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How do you know when a fluorescent ballast is bad?

If your fluorescent lighting is displaying any of the signs below, it could be a symptom of a bad ballast:

  1. Flickering.
  2. Buzzing.
  3. Delayed start.
  4. Low output.
  5. Inconsistent lighting levels.
  6. Switch to an electronic ballast, keep lamp.
  7. Switch to an electronