      You probably have an old fixture with a magnetic ballast driving T12 bulbs. T12 means 12/8ths of an inch, in other words 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Virtually all such fixtures, standard before about 1988, are driven by a magnetic ballast that lasts at least 25 years (often much longer) but is fairly inefficient and makes an annoying flicker. Bulbs driven by magnetic ballasts strobe at 60 times a second, the same speed as AC power. Your ballast, or the starter which is really a replaceable part of the ballast, is dying, and should be replaced.

      Switch to a fixture with T8 bulbs (one inch in diameter) driven by an electronic ballast, which will strobe at about 20,000 times a second. That will eliminate your flicker and give you better lighting and better efficiency (since a 4 foot T8 uses between 25 and 34 watts, rather than 40, per bulb, to put out the same amount of light.)

      A new shop light type fixture currently costs .50 at Home Depot, so it doesn't make sense to just replace the ballast alone and fiddle with the wiring. Since every T8 fixture is electronic, and strobes at that fast rate, all you have to do is look for a T8 fixture. If your current fixture is hard wired, you might have to have someone a little bit handy in to put in a terminal box to plug the new fixture in, or buy a hard wired fixture for about , but it's worth it. I assume you have one of those recessed box part-of-the-ceiling type kitchen arrangements, with a 'lens' (see through plastic sheeting) between you and the lights, so no one will ever see what kind of fixture you put up there. You don't need to get anything pretty.

      Once you've done that, I'd recommend getting full spectrum bulbs for your new long fixture - try lightforhealth.com.

      Unfortunately, as far as I know, you can't replace the round fixture with a similar electronic ballast type fixture. No one makes an electronic-ballast version of a Circline fixture. You might just have to live with that until it completely dies, or replace it with a compact fluorescent (which fits a regular light socket), wiring up a regular closet-type ceramic socket, but that would also require a little rewiring. No help for that. Or if you're willing to do the drywalling and painting required, you could put in a recessed can fixture, with a compact fluorescent in there.

      I'm hardly an electrician, but this isn't much of a challenge if you're willing to get into the wiring a little. You'll get instructions in any new fixture on how to wire it into your existing setup.

  18. QUESTION:
    What to do with our light (fluorescent bulb)?
    Everytime we turn it off, it will not work if I turn it on again. I have to climb up and turn the bulb to make it light up again. What is wrong? What will I do to fix this?

    • ANSWER:
      As already stated:
      1) Try Brand new bulbs. If the old ones are t12's, replace them with t12's. NOT t8's. If they are t8's do NOT replace them with t12's.
      2) Next thing would be the starter, IF there is one. It's silver, round and (usually) goes into the side of the fixture. It "rotates" to either remove or replace. Lowe's, Home Depot and most other good hardware stores stock them.
      3) Last, but not least is the ballast. If you end up replacing it, make sure that the bulbs you get WILL go with the ballast.
      and yes, if the bulbs end's start to turn gray, black or brown, it's time to replace them. Good luck in all you do and may God bless.

  19. QUESTION:
    Shattered Fluorescent lamp bulb. Do we clean everything?
    We were fixing a kitchen light and had to replace those fluorescent light bulbs (the long tube ones you see in offices and schools), and one shattered over the sink and some shards got onto clean dishes. Do I have to rewash and clean everything? I heard these bulbs have mercury in them.

    • ANSWER:
      YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Please, clean everything. I know it will take some time, but it's worth it.The big fat ones had a lot of mercury in them. (T-12) The newer ones (T-8) don't have any. This is why the old ones are being phased out.

  20. QUESTION:
    I live in apt in nj.my state inspection ppl wants to remove flurocent light from the wall?why?
    I live in Apt in NJ.Every five years they have state inspection conducted.I have fluorescent light that I fix on my wall.I have make them very secure,but they wants me to remove.I don't see any really fire hazard from that and other side they don't mind for those loose wires that all ways hang from our TV,VCR or any appliances you may have.To me its more dangerous then my fluorescent light.Don't you think this is really stupid?

    • ANSWER:
      Because those lights do not meet state building code. That was not a request, that is an order to remove them Failure to do so means eviction, fines and possibly jail time.

  21. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light flickers while off. How do I fix it?
    I just replaced a regular candescent fixture in my garage with a double T8 4 foot long flurescent light fixture. One of the bulbs flickers constantly for hours while the switch is off. I actually replaced the switch.. same problem. Replaced the bulb... same problem. Both the light and switch are grounded. There is another new exact fluorescent fixture on the circuit which works fine. Thanks!!!
    Thanks so far for the great advice. It sounds like I've got a wire switched somewhere. So my new fluorescent fixtures each have a black, red, and green wire. Black gets hot, correct? If the black and red were switched, would it matter? Some fixtures I install only have 2 blacks (and the green). Thanks!!

    • ANSWER:
      Somewhere in the electrical system, there's a wire crossed, a neutral hooked to a hot side, or vise versa, that's causing a feedback situation for that one circuit. It wouldn't show up in an incandescent bulb socket, but it will with a florescent in it's place.

  22. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent (Swirly type) light bulb - problem w/Motion Sensor?
    I changed out the regular light bulb w/the swirly kind on the front porch. It's a motion sensing light and has always worked fine. With the new bulb, once the light goes on it stays on all night and I have to turn it off in the morning. I've tried all the switches, changing timing, distance, etc. Anyone have any ideas to fix?
    Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      fluorescent bulbs are not recommended for motion detector lights. not mine anyway. put the old bulb back in and forget about it.

  23. QUESTION:
    I need some help with my Fluorescent light fixture.?
    I have a Fluorescent light fixture that is in a cage that I fixed up for my tegu. The fixture was for a 33" tube. In order to make it useful for me I modified it so that it is 36" long so it could fix the standard size bulb. Then I found out that the starter used for the original tube wouldn't work because it was a F-2 and for a 36" tube I need a F-4. But when I got the F-4 no light come on at all. (with the f-2 and the tube in the light just flickers but doesn't come on) Is this because the ballast is of a different size or something, and if so can I just change that? Any help would be appreciated I really want to get this light working tegus need the uvb light. Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      The answer is probably the lamp type, T8 instant start lamps are not compatible with preheat starters/ballasts. Using Sylvania numbers a F30T8/CW and a FO25T8/741 are going to look the same, same number of pins, same length, but the cathode at the end of the lamp is different, you need the F30T8 for preheat fixture (lamps labeled preheat or rapid start), but good luck, these are 1950's technology. Changing to T12 rapid start will increase the lamp wattage beyond the ballast capability.

  24. QUESTION:
    Is there a way to overcome being extremely light sensitive?
    My optometrist said that I am the most light sensitive patient she has seen in all her twenty-two years of experience. No optometrist has been able to finish the flashlight test for a few years now. I starting going to public school almost three years ago and fluorescent lighting seems to really bother my eyes, but it's like everywhere! Even Walmart and church! I just want to know if there is a natural way or an easy way to fix that without tinted glasses.

    • ANSWER:
      The treatment for light sensitivity depends on the cause. Usually, if the light sensitivity is a symptom of an underlying eye problem such as cataract, then treatment for the cataract can solve the glare problem. Treating eye diseases, like uveitis, often means that the eye becomes less light sensitive.

      Unfortunately not all light sensitivity caused by eye problems can be treated. For example the light sensitivity caused by macular degeneration. If this is the case then other methods may be needed to help people cope with bright light.
      Other methods are there for coping with light sensitivity

      The most obvious way to cope with glare is to limit the amount of light that is entering the eye. Some people find shading their eyes with their hand or wearing a hat with a wide brim can help cut down on glare with little expense.

      Tinted lenses help to minimise the light entering the eye and so cut down on the amount of glare someone experiences.

      Sunglasses should have an UV filter so they also protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The best lens will have protection against UVA and UVB light.

      Some people prefer to have light activated sunglasses, which get darker in brighter conditions, though this is a personal choice.

      Polarized lenses can cut down on reflected glare from flat surfaces, for example, light reflected off water or off the bonnet of a car.

      There are sunglasses, sometimes called solar or UV shields or wrap-around shades, which are larger than normal. They have built in sides which stop the light entering that way and they are also made to stop the light entering from above the eyes. They can also be worn over regular spectacles and come in a variety of tints. These can be very helpful but the fit of them is important. Everyone has a different shaped head and several pairs of wrap-around sunglasses should be tried to find the ones which fit closest and stop the most light from coming in around the edge of the frame.

      If you visit a low vision specialist they may be able to give you advice on coping with glare. They can talk to you about the best way to use lighting to avoid glare. This is especially important since it can be difficult to balance the amount of light someone with a sight problem needs for tasks such as reading and the fact that they may have a problem with glare.

      Some eye conditions can cause people to have great difficulty when moving between areas with different lighting levels. For example, when moving from sunlight into a dim room, or vice versa. It may be necessary to pause to put sunglasses on or to take them off and give the eyes time to adjust, and it is very important that the person does not feel rushed. Often, these changes in light levels occur at the entrance of buildings, this is particularly dangerous as there are often steps in these places.

      Many people with a sight problem need to use a task light for activities such as reading. The best lights for this type of task are adjustable lamps. The best position for an adjustable lamp, when you need more light for a task such as reading, is between you and what you want to look at, directed at the task, and below your eye level.

  25. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Light fixture *Hum* grounding Issue?
    I installed three new 48" fluorescent light fixtures in my shop. My shop is a metal style carport garage. I wired them in using normal household 14-awg wire in the standard white/black/bare solid copper wire. The black and white went to the ballast and the bare copper wire went to the green ground wire that just grounds to the body of the fixture. All three lights are on one string of wire connected to a light switch and then going to the breaker box with their own 15-amp breaker.
    The light fixtures are mounted directly to the metal framing of the garage with a 3/8" thick by 1" wide universal automotive weatherstripping in 48" strips so the metal fixture case don't come into contact to the metal framing of the garage.

    The lights have been hooked up for a few days now but I just got bulbs today. When I turn the lights on the fixtures buzz/hum quite loud. When I read the manual that came with the fixtures it says that a buzz/hum could be caused from a bad ground.
    If it is a bad ground I don't see what I did wrong. I used all new 14awg wire, and installed them on a their own 15-amp breaker. Ive checked all the connections at the breaker box and light fixtures and light switch they are all connected.

    So my questions are:
    Could this be just because the lights are new? Or it's 40*f here, Could cold weather cause them to hum? If it is a grounding issue, Should I take the bare copper (green) ground and connect it to the metal framing of the garage as well as the fixture case?
    OR what other things can I do to fix the ground (if that is the issue)?

    BTW: The "hum" is not the normal fluorescent light hum, This is quite loud, Ive never herd one this loud before.

    Thanks for your time!
    ***responce to answers***
    It IS grounded all the way to the box. Im sure the box is grounded to the earth because it just passed inspection in july when I bought the house. I forgot to mention, the breaker box is the house's breaker box. I have two power leads from the main house breaker box to the shop. One for plugs and one for lights. Both are wired with outdoor grade 12 awg wire and then connected in the shop to the indoor 14awg wire.

    They are cheap lowe's light fixtures. Im 99% sure they are indoor lights. I never figured tempture would effect the lights. I figured indoor = Dry outdoor = wet. Never thought about the tempature.
    Thanks for the help.

    • ANSWER:
      Do you have a sub panel in this shop I think that is what I am reading here. You say two hot wires then you have to have a neutral and if you do not have a fourth wire then you do not have a ground in this shop. Or do you have two 12/2 w/ grounds ran to the shop and if this is the case then you do have two circuits and two neutral and two grounds. If you do have 2 12/ 2 wires ran then you do have a ground and you said all connections are tight. So now if you do have proper grounding then you can go to the next step.
      I would venture to say to undo one light at a time and turn them on after you have taken one off the circuit, it could be one has a bad ballast or even loose on the mounting device. If you can eliminate the one that is bad or loose you have done what you asked.
      Look on the ballast it should tell you a F or C rating this is how cold the ballast will work to. Some ballast do not work below freezing and some ar rated at -20 degrees. They do make a light ballast that goes outside called high output ballast but you would be better off not to spend this kind of money in a shed for this purpose. I have purchased cheap lights that are rated for -20 F and they work fine for the most part.
      Maybe you just do not have the lights tight or the ballast are loose as I said in the light and this could be your problem as well.

      Good Luck :)

  26. QUESTION:
    changed out old fluorescent light fixture to new ones?
    changed out old fluorescent light fixture to new ones old ones had two ballast and the new one has one ballast hooked the new lights the same way as the old ones and the lights wont turn on it's 2 sets of lights on a 2 way switch. what can i do to fix it?
    the old lights were t12 the new ones are t8, so there is is t8 lights in the new fixture, the lights do work to trouble shoot I hooked up the lights white to white & black to black, when done i turn the power on lights come on and switch does not affect the lights, when hooked up the other way i put black to black and white to red, turn power on lights are off and switch does not affect the lights.

    Do i need to hook up black to red and white to white?

    • ANSWER:
      Did you buy new lamps?

      If you bought a new fixture, it takes T8 (or T5) lamps. Chances are good that your old fixture took T12 lamps. These do not work well (or not at all) with new electronic ballasts.

      If I'm wrong, update the question

  27. QUESTION:
    HELP!!!!!!!!I was trying to connect wires of a fluorescent light to a connector and something blew up?
    And now theres no electricity!!! what did I do?:S:S how can i fix it!!!

    • ANSWER:
      Based on your sparse info:
      1) Disconnect the light and any other "connections" you made.
      2) Reset the line's circuit breaker or replace the fuse, whichever is applicable..

  28. QUESTION:
    new fluorescent fixture seen to reduce brightness of light for long periods?
    Ok ...I installed a new 4 ft Simkar fluorescent ceiling that uses 3 8 4 ft bulbs.I have bought a good brand which is
    skybright daylight output lumens/light color.The effect is very
    whitish and crisp but there is a slight problem.It seem to dim
    at certain long periods of time during just after sunset or
    at night.I know it is not my vision because these are not heap.It is bright and makes what is white look clean white
    in the daytime and when evening starts to dawn in around
    5 or 6'ish it seem to slightly dull off some and I am wondering
    where all the brightness went? The old fixture used 2 40 watt fluorescent.I need to mention that I think
    the wire coming from the ceiling was short in reaching one
    side of lighting hook-up wire and I think it could be touching
    the top frame plus I had very little electrical tape..I was going
    to fix this been about 2 months.
    Could the hot and neutral be crossed or is it wiring touching
    frame or fixture itself? please help paid 0
    thanx
    It uses 3 T8 bulbs.Other people have commented it look a little dim.when I
    remove the cover full brightness,funny...
    thanx

    • ANSWER:
      Relax, nothing is crossed. If your wires were crossed the breaker would have tripped as soon as you flipped the switch.
      Actually it sounds like an optical illusion, Flourescent bulbs put out their rated lumens, that's it. They do'nt sense light & change their brightness, it's an illusion, flourescent bulbs are known to play tricks on the eyes.
      Hope this helped, good luck!!

  29. QUESTION:
    Can a person fix a "throw-away" (non-ballast/dual transformer) fluorescent light fixture?
    My 48" garage fixture doesn't work on side. It does not have a ballast/silver little canisters. It is run off of 2 small transformers with a little breadboard containing a ceramic capacitor and some resistors. When I took the thing apart, I wasn't sure if the transformer on one side ran bulb 1 or bulb 2. Or if one transformer was in charge of both bulb sockets on either end. To me the wiring looks as if I would not be able to take 2 "one-bulb working" fixtures and make a "2 bulber" without having to throw both the onesies away and spending $ for a new one.
    Ive done the bulb swaps and even took out my multimeter to check voltage on each of the four contact pairs. I found that only one of the four had about 22-24v while the other 3 had something around 1-2v. Funny thing is one would think to expect both the contact ends for a single bulb to be reading the ~22v...and yet the bulb lights up. This is what is puzzling me and made me question the wiring of the fixture. As for the fixing of said fixture(s), I found 3 others in my garage which were the predecessors to the current one. They all have the same problem, making me think that I can frankenstein all four into 2 working fixtures. I will next test out the capacitors since the "trannys" don't seem burnt out. BTW the caps look like a totinos pizza roll. I would assume resistors are not faulty or burnt out.

    • ANSWER:
      have you tried new lamps or swapping over the lamps to see if the fault is in the ballast, i think you call that the transformer, sometimes the capacitor goes faulty and one side stops working, all fluros have ballasts to boost the voltage and a starter that gives it he initial stricking current, except for the newer electronic fluro fittings that dont need a starter and strike instantly. if your fitting has two"transformers" it has one for each tube,so if its really old and has two large "transformers"in it one of them is probably had it causing one side not to work. if you have a spare transformer that still works in the other fitting you should be able to take the working one out and replace it for the faulty one ,. sounds like a lot of hassle you should treat yourself to a new fitting that will last for years and be done with it.

  30. QUESTION:
    Touched broken fluorescent light bulb (containing mercury)?
    Ok, so my little sister touched the fluorescent bulb in my room and I think it cracked after she touched it. It was flickering before though so she turned it off before trying to fix it. Her finger has a white spot on it now and there seems to be no traces of glass or powder in the area. What should be done? It contains mercury.
    please answer quick!

    • ANSWER:
      Just throw the old bulb out.
      Wash your hands and hers.
      And go about your life in a normal fashion.
      Relax.
      Just about everyone on planet earth, has been near a fluorescent bulb,when it broke.
      Myself included.
      Guess what?
      Still here, decades later,no harm done.
      Besides, we all breath in a heavy dose of Methyl Mercury everyday,
      from coal burning electric plants, world wide.

  31. QUESTION:
    When it rains fluorescent lights don't work?
    I know it sounds crazy but whenever it rains or there is humidity in the air my lights won't come on. I have one over the kitchen sink and the other is a 4 bulb fluorescent in the ceiling. Any advise would be appreciated. I have been told it's the ballasts but I don't want to buy them if it doesn't fix the problem.
    Many thanks
    Jeanne

    • ANSWER:
      If your house has a lot of humitidy, the connections at the bulb socket might have oxidized is the only thing I would think would cause this. Do you have any other electrical problems when it rains? You might also have water damage in your meter or panel box. If this persists call an electrical contractor in your area to have it checked out. go here to find someone in your area or check the phone book http://hiampelectric.com/electrical_contractor.aspx

  32. QUESTION:
    Every time I turn on the light my room gets brighter, how do I fix this?
    I have a fluorescent light bulb in my room would it help if I used a different type of bulb?

    • ANSWER:

  33. QUESTION:
    Why does my fluorescent light stop working after an hour or so?
    I bought two 4 foot shop light, lights of america model 8055 SS, and four T12 florecent lights to go with it. The lights worked for a few weeks, but then we couldn't get the lights to turn on. I thought that maybe it was the bulbs so i bought new ones. The lights would turn on, but then they would quit after a time. Now they don't even turn on when we pull the chain. I emailed the company customer service, but surprise, they have yet to respond. The lights were kept on for roughly 12 hours, at a temperature of about 65-70. Money is tight right now so i reeaaallly dont want to go out and buy a new system. If there is any way to fix it myself, i would love to know. Thanks so much for the help!

    • ANSWER:
      First make sure its turned off. Better yet turn the circuit breaker or pull the fuse for that circuit.
      Then carefully look at the plastic ends where the prongs for the lights slip into. Make sure they are seated in the fixture tight. Check to make sure they are not cracked. Also check the brass parts in the ends to see if they are making good contact.
      Not sure if this model uses a starter or just the ballast. A starter usually looks like a silver enclosed tube with two little prongs on it. Make sure this is seated in its place tightly too. Usually a little twist will release it.
      Finally check to make sure all the wires are all connected tight at any wire nuts and at the ends where the bulbs insertand where the house wiring connects.
      Finally make sure you are using the correct light for the fixture. If it came with bulbs always match the type of bulb with the replacement. There should also be a sticker on it someplace telling you what type to use and max wattage. If by any chance the ballast (big black box inside the fixture) went bad for some reason. Its just as cheap to buy a whole new light as to buy a new ballast. But if this is a brand new light it shouldn't be a bad ballast. If you still have the receipt take it back to where you bought it and get a replacement.

  34. QUESTION:
    My fluorescent light fixture flickers. Whats wrong?
    My fluorescent double-bulb fixture flickers. I have bought new bulbs, and the problem persists. Is this something I can fix myself (I am handy enough to be dangerous)? Its easy to access and the wiring is new, panel fuse is fine and nothing else in the circuit flickers.
    It is in a heated basement. Not sure what T8 or 12s are.
    The bulb is GE "watt-miser" F40CW-RS-WM Cool White E 34 Watt - and it's 4' long. Embarrassed to admit the kid at HomeDepot showed me what matched the one I brought in. Most help I've ever had in that store ;)

    Not sure about starters or age either.

    • ANSWER:
      If you changes the tubes and they still flicker then the ballast is the next thing to replace. You should be able to open the fixture pretty easily (usually the panel above the tubes is removable). Turn off the circuit at the fuse or breaker panel then take a good look at the way the ballast is wired, or better yet, take a digital photo or two of the wiring so you can duplicate it later. The ballast is usually mounted with just 1 or 2 screws. Remove it and take it with you to a hardware or electrical store so you can get a direct replacement. Refer to your photo or sketch to install the new unit, it's really quite a simple process. Good luck.

  35. QUESTION:
    fluorescent lights on a powerhouse x10 blink at night?
    when I turn my fluorescent lights out at night, I notice the ones that are connected to a powerhouse x10 module blink about once per second. will a different module fix this? Will this wear out the bulb prematurely?

    • ANSWER:
      X10 lamp modules should not be used with fluorescent lights. You need an appliance module. Highly recommend the Smarthome website for X10 products. Dimmable fluorescent lights are now available and Smarthome offers compatible X10 modules.

      Links provided below~

  36. QUESTION:
    how to remove & fix a fluorescent tube?
    i have problem with fixing a new fluorescent lamp,i have change the starter & the fluorescent lamp...i tried switching on the lights but no light at all...am i fixing the lamp wrongly?i have no problem with the starter,just the fluorescent lamp...
    sry about that...just want to know if i fix the lamp wrongly,will it cause it not to light up.

    • ANSWER:
      i'm a little confused w/your question but, first of all if it's new why not just take it back and swap it out for on that works. if you want to keep going, is this a plug end or are you doing the wiring at the source...if so make sure you are following the colors right, black/white/green all have match right w/today's electronic ballasts or they won't work right. next make sure you are getting the pins in right in the sockets, they can be tricky and lastly, if you've don all that put you hand on the ballast when it's plugged in, it should feel slightly warm or semi hot, if itdoesn'tt then the ballast is no good.

  37. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent ballast question?
    I have a two bulb T12 fluorescent light fixture and for some reason only one bulb lights up. I changed bulbs to rule out a burnt bulb but it did not fix the problem. Only one side lights up while the other does not. When I turn it on it does not make any noise that I can hear and turns on without a problem. It' just one side does not turn on. Does that mean I have to replace the ballast? Or could it be just be a wiring issue?

    • ANSWER:
      Replace the Starter when: The fluorescent lamp lights only at the ends.
      Replace the Fluorescent Lamp when: the lamp blinks continuously.
      Replace the Ballast when: The light is completely out and you are sure the lamp is good.
      I would say it is the ballast. Be sure to take your old one into the store with you for a match up. You would be surprised how many different ones there are. All look the same but are very different.

  38. QUESTION:
    Is it possible to change the color temperature of a linear fluorescent lamp by dimming it ?
    I have three lamps, let me say t5 fluorescent, that have different color temperatures and I would like to get a desired color temperature by dimming them at different rates?

    I know that fluorescent lamps have fixed color temperatures but is it possible?
    If not how can i set up such a lighting circuit rather than using incandescent lamps? Cold cathode maybe? or LED ?

    • ANSWER:
      what about using coloured cellophane it will resist the heat of a flourescent and there are many different
      colours to chose from as well as how much is used along the length,its difficult to dim flourescent lights but not imposible with special circuits-as much as i know?

  39. QUESTION:
    Whats the best electrical circuit design to power a light bulb with both a battery and wall source?
    I'm making a portable apparatus with a fluorescent light bulb (probably 75W) fixed to it, and I want the option of being able to plug it in to your normal AC wall source but also have the ability to run on batteries in the absence of a wall source. Also possibly when it is plugged into a wall and has batteries in it, I want it to draw power from the wall instead of the batteries. So pretty much I want the wall source to be the main source of power if it is available.

    Also I want to have the option of a power switch too. I originally thought a switch with the bulb in series which is then in parallel to the two power sources, but I don't know. If anyone can give me exact details about stuff like wiring configurations or specific parts that would be awesome! thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      75 watts is very large for a fluorescent lamp. that is equivalent to about a 200 watt incandescent lamp.

      Pick a battery voltage, probably 12 volts, and the length of time you want the battery to light the bulb before running out of power. that will determine the size of the battery. 75 watts at 12 volts is 6.25 amps. If you want the lamp to work for 10 hours, that is 62.5 amp-hours battery capacity, a good size auto battery, quite heavy.

      You can get 12 volt fluorescent lamps, they are made for campers.

      Now you need a small battery charger that you will plug into the 120 (240 in europe) outlet. Make sure it has at least 10 amp DC capacity. that will be enough to charge the battery and light the lamp.

      I don't understand your question about the switch. You put it in series with the bulb, like any switch.

      .

  40. QUESTION:
    I have Fluorescent lights in two rooms of my house. All but one fixture is not working properly.?
    When I lift the switch to turn them on, they usually only turn on dimly. If I turn them off and on about 7 times in a row they will come on normally -but not always. At other times I can slap the side of the fixture and then it will work properly.

    How can I fix it?

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like the ballasts or starters are bad. Make sure the bulbs are installed correctly, but I am thinking the ballasts or starters are bad,

  41. QUESTION:
    i have one circuit going to my shed. when i turn the fluorescent lights on the radio gets static. ?
    i think it's caused by the harmonics but how could i fix it?

    • ANSWER:
      check your ground wire, but it is most probably due to the electrical noise given off by the fluorescent light, have you tried moving the radio about your shed? is it just when you turn it on, or is it constant static from the minute you switch it on till the minute you switch it off?

      most likely cause is the placement of the radio in relation to the live wires in your shed, as these give off a electromagnetic field (E.M.F.) , try moving the radio across to the other side of the shed, and see if it improves

      hope this helps

      will

  42. QUESTION:
    Fixing a 28W 2D Main Luminair Lighting ( ceiling )?
    At my place I got a light on a ceiling that went dark!
    That Luminair lighting doesnt require a Starter ( not the usual ones you can just screw-in ).

    I put a new fluorescent light bulb in and checked the electricity! All seem to work fine!

    But the light is still not working!

    Do I have to adjust something underneath the shade ( under the cover of the bulb )?
    This light has the usual positive, negative and neutral pole on it and beside those cable fittings is a big box, which might contain some form of starter.
    But its hard to get into that little box!

    Well the light bulb blew one day and now it wont turn on again ( with a new bulb )!

    I hate those lights without those obvious starters to change!

    • ANSWER:
      Replace the Ballast

  43. QUESTION:
    can lighting and camera settings affect skintone?
    i forgot to ask how to fix this problem, if the lighting and camera settings are the one messing it around. (i take most of photos indoors under fluorescent light..?)
    i'm trying to photograph people and sometimes they turn out redder or darker than they actually are.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes they can.
      Different type of lights have different colour temperatures.
      Some will be cool some warm etc. for instance normal tungsten bulbs will give an orange cast.
      Fluorescent will give a green cast when using daylight film.
      If you are shooting digital then that can be corrected by using the correct white balance settings.

      here are a couple of sites which explain it
      http://www.mediacollege.com/lighting/colour/colour-temperature.html
      http://www.aeimages.com/learn/color-correction.html

  44. QUESTION:
    I need help with a light fixture from someone with electrical expertise/genius!!?
    I have a light fixture that is less than 6 months old (closet/kitchen/hallway) that takes a 9-inch round fluorescent bulb and it quit working. I bought a new bulb and it still doesn't work. If you plug the bulb into the fixture, there is a slight glow where the plug is and if you touch the bulb the glow will grow further. This is a new fixture and I have tried 3 new bulbs (which are supposed to last for 5 years the box claims). Does anyone know what could be wrong with this fixture or if there is a way to fix it? I would rather not have to go out and buy yet another new fixture if I don't have to. Is this a possible ballast problem or something else and could it be fixable?

    • ANSWER:
      It could be any one of these things OP have mentioned.
      If this light is only 6 months old call, write or email the mfg. If you're like me you probably don't have the receipt. Just explain the problem and I'll bet you have a new fixture sent to you within a week or so. I've done this before and it works. It beats spending your own money.

  45. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Lighting In Kitchen?
    A couple of years ago, I purchased my first place. But now that means I have to do my own maintenance. No more calling the maintenance man from the apartment complex to fix things. The home improvement stores love to see us single women come there, because they "know" most of us don't know what we are doing. Dang it to the 10th power!!!

    The fluorescent lights have gone out or more or less flickering and not providing enough light in my kitchen and I'm trying to figure out how to replace them. There are two bulbs in the ceiling. I pulled on them slightly and they wouldn't budge. I'm afraid to tug harder for fear of messing up the ceiling outlet. Am I supposed to be twisting them out of there or doing something else?

    Dang. I hate to have to call someone and pay for something like this. Can someone help me?
    I need to replace the bulbs, but I can't seem to pull the old ones out.
    The bulbs are straight.
    The bulbs have a black rim around them on one end. I guess they are spent.

    • ANSWER:
      There are a couple of types of fluorescent lamps. One has two pins and the other is spring loaded single pin. For the 2 pin style one should twist the lamp 90 degrees and the lamp should pull free. Be careful not to exert too much pull as the lamps will fracture and douse you with glass. Don't stand directly under lamp to avoid and glass or residue. TURN FIXTURE OFF before doing anything. The spring loaded lamps can be removed by pushing one way or the other about half an inch and pulling down. Wearing gloves would be a good idea. Careful examination of lamp holders will tell you which type lamp you have. The double pin holder will have a small gap on the bottom of the holder to allow bulb change. The spring loader single pin holder will be solid on the bottom. If you break a lamp don't panic or jump down quickly. Wait a couple of seconds and avoid crushing glass into your floor or cutting yourself. I used to place a trash can near the bottom of the ladder so I could dispose of the lamp with a minimun of handling. The powder inside the lamp can be harmful if ingested. Not likely to happen.

  46. QUESTION:
    I need a foundation that looks decent in fluorescent lighting?
    my school has fluorescent lighting, and you can see foundation gathered up in the pores and everything.. ive tried wearing almost none, mixing it with a little moisturizer to thin it out, and nothing worked to fix it..
    as of now, i use maybelline mineral power in "light ivory"
    i have really white skin, and it was the lightest color i could find.

    i just want a foundation that works well on people with REALLY white skin and freckles, and is a reasonable price.. preferably, from walmart, target, or walgreens.

    • ANSWER:
      Revlon PhotoReady foundation. Revlon's PhotoReady collection is meant to make your skin look good under ANY lighting, and the color of the foundation is made so that it erases the look of all flaws.
      You can get it at any drugstore for -. They come in powder or original (they just call it makeup so I don't know what it's called. I think it's a liquid).
      The lightest colors they come in are Ivory and Vanilla. Get Ivory if you have cool undertones, and Vanilla if you have warm undertones. I've had Revlon's ColorStay powder foundation before, and the colors are lighter than they look. So just in case, you may want to get Shell (just one shade darker than Ivory).
      Here's the link:
      http://www.revlon.com/Revlon-Home/Products/Face/Foundation/NEW-Revlon-PhotoReady-Makeup.aspx
      Hope I helped! Ciao!

      ♥, MiMi
      XOXO

  47. QUESTION:
    How do you stop the annoying buzz from a fluorescent fixture?
    I have some under-the-cupboard fluorescent fixtures in my kitchen. One fixture is buzzing and it's very annoying. I switched the bulb and it seems to be worse. Should I replace the ballast (is it that little metal cylinder you can unscrew) or what's the fix to this? I can't afford to buy updated lighting, so that's not an answer. Thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      use an electronic ballast and bulbs to match the ballast. what kind of fluorescent is it? how long are the bulbs? try amazon for the ballast and bulbs. the home centers usually only have them in standard sizes.

  48. QUESTION:
    Help with aquarium lighting?
    I have an 18"x10"x10" Clear-Seal aquarium, and am planning on ordering a 18"x10" Crown hood from Clear-Seal. It says on their website I can fix a fluorescent light tube on it.

    Now my question is what kind of light should I look for? The size, etc. I don't have the hood so I can't see what would fit where and I have no knowledge of this stuff.

    I don't really even know what to ask! So any help would be nice, however please don't tell me to ask the employees at the pet shop as I'm sure I know more than them!
    It's freshwater, I don't really want it producing much heat

    • ANSWER:
      If it's just freshwater and not planted at all you can use regular florescent bulbs. LEDs are also becoming popular. I just switched to LEDs on my planted tank and LOVE them. I have pictures posted on the forum below under the planted section.

  49. QUESTION:
    How to fix this CENTURY flourescent LIGHTING System CG28? picture!?
    I have a little problem fixing this Lighting system on several locations!
    http://twitpic.com/4qybxj
    Its a CENTURY LIGHTING fluorescent light system with the model number CG28.
    Since the bulb burnt out I seem to cant get it back up again!

    The little fuse is still OK like you see on the pic the pilot light is on!
    The bulb has been exchanged and works!
    This light has no starter I could exchange, at least not the usual kind!
    Electricity is on!

    Still the light is not on!

    What can I do to fix this?
    This UK based light is quite a problem because I have several lights with the same problem!

    • ANSWER:
      You have a 2D emergency light fitting with combined starter/ballast/emergency change-over unit.
      As the charging led is on, in your link, then you would have both main and emergency supplies, even if all in one.

      If you have changed the 2D lamp with a known good lamp, then your emergency unit is defective, probably ran down the batteries, therefore won't light on main or battery power.

      To replace this emergency unit would probably cost as much as a new fitting complete. I know from experience that these fittings are anything but cheap, probably about £200+, but the emergency unit may cost you £100+.
      CG28 would indicate to me that it is a 28 watt lamp.

      If you really require an emergency light go for led, self dimming with pir detector about £230.
      Try ASD lighting Rotherham who use Phillips technology, not chinese.
      I've actually fitted one and it's great, but can't off hand remember the model No.

  50. QUESTION:
    Fluroscent tube light bulbs will not work, new ones too?
    At my house in our laundry room, we have these long tube lights, 2 of them, that will not turn on at all, but sometimes they will barely give off a faint light, so we have been using a flash light to see to do the laundry. My dad hasn't gotten around to fixing it yet, and I was going to try and work on it because it's annoying not being able to see. I think it has to do with the fixture because we put new bulbs in their awhile back, not too long ago, and as soon as we put them in, they would not light when the switch was flipped. I forgot what my dad thought the issue was, but any ideas on how to repair this? Also, in my bed room, I am having the same sort of problem, but I have had the long light bulbs in there for over a few months, but when they are on, they shine great, but, I have to sometimes keep flipping my light switch on and off several times in order for them to get the juice to turn on. But, I think the lights in my bed room might be just burning out, but once I finally get them on, they work great, so I don't know? Again, the problem with the laundry room fluorescent tube lights has to do with the unit that they hook onto.

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like your ballast has gone bad.. Home depot or Lowe's or any electrical store sells them. You'll need to know what size of ballast you have to match it up. You're looking at to .


fixing fluorescent light

Replacing A Fluorescent Light Fixture

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    How easy is it to replace a fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen?
    I have a flourescsent light fixture in the kitchen which I do not like. The fixture uses two U-shaped flourescent tubes and is a pain in the neck (literally) to change the tubes. I'm thinking of changing the fixture into a ceiling light that uses compact flourescent bulbs instead. Because the fixture uses the U-shaped tubes, would replacing the fixture be any more difficult than if I was to replace a light fixture that didn't use a fluorescent light fixture? Is there anything special I'd have to do? thx

    • ANSWER:
      The only thing u have to do is turn off the breaker, and install the fixture of your choice. you don't need to hire an electrician or anyone else. Kill the power...Verify that its off. disconnect wiring. black to black, white to white, green or bare wire to the fixture body..make darn sure your connections are tight, secure fixture to box or ceiling....sit back and enjoy

  2. QUESTION:
    Is it possible to change a 4' standard fluorescent light fixture ballast and replace with a 3' bulb?
    Is it possible to use the same ballast from a 4 feet light fixture and use it with a 3 feet florescent light bulb?

    • ANSWER:
      The fluorescent ballasts are designed to operate specifically desingned fluorescent bulbs. It takes a higher voltage to start a 4 foot fluorescent bulb than a 3 foot fluorescent bulb.

      You will definitely greatly shorten the life of the 3 foot fluorescent bulb if you connect it to a fluroescent ballast desingned for a 4 foot fluorescent bulb if it does not burn out almost immediately.

  3. QUESTION:
    When installing a fluorescent light fixture, where to I run the wires from the ceiling to the light?
    I'm replacing a fluorescent light fixture. My old fixture has a big square hole in the middle. The black and white wires from the ceiling run through the hole and connect to the black and white wires in the fixture.

    However, this new fixture doesn't have a big hole in the middle. There are some really small holes though. Where exactly do I run the wires through?
    i'm using a lithonia brand two bulb light fixture

    • ANSWER:
      There should be at least one 1/2 inch knockout for this purpose, be sure however to protect the wires by using a 1/2 inch plastic bushing or romex connector that pops right into the hole. Make sure you connect the proper wires to the fixture wires & ground to the green screen screw on the fixture.

  4. QUESTION:
    Can I replace a fluorescent light fixture with ballast with a florescent light fixture without a ballast?
    My kitchen light fixture cover fell off, the clips that held the cover in place all cracked off. the light and ballast, florescent tubes (2 of them) all work, they are just ugly and I want to replace them. Since there is a ballast, I am unsure if I can replace them with a light fixture that doesn't have a ballast.

    • ANSWER:
      If you replace to ENTIRE fixture, it doesn't matter what the old fixture used. The NEW fixture should have everything needed to connect directly to your home wiring.

  5. QUESTION:
    How to fault detect a bad fluorescent light fixture?
    A few of my under counter fluorescent fixtures in the kitchen don't work. they are all less than 3 years old. I replace the light bulb, but it still doesn't light. How do you test what part of the fixture has failed- ie the ballast, a connection, etc

    • ANSWER:
      It is actually quite uncommon to find flourescent fixtures that use starters anymore unless they are very old. If the fixture is that old it would most likely be cost effective to simple replace the fixture. Starters are not expensive, but may be difficult to find and there are more energy efficient fixtures on the market today that also offer more pleasing light colors.

      If your fixture is newer and doesnt have a starter or even if it does have a starter there will be a ballast and this is the most likely reason for failure or the light to come on. A ballast is simply a transformer that boosts your household voltage to a voltage that is needed to cause the gas inside the tube to "burn". Standard mechanical ballasts will eventually wear out. This is often evidenced by visually inspecting the ballast where you will often times find a black tarry substance leaking from the case of the ballast. The ballast, by the way, will be located inside the cover of the fixture, it is not exposed. Newer flourescent fixtures will have an electronic ballast that often will look like a small printed circuit board like that as you may find in a radio.

      If you feel comfortable replacing the ballast it is a fairly simple procedure. First be absolutely sure that you have turned the circuit off before attempting to replace a ballast. Simply turning the light switch off is not good enough. You can check to see that the circuit is off by testing with a circuit tester that does not require live contact. These are available at hardware stores. The tester will "chirp" if voltage is present. Also once you think the circuit is off, check with a "wiggy" tester, also available from a hardware store. This tester requires live contact with the wiring. Always check your testers on a known live outlet before proceeding to the circuit in question to ensure that the tester works properly. Once you are sure the circuit is turned off you can proceed with replacing the ballast. It is a simple process of disconnecting the wires from the faulty ballast and removing it then install the new ballast matching the colors of the wires. To make sure that you purchase the correct ballast you can either look at the label of the old ballast or tell the clerk at the store about your fixture. Is it an 8 foot, 2 tube fixture or a 4 foot 4 tube, 18 inch single tube fixture, just let the clerk know. Again consider that if the fixture is old just replacing the entire fixture.

      Warning: You have been told to be sure the circuit is off before working on the fixture. Household current can be DEADLY if you come into contact with it. If you do not understand how to use a circuit tester or are at all uncomfortable with working with electricity call an electrician. This type of repair is quite inexpensive and you will be certain that the job is done right and safely. I will assume NO responsibility if you decide to perform this repair yourself. Often times it is much less costly to hire a professional than to put yourself at risk.

  6. QUESTION:
    Is there anyway to cheaply replace fluorescent light fixtures?
    I am renting an apartment, and they have the "school room" fluorescent lights in all the rooms. They're hideous and bland. Is there anyway to replace the covers for them, with something modern... or a cheap way to replace them all together?. I looked online, and the fixtures are ridiculously expensive.
    Any ideas???

    • ANSWER:
      First off, you probably should have permission from the landlord before you make changes to the apartment. Not too many landlords want tenants messing around with electrical issues.

      Second off, if you get permission, you should hire a licensed electrician to do this. Too much liability for you if you DIY and burn the place down (think of the other tenants).

      As far as 'cheap' goes, you are probably going to be out of luck. Some florescent fixtures can take a variety of diffusers. But, I doubt that they are going to be cheap.

      Sorry if it isn't the answer that you wanted. But, I do believe that it is the truth.

  7. QUESTION:
    Can I replace a fluorescent tube light fixture (like the ones in an office) with a normal incandescent one?
    My house was built in the 80s and the washrooms, kitchen and basement all use the fluorescent tubes. I want to slowly start changing them all.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes. You would just have to change out the fixture to something you like. I personally prefer fluorescents, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  8. QUESTION:
    will a regular fluorescent light fixture work with a blacklight lightbulb?
    i have a normal average fluorescent light fixture like one you would find in a store or a school. my question is would i be able to just take a black light lightbulb and replace the normal white one? or is there a difference in the two light tubes?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes.

  9. QUESTION:
    Installing a fluorescent light fixture to replace an incandescent bulb...?
    Do I need to turn the power off at the circuit box, or can I just turn the light switch off. Problem is... I have to get a key off of someone to get to the circuit box. This is paid work, but there are always logistic issues. At this point the fixture is in place, the buildings wires need to be connected to the fluorescent fixture (they are still connected to the incandescent bulb). Thank you for your answers.
    I get what guys are saying. I think a meter is definitely going to be what I need. Thanks for your careful responses. I appreciate it.

    • ANSWER:
      The safest and most correct response is to turn off the circuit breaker. That being said, you can do it by turning off the switch, but it isn't recommended. If you have a meter you can turn off the switch and check the wires for power if there are more in the box than JUST those from the switch. I would do it myself, but I NEVER advise others to do it. I do not know your knowledge base, so I don't want to get you killed. Now if you are good at reading between the lines, you will know what to do. {wink}
      Al

  10. QUESTION:
    How do I replace a fluorescent light with 3 recessed lights?
    I have a fluorescent light in my kitchen that I need to get rid of. I've read up about adding recessed lights and they all say "run the power source to the light." Okay, but I'd like to get rid of the fluorescent, and swap it with 3 new recessed lights. I've also read when you replace lights to make sure you don't go over the current wattage. As it is now, there are two 40W fluorescent bulbs. I'd like to replace them with 3 60W energy saving bulbs, so it would actually be 14W each (42W total).

    So finally my question is: can I simply kill power to the room, disconnect the electrical line from the fluorescent, remove the fluorescent fixture, put three recessed lights in the same vicinity, split the electrical cable into 3 parts (3 red & 3 white), and connect that to my 3 new lights? Is that doable or is there something I'm not understanding.

    Thank you for the help.

    • ANSWER:
      You got it. Usually the wire will be black and white rather than red, but you are understanding it ok. Your wattage is fine. With the wire that is there you can even go bigger on the bulbs with no problem. 14 ga wire will handle 1400 watts total and that is the smallest wire used in home wiring. So even 3 100 watt bulbs would be fine. You are correct in your wiring. Make sure your connections are tight. Tug each wire to make sure it will not slip out of the wire nut.

  11. QUESTION:
    Which uses less energy? A LED track lighting fixture or a fluorescent lighting fixture?
    In replacing my lighting fixture, I'm trying to figure out which might be more energy efficient. Would it be, an LED track lighting fixture with four 50W bulbs, or a square fluorescent lighting fixture with two 40W tubes?

    • ANSWER:
      There isn't much difference there. I would be more concerned about the light the fixture puts out and how it affects my eyes. Watts divided by voltage (ballast not line) = amps. Amps make the meter spin.
      At 120 V you are looking at .3 to .4 amp difference between the two.

  12. QUESTION:
    Can the wiring/volts for a 2 tube fluorescent light fixture (being replaced) handle 2 hanging pendant lights?
    Hi. I am planning to take a fluorescent light down that is over my kitchen sink (it has 2 tubes in it) and wire in two pendant lights (that are separate). Each pendant light is 100 watts and they are on separate fixtures. Will the original wiring be able to handle the 200 watts? Do I need to add wire? Can I do this myself?
    Erin,
    You said I need more wiring and another box, does this mean that I only need the one wire though that goes to the fluorescent now. My brother may be doing this and his wife thought the 2 100 watt fixtures would overload the wire and blow a fuse, i.e. so it won't work.
    So one wire (that went to the fluorescent) - hang pendant light 100 watts - add a wire to this wire that will reach to the next pendant light 100 watt spot?

    • ANSWER:
      yes but you will need more wire for the second light

  13. QUESTION:
    is it easy to change t8 fluorescent light fixture?
    i have a t12 fluorescent light fixture, instead of changing the ballast to t8, someone on here sugguests that it is cheaper to replace the whole thing.

    i wonder if it is easy to change it all by myself or i need to hire someone to do it for me?

    thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      It depends on the fixture, if you not sure what you are doing, call a qualified professional electrician to do the work. Much safer and easier on you. If you were able to DIY, you would not be asking here.

  14. QUESTION:
    why is my fluorescent light fixture not working?
    I have two fluorescent light fixtures in my kitchen. They are approximately 2 years old. I have never had any previous issues with them but suddenly, one of them stopped working with no prior problems. I tried replacing the ballast with a new one, but it is still not working. The original ballast was 120V 60 Hz, 1.57 amps. The replacement ballast is 120V 60Hz, not sure what the amps are on the new ballast, does it make a difference? It should be getting power because when I disconnect the power source to the fixture, none of the other lights on that switch work but when I have the fixture connected the other lights work, just not this particular one. I do not want to replace the fixture since I have two matching and would have to replace both if I replaced one. I know that the bulbs are working because I have tested them on the other fixture. What else could the problem be?

    The fixture is one of these

    http://www.lightinguniverse.com/products/view.aspx?family=200851
    OK so I changed the ballast from the working fixture and it works! Put the new ballast that I just bought in the fixture that was previously working and it does not work. So either the ballast I bought was no good or the amps matter. I am ordering a new ballast with exactly 1.57 amps. Thanks everyone!

    • ANSWER:
      Greetings,
      I've been there.

      What you might try is changing the ballast with a known good one from your other fixture. Yes it is a little more work but you will be happy with the results.

      I spent 40 years in the military...mostly in electronics. I always had better results when I knew I was working with good parts.

      S1lent

  15. QUESTION:
    Need step by step process on replacing a ballast in a fluorescent ,4 foot,4 light fixture.?

    • ANSWER:
      clip the wires running from the ballast to the end pieces near the ballast, un-do the power wires (usually one black, one white). remove ballast holder (usually screws). Install new matching ballast (if the mounting holes don't line up, drill new ones). Using wire nuts connect the power wires to the power source. Cut off excess wire from fixture and wire nut the end wires to the ballast. (doesn't matter which wire where)

  16. QUESTION:
    my kitchen fluorescent light fixture had rigid ends. There are no bolts or screws to loosen whe flanges that h
    how do I replace a plastic shield in a 4' fluorescent fixture that has rigid, unmovable flanges which the sleeve rests in?

    • ANSWER:
      Grip the plastic lens from the side and lift it and pull towards you. The plastic will flex slightly and lift off the lip of the light housing. Replace the same way.

  17. QUESTION:
    Can I replace a 75 watt rated light fixture with 3 separate - 23 watt compact fluorescent lights safely?
    I want to know if i need to replace / update the wiring.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, you should be able to do this switch safely as long as you shut off the power source to the light either by the wall switch or from the circuit breaker. You asked about replacing/updating the wiring. Is there a reason for you to suspect that it needs replacing? The existing wires should be just fine unless there is visible damage or the insulation is hard and brittle from the heat of the light fixture. Anyways, the short answer is yes, you can make this change safely.
      Good luck!!
      Steve

  18. QUESTION:
    What's wrong with my fluorescent light?
    In one of my bathrooms I have a fluorescent light fixture that has 2 4 foot bulbs. When you flip the switch, sometimes it turns on, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I have to sit there and 'wiggle' the switch for a while to get it to turn on. Sometimes it helps if I turn on the fan then wiggle the switch. I have tried replacing the bulbs and that is not the problem. Do I need to replace the balasts, replace the whole fixture, or is the problem likely something else? Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Since you said that wiggling the switch helps, that tells me the problem is either the switch or the wireing to the fixture. Shut off the power to that circuit, and then check it with a multi-meter. The connections can be visually checked if you don't have a meter, look for loose, or burned looking connections. If loose, tighten. If burned looking you have a short somewhere and need to have it fixed or it could cause a fire.

  19. QUESTION:
    How do you remove wires from fluorescent light sockets?
    I need to replace a ballast in a fluorescent light fixture but can't remove the wires from the sockets. I can push the wires in but not out. Is there some way to remove them or are these going to have to be replaced? Is it normal to have to replace the sockets when you replace the ballast?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      They DO come out of the sockets and that IS the right way to fix them. With the power off take a pliers and grip the wire close to the socket. Pull and twist until the wire comes out. it's not soldered or anything so feel free to pull hard, just hang on to the socket so you don't break it.

      Simply push in the new wire and you're done.

  20. QUESTION:
    Do all 4 feet, two bulb, fluorescent light fixtures give off the same brightness?
    I would like to replace a flourescent light fixture in my bedroom. Do all two bulb, 4 feet fixtures give off the same light? I've seen some cheaper ones called utility lights. Will they work?

    • ANSWER:
      Anything will work in there as long as the ballast can supply the correct voltage. It's pretty standardized. The rule of thumb is that if the tube will fit, it will light. Between coatings, operating pressures, gasses, electrodes, and voltages from ballast, there is a lot of variation in light brightness and quality. Just find what you like.

  21. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light fixture: should it be able to hum if I've turned off the circuit (breaker)?
    I think I need to replace a ballast and wanted to check it out last night. But my wife and mother-in-law were in the kitchen so I kinda rushed things. I turned the light on (the lights don't come on but the fixture hums) thinking when I cut the right circuit the noise would stop. It never did. Is it more likely I missed the circuit, or could the humming have continued in spite of the fact I cut power to it?
    Note: I did replace the bulbs, unfortunately the new ones don't work either.

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like either something is miss-wired, you have bad bulbs, or your light fixture is bad.

      Replace the bulbs. If it still hums, I'd start checking all the wiring to make sure it is correct. It shouldn't hum if there is no power going to it. I'd say you have power going to it when it hums.

      Turn the main power off and see if it still hums. I wouldn't work on it if you hear it humming. You run the chance of getting electrocuted. I'd turn the main house power off. You may have power coming in from somewhere else or you may have picked the wrong circuit breaker. You might need to get an electric tester to figure out where your wires run to.

  22. QUESTION:
    How to change a ballast on a fluorescent lighting fixture?
    I'm applying for a new job as a maintenance technician at a local college and need to know how to repair and replace ballasts attached to fluorescent lighting fixtures. Generally what are the steps taken to do so and what kind of tools would you use?

    • ANSWER:
      Pie mash found a great one for you.

      It really is very simple. You just need to make sure the new ballast is the right voltage 120 or 277. But most are dual voltage now. You need to make sure that the ballast you are putting in will do the same light bulbs you have.

      If you can not shut the light fixture off, cut the hot wire first. That wire is gonna hurt if you are not careful but the other wires will hurt more.

      You can't mess it up if you just wire nut color to color.

  23. QUESTION:
    Problem fluorescent light fixture?
    A few years ago the bulb started to flicker and turn black at the ends. I replaced the bulb, but it didn't take the new bulb long to also turn black and flicker. I concluded that the ballast must be going bad. So I replaced it with an Advanced Transformer Co. rapid start ballast (RL-140 TP) and installed a new bulb (F40T12). As before, in a few weeks the bulb was shot. I spoke with a friend who does a lot of electrical work and he suggested that one of the lamp holders must have gone bad or wasn't making a clean connection and thus there wasn't a good electrical path. Today I replaced both lamp holders and the bulb. Now the bulb doesn't light at all, unless I turn it as to remove it and once it lights, I can then rotate it back to the normal position. However, if I turn it off and then back on, it won't light without the turning I just described unless it is still warm. There is no starter in this fixture. This is 1 of 2 identical (the other works fine). Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      you are using rapid start fluorescent lamp, this lamp needs 2 second pre-heating. you should change it to instant start fluorescent fixture and use instant start ballast.

      next time when the tube is flickering before the tube get blacken, change the tube right away, otherwise as the tube blackened the ballast will be overheated. the tube is much cheaper than the ballast. also replace the fixture as the cost of replacing the ballast is not too far from replacing the whole fixture.

  24. QUESTION:
    Question about fluorescent light fixtures. Do they unplug?
    Suppose you have to service a fluorescent light fixture in an office. However, you can't turn off the circut as that would shut down power to other areas of the office, which people don't want to happen. Could you do things such as replacing the ballast or a cracked socket. I would imagine that you couldn't do this. If I'm right, how could someone repair a fluorescent light fixture of the kind you find in offices and buildings. Is there a way to unplug it like you can with the ones you commonly find in people's basements?

    • ANSWER:
      you can only unplug it if it has been wired that way. If it is wired in a series with other lights, then there is no way and than killing power, to shut it off.

  25. QUESTION:
    Trying to replace a light fixture in the kitchen. Breaker is off, but felt an electric current. Whats wrong?
    After turning off the breaker, the light is completely off. But when I tried to touch the fluorescent panel, I felt an electric current. THe wiring looks correct...although the ground wire is just connecting to a screw in the drywall.

    And now after turning the whole house off and replacing the fluorescent fixture, the fixture died in less than a day. I suspect the electrical current issue is what killed the new fixture. And after getting zapped, I dont want to try it again until I figure out whats wrong.

    • ANSWER:
      I would get a pro on this as it sounds too complicated for us to help you trouble shoot. Be careful with it if you decide to mess with it yourself

  26. QUESTION:
    Installed Lithonia Lighting Wrap Lite fluorescent fixture and T8 bulbs are only partially lighting up, why?
    I had a cheap fluorescent light fixture in my closet. The (2) 4 ft bulbs were always very dull and appeared to only light up about half way, even when brand new. I replaced the light fixture with a new Lithonia Wrap Lite 4' fixture using T8 bulbs thinking the ballast was defective on the old fixture. Even with the new fixture I have the same problem. New bulbs in new light fixture were nice and bright for about 10 seconds and then started flickering and now they are dull, just like the old fixture. Any ideas on what's going on here?

    • ANSWER:
      Make sure the fixture is grounded. Some ballasts need to be grounded to operate properly. If that doesn't work you need a volt meter to insure you have 120v to the fixture.

  27. QUESTION:
    can I replace fluorescent lighting with track ilghting?
    I have a boring old wide fluorescent light in my kitchen which looks dated and I'd like to replace it with some track lighting. Is it jus a matter of replacing the fixture itself or, will it require some rewiring?

    • ANSWER:
      If the lighting now is on a switch or switch's, your all set to go. You can replace the fixtures and more than likely repaint the ceiling since I ll guess the fluorescent fixtures are a different size and have been up awhile. GL

  28. QUESTION:
    fluorescent light fixture works with older bulb but not new?
    Wannabe handyman needs your help. Have a single bulb 120V 60Hz 4' light fixture and the 40w bulb died. Replaced with a bulb I had in storage and relighted with no problem. Bought new bulbs to restock (same wattage) and wanted to test each one. Noticed they do not go on at the flick of the light switch. Will light only when I rotate the bulbs in their socket. Upon turning off the power and then on again they will again only light upon me rotating them in the socket. Tried the old bulb, which again lights in an instant. Besides a finicky fixture that appreciates only old bulbs any further insight appreciated : )

    • ANSWER:
      sounds like a broken lamp holder or they aren't seated properly. On some there is a little plastic pin that holds the contact pressure to the pins. If this breaks which is pretty common it might not make contact. Check the width of the pins in your new lamps compared to old. Since anything is possible you may have gotten an irregular set of bulbs.

      Check the numbers on the lamps and make sure they match also. usually F40T12 CW or SS or the like

  29. QUESTION:
    I replaced all the fluorescent light bulbs in an existing fixture but cannot stop them from flickering-- ???

    • ANSWER:
      You might need to replace the fixture's ballast.

  30. QUESTION:
    Need Electrical Help: Light switch keeps tripping breaker?
    I have several lights and receptacles on one circuit. One switch controls 2 tandem fluorescent light fixtures in one room and throws the breaker when it's turned on. None of the other switches or receptacles on this circuit causes a tripped fuse. These are not new.....they've been working fine for a long time, then one day one fixture went out and the other still worked. Then while the second was on (this was about a month later), it popped and tripped the fuse and continues to when switched on (trips immediately).

    I don't want to call in an electrician if I just need to replace the fixtures or balasts, but I don't want to try replacing them if it's a wiring/short problem (it's old wiring, so the insulation could have worn over the years causing contact, but I can't see any evidence......I won't try playing electrician anymore unless it's something simple). Any thoughts on what's causing this or how to correct or at least test for it? Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      More than likely the problem is in the fixture that went out first. It could also be a problem with the switch itself or possibly damage to the wires from the switch to the lights.

      With the breaker off, open the fixtures and inspect them for obvious damage/burns. If you don't see any damage, disconnect the feed (with the breaker OFF) and make the bare ends safe by putting the connectors back on the wires (the feed will come to one light and then a black & a white wire will connect to the second light). With the feed DISCONNECTED from the light and the switch OFF, turn the breaker ON making sure you stand clear of the breaker as it may pop instantly. If you have fuses take the same precaution (doesn't hurt to wear a glove - and DON'T look at the breaker as you turn it on!). Now with the breaker on turn the light switch on. Did the breaker trip? If not, then the problem is with one of the fixtures. Since the fixtures are old, I would replace both of them (a new 4' fixture isn't more then 20 bucks). At the same time you are replacing the fixtures, buy a NEW switch. Since you were tripping the breaker when you turned on the switch, you were causing a dead short at the switch. A dead short WILL damage the switch, it may still work, but replace it anyway.

      If it does trip, I would replace the switch first. Now perform the above test with the lights disconnected.

      If the breaker still trips after a new switch has been installed the problem is with the wiring. Have you screwed or nailed anything into the walls recently? You may have damaged the wire in doing so. In which case you need to rewire the light from the switch to the light. Rewire and buy a NEW switch again.

      Best answer?

      Cheers.

  31. QUESTION:
    Best LED light fixture for Aquarium?
    I am looking to buy a new light fixture for my tank (replacing my fluorescent one). My budget is 0-130. It must be 48 inches or 36 depending on the quality Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      there's an LED fixture by marineland. They have a single bright, double bright, and reef capable versions. Not sure of the prices, check on amazon.

  32. QUESTION:
    I need help diagnosing the problem with a fluorescent light fixture.?
    This fixture and two others installed within the last few years by the same installer have simply stopped working. The bulbs do not glow or flicker, there is no discernible hum or buzz. I have power to the switch, and have replaced the switch with no success. However, if I bridge the wires themselves with a tester, the light fixture immediately comes on, and will stay on until the switch is flipped off again.
    With the light I'm referring to, at the time this problem began, we had an older UPS fail on the same circuit. Those wall outlets all still test live. What do I check next, or is the proper tool for this problem the phone book?
    There are no starters - it is a quite new rapid-start fixture. There is no flickering, no humming, no glowing. The fixture lights immediately when the wires at the switch are bridged. This does not sound like any of the possible bad ballast scenarios I have ever read. If the ballast were faulty, would the light come on at all?

    • ANSWER:
      did you check the ballast?

  33. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light flickers while off. How do I fix it?
    I just replaced a regular candescent fixture in my garage with a double T8 4 foot long flurescent light fixture. One of the bulbs flickers constantly for hours while the switch is off. I actually replaced the switch.. same problem. Replaced the bulb... same problem. Both the light and switch are grounded. There is another new exact fluorescent fixture on the circuit which works fine. Thanks!!!
    Thanks so far for the great advice. It sounds like I've got a wire switched somewhere. So my new fluorescent fixtures each have a black, red, and green wire. Black gets hot, correct? If the black and red were switched, would it matter? Some fixtures I install only have 2 blacks (and the green). Thanks!!

    • ANSWER:
      Somewhere in the electrical system, there's a wire crossed, a neutral hooked to a hot side, or vise versa, that's causing a feedback situation for that one circuit. It wouldn't show up in an incandescent bulb socket, but it will with a florescent in it's place.

  34. QUESTION:
    Can a fluorescent lightbulb light up while unscrewing it?
    The light fixture in my bathroom has 3 fluorescent light bulbs. One of them was not on so I had to replace it. I turned off the switch and immediately started unscrewing the bulb. With every twist, the bulb would light up and turn off when it stopped. I imagine it has to do with static electricity but I didn't think it could be enough to fully light up the bulb.......either that or my house will burn down right?

    • ANSWER:
      its not dangerous, i do that all the time and entertain other people by lighting a fluorescent tube without using utility power, and called it magic

      basically i hold a just removed fluorescent tube (still hot) and ionize the mercury gas by passing high frequency through my body (treat the fluorescent tube as if it is a capacitor)

      here is a good article about it

      http://www.amazing1.com/download/MAGICMAN_Instructions.pdf

  35. QUESTION:
    Why do only 2 of 4 new 48" fluorescent bulbs light up in a kitchen fixture?
    I have two kitchen ceiling fixtures, each holding 4 48" bulbs. I've replaced all 8 with new bulbs. In one fixture only bulbs 1 and 4 will light (unless you unscrew bulb 4, then 2 and 3 will light dimly), and in the other, only bulbs 2 and 3 will light. The house is 7 years old.

    • ANSWER:
      Make sure the bulbs are properly in the sockets, and try putting the ones you know are good in the ones that aren't working to make sure you didn't get bad bulbs. Otherwise, the ballsats are probably shot.

  36. QUESTION:
    Too Much Light - Low Watt Incandescent vs Fluorescent vs No Bulb?
    I have several ceiling fan fixtures with multiple light sockets and they produce much more light than I need when all the sockets have a bulb. So far my solution has been not to put a bulb in every socket. Does a Fluorescent bulb put out as much light as it's incandescent counterpart or would a switch be worth considering to decrease the total light output? Another option I've considered is very low watt bulbs. I could put a 15 watt bulb in every socket and the same total watts as 1 60-watt bulb. Would that equal the same light output? I want to be as energy and earth conscious as possible. Also, I rent so adding dimmer switches or replacing ceiling fan/light fixtures is not an option.

    • ANSWER:
      4x15w=60w but for medium base you may not be able to find 15w bulb in the market. if that is the case use a dummy plug in the socket for safety purpose. flurescent bulb is expensive too bright and ugly.

  37. QUESTION:
    Is a 100 watt bulb brighter than 2x40w fluorescent lights?
    I need a lot of light in the bathroom and I want to replace 2 fluorescent cylinders with a 100w light fixture.

    • ANSWER:
      The number of lumens is the important measurement, not watts. Compare those.

      In my personal opinion, the color of the light is also a critical factor. For years, almost all bulbs were what is called cool white. That really isn't very good quality of white, it is a yellow tinged color. I find that to be very poor. It is the reason why you were taught to take something outside to see it's true color. The bulb distorted what you saw.

      More recently, we have had more access to bulbs with a much better, i.e. truer light. Look for the "color temperature" of the bulb. 5000 degrees is my favorite. It much more closely resembles sunlight than the cool white does. It makes colors much more true and makes it seem like there is more light, even if there are a few less lumens.

      I am using 5000 degree LED bulbs in my bathroom now and I love it. They run cool, last forever, take less power than even florescents, and start instantly, even in cold weather. They cost a lot more to buy and are harder to get, but I think they are more than worth it.

  38. QUESTION:
    Question about a kitchen ceiling light?
    I want to replace my 25 year old fluorescent light fixture in my kitchen.
    It measures 4 ft by 2 feet.
    I have not been able to find a replacement this size. I found several that are 4 ft, but the width is much smaller than 2 feet. Are 4 x 2 still made?
    I was hoping to get the original size so the drywall ceiling wouldn't need to be replaced.

    • ANSWER:
      I would try a home center and look at the 4 tube models. Electric supply houses have several models and may have an exact fit. Also try the internet and put in searches for brand name fixtures such as Liteolier, General Electric, Sylvania Etc.
      Hope this helps.

  39. QUESTION:
    Need help replacing an existing porcelain single light bulb fixture (with no ground) with outlet.?
    I am trying to add some more light to my garage. Existing there is a single porcelain fixture for one bulb. It does not have a ground. I would like to just put an outlet there in place of that and then plug in some 4' fluorescent shop lights. There is metal conduit connecting all of the fixtures in the garage and that runs underground to the house (detached garage). What are my options as far as grounding this? I don't want to run any new wire. Should I just install an outlet with only the hot and neutral attached?

    Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      Whoaaaaa.... DO NOT LISTEN TO MILTON B!!!!....I can't understand for the life of me why someone who knows nothing about this would give you this advice. Driving a ground rod will more likely NOT give you a protection. The ground rod isn't good enough to trip a breaker if there is a fault. There is no way to properly ground your garage, unless you re-wire the feeder with a separate equipment ground.

      also....on a detached garage you DO need a ground rod, but that is mainly for protection from lighting and surges etc...

      And bigone is correct emt can be used an equip ground, but who knows here...also, emt can't be buried so, you SHOULD have at least rigid .

  40. QUESTION:
    Why doesn't my fluorescent light work?
    My kitchen fluorescent light fixture has stopped working. How can I make it work again?

    There are three light bulbs in the fixture with two ballasts (a small one for the center bulb and a large one for two bulbs on each side - both do not use starters). Before the fixture stopped working, one of the side light bulbs stopped lighting and when I replaced the bulb with a new one it didn't light. Rotating the bulbs didn't work either. I checked the ballasts with a multimeter and they seem to be fine (no resistance). I can't figure out how to open the tombstones to check the connections, but they seem okay from a visual inspection on the outside. The wiring to the ballasts and from the ballasts to the tombstones look good.

    Any ideas of what is wrong or what to check next would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      1) Maybe you replaced the wrong bulb? When you replace one, you should do them both.
      #2) Did you replace with the same type of bulbs(wattage wise)
      #3) The ballast has an end of life relay in it. The other bulb may be bad and won't light unless you replace them both.
      #4) It will usually be the bulbs or ballast before the holders.

  41. QUESTION:
    Wattage ratings for replacing bulb with compact fluorescent?
    I have a light I want to get more output from for my aquarium. It has three bulbs and is rated MAX 3 x 60W. I just purchased new compact fluorescent bulbs that only actually use 18 watts but say they replace 75 watt bulbs. I just wanted to make sure CF bulbs using 18W, replacing 75W standard would be ok to use in that light fixture.

    • ANSWER:
      The 60w rating is to stop the light fitting melting. The Compact flouro only generates 18W of heat, so it should be fine.

      Only thing to watch is that there is still some airflow around the lamp. The flouros have an electronic circuit in the base, and dont handle fully enclosed fittings very well.

      Also look for flouro lamps with a "daylight" spectrum, not the 'soft white' that mimics incandesent lamps. They should have a 'colour temperature' between 5,000 & 7,000 K. Soft white is 3 - 4,000K and has less of the light frequencies that plants need..

      The colour temp bears no relation to the actual temperature or wattage of the lamp, just the colour of the light.

      Ian

  42. QUESTION:
    Where is the starter located in my recessed fluorescent lighting fixture?
    I have an old 4 ft. recessed fluorescent lighting fixture in our kitchen (with removable ceiling tiles adjacent). I am trying to locate the starter so I can replace it, as even new tube lights won't fully light (they are dim). If I can replace the starter myself, I can see if that will solve the problem. If that does not solve anything, I can then change the ballast and see if that does it. I tried to Google and YouTube but found no helpful guide for this. Anyone?
    Thank you guys for replying and inquiring further.

    I found a wonderful YouTube DIY instructional video, and luckily - it was the same exact recessed fluorescent lighting fixture I had (even ballast make/model matched).

    I went to Home Depot, purchased a new ballast, sockets, and a bunch of those new push in wire connectors.

    Here's the vid, and thanks for helping:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLScPdm82M4&list=FLH26WzQuT4VGqTk7f4AUqxA&feature=mh_lolz

    • ANSWER:
      Unusual that it is not obvious. Normally you can see the round end (2cm ish) poking out of the casing somewhere.

      I wonder if you can hear it buzzing or crackling?

  43. QUESTION:
    How do I fix Fluorescent light?
    I recently installed 4(2 bulb) fluorescent lights -about a month ago. They worked fine til recently one bulb in one light went out. Replaced bulb same thing??? New fixtures so no "starter". If ballast was bad wouldn't it affect both bulbs?

    • ANSWER:
      Its not the Ballast first of all. Sometimes bulbs will go bad fast depending on shipping mishandling where inner filaments are damaged some or manufacturers. Just replace both bulbs instead of just 1. See how long it will last. If they burn out again then you have a short in the end connectors. Dont bother changing the ballasts.I recommend a return for a totally new fixture before the manufacturer warranty runs out.

  44. QUESTION:
    I cannot get the starter off on my fluorescent light.?
    It's a pretty old fluorescent light fixture, and i don't want to break it. Most articles say that to remove it, all you have to do is push it in and turn it counter clockwise. this isn't working

    I wanted to replace it since it is taking a long time for the light to initially come on. (5-10 minutes and sometimes less)

    Hey, guys. thanks for the help, but i got it out finnaly. what i did was take the lamp apart and held the starter by it's actual base and was able to twist it off without worring about damaging any other part of the lamp.
    I guess since the unit was so old, it was a little stubborn.
    MY LAMP WORKS NOW.

    • ANSWER:
      if its old then your probably going to need a ballast soon so why not just buy a new one?

  45. QUESTION:
    Kitchen Light Fixture Ideas?
    Currently, I have a big fluorescent box light in my kitchen (the work area where the cabinets and appliances are; I have a separate eat-in dining area and the light there is fine). Not only is the box fixture itself boring, but I despise the type of light it gives off, so I rarely even turn it on. I am trying to decide what type of light fixture I should replace it with but am having a hard time envisioning something else. Does it need to be a flush to ceiling mount or can it drop down a few inches? Any ideas are welcome. Even though I don't currently use the light much, I would like something that does give off some (cozy, welcoming) light. Definitely not interested in a ceiling fan. THANKS

    • ANSWER:
      spot lights, with a dimmer......
      when you need the extra light it there, when you want " cosy lights"
      you can dim the lights down a Little ...
      they cost around come in silver. black. white or brushed silver

      sounds great to me

  46. QUESTION:
    What is wrong with my fluorescent light?
    It's a 96" T12 light fixture, it has 2 bulbs. The ballast started smoking, and then the light would trip the breaker when the light switch was turned on. I replaced the ballast with a new one of the same type. Now when I turn on the switch, the breaker does not trip, but the 2 fluorescent lights do not turn completely on. They are dim. The other sets of lights in the room turn on fine, they are on the same switch. I also replaced the bulbs in the fixture, but that didn't help. I double checked all the electrical connections (even stripped new bare wire), and they are good. What could be the problem?

    • ANSWER:
      Double check the voltage on your ballast. You may be replacing a 120 volt ballast with a 277 V ballast, If that's the case, the bulbs will burn really dim. The label on the ballast will tell you what the voltage is.

  47. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light flickering - new tubes and fixtures?
    Fixtures are new and the lamps have been replaced. They are two lamp fixtures and worked when first installed. These are hanging fixtures with plugs. I have surface mounted the fixture and installed horizontally on a side wall. These are in Florida so cold temperature should not be an issue. Any suggestions for solutions?

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like a loose connection if all is new. Check the wires that plug into the sockets that lock in the bulbs. Most of these sockets have plug in wires and don't make the best contact. It is nothing more than a little piece of metal under spring tension that holds the wires in. Also check the wire nuts. If that doesn't fix it, it might be a bad ballast or even a loose connection at the switch

  48. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Bulbs: Will they burn my glass globe light fixture if the bulb is touching the globe?
    I have one of those simple glass globe light fixtures (where the globe is held up by 3 screws) hanging from my ceiling and I just decided to replace my old conventional 60w bulb with a 23w fluorescent bulb. The only thing is this new bulb is bigger than my old one, and it looks like the bulb might be touching the glass globe inside. Will this cause any problems? Will the glass turn dark in that area or will it shatter?
    They're the swirly fluorescent bulbs... One of my housemates bought a really big pack of them and gave me one so I would prefer not to go out and buy a new smaller one... I just want to make sure it's safe the way it is now.

    • ANSWER:
      You should have nothing to fear because fluorescent light bulbs are cool to the touch. The reason for this and there energy savings is they are much more efficient at converting electricity into light. This being said I will not hurt you to check up on the light the first couple of days after you install the bulb. Just for peace of mind.

  49. QUESTION:
    Why is my fluorescent kitchen light staying ON even when the switch on OFF and even disconnected?
    A few days ago the fixture stayed ON when I switched it to OFF and has stayed on at full strength since then. I pulled the fuse today and took out the wall switch, planning to get another and replace it. The light came BACK ON when I replaced the fuse, even with the switch sitting on the table. What should I do?

    • ANSWER:
      Do other fluorescent lights light up as well, if so you may have something in or near your house emitting a strong electromagnetic field. An EMF can light fluorescent bulbs without them being screwed in. Take a fluorescent bulb and get it close to one of those plasma ball things like at Spencer's. When it gets close the bulb will light up. The EMF excites the particles and the bulb lights.

  50. QUESTION:
    Help with my T8 Fluorescent Bulb fixture?
    Just put in a light fixture that hold t8 bulbs a year ago. Turned the light on one morning and all 4 bulbs quit working completely. We have two other little lights on the same switch and they are working, so it can't be the switch. I replaced the light bulbs last night and nothing is still coming on? Anything else I can check, or do I need a new light fixture? Any helpful videos that I can view would be very helpful also. Husband is over the road truck driver, so I'm trying to do this on my own... Thank you!!

    • ANSWER:
      Either you lost power to the fixture or the ballast went bad. Both situations require at very least basic electrical knowledge since you don't want to replace the ballast just to discover that a wire broke or came out of it's scotch-lock (wire nut). If you have an electrical meter, you would first verify that power is available at the fixture, then move on to the ballast if there IS power. Best left to an electrician if you are not familiar with working on electrical yourself. Sorry, but those are pretty much the options. If YOU are the one that put the fixture in, then you ARE familiar enough to check for power and replace the ballast if necessary. For the ballast, it will have all the specifications right on it. just turn off the power, remove the ballast, and take it with you to get a new one. You will be cutting all the wires as close to the body of the old ballast as possible because the new one will not have long enough wires to get to the connector ends. You just splice in the new wires to the old with wire nuts.
      Al


replacing a fluorescent light fixture

Wiring A Fluorescent Fixture

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Adding a plug to hard wired fluorescent fixture?
    I want to take a fluorescent light fixture meant to be hard wired and add a plug to make it a plug in fixture. Bad idea? Okay?

    I have added new plugs to appliances and lights and envision this to be similiar...?

    • ANSWER:
      This is a simple thing to do. I am sure you can take the fixture apart so we will start with an open fixture.
      You will have a black wire, a white wire, and there should have a green screw somewhere in the inside top of the fixture. You can use part of an old drop cord or even a 2 prong plug from an old appliance such as a toaster or coffee pot, but doing so will leave it ungrounded. That is OK if it is used in a dry location, but if it is somewhere the floor gets wet or even really damp, it should be grounded if you can touch it from the floor or if you will be useing a metal ladder to change bulbs when the floor is wet.
      If so buy a # 16 or #18 - 2 wire with ground cord from lowes/home depot/ etc., with a plug already installed.
      You will need two yellow wire nuts also and sta-con for the ground would be nice but not a real big deal.
      There is what is called knock-outs in the ends and top of the fixture. Decide where you want the wire to come out at and take a screw driver and something to tap it with, ( I use my side cutters) and tap it and it will start coming out. Take your pliers or side cutters and twist it untill it breaks out.
      You need to put a 3/8" Romex connector in the hole and tighten the nut on it.
      Run the wire through it and then tighten the screws to hold the wire and connect the white to white, Black to black and the green wire, if you use a grounding plug on the wire goes under the green screw. If the connector doesn't tighten down on the wire enough to hold it tight, wrap enough electrical tape around the wire until it will do so.
      Put it back together, hang it up, put the tubes in, plug it up, and as the Good Lord said, let there be light.

  2. QUESTION:
    Trouble wiring fluorescent light fixture to three-pronged plug?
    The other day I bought a fluorescent light fixture that I want to use for growing carnivorous plants. I paid extra for the light to come pre wired with a three-pronged plug and cord but, alas, it did not. So instead of waiting an extra week for them to send me the cord and or have to pay the extra money to send the light back to them, I've decided to just do it myself.

    So far, everything seems ok. I bought an 8 foot pre-stripped cord that can be plugged into the wall, a bag of wire nuts, and a knock-out adaptor to hold the cord in the fixture.

    The cord has three wires: black, white, and green. I've already connected them to the black and white cords from the fixture, and the green ground wire has been wrapped around a green screw in the fixture.

    The fixture, on the other hand, has three wires, too: black, white, and grey with red striped. The problem I'm having is what to do with this grey/red wire. When I put bulbs in the fixture, only half of them lit up, so obviously this is because the grey/red wire is not connected to anything, and it clearly powers half the lights.

    My question is, how do I connect this grey/red wire to the cord if the black wires are already connected? There are no more wires for me to connect to. Is it possible to wire both the black and grey/red wires from the fixture to the one black wire on the cord?

    Thanks a lot!
    - Mat

    • ANSWER:
      Is the grey wire with red striping? It is possible this a European style ground wire. Most of the times the Europeans use a green wire with a yellow stripe.

      Most likely it is another wire for another voltage besides 120v. For example 240v or a European standard outlet voltage.

      The best place to see is to look for a tag on the wire, owner's manual, or company web site.

  3. QUESTION:
    Trouble Wiring Fluorescent Light Fixtures?
    Need to install 2 fluorescent light fixtures on circuit controlled by wall switch. Each fixture has a separate ballast and 1 30w tube. Tried wiring the 2 fixtures in parallel (not in series) but tripped breaker each attempt; ensured that black wires were wired to black, and white to white; puzzled why this will not work; any electrician who can offer some explanation, solution, etc? Problem seems to defy the principles of basic home wiring??

    • ANSWER:
      It is hard to say without seeing what you are doing but lets cover the basics:
      1. you said your ballasts are parallel and that would be right.
      2. Check your ballasts incoming and output ratings to make sure that is correct.
      3. Follow the wires back to the tombstones (where the prongs go) make sure you didn't get any wires switched.
      4. If all else fails, rip out the wiring in the fixture and wire it exactly as pictured on the ballast.
      5. Don't let it beat you, it's only a lighting circuit.

  4. QUESTION:
    I need a wiring diagram to retrofit a 40-yr-old ballast fluorescent light fixture for LED tubes. 4-foot tubes.?
    I'm having trouble finding a diagram that shows how to re-wire a fluorescent light fixture to work with LED 4' bulbs. The LED tube sellers told me to short circuit the fixture and remove the ballast. No one can seem to help me and there's not much information online yet. The starter was included in the ballast. The LED tubes look exactly like the fluorescent tubes in length and shape with the two prongs at each end of bulb. Each fixture has two bulbs. When I removed the ballast, there were lots of wires in the fixture but only the neutral (white) and hot (black) wires coming in from the ceiling. Any direction would be helpful! Thank you. Mary
    Our Home Depot hadn't even heard of the 4' LED tube!

    • ANSWER:
      Just go get a new one 29 bucks at Home depot

  5. QUESTION:
    wiring a 4 tube fluorescent fixture?
    How do you wire a 4 tube flurorescent fixture so that 2 tubes work off of 1 light switch and 2 work off another switch?

    • ANSWER:
      I dont know for sure that you can do this unless the light fixture contains seperate ballasts for each pair of tubes.

      You can try running a line from the ballast to each switch. Then running a line out back to the respective tube connections to control the tubes you want the switch to control.

  6. QUESTION:
    How to switch direct wire fluorescent light fixture to a 3 prong plug?
    I just recently bought a 120V T8 17W 2 bulb fluorescent light fixture that I am planning on installing in my home built sand blast box. I want to take the hardwires from the fixture and connect them to a 3 prong plug so the box is portable. First, I will tell you all of the things I did and the results I got. To start I just simply took an extension cord, cut off the end, connected the black wire of the cord to the black on the fixture, white wire to white wire, and green wire (ground) to a ground screw located in the light fixture. When I went to plug the light in, about 1/3 of the first bulb lit up and the second one was completely dark. I then switched the white and black wires thinking maybe the wires in the extension cord were not color coated right, but I got the same result as the first scenario. I also tried not using the ground and using a 2 prong plug instead of 3, but in both cases I got the same result as the first two scenarios, 1/3 of the first bulb lit up and the second completely dark. Again, the fixture is 120v, so I doubt the voltage is the problem. Please help me on this one, I cannot seem to figure out what the problem is. I'll take any suggestions.

    • ANSWER:
      New fixture, new bulbs, wired correctly, not working. Test the voltage at the receptacle where you are plugging it into. Got proper voltage? "Just because it's new, doesn't mean it's good". Good luck in all you do and may God bless.

  7. QUESTION:
    I just shocked myself while wiring a new ballast on a fluorescent light fixture. Should I be concerned?
    I was putting in a new ballast and accidentally touched the white (hot) wire while stripping the wire. ( Had to leave power on as to get light from other fluorescent to see what I was doing) This was on just a four light fluorescent fixture in an office type space if that is any help.

    • ANSWER:
      The fact that you posted your question indicates you suffered no additional damage. You've already got some brain damage before you started (LOL). Next time, run an extension cord from another room and use an auxiliary light to light your work area. If you have a pacemaker, your battery just got recharged.

  8. QUESTION:
    I want to wire a fixture to a ceiling in China. What is the color coding?
    I am in china. I have fluorescent fixture with two white wires. The wires coming from the ceiling are red and yellow. Which fixture wires do I connect to which ceiling wires?

    • ANSWER:
      Obviously if you have two white wires you can't tell the difference between them. Fortunately it does not matter.
      I have installed industrial equipment in China twice now and found their color code confusing. Orange is the ground.

  9. QUESTION:
    When installing a fluorescent light fixture, where to I run the wires from the ceiling to the light?
    I'm replacing a fluorescent light fixture. My old fixture has a big square hole in the middle. The black and white wires from the ceiling run through the hole and connect to the black and white wires in the fixture.

    However, this new fixture doesn't have a big hole in the middle. There are some really small holes though. Where exactly do I run the wires through?
    i'm using a lithonia brand two bulb light fixture

    • ANSWER:
      There should be at least one 1/2 inch knockout for this purpose, be sure however to protect the wires by using a 1/2 inch plastic bushing or romex connector that pops right into the hole. Make sure you connect the proper wires to the fixture wires & ground to the green screen screw on the fixture.

  10. QUESTION:
    Question on Ethernet-wiring(cat5/e/6) over typical 12-2 gauge wire and fluorescent light fixtures?
    It seems that I remember having heard of fluorescent lights causing interference with unshielded twisted pair cabling (cat5/cat5e/cat6)--may someone confirm or deny this for me and cite credentials/and or source please. Also any other tips on things that I should avoid when running network/patch cabling would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    P.S. I realise that there is a shielded twisted pair cabling but I am hoping to save a bit of money.

    • ANSWER:
      General rule is to keep network cables six inches away from fluorescent fixtures and electrical wiring.

  11. QUESTION:
    Electrical Wiring--Light Fixture--Grounded?!?
    I have an under-cabinet 13W T5 fluorescent light fixture that is direct wire. I am adding a simple power cord to it. It has a ground wire, and the box says the fixture may employ a grounded-type receptacle and must be grounded to avoid electrical shocks and to ensure reliable lamp starting...

    So what do I do with the grounding wire?

    I can't imagine a simple fixture like this--where millions are sold with a power cord--can be that complicated or dangerous...?

    • ANSWER:
      The grounding wire should attach to the metal frame of the fixture. There is a grounding stud or screw on the frame. The cord should be a three wire cord restrained to the frame of the light. The plug of the cord will have two blades on it one of which is larger than the other. The larger one should be attached to the white wire of the light. This is the neutral. The smaller blade should be attached to the black wire in the unit. This is the power or hot side of the outlet and plug. Wire it just like this and you will not have any starting issues.Hope this helps.

  12. QUESTION:
    new fluorescent fixture seen to reduce brightness of light for long periods?
    Ok ...I installed a new 4 ft Simkar fluorescent ceiling that uses 3 8 4 ft bulbs.I have bought a good brand which is
    skybright daylight output lumens/light color.The effect is very
    whitish and crisp but there is a slight problem.It seem to dim
    at certain long periods of time during just after sunset or
    at night.I know it is not my vision because these are not heap.It is bright and makes what is white look clean white
    in the daytime and when evening starts to dawn in around
    5 or 6'ish it seem to slightly dull off some and I am wondering
    where all the brightness went? The old fixture used 2 40 watt fluorescent.I need to mention that I think
    the wire coming from the ceiling was short in reaching one
    side of lighting hook-up wire and I think it could be touching
    the top frame plus I had very little electrical tape..I was going
    to fix this been about 2 months.
    Could the hot and neutral be crossed or is it wiring touching
    frame or fixture itself? please help paid 0
    thanx
    It uses 3 T8 bulbs.Other people have commented it look a little dim.when I
    remove the cover full brightness,funny...
    thanx

    • ANSWER:
      Relax, nothing is crossed. If your wires were crossed the breaker would have tripped as soon as you flipped the switch.
      Actually it sounds like an optical illusion, Flourescent bulbs put out their rated lumens, that's it. They do'nt sense light & change their brightness, it's an illusion, flourescent bulbs are known to play tricks on the eyes.
      Hope this helped, good luck!!

  13. QUESTION:
    Can the wiring/volts for a 2 tube fluorescent light fixture (being replaced) handle 2 hanging pendant lights?
    Hi. I am planning to take a fluorescent light down that is over my kitchen sink (it has 2 tubes in it) and wire in two pendant lights (that are separate). Each pendant light is 100 watts and they are on separate fixtures. Will the original wiring be able to handle the 200 watts? Do I need to add wire? Can I do this myself?
    Erin,
    You said I need more wiring and another box, does this mean that I only need the one wire though that goes to the fluorescent now. My brother may be doing this and his wife thought the 2 100 watt fixtures would overload the wire and blow a fuse, i.e. so it won't work.
    So one wire (that went to the fluorescent) - hang pendant light 100 watts - add a wire to this wire that will reach to the next pendant light 100 watt spot?

    • ANSWER:
      yes but you will need more wire for the second light

  14. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent fixture: Bad Lightswitch or bad wiring?
    A few months ago I had a fluorescent fixture (electronic ballast) that would not always come on when the lightswitch was turned on. Sometimes it would take a few on/off cycles of the switch to get the fixture to fully illuminate, otherwise it would flicker once then nothing. So I replaced the fixture thinking the ballast/starter/etc.. had gone bad. No problems for a couple months with the new fixture, but now I'm seeing the same behavior in a practically brand new fixture. Could it be a bad lightswitch? Could a faulty switch damage an electronic ballast? The new light worked like a charm at first, but now it barely works at all, so I don't seem to have a cut and dry scenerio to work with. I don't mind calling an electrician, but if I can spend on a new switch that is a lot cheaper then 0 for a service call.

    • ANSWER:
      It's easier to test the switch if you have the equipment to do so. Switches do go bad and usually will not allow the voltage to pass through when this happens. The light you are using... is this a good quality light or one of the cheap ones from home depot, etc? If the fixture is a cheap one it could be the fixture... you get what you pay for. Probably not what you wanted to hear. You may also want to check your connections on you switch and the wire nuts/connectors you used to connect it to the ballast in the new fixture... they may be loose and could be arcing and causing the same problem. Good Luck

  15. QUESTION:
    In a 4 tube fluorescent light fixture, do I need all 4 tubes to produce maximum light?
    I have a 4 tube fluorescent light fixture in my garage. The wiring is seperate for both pairs of tubes. (Does this mean it has 2 ballasts?)

    I wired up only one connection, with 2 tubes. The tubes lit up but were very dim!

    My friend said I need all 4 tubes in place to produce maximum light. Is this true, even though the wiring for both pairs is seperate?

    • ANSWER:
      i would use all 4 if it were me.there should be 2 ballast and you can wire them in separately by just not hooking up 1 black and1 white wire from the other ballast,make sure you have the tube in right and no prongs showing from the tube otherwise it won't light up all the way,have the prongs on the tubes straight up and down,slide into socket and twist 1/4 to 1/2 turn,the 2 outside sockets are for one ballast and the 2 inside sockets are for the other

  16. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Fixtures - how to wire two together?
    I took down two single tube four foot old fluorescent fixtures and I am going to replace them with single tube four foot fluorescent T8 fixtures.
    They are end to end and controlled by the same light switch.
    Does anyone have a wiring diagram for how to wire these together so they both come on/off together?
    The junction box that feeds the power is in the middle of where the fixtures are going (I guess that doesnt really matter).
    All help appreciated!!

    • ANSWER:
      Wire the Black wire from both fixture together, then wire the two white wires together. After you do this, take the white wire from the power source and put it with the two white wires from the fixture, then take the two black wire and do the same. This should put both light fixture in parallel with each other.

  17. QUESTION:
    how to wire up a four lamp single fixture fluorescent light?
    I need to know how to wire up the tombstones on a four lamp fixture.
    I know how to get the ballast but cannot remember the tombstone wiring.
    the ballast is a four lamp. one single four lamp ballast.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi P,

      The new ballast will have a wiring diagram right on it.

      Click the link for a PDF for your files.

      http://www.skynetpower.com.tw/lighting/WIRING_DIAGRAM.pdf

  18. QUESTION:
    Please help, Unable to rewire my fluorescent fixture.?
    I am trying to do some wiring around the house but unfortunately this house does not have any colored wires. Almost all of the wires in the house, which is a very old house by the way, have the old corded material type insulation which makes it difficult to tell whether it's hot , neutral, or ground. I did puchase a voltage tester so that now I know which wire is hot and which is cold but when putting my fluorescent fixture back I did connect the house hot wire to the black wire on the fixture and I connected the house cold wire to the fixture's white wire and there is still no light. I am now wondering if maybe I might have blown the ballast with all my attempts and that is why the fluorescent light is not working. Please help. Thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Most likely is that the connections didn't take or fell apart during assembly and installation. Take the fixture off and tug on the wires to see if they are loose.

      Ballasts are pretty tough and not easily damaged by reasonable efforts.

      With the fixture detached but wired, insert the voltage tester probe into the wire nut open end firmly and see if there is voltage present. If not, something is wrong with the power source.

  19. QUESTION:
    Does a polarized plug have to be wired in one orientation or not?
    I'm setting up a growlight chamber in my cellar and I'm wiring some fluorescent fixtures to add plugs. I have polarized plugs and I'm wondering if the wide prong has to be connected to the black or white wire to the ballast? Or can it be connected to either?

    Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      white goes to wide prong (neutral)

  20. QUESTION:
    Why is my fluorescent light flickering and/or not turning on?
    Is my fluorescent light flickering and/or not turning on because the bulbs need to be changed? Or is that an indication that the fixture itself is somehow broken? It's made up of two fixtures wired together, with two long fluorescent bulbs each.

    Until recently, I've always had incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs, so I'm not familiar with the big fluorescent lights.

    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Usually if bulb needs replacement it will start turning black on the ends. A bad ballast can also cause flickering. if you pinched a wire with the ballast cover this will also cause flickering. Lastly some lights have starters that cause this when bad. You will see a round silver canister near the bulbs somewhere, it will stick out so you can grab it. Starters are not very common any more. If this is a 4' fixture you probably do not have a starter. I replace bulbs first, if problem remains its somthing else I mentioned.

  21. QUESTION:
    Can a fluorescent lighting fixture be easily converted to a standard fixture?
    We want to switch a fluorescent light fixture over to a standard light fixture. We assume that the electrical wiring is the same, but don't want to get in over our heads. Is the wiring the same, and the job relatively simple? Or is this a job that requires an electrician to actually switch them out?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, the electrical is the same. Pull it down and put the new one up. :) Good luck!

  22. QUESTION:
    How do you remove wires from fluorescent light sockets?
    I need to replace a ballast in a fluorescent light fixture but can't remove the wires from the sockets. I can push the wires in but not out. Is there some way to remove them or are these going to have to be replaced? Is it normal to have to replace the sockets when you replace the ballast?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      They DO come out of the sockets and that IS the right way to fix them. With the power off take a pliers and grip the wire close to the socket. Pull and twist until the wire comes out. it's not soldered or anything so feel free to pull hard, just hang on to the socket so you don't break it.

      Simply push in the new wire and you're done.

  23. QUESTION:
    Convert a hard-wired fluorescent light into a plug-in...?
    So, there is a similar question in here regarding this, but it did not answer my problem. I have a 3-bulb fluorescent fixture that I would like to convert to plug-in. It has 2 wires coming out that are black and white. The ballast has 3 blue wires running to one side of the bulbs and ONE red wire running daisy chain to the other side of the bulbs and the two live wires and that is it.

    What I've tried:
    -I tried snipping off an extension cord and wiring the flat prong plug to black and the wide prong to white. NOTHING. Then tried the reverse. NOTHING
    -I then scraped a little paint off near a screw hole on the ballast. I used a 3 wire extension cord. Black to black, white to white, and the green wire screwed to the bare paint area of the ballast and through the metal fixture. NOTHING.

    What am I missing?! I have racked my brain over this. I have 5 of these fixtures that cannot be returned. How can I wire these to work OR how can I discover if the ballast is bad? Or is that even possible?

    Thank you in advance,
    Jed

    The lights are not "known working" since I have never had them working before, but they are new (in-the-sealed-box), so I guess I am assuming. I have tried the same thing with 2 different fixtures with the same result. I am also assuming that at least 1 of the 3 bulbs that came with it are working as well.
    It IS a GFI socket. Fluorescent does not work with GFI sockets?! That might be it! Brilliant!
    It is a GFI outlet, and it is working. I plug all of my power tools into it.....one at a time.....don't ask.

    The ballast says 220.

    I am quite sure that everything is grounded and grounded well. I have tried the ground wire to the grounding screw and to the screw attached to the ballast. My last hope is that it is something to do with the GFI. I will try it out tonight with an outlet upstairs in the house.

    If that does not work, then it has got to be the ballast I guess. These lights were left behind in a warehouse that my family acquired all shrink wrapped on a pallet. I am wondering if they were there for a reason. :(

    Thank you all!

    • ANSWER:
      HOUSEHOLD VOLTAGE IS 110-120 VOLTS AC. The reason your fixtures do not work is because you got them from a commercial building or application. They will not work unless you change the ballast.

      If your ballast says 220v then you have the wrong voltage and it will not work. You can replace the ballasts pretty easily with new ones that are designed for 110-120 volts. They have a wiring diagam on the ballast itself. It's not that difficult if you take your time.

      Cut all of the old wires off the old ballast at the ballast and not where the light bulbs attach (tombstones). Buy some wire nuts and hook up the new ballast accrding to the instructions. The ballasts can cost anywhere from 15-30 dollars. If you already have bulbs for all of the fixtures then buy a ballast that is compatible with your bulbs (T-8 or T-12) Make sure your new ballasts are capable of running the amount of bulbs that are designed for the fixture.

      It sounds like the you have T8 fixtures because T12 fixtures would have more wires running to each bulb. It should be an easy fix, but definitely not free.

  24. QUESTION:
    fluorescent light wiring?
    Hello,
    I am trying to wire 2 fluorescent light fixtures (24" single bulb) to a one way switch then from the switch to a plug. can anyone help me? I keep blowing fuses. haha

    • ANSWER:

  25. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Fixtures - how to wire four together?
    I have four single tube T8 four foot fluorescent fixtures that I am installing end to end. Wall wires are at one end. I have plastic 'joiners' between the fixtures to link/hold them together end to end.
    Out of my wall I have black, white and a bare copper wire, which I assume is ground.
    1) Do I run a separate white wire to each fixtures white wire from the wall white? Or can I start at one end and link the whites together bringing them to the wall white?
    2) Same question for black wires?
    3) Each fixture has a blue wire with a bare end that does not go to the end sockets. I assume this is ground. Each fixture has a green screw. Do I have to run a separate wire from the wall ground to each blue fixture ground wire? Do I have to wire something to the screen screw? I dont see why, if I am running a ground wire to the wal ground.

    Anyways, thanks for the help. I want the lights to work and have no hum, which is what the T8's are good for.

    All help appreciated.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes copper is earth(ground)

      If you want them all to come on togerther as they are low wattage- you dont need a ring main on them (eg set them up in series and end one back to the mains)

      Start at the first and run blue to blue and black to black on the 2nd and so on (and earth to each)

  26. QUESTION:
    how do i install an outlet cord to a fluorescent fixture?
    I have a fluorescent light fixture just sitting around, i wanted to use it but it just has wires sticking out of it, i know how to attach it to the ceiling but i dont wanna do that. I want to put a cord that plugs into an outlet so that i can put it anywhere. now how would i go about doing that?

    • ANSWER:
      All fluorescent fixtures I've seen have a black, white and green wire to bring power into the fixture (USA). It's no different than wiring any other 120vac appliance. Other colors used (yellow, red, blue) are outputs from the ballast that are connected the light socket(s). Make sure you use a grommet to keep the sharp metal from cutting into the power cable.

  27. QUESTION:
    Why are all the wires hooked to my light fixture live?
    I recently went to install a new fluorescent light fixture in a room of my house only to discover some strange wiring on the old fixture.
    The previous owner had a basic porcelain fixture for a 60 watt bulb installed and working properly connected to a switch. When I pulled the fixture off, there were two sets of wires (black white and ground) in the box. The ground wires were connected to the box, both black wires were connected with a marette, and the two white wires were connected to the gold and silver screws on the fixture.
    I checked all the wires with my tick and all of them had voltage present.
    Now when I separated all the wires and held my tick up to them, only one black wire had voltage present. I tried connecting black to black and white to white but when I went to flip the breaker back on, it tripped instantly.
    The breaker is back on and all the wires have been separated and everything else on the circuit seems to be working fine.
    All that being said, I just want to know if it would be safe for me to wire the ballast from the fluorescent fixture to the live neutral wires as the previous fixture was.
    Dragon:
    I did as you said. I took the neutral wire that ran alongside the one live hot wire and hooked it to the hot wire on the ballast, then the other neutral wire to the ballast's neutral wire and boom, light!
    Thank you very much!

    • ANSWER:
      It is hard to diagnose wiring problems without being on-site, but it sounds like the feed wire went directly to the fixture box. At the box, the white wire from the supply was connected to the fixture. The black wire was connected to another black wire (of a second cable) which goes to the switch, The switched power comes back to the fixture using the white wire of this same cable. Usually they will tape this white wire black, so you know it is a switched hot lead. This is quite common, it is called a switch loop. To hook it back up, take the black wire that showed voltage (of course have it off when you do this) and hook it to the other black wire that goes to the switch. The white wire coming back from the switch (will be part of the same cable) is now your "hot" wire, you might want to tape the last few inches black, then connect it to the black wire or "hot" connection of your new fixture, Now there is just one wire left over, this white wire will go to the white wire or neutral connection of the new fixture.

  28. QUESTION:
    Attaching a plug and cord system to Flourescent light fixture?
    I would like to purchase 48" fluorescent light fixtures to mount on the walls or ceiling of my apartment, however the only fixtures i can find require wiring to electrical sockets. I would like to buy the fixtures then attach a plug and cord to the fixture as opposed to hardwiring them to the house. Is this feasible and how can i go about doing this?

    • ANSWER:
      Sure easy way.
      Buy an extension cord, 3 prong, in the color you want.
      Cut off the female end , the one that you plug things into, not the end that plugs into the wall. Split the outside casing back about 5 inches, separate the wires from any fill material. You should have 1 black, 1 white and 1 green or bare wire.
      Simply run the cord into the knock out hole in the new fixture,Or knock one out if not allready open, then either install a 3/8 nm wire clamp or tie a loop in the cord so it does not pull back out or strain the wires. Simply wire nut the same color wires inside the light with the ones in the cord. Wrap a small amount of electrical tape around the each joint so they will stay together. Plug it in and it will light up. All done.

  29. QUESTION:
    Installing a fluorescent light fixture to replace an incandescent bulb...?
    Do I need to turn the power off at the circuit box, or can I just turn the light switch off. Problem is... I have to get a key off of someone to get to the circuit box. This is paid work, but there are always logistic issues. At this point the fixture is in place, the buildings wires need to be connected to the fluorescent fixture (they are still connected to the incandescent bulb). Thank you for your answers.
    I get what guys are saying. I think a meter is definitely going to be what I need. Thanks for your careful responses. I appreciate it.

    • ANSWER:
      The safest and most correct response is to turn off the circuit breaker. That being said, you can do it by turning off the switch, but it isn't recommended. If you have a meter you can turn off the switch and check the wires for power if there are more in the box than JUST those from the switch. I would do it myself, but I NEVER advise others to do it. I do not know your knowledge base, so I don't want to get you killed. Now if you are good at reading between the lines, you will know what to do. {wink}
      Al

  30. QUESTION:
    Converting fluorescent lights to plug into a standard outlet?
    I have a fluorescent light fixture that has some hard wires coming out of it. they're the standard positive negative and ground. can i convert these to be able to plug it into the wall? i have some extra plugs lying around. thanks!
    What is a surface mounting fixture and what is not a surface mounting fixture?

    • ANSWER:
      Short Answer: Yes. As long as you can safely protect the connections.

      I would get a cord with a pre-attached 3 prong plug on it from Home Depot or Lowes and then just use wire nuts to attach it to the appropriate wires from the fixture. Just be really sure that your connections are safe and secure in such a way that the wire nuts can not be accidentally knocked off, causing a hazard.

      Keep in mind that pulling on the cord to plug it in, etc, will put strain on the connections so you'll need to be sure that you have found a way to put the strain of the cord on the fixture (or wall or whatever) and NOT the connections. You can probably do this with Zip Ties or a screw down cable clamp.

  31. QUESTION:
    Can I operate a fluorescent light with a solid state ceiling fan/light remote controller?
    I'm installing a Hampton Bay ceiling fan in my garage. The fan has a light kit and comes with a wireless remote controller that operates the fan and the light. I plan to remove the attached light kit and use the wires to connect to a ceiling mounted fluorescent fixture I'd like to install near the fan. Since I can't easily hardwire a wall switch to operate the new light without poking a lot of holes in the drywall, I'd like to use the remote controller to operate the light. The remote controller says "incandescent only". But if the controller only turns the light on/off, with no dimming capability, is there any reason why it wouldn't work with the fluorescent light? Would doing so damage the controller or cause some other problem? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • ANSWER:
      I don't think it will damage anything and it should work as long as there is no dimmer. The only problem I can see is the wiring may not be heavy enough in the fan light. A lot of fan lights say 15 watt max or something like that. If it doesn't work you can always buy Home decor conduit that goes on the outside of the wall and run a wire for a switch off of the wire that feeds the fan to operate your light.

  32. QUESTION:
    Can I replace a 75 watt rated light fixture with 3 separate - 23 watt compact fluorescent lights safely?
    I want to know if i need to replace / update the wiring.

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, you should be able to do this switch safely as long as you shut off the power source to the light either by the wall switch or from the circuit breaker. You asked about replacing/updating the wiring. Is there a reason for you to suspect that it needs replacing? The existing wires should be just fine unless there is visible damage or the insulation is hard and brittle from the heat of the light fixture. Anyways, the short answer is yes, you can make this change safely.
      Good luck!!
      Steve

  33. QUESTION:
    I have a shop fluorescent light fixture that has 2- 48" bulbs. One of the sockets doesn't work anymore.?
    Trading places of the bulbs proves that both bulbs are good, and that one socket has no power. I've checked all the wire connections and squeezed the terminal connectors on the sockets a little tighter, but it still doesn't work. I wouldn't think that the ballast would go half bad, or is this the likely problem?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes the problem is the ballast.

      It is cheaper to buy a whole new fixture than it is to buy a ballast for the light.

  34. QUESTION:
    I want to remove a combination light/ceiling fan in my kitchen a replace it with a 4 ft fluorescent puff.?
    Will the wiring for the original fixture be suitible for the new puff light?

    Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      You will find one of three things:

      black, red, white, ground- use the black/white combo and ground the case to the ground screw (provided)

      black, white, ground- wire it up as directed

      either of the above, no ground- don't worry about grounding... if there's no ground in the current wiring, you aren't required to add a ground, electricians skate around this all the time. As long as no new circuits are pulled from the panel, you don't have to get a permit for the work, you don't have to ground anything that doesn't have a ground.

      All of the above assumes you don't have a speed controller in your switch box for the fan. If you do, you need to remove it. These will destroy your ballast quickly (not immediately).

      Another thing, before you install the cloud (puff?) light, you need mounting hardware. I personally recommend the toggle bolt (1/4" is fine). You only need 2, and the holes to use them are towards the end of the light. You may also need a 1/2" bushing if the fixture doesn't provide a large (2-3") knockout in the middle of the fixture.

      And above all, remember to work safely. Turn off power to the circuit before attempting any work. Enjoy!

  35. QUESTION:
    What is proper use of junction box to connect to fluorescent light fixture?
    I am installing four inexpensive enclosed fluorescent tube light fixtures in my unfinished basement. The instructions say I should have the twist on connections between the light fixture leads and the nonmetallic cable inside a junction box. I have each junction box screwed to a cross piece between the ceiling joists, facing down so that when I screw each light fixture to the ceiling joists, the junction box will be flush with the top of the light fixture covering the hole where the light leads exit the light fixture. So, the junction box is not directly attached to the light fixture. It now occurs to me that making the wire connections will be awkward, as I will need to raise the light fixture high enough for the wires to reach each other, but low enough for me to get my hands in to twist on the wire nuts. So, I suspect I am doing this wrong. What is the proper way to have the wire connections remain in the junction box for these light fixtures?

    Thanks in advance for the time and effort to give advice.

    • ANSWER:
      Since you specified the box was going to be covered, which will conceal the box, and that the fixture was not supported by the box then NEC 410.24(b) applies:

      Access to Boxes: Electric-discharge luminaires surface mounted over concealed outlet, pull, or junction boxes and not designed to be supported solely by the outlet box shall be provided with suitable openings in the back of the luminaire to provide access to the wiring in the box.

      The proper way is to punch (drill) 3" holes in the back of the fixture so the splices can be accessed through the fixture.

      http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=nec%20410.24(b)&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lni.wa.gov%2FTradesLicensing%2FElectrical%2Ffiles%2Fcurrents%2Felc0912.pdf&ei=zOgfT9DGOeag2gXP7rWODw&usg=AFQjCNE13_nG1geaacWcIiI1Jnx2nKW-iA&cad=rja
      http://ecmweb.com/nec/code_qa/code_qa_091307/

  36. QUESTION:
    How do I wire a light fixture to a light switch & plug in?
    Before I get started, I have images stored online so that you can see what I'm working with http://s998.photobucket.com/albums/af104/YMS_1975/My%20New%20Wiring%20Job/

    I have a regular store bought fluorescent tube - light fixture. The exact model is shown here : http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/3/HouseHome/Lighting/FluorescentLighting/PRD~0523222P/Single+Strip+Fluorescent+Lighting.jsp?locale=en

    I need to know two things ;

    1) Which type of wire (or is it cable?) I should purchase to connect from the light fixture to the light switch & which type of wire I should purchase to connect from the light switch to the 3 pronged plug (please provide specifics like voltage/watts/amps/wire gauge/etc. and links to pictures to give me that visual aid) and which type of wire (or is it cable?) I should purchase to connect from the light switch to the 3 pronged plug (shown in my images).

    and

    2) How do I wire it? PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG but I beleive I'll have 2 separate wires running here; one from the light fixture to the light switch and another separate wire from the light switch to the 3 pronged plug. I also need to confirm that the black screw protruding from the light switch is in fact intended for the ground wire.

    NOTE : I realize that in some states/provinces it's illegal to perform electrical work on your own, so please spare me the lecture of hiring a pro. I fully agree with the reasoning and the logic behind hiring a pro (especially for something as dangerous as electrical appliances/devices), but I simply want to know HOW to do this.

    5 STARS to the person who can CLEARLY answer this question and provide links to show me the type of wiring I should use.
    @Tony -- I realized that it was the wrong switch, so I went out and replaced it. I've UPDATED the pictures with the correct light switch. Please take another look at the pictures again. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      EDIT: I JUST LOOKED AT YOUR PHOTOS. THE FIRST TWO PICTURES IS OF A THREE WAY LIGHT SWITCH. THE BLACK SCREW IS COMMON - NOT GROUND. DON'T WIRE IT UP THAT WAY. IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAVE ANOTHER SWITCH IN THE PICTURES, ONE WITH TWO BRASS SCREWS - USE THAT ONE.

      ORIGINAL ANSWER: Here's what I have to say on the subject:

      Hardware stores cary lamp cord. In the case of your fluorescent lamp you'll need sufficient length of lamp cord to go from the lamp to the plug. That shouldn't be hard to figure out. Typically 16 gage wire should be way more than enough but I wouldn't go anything less than 18 gage. (numbers go higher as wire size gets smaller)

      You'll need a three wire set. You can buy an extension cord and cut it to the length you desire. The black wire is the hot wire, the white is the neutral and the green (or bare) wire is the ground. You SHOULD hook up the ground to the frame of the fluorescent lamp. As for your question about the socket on the wall, yes, the black (actually dark green) screw located down to one side is the ground. The silver is the neutral (white) and the brass is the hot (black).

      NOW: As for the switch, you can use two wire lamp cord (same gage) for that. Inside the fluorescent lamp you want to tie into the black wire so that you are switching hot on and off. I've seen people switch the neutral - which works but is dangerous. I've had enough shocks from people doing that. I hate stupidity like that. So don't switch the white wire, switch the black.

      And I don't know of any states that say you are not allowed to work on your own lamps. I'll do up a quick drawing and post it to flicker in a few minutes to show how to wire this.

      Hope this helps.

      'av'a g'day mate.

      ")

      IN ADDITION TO YOUR MODIFICATIONS: Looks like you have everything you need. The drawing I posted remains unchanged. However, as I've drawn it, you don't NEED the ground going to the switch, but it doesn't hurt anything to go ahead and hook it up. Obviously you know that it goes to the ground screw on the opposite side of the switch, opposite of the contact screws.

      As for the steel electrical box, nothing wrong with using that. Personally I would have gotten a plastic box. For what you will be using it - the plastic will be lighter. But you still can use the steel box with no problems. In fact it may outlast a plastic one. But the plastic one should have lasted 60 years easily.

      Have fun. Be safe with electricity. If you have any further questions feel free to contact me.

      ")

  37. QUESTION:
    No ground to fluorescent fixture?
    None of the 3 fluorescent light fixtures in my grandmother's kitchen are grounded. The grounding wire was just snipped off and I don't even see a place for it to be used on the fixture.

    I was thinking about drilling a hole into the fixture, then carefully cutting the jacket where the grounding wire was snipped off and connect with a length of wire.

    Is that the right thing to do? The fixture is also painted, should I sand a small spot where the ground will be screwed on so metal will be against metal. What about connecting the grounding wire to the screw and bolt that holds the ballast on?

    I was also wondering if I had to use one of those green ground screws?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      The first answer was correct as to connecting the ground. Ungrounded florescent fixtures sometimes have intermittent problems. They're usually very slow to start and sometimes won't start at all. Also in an area around a sink they're down right dangerous. Try to find the other end of the cable, probably the switch box and make sure the ground is also connected there. Won't do any good to only have it connected at one end.

  38. QUESTION:
    Can I do this wiring?
    Can I take the existing wiring that presently goes to a fluorescent light fixture, disconnect it, and run it down inside a wall to create a wall outlet for plug ins? If so, do I need a junction box? How many? How do I extend the wire to make it long enough to do this?

    • ANSWER:
      It can be done. But it is not a job for a do it yourselfer. All splices and connections have to be made inside boxes. The boxes need to be accessible. The wire to the light fixture is probably switched. So your outlet would be also. Why not just add a receptacle outlet and wiring the proper way?

  39. QUESTION:
    Installing a fluorescent light with no ground wire to work with.?
    I have three fluorescent lights that I've installed with no ground wires since my home doesn't have that. Two work fine but one will only come on when I touch the bulbs, creating a ground through my body. Is there a way to psuedo ground it? A cheap capacitor or maybe just a long wire attached to nothing? The problem fixture is too far away from plumbing for that old trick and it's upstairs or else I'd just run a wire out the window.
    To those who've said it's dangerous. You do realize I mean a ground wire to the metal fixture itself and not attatched to the power source.
    Let me also add that it is a circline fixture using a 12 inch and 8 inch bulb. It works fine typically but often it doesn't want to start. If I reach up and touch both bulbs it comes on fine. I've been told that this is most likely a ground issue since the fuxture is new and many weak ballasts require a good ground for starting.
    In response to answer 3, it's not exactly defective but more along the lines of cheap. It's an oldstyle magnetic ballast that needs the bulb casing to be grounded for it to start. It's starting voltage is too low.

    Response to 4, there's only one way to put a circline in.

    I've verified it's a ground by attaching a speaker wire to the fixture case and running it out the window to the ground. The fixture works like a charm. When I undo that it won't start again. I just don't like having a wire running out the window.

    • ANSWER:
      Defective unit. You need a new ballast.

  40. QUESTION:
    Can I rewire my two tube fluorescent light fixture from series to parallel?
    I bought some inexpensive fluorescent light fixtures. Lithonia Model 3324. They take two tubes. The instructions say they are wired in series, so if one bulb dies, both bulbs won't work. I am wondering if there is any issue in simply re-wiring the bulbs in a parallel circuit to avoid the issue, and if need be, have only one bulb on if I want a lower lighting level. Fixture uses an electronic ballast, according to the specs from Lithonia.

    http://www.acuitybrandslighting.com/library/LL/documents/SpecSheets/NEWU.pdf

    • ANSWER:
      Hi There,
      Personally I would not attempt rewiring the lamps.
      I do not believe they would work.
      Sorry,
      Al

  41. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Light fixture *Hum* grounding Issue?
    I installed three new 48" fluorescent light fixtures in my shop. My shop is a metal style carport garage. I wired them in using normal household 14-awg wire in the standard white/black/bare solid copper wire. The black and white went to the ballast and the bare copper wire went to the green ground wire that just grounds to the body of the fixture. All three lights are on one string of wire connected to a light switch and then going to the breaker box with their own 15-amp breaker.
    The light fixtures are mounted directly to the metal framing of the garage with a 3/8" thick by 1" wide universal automotive weatherstripping in 48" strips so the metal fixture case don't come into contact to the metal framing of the garage.

    The lights have been hooked up for a few days now but I just got bulbs today. When I turn the lights on the fixtures buzz/hum quite loud. When I read the manual that came with the fixtures it says that a buzz/hum could be caused from a bad ground.
    If it is a bad ground I don't see what I did wrong. I used all new 14awg wire, and installed them on a their own 15-amp breaker. Ive checked all the connections at the breaker box and light fixtures and light switch they are all connected.

    So my questions are:
    Could this be just because the lights are new? Or it's 40*f here, Could cold weather cause them to hum? If it is a grounding issue, Should I take the bare copper (green) ground and connect it to the metal framing of the garage as well as the fixture case?
    OR what other things can I do to fix the ground (if that is the issue)?

    BTW: The "hum" is not the normal fluorescent light hum, This is quite loud, Ive never herd one this loud before.

    Thanks for your time!
    ***responce to answers***
    It IS grounded all the way to the box. Im sure the box is grounded to the earth because it just passed inspection in july when I bought the house. I forgot to mention, the breaker box is the house's breaker box. I have two power leads from the main house breaker box to the shop. One for plugs and one for lights. Both are wired with outdoor grade 12 awg wire and then connected in the shop to the indoor 14awg wire.

    They are cheap lowe's light fixtures. Im 99% sure they are indoor lights. I never figured tempture would effect the lights. I figured indoor = Dry outdoor = wet. Never thought about the tempature.
    Thanks for the help.

    • ANSWER:
      Do you have a sub panel in this shop I think that is what I am reading here. You say two hot wires then you have to have a neutral and if you do not have a fourth wire then you do not have a ground in this shop. Or do you have two 12/2 w/ grounds ran to the shop and if this is the case then you do have two circuits and two neutral and two grounds. If you do have 2 12/ 2 wires ran then you do have a ground and you said all connections are tight. So now if you do have proper grounding then you can go to the next step.
      I would venture to say to undo one light at a time and turn them on after you have taken one off the circuit, it could be one has a bad ballast or even loose on the mounting device. If you can eliminate the one that is bad or loose you have done what you asked.
      Look on the ballast it should tell you a F or C rating this is how cold the ballast will work to. Some ballast do not work below freezing and some ar rated at -20 degrees. They do make a light ballast that goes outside called high output ballast but you would be better off not to spend this kind of money in a shed for this purpose. I have purchased cheap lights that are rated for -20 F and they work fine for the most part.
      Maybe you just do not have the lights tight or the ballast are loose as I said in the light and this could be your problem as well.

      Good Luck :)

  42. QUESTION:
    I need help diagnosing the problem with a fluorescent light fixture.?
    This fixture and two others installed within the last few years by the same installer have simply stopped working. The bulbs do not glow or flicker, there is no discernible hum or buzz. I have power to the switch, and have replaced the switch with no success. However, if I bridge the wires themselves with a tester, the light fixture immediately comes on, and will stay on until the switch is flipped off again.
    With the light I'm referring to, at the time this problem began, we had an older UPS fail on the same circuit. Those wall outlets all still test live. What do I check next, or is the proper tool for this problem the phone book?
    There are no starters - it is a quite new rapid-start fixture. There is no flickering, no humming, no glowing. The fixture lights immediately when the wires at the switch are bridged. This does not sound like any of the possible bad ballast scenarios I have ever read. If the ballast were faulty, would the light come on at all?

    • ANSWER:
      did you check the ballast?

  43. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent Ballast/Fixture/Socket?
    Hi, I just picked up a used four foot long, four slot, fluorescent ballast free on Craigslist. One of the sockets is damaged. I know it's a T12 ballast, what type of replacement socket would I need? Also, it's clear that it used to be hardwired, how would I go about wiring it to a cord that I could just plug into a standard 120v wall socket? By the way, there are actually 2 ballasts inside, each one controls 2 lights, would I need two cords or could I wire them both up to one? Thanks.
    Thanks for your response. I saw those, they're .97 a piece. I think I can fix this one for less than , ease and time spent is not my concern. Cheap, is. If the socket I found is correct, they're $.50 a piece. I could replace them all for , then roughly another for the cord, unless I need two cords, then your suggestion is the better route.

    • ANSWER:
      Ok, But I really agree with the first one. For all that work, why not just go buy another one for .

      Now. If there are two ballast then the ballast are a 2 light ballast controlling 2 lights each. Now they sell 4 light ballast also. Now read carefully. There should be 2or 1 yellow. They go to one side of the fixture and are sometimes jump from one socket to another. On the other side there should be 2 reds and/or 2 blues. They go to the other side of the sockets but they are not jump out. One red goes to a socket and the other red goes to the other socket. Just picture it like this 1 yellow for 2 reds. Sometimes there is a diagram on the ballast.

      To wire it to a male cord. Simple, there should be a black and white on the ballast as well. On the cord there should be a black, white, green. Black to black, white to white, green to the fixture. If there are two ballast the two black splice together and the two white splice together.

      O make sure it is grounded because fluorescent fixture won't work right if it's not grounded. That is if it not an electronic ballast.

      Hope this helped out.
      Tommy.

      I would just go buy a new one already prewired. Lol.
      happy holidays.

  44. QUESTION:
    Can a person fix a "throw-away" (non-ballast/dual transformer) fluorescent light fixture?
    My 48" garage fixture doesn't work on side. It does not have a ballast/silver little canisters. It is run off of 2 small transformers with a little breadboard containing a ceramic capacitor and some resistors. When I took the thing apart, I wasn't sure if the transformer on one side ran bulb 1 or bulb 2. Or if one transformer was in charge of both bulb sockets on either end. To me the wiring looks as if I would not be able to take 2 "one-bulb working" fixtures and make a "2 bulber" without having to throw both the onesies away and spending $ for a new one.
    Ive done the bulb swaps and even took out my multimeter to check voltage on each of the four contact pairs. I found that only one of the four had about 22-24v while the other 3 had something around 1-2v. Funny thing is one would think to expect both the contact ends for a single bulb to be reading the ~22v...and yet the bulb lights up. This is what is puzzling me and made me question the wiring of the fixture. As for the fixing of said fixture(s), I found 3 others in my garage which were the predecessors to the current one. They all have the same problem, making me think that I can frankenstein all four into 2 working fixtures. I will next test out the capacitors since the "trannys" don't seem burnt out. BTW the caps look like a totinos pizza roll. I would assume resistors are not faulty or burnt out.

    • ANSWER:
      have you tried new lamps or swapping over the lamps to see if the fault is in the ballast, i think you call that the transformer, sometimes the capacitor goes faulty and one side stops working, all fluros have ballasts to boost the voltage and a starter that gives it he initial stricking current, except for the newer electronic fluro fittings that dont need a starter and strike instantly. if your fitting has two"transformers" it has one for each tube,so if its really old and has two large "transformers"in it one of them is probably had it causing one side not to work. if you have a spare transformer that still works in the other fitting you should be able to take the working one out and replace it for the faulty one ,. sounds like a lot of hassle you should treat yourself to a new fitting that will last for years and be done with it.

  45. QUESTION:
    Is there a way to mask the buzzing sound fluorescent lights make through microphones and speakers?
    I have a microphone mounted near fluorescent bulbs (and needs to stay there) and the sound of the electricity buzzing is being picked up in the mic and relayed through the speakers. I understand many fluorescents tubes make a slight buzzing sound when turned on, but is there a way to mask that sound?

    The head of the mic is about a foot and a half away from the two bulbs and the mic wires have to hang over the fixture as well.

    • ANSWER:
      The only way is by changing out the florescent bulbs for
      incandescent bulbs. This is the only way if you cannot
      move the mic away from the light.
      _
      _
      _

  46. QUESTION:
    Is there anyone who makes a Tiffany style or stained glass style under-cabinet lights?
    I just moved to a wonderful home. The dining room is huge and has tiffany lighting. There is a 15' serving counter with overhead cabinets between the kitchen and dining room. The serving counter is lit by wired-in white under-cabinet fluorescent fixtures. Being at eye level they are blinding, glaring and UGLY! I'd like to find similar light fixtures but with a pretty stained glass-look or Tiffany-look shades to snap in over the bulbs. Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      No, unless you want to hire a stained glass artisan

  47. QUESTION:
    Will I be able t grow cannabis with 2 60 watt fluorescent tube lights?
    I just need to check which is the cheapest lights to grow with in my state of finance. Will 2 60 watt fluorescent tube lights work, should I use one heated bulb and one normal cool white.

    Also one more question, can I wire the line from the light fixture to a normal 3 pronged plug? Thanks for any answers
    just to say, you can grow cannabis under fluorescent lights, those who think wrong need to read more

    • ANSWER:
      Quick short answer?
      I did this 6 months ago. 2 34 watt florescent lights, and for the first few weeks of its grow a 100 watt grow light. The florescent were 6,500k lumens. It'll do fine. Total weight of the bud when dried and cured, 8 oz. ( 1/2 lb ) off of 2 plants. ( female )

  48. QUESTION:
    How do I ground a fluorescent light fixture. It will be on a lowered ceiling, so it is two?
    feet below the original plastered ceiling with the box. Should I just hammer out the plaster so I can get to the box, and use some copper wire as an extension to the ground wire that the light came with to connect to the box? Thank you.
    There is no jacket conduit.
    I don't know if the box behind it is grounded. Why wouldn't you hammer out a section of plaster? I don't know if it were ungrounded that it would pose a danger at 7 .5 feet up, but maybe if they left the switch on when they changed a bulb it would.

    • ANSWER:
      Are you sure that the box above your ceiling is grounded? Do you not have a box at the ceiling level? If you need access above the ceiling you might consider carefully cutting away some plaster, but I would refrain from "just hammering it out".

      Most older homes did not have grounds for any of the light fixtures. It is not necessary to ground the new fixture when replacing an old ungrounded fixture.

  49. QUESTION:
    Light wiring question?
    I removed a heinous 4 tube fluorescent from my kitchen. Inside were 3 sets of wires 3x(copper, black, white) one set was capped off, the other 2 were wired together. I believe 2 blacks were wired together with a white.

    So I tried installing a new fixture- only one wire set seams to work, only problem is- the light switch does not control it- it just stays on.

    Any ideas

    • ANSWER:
      right first buy a mains tester its a screw driver that will light up to tell you if a wire is live. fist i would turn the power off separate the capped wires making sure they are not touching any thing then turn power on using that scew driver very carefulley see if they are live? if not than get some connecting strip and re cap the off and leave to one side for now mark it with a bit of coulored insulation tape so you no which ones they are. no for the other do the same seperate all wires and test one must be live mark that one. now take the switch off the wall so its just hanging by the wires see how many there are if just a 1 way switch only 2. 2 way 6 to 3 now back to light the live one should be red join all the reds togeather now seperate all the blacks and retest one of them black wires will be come a switch live when testing for this remember to flick the switch if you dont get a live fist time .that wire makes the switch work and when you find it mark it with some red inslation tape. when you fix the new light that marked switch wire will connect to the brown live wire on the new light all the other blacks are neutrals join them to geather and connect them to the blue wire from the new light the copper single wires with no sleve are the earths the must be coved in green/yellow sleve connect all these earths togeather and to the green and yellow wire from your new light. if you can buy a juntion box to wire this up under the floor connection a bit of flex wire to go though the celling from the box to your light makes it a lot easer to fix and is more tidy and less fiddily hope that helps. just remember when testing live wires to be carefull and remember to keep turning the power off after each test is complete. hope that helps uk simon.

  50. QUESTION:
    Switching from analong to digital fluorescent ballasts?
    I've got a long series of fluorescent light fixtures. There are 6 fixtures in the series. Each fixture has 2 bulbs and 1 ballast. The old ballasts are the kind with 4 wires (hot, neutral, blue and red). The ballast I bought is digital, it has the hot/neutral, 2 blue wires and one red wire. How do I go about wiring the new type of ballast to the old fixture with the old style of wiring? I tried my best, but still can't get the light to come on. I know it's some simple trick, because I've done it a few years ago.

    • ANSWER:
      The red on the new ballast goes to one side of the fixture. If its four wires, combine all together with red and wire nut. The ballast should have a diagram on it that show you how to wire it.


wiring a fluorescent fixture

Replace Fluorescent Light Ballast

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Can I replace a fluorescent light fixture with ballast with a florescent light fixture without a ballast?
    My kitchen light fixture cover fell off, the clips that held the cover in place all cracked off. the light and ballast, florescent tubes (2 of them) all work, they are just ugly and I want to replace them. Since there is a ballast, I am unsure if I can replace them with a light fixture that doesn't have a ballast.

    • ANSWER:
      If you replace to ENTIRE fixture, it doesn't matter what the old fixture used. The NEW fixture should have everything needed to connect directly to your home wiring.

  2. QUESTION:
    Is it possible to change a 4' standard fluorescent light fixture ballast and replace with a 3' bulb?
    Is it possible to use the same ballast from a 4 feet light fixture and use it with a 3 feet florescent light bulb?

    • ANSWER:
      The fluorescent ballasts are designed to operate specifically desingned fluorescent bulbs. It takes a higher voltage to start a 4 foot fluorescent bulb than a 3 foot fluorescent bulb.

      You will definitely greatly shorten the life of the 3 foot fluorescent bulb if you connect it to a fluroescent ballast desingned for a 4 foot fluorescent bulb if it does not burn out almost immediately.

  3. QUESTION:
    Help identifying fluorescent light ballast?
    I have a four foot, 2 lamp fluorescent light that I would like to replace the ballast in. The catalog number on the ballast reads "2011 B" and it also says "2-F40T10". It uses 2 4' T8 bulbs. I am having trouble locating information on this for replacement. It would be great if someone could provide me with a Lowe's or Home Depot part number! Any help would be appreciated!

    • ANSWER:
      2011 B
      B-sound rating (A-good through F-bad)

      2-F40T10
      2- quantity of bulbs
      F-Fluorescent
      40- Wattage
      T-shape "Tubular"
      10- Diameter of light in eights of an inch so 1-1/8" (this is old) so you can still go with the T8 bulbs.

      Find a class P(thermal protected)- so the ballast wont start itself or surrounding material on fire. Go to this source to find a good one.

  4. QUESTION:
    How hard is it to replace the ballast in a fluorescent reading light?

    • ANSWER:
      On the provisions that you can find a replacement ballast and that it is mounted in the base of the lamp, it should not be difficult at all. Even if it is not in the base of the lamp, the same sized device will fit, just use a little care with re-assembly.

  5. QUESTION:
    I have replaced both the ballast and fluorescent lights. The flickering continues. Need suggestions?
    Light switch in bathroom controls overhead fan and fluorescent lights. They begain flickering after many years of bright non-flickering use. I followed suggestions found on internet. Replaced bulbs and, when that did not solve problem, replaced the ballast. Problem continues with flickering and low level of illumination. No problem with fan.

    • ANSWER:
      Several good suggestions were offered - and most should be followed. Make sure you have the right lamps matched to the ballast. If there is a starter, replace it. Definitely check the grounds and bonding, not only at the lights, but at all other junctions in the circuit feeding the switch and lights. Connections can corrode. Make sure they are clean, bright and tight. Cold temperatures - generally below 40 degrees F, will affect performance. But if temperature didn't affect you for several years, there is no need to start now. Don't worry about a surge protector - that has nothing to do with it.

  6. QUESTION:
    How to change a ballast on a fluorescent lighting fixture?
    I'm applying for a new job as a maintenance technician at a local college and need to know how to repair and replace ballasts attached to fluorescent lighting fixtures. Generally what are the steps taken to do so and what kind of tools would you use?

    • ANSWER:
      Pie mash found a great one for you.

      It really is very simple. You just need to make sure the new ballast is the right voltage 120 or 277. But most are dual voltage now. You need to make sure that the ballast you are putting in will do the same light bulbs you have.

      If you can not shut the light fixture off, cut the hot wire first. That wire is gonna hurt if you are not careful but the other wires will hurt more.

      You can't mess it up if you just wire nut color to color.

  7. QUESTION:
    How do you remove wires from fluorescent light sockets?
    I need to replace a ballast in a fluorescent light fixture but can't remove the wires from the sockets. I can push the wires in but not out. Is there some way to remove them or are these going to have to be replaced? Is it normal to have to replace the sockets when you replace the ballast?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      They DO come out of the sockets and that IS the right way to fix them. With the power off take a pliers and grip the wire close to the socket. Pull and twist until the wire comes out. it's not soldered or anything so feel free to pull hard, just hang on to the socket so you don't break it.

      Simply push in the new wire and you're done.

  8. QUESTION:
    my fluorescent light keeps burning out ,i replaced the ballast twice and it still doesnt work?

    • ANSWER:
      There are lots of different kinds of fluoresents and ballasts and not knowing a little more detail it's hard to answer you acurately. But if you've replaced the ballast twice it's not that.

      The fixture could be wired wrong - You could have a short from a loose wire - the lamp itself may have been bad. - you could be using a dimming switch (this will burn out a ballast if the ballast isn't designed to be dimmed) - Check those things out.

  9. QUESTION:
    Need step by step process on replacing a ballast in a fluorescent ,4 foot,4 light fixture.?

    • ANSWER:
      clip the wires running from the ballast to the end pieces near the ballast, un-do the power wires (usually one black, one white). remove ballast holder (usually screws). Install new matching ballast (if the mounting holes don't line up, drill new ones). Using wire nuts connect the power wires to the power source. Cut off excess wire from fixture and wire nut the end wires to the ballast. (doesn't matter which wire where)

  10. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent ballast question?
    I have a two bulb T12 fluorescent light fixture and for some reason only one bulb lights up. I changed bulbs to rule out a burnt bulb but it did not fix the problem. Only one side lights up while the other does not. When I turn it on it does not make any noise that I can hear and turns on without a problem. It' just one side does not turn on. Does that mean I have to replace the ballast? Or could it be just be a wiring issue?

    • ANSWER:
      Replace the Starter when: The fluorescent lamp lights only at the ends.
      Replace the Fluorescent Lamp when: the lamp blinks continuously.
      Replace the Ballast when: The light is completely out and you are sure the lamp is good.
      I would say it is the ballast. Be sure to take your old one into the store with you for a match up. You would be surprised how many different ones there are. All look the same but are very different.

  11. QUESTION:
    How to fault detect a bad fluorescent light fixture?
    A few of my under counter fluorescent fixtures in the kitchen don't work. they are all less than 3 years old. I replace the light bulb, but it still doesn't light. How do you test what part of the fixture has failed- ie the ballast, a connection, etc

    • ANSWER:
      It is actually quite uncommon to find flourescent fixtures that use starters anymore unless they are very old. If the fixture is that old it would most likely be cost effective to simple replace the fixture. Starters are not expensive, but may be difficult to find and there are more energy efficient fixtures on the market today that also offer more pleasing light colors.

      If your fixture is newer and doesnt have a starter or even if it does have a starter there will be a ballast and this is the most likely reason for failure or the light to come on. A ballast is simply a transformer that boosts your household voltage to a voltage that is needed to cause the gas inside the tube to "burn". Standard mechanical ballasts will eventually wear out. This is often evidenced by visually inspecting the ballast where you will often times find a black tarry substance leaking from the case of the ballast. The ballast, by the way, will be located inside the cover of the fixture, it is not exposed. Newer flourescent fixtures will have an electronic ballast that often will look like a small printed circuit board like that as you may find in a radio.

      If you feel comfortable replacing the ballast it is a fairly simple procedure. First be absolutely sure that you have turned the circuit off before attempting to replace a ballast. Simply turning the light switch off is not good enough. You can check to see that the circuit is off by testing with a circuit tester that does not require live contact. These are available at hardware stores. The tester will "chirp" if voltage is present. Also once you think the circuit is off, check with a "wiggy" tester, also available from a hardware store. This tester requires live contact with the wiring. Always check your testers on a known live outlet before proceeding to the circuit in question to ensure that the tester works properly. Once you are sure the circuit is turned off you can proceed with replacing the ballast. It is a simple process of disconnecting the wires from the faulty ballast and removing it then install the new ballast matching the colors of the wires. To make sure that you purchase the correct ballast you can either look at the label of the old ballast or tell the clerk at the store about your fixture. Is it an 8 foot, 2 tube fixture or a 4 foot 4 tube, 18 inch single tube fixture, just let the clerk know. Again consider that if the fixture is old just replacing the entire fixture.

      Warning: You have been told to be sure the circuit is off before working on the fixture. Household current can be DEADLY if you come into contact with it. If you do not understand how to use a circuit tester or are at all uncomfortable with working with electricity call an electrician. This type of repair is quite inexpensive and you will be certain that the job is done right and safely. I will assume NO responsibility if you decide to perform this repair yourself. Often times it is much less costly to hire a professional than to put yourself at risk.

  12. QUESTION:
    Is it feasible to replace my fluorescent tube fixtures with the newer compact fluorescent light fixtures?
    I have some fluorescent tube fixtures that need new ballast and some that need new bulbs. Before I purchase the replacement parts, I was wondering if would be simpler to to just buy new CFL fixtures and convert all of the tubes to CFC. There are 6 fluorescent tube fixtures in my basement which would be replaced.

    I know it would probably save on power, but how much light loss or lumen's would I lose in the process?
    To add to this: My six current fixtures are 4' T12 fluorescent fixtures, 2 tubes per fixture.
    My primary goal was not to save power, but to get out of the hassle of buying new ballasts and lugging the tubes around. As some below have mentioned aesthetics would be improved with the CFL's, but at the cost of lumen's though.

    • ANSWER:
      40 W. T-12 fluorescent lamps put out about ~3000 lumens of light.
      A 100W equivalent CFL (~23W.) puts out ~ 1000 lumens.
      You would need six per fixture to maintain the installed light level.
      The fixture pans and pin mounts are already there.
      You would do far better in cost, labor, and efficiency to buy the new lamps and ballasts.
      You can buy the newer T-8 electronic ballasts and lamps if you wish.
      They'll fit.

  13. QUESTION:
    Flickering fluorescent light replaced, still flickering!!?
    We have two fluorescent lights in our shop. They are both plugged in to the same outlet.
    One of them was flickering so we replaced the bulbs. It still flickered so we figured it was
    a bad ballast and replaced that too. The damned light is still flickering! So we switched
    the plugs in the outlet and it made no difference. So we thought maybe that outlet couldn't
    take having two lights plugged in, so we unplugged the one not flickering.. Still made
    no difference. Damned thing is still flickering.

    Any suggestions?
    Herb,
    The first fixture we had for about a year before we could replace it. We replaced it entirely. Fixture and bulbs are all brand new. We got the bulbs the package said to get.
    Tried the bulb swapping, same light still flickers. But it can't be the ballast, that was the first thing we replaced.

    • ANSWER:
      To complete the troubleshooting i would recommend you move the lamps to a different outlet. Preferably on a different circuit. If they no longer flicker then atleast you can isolate the issue to the outlet and not the lights.

  14. QUESTION:
    Question about fluorescent light fixtures. Do they unplug?
    Suppose you have to service a fluorescent light fixture in an office. However, you can't turn off the circut as that would shut down power to other areas of the office, which people don't want to happen. Could you do things such as replacing the ballast or a cracked socket. I would imagine that you couldn't do this. If I'm right, how could someone repair a fluorescent light fixture of the kind you find in offices and buildings. Is there a way to unplug it like you can with the ones you commonly find in people's basements?

    • ANSWER:
      you can only unplug it if it has been wired that way. If it is wired in a series with other lights, then there is no way and than killing power, to shut it off.

  15. QUESTION:
    is it easy to change t8 fluorescent light fixture?
    i have a t12 fluorescent light fixture, instead of changing the ballast to t8, someone on here sugguests that it is cheaper to replace the whole thing.

    i wonder if it is easy to change it all by myself or i need to hire someone to do it for me?

    thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      It depends on the fixture, if you not sure what you are doing, call a qualified professional electrician to do the work. Much safer and easier on you. If you were able to DIY, you would not be asking here.

  16. QUESTION:
    How do I fix Fluorescent light?
    I recently installed 4(2 bulb) fluorescent lights -about a month ago. They worked fine til recently one bulb in one light went out. Replaced bulb same thing??? New fixtures so no "starter". If ballast was bad wouldn't it affect both bulbs?

    • ANSWER:
      Its not the Ballast first of all. Sometimes bulbs will go bad fast depending on shipping mishandling where inner filaments are damaged some or manufacturers. Just replace both bulbs instead of just 1. See how long it will last. If they burn out again then you have a short in the end connectors. Dont bother changing the ballasts.I recommend a return for a totally new fixture before the manufacturer warranty runs out.

  17. QUESTION:
    When a fluoresent light goes out & the other bu flicker & the bulb isnt replaced can this cause the ballast to?
    when a fluorescent light goes out & the other is flickering and the bulbs aren't replaced quickly can this cause the ballast to go bad?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes it can. The starter is still trying to ignite the bulb. Failure of the bulb to ignite will eventually cause the starter to overheat and fail. If the ballast is a self starting type, then the ballast will fail right along with the starter.

  18. QUESTION:
    I've got some fluorescent light fixtures (the tube kind) that always flicker, even with new bulbs, what to do?
    Do I need to replace the ballast or fixtures (again, the first time didn't help)?

    • ANSWER:
      Change the ballast.

  19. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light fixture: should it be able to hum if I've turned off the circuit (breaker)?
    I think I need to replace a ballast and wanted to check it out last night. But my wife and mother-in-law were in the kitchen so I kinda rushed things. I turned the light on (the lights don't come on but the fixture hums) thinking when I cut the right circuit the noise would stop. It never did. Is it more likely I missed the circuit, or could the humming have continued in spite of the fact I cut power to it?
    Note: I did replace the bulbs, unfortunately the new ones don't work either.

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like either something is miss-wired, you have bad bulbs, or your light fixture is bad.

      Replace the bulbs. If it still hums, I'd start checking all the wiring to make sure it is correct. It shouldn't hum if there is no power going to it. I'd say you have power going to it when it hums.

      Turn the main power off and see if it still hums. I wouldn't work on it if you hear it humming. You run the chance of getting electrocuted. I'd turn the main house power off. You may have power coming in from somewhere else or you may have picked the wrong circuit breaker. You might need to get an electric tester to figure out where your wires run to.

  20. QUESTION:
    Replacing a Fluorescent Light Bulb Transformer?
    I am behind in technology, I just found out they changed the Magnetic Transformers into Electric Transformers lol. There is no store that sells the exact version, however, they sell a version very similar. I am not very knowledgeable on this subject, so I wanted to know if you guys knew the answer. I want to replace the Advance Transformer R-2E75-S-3-TP with this model http://www.amazon.com/Satco-F96T12-Instant-Slimline-Ballast/dp/B000UX3YB4/ref=sr_1_13?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1325902416&sr=1-13

    I was just wondering if this is safe/possible?

    For extra information, I want to use this for 2 F96T12 60W 1.15~Amp fluorescent light bulbs.

    • ANSWER:
      I totally agree with Stan. The new fixtures come with electronic ballasts which should be more reliable than the old transformer ballasts.

      Furthermore, 48" tubes are commonplace, come in a wide variety of color temperatures, and are reasonably priced.

      We had an old, 8' fluorescent fixture in our laundry room. The ballast died a horrible and smelly death. We replaced it with three, 4' fixtures. It was a very good decision.

      If you are capable of replacing a ballast transformer, then you should be capable of wiring for an additional, 4' fixture to give you more light, if you wish. Just make sure power to the lights is off before you start work and make sure to get your work inspected by the municipality/county you live in.

  21. QUESTION:
    What is the difference between a T8 and a T12 ballast?
    I have a shop that I need to replace some of the fluorescent light - ballasts...the ones that are currently in there (lights were just your typical 8 foot lights purchased at lowes - not high output lights). On the current ballast it states the lamp types to be used are: F72T12 or F96T12. Looking on ebay about the only thing I can find are ballast for T8 lamps. Is there a major difference between the two ---simply - will the T8s work for me? or do I need the exact same specs...
    thanks

    • ANSWER:
      T8 and T12 describe the diameter of the tube in 8ths of an inch. The electrical characteristics of each are different. Unless you can find a ballast that can work for both types, you'll need to find a T12 type for your existing lamps.

      Don

  22. QUESTION:
    Problems replacing fluorescent ballast?
    I have done a couple of these without an issue before butt this one is giving me a hard time. I took out the old ballast replaces it with a new one that was exactly the same 120V 60hHertz 40Wattsl. Even the color cables were the same, Red x2, blue x2, yellow x2, and black and white for power. I even replaced the bulbs with 2 brand new 40watt ones. I turn the power on and each end if the bulb lights up a little orange but that's it nothing else happens. All the cable's are nice and tight I am sure all the wires are correct.

    When I touch any metal part of the light fixture I feel a little tingling sensation and I guess its a little shock but I can barely feel it.

    • ANSWER:
      Might be a faulty ballast. But before you remove it test for 120 v across the wires. I think you are going to find you don't have full power.
      In the process of moving the wires around in the fixture they moved some in the junction box above the light. Now you have a loose connection at a wire nut or a wire is nicked and bleeding current to the body of the light. Hence the "tingling" you report. Try that first.
      Then try tugging on the wires at the sockets. One of them may have pulled out and is touching the fixture.

  23. QUESTION:
    will a 220v f. lamp w/ matching ballast work if i remove the ballast and replace it with a 110v ballast?
    i bought a 220v fluorescent lamp with matching ballast. we tried to remove the ballast and used a 110 ballast for the lamp. the problem is that the lamp isn't turning on. will it really light or do we have to use a 220v ballast to light up the lamp?

    • ANSWER:
      I assume you're changing a lamp that was originally set for 220 volts to work with 110 volts. If it's the correct ballast for the lamp it should work. Make sure you have it wired correctly. Also make sure the bulb in the lamp is good.

  24. QUESTION:
    Will T10 fluorescent bulb work with a T8 ballast?
    Okay, so I have this 55 gal fish tank and I had two one and a half foot fluorescent lights on top (all I could rummage out of the garage) and I came across a 4 foot light fixture which was perfect as my tank is 4 feet long. anyway, its got a T12 ballast in it right now and a T12 regular fluorescent light in one socket and a T10 UV light bulb in the other socket. It seems to work just fine, I dont however know if that is a good idea first off...second off I am searching for black lights for it (or blue according to my girlfriend who says they are cheaper with similar effects) and the T8 bulbs are cheaper than the T12 bulbs and I have a T8 ballast that i can switch out. What would be better? finding a T12 blue bulb to replace T12 bulb thats in there? or switch the ballast to a T8 ballast and replace the T12 bulb with a T8 blue bulb? and would either of those options be okay with another T10 light bulb (which I didnt even know existed as this is the first one ive seen) OR should I attempt to find another T10 bulb to match the other one and stick with the T12 ballast??? any ideas??

    • ANSWER:
      T8,T10 and T12 have the same pin size so will all fit your fixture. What is important if you can find them in the proper size is to also match up the wattage to what the ballast will handle. If you can do that you can use any of the three.

  25. QUESTION:
    I have a fluorescent tube light that constantly buzzes. Any ideas?
    I have tried replacing the starter / ballast with no success. I could try replacing the tube but that would be an expensive option if thats not the problem. Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      Umm...turn it off. duh!

  26. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light needs replaced?
    I have two, four foot T12 light strips. The lights have been taking longer and longer to turn on. An electrician said I need a ballast and that I might as well get new strips (fixtures). I got some new T12 strips and then saw that people favored T8s. So I returned them and saw that T8s are more expensive, so got the T12s again. Then I read about starters, but I can't find one on either one of these. I'm wondering now if I really need to replace these or just the tubes (bulbs).

    • ANSWER:
      Hello. My name is Richie. I am a 26 year electrician and a home improvement expert. I will help you the best I can.

      Consider this, get rid of the fixture and get a new one or replace the ballast with a new one that is for T8 lamps. T12 lamps are phased out. They are no longer made since last year, same goes for 100 watt incandescent bulbs. &5 watt bulbs will go next. If you go to Lowes, a two lamp ballasts cost and a four lamp ballast cost . Then you need new T8 lamps. Most are a pair. Don't worry, the T8 lamps pin ratio is the same as the T12.

      Good luck and God Bless. Jesus Christ loves you.

  27. QUESTION:
    why is my fluorescent light fixture not working?
    I have two fluorescent light fixtures in my kitchen. They are approximately 2 years old. I have never had any previous issues with them but suddenly, one of them stopped working with no prior problems. I tried replacing the ballast with a new one, but it is still not working. The original ballast was 120V 60 Hz, 1.57 amps. The replacement ballast is 120V 60Hz, not sure what the amps are on the new ballast, does it make a difference? It should be getting power because when I disconnect the power source to the fixture, none of the other lights on that switch work but when I have the fixture connected the other lights work, just not this particular one. I do not want to replace the fixture since I have two matching and would have to replace both if I replaced one. I know that the bulbs are working because I have tested them on the other fixture. What else could the problem be?

    The fixture is one of these

    http://www.lightinguniverse.com/products/view.aspx?family=200851
    OK so I changed the ballast from the working fixture and it works! Put the new ballast that I just bought in the fixture that was previously working and it does not work. So either the ballast I bought was no good or the amps matter. I am ordering a new ballast with exactly 1.57 amps. Thanks everyone!

    • ANSWER:
      Greetings,
      I've been there.

      What you might try is changing the ballast with a known good one from your other fixture. Yes it is a little more work but you will be happy with the results.

      I spent 40 years in the military...mostly in electronics. I always had better results when I knew I was working with good parts.

      S1lent

  28. QUESTION:
    What is wrong with my fluorescent light?
    It's a 96" T12 light fixture, it has 2 bulbs. The ballast started smoking, and then the light would trip the breaker when the light switch was turned on. I replaced the ballast with a new one of the same type. Now when I turn on the switch, the breaker does not trip, but the 2 fluorescent lights do not turn completely on. They are dim. The other sets of lights in the room turn on fine, they are on the same switch. I also replaced the bulbs in the fixture, but that didn't help. I double checked all the electrical connections (even stripped new bare wire), and they are good. What could be the problem?

    • ANSWER:
      Double check the voltage on your ballast. You may be replacing a 120 volt ballast with a 277 V ballast, If that's the case, the bulbs will burn really dim. The label on the ballast will tell you what the voltage is.

  29. QUESTION:
    What causes fluorescent lights to continuously flicker?
    OK, we have 2 fluorescent lights (total of 4 tube light bulbs). They just started flickering continuously and pretty intensely. I tried replacing the bulbs with no luck. Does this mean the ballast is shot? Should I replace it or what else might it be?

    Thanks for your help!
    PS: These are newer lights and do not have starters.

    • ANSWER:
      its the ballast and noting else unless it colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit... especilly the not the breaker and no way could it be a loose ground check to see if wiring is loose ,, but if you have had this light for some time and never had any problems till now ,, then it is definite the ballast

  30. QUESTION:
    Problem fluorescent light fixture?
    A few years ago the bulb started to flicker and turn black at the ends. I replaced the bulb, but it didn't take the new bulb long to also turn black and flicker. I concluded that the ballast must be going bad. So I replaced it with an Advanced Transformer Co. rapid start ballast (RL-140 TP) and installed a new bulb (F40T12). As before, in a few weeks the bulb was shot. I spoke with a friend who does a lot of electrical work and he suggested that one of the lamp holders must have gone bad or wasn't making a clean connection and thus there wasn't a good electrical path. Today I replaced both lamp holders and the bulb. Now the bulb doesn't light at all, unless I turn it as to remove it and once it lights, I can then rotate it back to the normal position. However, if I turn it off and then back on, it won't light without the turning I just described unless it is still warm. There is no starter in this fixture. This is 1 of 2 identical (the other works fine). Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      you are using rapid start fluorescent lamp, this lamp needs 2 second pre-heating. you should change it to instant start fluorescent fixture and use instant start ballast.

      next time when the tube is flickering before the tube get blacken, change the tube right away, otherwise as the tube blackened the ballast will be overheated. the tube is much cheaper than the ballast. also replace the fixture as the cost of replacing the ballast is not too far from replacing the whole fixture.

  31. QUESTION:
    Trouble with my fluorescent light - only turns on when I touch the bulb?
    I know this sounds crazy - I have a fluorescent light on my aquarium. It's on a timer, and was working as expected for nearly a year (my brother had the aquarium previously and it worked for him). Well it quit working one day, so I bought a replacement bulb but it still didn't work. I bought a second bulb and it still didn't work (didn't turn on at all), My dad replaced the ballast and switch and we thought it was working (it worked during testing). BUT when my timer turns it on, it doesn't appear to be working. I turn over the hood and the bulb has a very dim glow of orange-ish light on each end of the bulb. As soon as I TOUCH the bulb (in the middle, or anywhere), it works!! I don't understand what else could be the problem. I've re-inserted the bulb to make sure it was secure, but I can't think of what would cause it to not work until I touch it...ideas??

    • ANSWER:
      It sounds to me like the balast. The balast is the box thing you see in there (probably)...it is what sends the electrical current through the bulb. You will need to either get a new balast or have to replace the cover entirely.

  32. QUESTION:
    need tips on starting f40 rapid start fluorescent lights in an area with high humidity?
    Once the bulbs have started they work perfectly, but the only way to start them is continuously flick the wall switch til the bulbs light. Have replaced the bulbs and ballasts within the last week. Is there any way to add an old fashioned starter into the system?

    • ANSWER:
      Although you just replaced the ballast, my suggestion would be to refit/replace the fixture with f32 ballast and bulbs as f40 bulbs will no longer be available in the near future.

  33. QUESTION:
    magnetic ballasts in fluorescent lights leaking black fluid?
    seems rather common but is it a sign to replace them immediately?
    it still runs lights ok so i'm not sure; and what's in the black fluid?
    right; i'm just referring to the old heavy ballasts....i'm not sure about 'magnetic'...i was confusing it with my old CFL's; this item is a 4 foot T-12 light

    • ANSWER:
      This a sign of a dying ballast. Replace it ASAP. The material is the insulation it should be handled with care. What type of insulation should be marked on the ballast. It may state "Contains no PCBs" if it does not state that, treat the ballast as hazardous waste in accordance with your local AHJ. and dispose of it properly.

  34. QUESTION:
    question about replacing t12 to t8 fluorescent tubular lamps.?
    from what i have read online so far,i know that i need to buy the t8 ballast.

    now my question is, should i also replace the whole lighting fixture? or is it just that easy, just replace the ballast, and it will work with the new t8 light tubular bulbs?

    also, I think that i have the t12 electrical lamp, not the magnetic lamp.

    thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      It will probably be cheaper to purchase a new fixture than just replacing the ballast. Price out both options. Eventually you will no longer be able to buy the T12 lamps..but you are looking years down the road. T12 bulbs are typically magnetic, and T8 are electronic. The T8 don't have the humming noise that you can sometimes hear from a T12 fixture. Like I said, price out both options but more than likely it will be easier and cheaper just to purchase a new fixture that will use the T8 bulbs.

  35. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent light and starter problem?
    My fluorescent light recently stopped working, it just kept flickering and would not go on properly. I replaced the starter and the light but now nothing works. I've used three different starters and the woman at the store checked the light with one of those voltage reader things to check that it was ok. I guess the problem lies in the wiring or the ballast but I was just wondering if there was anything else I might have overlooked when changing the light or the starter or if there is anything else i can do myself before calling the electrician?
    The starter flickers but i get nothing from the new lamp. I had it tested before i bought it so i know it works...

    • ANSWER:
      Buy an electrician's tester screwdriver, it will only cost you about a pound and will always come in handy.

      Switch the power off at the mains and remove the cover of the fluorescent light so that you can see where the wire enters from the switch.

      Switch the mains back on and then carefully touch the live wire with the tester, if it lights up you know you have power and it will be cheaper if you replace the whole light fitting than calling an electrician.

      Switch off the mains and put everything back in its place.

      If the tester doesn't light up the odds are that the problem is with the switch, maybe even a loose connection.

      Again, turn off the mains, remove the switch cover, put the mains back on and check the wiring of the switch with the tester as before, testing with the switch on and off.

      If the switch is faulty, it is easilly replaced if you are competent at DIY electrical work.

      As in all cases, if in doubt, then call an electrician.

  36. QUESTION:
    Why doesn't my fluorescent light work?
    My kitchen fluorescent light fixture has stopped working. How can I make it work again?

    There are three light bulbs in the fixture with two ballasts (a small one for the center bulb and a large one for two bulbs on each side - both do not use starters). Before the fixture stopped working, one of the side light bulbs stopped lighting and when I replaced the bulb with a new one it didn't light. Rotating the bulbs didn't work either. I checked the ballasts with a multimeter and they seem to be fine (no resistance). I can't figure out how to open the tombstones to check the connections, but they seem okay from a visual inspection on the outside. The wiring to the ballasts and from the ballasts to the tombstones look good.

    Any ideas of what is wrong or what to check next would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      1) Maybe you replaced the wrong bulb? When you replace one, you should do them both.
      #2) Did you replace with the same type of bulbs(wattage wise)
      #3) The ballast has an end of life relay in it. The other bulb may be bad and won't light unless you replace them both.
      #4) It will usually be the bulbs or ballast before the holders.

  37. QUESTION:
    ON FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS?
    ,How can I test to see if the ballast needs to be replaced?

    • ANSWER:
      Are you sure there is power to the fixture? Have you already replaced the bulbs? If so then for most lights the next step is to replace the ballast? Be sure to get the correct ballast, it's best to take the old one with you to the store. You should consider changing to an energy saving electronic ballast. Also look at the price of a new fixture, often they are not much more than a ballast. Be safe, use a electrical tester or voltmeter to verify power is turned off.

  38. QUESTION:
    How do you stop the annoying buzz from a fluorescent fixture?
    I have some under-the-cupboard fluorescent fixtures in my kitchen. One fixture is buzzing and it's very annoying. I switched the bulb and it seems to be worse. Should I replace the ballast (is it that little metal cylinder you can unscrew) or what's the fix to this? I can't afford to buy updated lighting, so that's not an answer. Thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      use an electronic ballast and bulbs to match the ballast. what kind of fluorescent is it? how long are the bulbs? try amazon for the ballast and bulbs. the home centers usually only have them in standard sizes.

  39. QUESTION:
    Can use a 20 Watt T-8 LED light tube in a T12 fixture?
    I'm looking at this:
    http://www.amazon.com/LED-fluorescent-replacement-ballast-Ledwholesalers/dp/B002P3FQI6
    to replace my current 32 Watt T12 florescent lights. Now since my fixture used T12's before is it okay for me to use a T8 in its place? What about a 20 Watt T8 LED in its place? If no, what would I have to buy and or replace to allow me to replace my light with LED's.

    • ANSWER:
      Both use the same size base. The T12 is a little bit wider (about half an inch), so a T8 should fit into a T12 fixture.

  40. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent bathroom light 2D 16w 4 pin is very dim - what can I do?
    It's one of those where the tube curves round in a square shape. When it is switched on, only the first two inches of the tube glow.

    I tried putting in a new bulb but it still had the problem.

    I have been told that it needs a new starter. I looked on the internet where it said that the 4 pin bulbs have an external starter and it is cylindrical and comes out with a quarter twist.

    However I cannot see anything matching that description on the light fitting. I removed the circular plate of the light fitting (after first removing the bulb) and there is a rectangular ballast, but it does not seem to be something you can easily replace.

    Am I out of my depth here? Do I need an electrician?
    Grandad - it's actually a ceiling light. I removed the bulb and underneath was a circular plate, which I removed. I can see the rectangular ballast but cannot see any starter.

    • ANSWER:
      It sounds like your ballast is bad. While replacing the ballast is possible, it usually costs more than simply replacing the fixture.
      An added bonus is that you can get a new fixture with cheaper, more available bulbs.
      Depending on where you live, it might be that it has to be a fluorescent. Energy conservation laws.
      You don't need a "licensed electrician" to change a fixture in most areas, check with your neighbors or the local hardware store or home center if you're not interested in learning to do it yourself. They often have a short list of people to recommend.

  41. QUESTION:
    Installed Lithonia Lighting Wrap Lite fluorescent fixture and T8 bulbs are only partially lighting up, why?
    I had a cheap fluorescent light fixture in my closet. The (2) 4 ft bulbs were always very dull and appeared to only light up about half way, even when brand new. I replaced the light fixture with a new Lithonia Wrap Lite 4' fixture using T8 bulbs thinking the ballast was defective on the old fixture. Even with the new fixture I have the same problem. New bulbs in new light fixture were nice and bright for about 10 seconds and then started flickering and now they are dull, just like the old fixture. Any ideas on what's going on here?

    • ANSWER:
      Make sure the fixture is grounded. Some ballasts need to be grounded to operate properly. If that doesn't work you need a volt meter to insure you have 120v to the fixture.

  42. QUESTION:
    i am rebuilding a fluorescent fixture, help?
    it contains 2 40 watt t12 f40's(rapid start)
    can i just replace the ballast, so i can use 2 t8 35 watts?

    ~~The ballast i will be using
    http://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-49853-QHE2X32T8UNVISNSC-Fluorescent-Ballast/dp/B000V6QTI0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1239775061&sr=8-1

    ~~the lights i will be using
    http://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-22181-Fluorescent-Ecologic-FO32741ECOCVP/dp/B000KKLOSW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1239775122&sr=8-1

    Will This work?
    i measured 4 ft. for each tube. will they fit in the sockets?

    • ANSWER:
      Sure no problem. The tombstones (sockets) are the same for T8's and T12's.

  43. QUESTION:
    help figure out why our fluorescent lights keep failing please!?
    ok, we've got 11 sconce lights. Each one has one little 26 watt fluorescent lamp. They're all on the same circuit. Controlling that circuit we've got two motion sensors connected to a BZ-50 powerpack by Wattstopper. That switch claims to be good for 20 amps of ballast load.

    This all seems like it should be working fine but the lights never turn on right. We've replaced all the ballasts once recently and the lights worked great for a month or two. Now they're back to flickering on or not coming on, and burning out very quickly as well.

    I figure the ballasts are failing due to a low voltage/high amperage situation but can't figure out why that's happening. Any guesses out there?

    • ANSWER:
      your over loading the ballast,
      too much on the circuit
      take the motion lights off of it,
      and the BZ power pack

  44. QUESTION:
    Where is the starter located in my recessed fluorescent lighting fixture?
    I have an old 4 ft. recessed fluorescent lighting fixture in our kitchen (with removable ceiling tiles adjacent). I am trying to locate the starter so I can replace it, as even new tube lights won't fully light (they are dim). If I can replace the starter myself, I can see if that will solve the problem. If that does not solve anything, I can then change the ballast and see if that does it. I tried to Google and YouTube but found no helpful guide for this. Anyone?
    Thank you guys for replying and inquiring further.

    I found a wonderful YouTube DIY instructional video, and luckily - it was the same exact recessed fluorescent lighting fixture I had (even ballast make/model matched).

    I went to Home Depot, purchased a new ballast, sockets, and a bunch of those new push in wire connectors.

    Here's the vid, and thanks for helping:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLScPdm82M4&list=FLH26WzQuT4VGqTk7f4AUqxA&feature=mh_lolz

    • ANSWER:
      Unusual that it is not obvious. Normally you can see the round end (2cm ish) poking out of the casing somewhere.

      I wonder if you can hear it buzzing or crackling?

  45. QUESTION:
    Ballast, Bulbs, or the Circuit - Please help...?
    I have a light box with three 8' fluorescent lights - 120V. All three comes on fine then goes off after an hour or so. Then after a few hours later, they come back on. A friend of mine told me that the ballast is getting too hot, and told me to replace it. I did with a new one with the exact wiring that the new light box came with, but the problem persists. I've read postings about ballast problems but I am not sure. Am I having a bad electrical circuit (power), a bad ballast, or bad bulbs???

    • ANSWER:
      Make sure you have the correct lamps and ballast combination. The wrong lamps will overheat a perfectly good ballast.

      Make sure you are not using a ballast that is designed for T8 lamps with T12 lamps or vise versa.

      Since you have already replaced the ballast you should now replace the lamps. Make sure you have the correct wattages on the lamps.

  46. QUESTION:
    Manufacturer of CFLs with replaceable bulbs?
    Does anyone know of a manufacturer that is making CFL
    bulbs where the lamp and ballast are detachable?

    I ask because all fluorescent bulbs up until CFL
    had a magnetic or electronic ballast driving them, but that
    ballast was fixed. The bulb was removeable and can be easily
    replaced. The ballasts stay put and normally for lasts years or even decades!

    Nowadays, throwing away or recycling a CFL bulb means you not only get
    rid of the lamp (the glass tube) but also the ballast (in the thick white base) that drives
    it, which may not be old, damaged, or in need of replacement.
    It is a big waste.

    (Years ago I used to work for Advance Transformer, a division of
    Philips Lighting, hence the knowledge of ballasts
    and fluorescent lighting engineering)

    • ANSWER:
      Yes they do. I seen some installed on a job I was on. The may have been Thorn. But this wasn't a domestic, try all the major lighting manufactures I sure they all will do them.

  47. QUESTION:
    (Lighting and Electrical) What gauge of wire do I need when changing out some wire in a fluorescent fitting?
    I'm replacing a couple of ballasts in a 'light box' which contains 3 fluorescent tube lamps. The new ballasts are in place, and they don't have screw down connectors, you're just supposed to push one end of a bare wire (solid core) into a small hole on the ballast. (2 wires per ballast obviously!)

    I don't know what gauge of wire I need, where to find it, or how to ask for it by name?! Does anyone know the type of wire I'm talking about - it's also found in indoor light fittings for tube lights. Cheers.
    Also if anyone knows any websites which stock this, i'd be grateful.
    I really hope I can get some consensus on some of these conflicting answers! I'm inclined to think it's either 16 or 18 going by the answers thus far.

    To those who think the wire may need to be thicker - please remember, the diameter of the inlet on these push-fit connectors to these ballasts isn't very big at all (put another way, you cannot get general lighting grade electrical wire into it without damaging the unit - see also: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-wire-gauge.htm - so I'm thinking 12 or 14 is out of the question)

    • ANSWER:
      Fixture wires should be no smaller than 16 AWG.

  48. QUESTION:
    My flourescent light takes a long time to light up. What could be at fault ?
    It ranges from more than 15 minutes to couple of hours.

    I have replaced practically every component that I could, such as the flourescents, ballast and the starters. However, nothing works.

    It is a double fluorescent lamp. I have ensured that the ballast is able to support the two flourescent tubes. The specs for it is the same as the previoius one that I have be replaced.

    The lamp has been working fine for many years. However, about 4 months ago, the problem started.

    Any answer to my question will be very much appreciated.

    • ANSWER:
      Perhaps something is wrong with the circuit itself. You can have the amps and volts tested to see if it is up to specs. Maybe there's not enough juice to get the bulb going.

  49. QUESTION:
    Fluorescent fixture: Bad Lightswitch or bad wiring?
    A few months ago I had a fluorescent fixture (electronic ballast) that would not always come on when the lightswitch was turned on. Sometimes it would take a few on/off cycles of the switch to get the fixture to fully illuminate, otherwise it would flicker once then nothing. So I replaced the fixture thinking the ballast/starter/etc.. had gone bad. No problems for a couple months with the new fixture, but now I'm seeing the same behavior in a practically brand new fixture. Could it be a bad lightswitch? Could a faulty switch damage an electronic ballast? The new light worked like a charm at first, but now it barely works at all, so I don't seem to have a cut and dry scenerio to work with. I don't mind calling an electrician, but if I can spend on a new switch that is a lot cheaper then 0 for a service call.

    • ANSWER:
      It's easier to test the switch if you have the equipment to do so. Switches do go bad and usually will not allow the voltage to pass through when this happens. The light you are using... is this a good quality light or one of the cheap ones from home depot, etc? If the fixture is a cheap one it could be the fixture... you get what you pay for. Probably not what you wanted to hear. You may also want to check your connections on you switch and the wire nuts/connectors you used to connect it to the ballast in the new fixture... they may be loose and could be arcing and causing the same problem. Good Luck

  50. QUESTION:
    Light fixture problems?
    My fluorescent light tube that's hanging from my ceiling is flickering. I took the light bulb out of the tube and replaced it with a knew one, but nothing changed. Is it a problem with the ballast? Any help is welcome, thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      if its still flicking it could be that it needs a new stater on it..have a look at your fitting if you see a small circular head sticking out of the base of the fitting at the end of the light near the lamp that will just need changing..you can buy one at any hardware store for very very little expense..all you do is push a little and twist and it will come out of the base of the fitting..bring it to the store and show them and u will get one for sure..then just push it back in and twist and it will work straight away..
      the starter is used to ignite the ions within the magnesium within your fluorescent lamp,when they are charged they will omit light..
      generally if your ballast is gone the you would usually get no response from the fitting.
      qualified electrician..hope iv helped


replace fluorescent light ballast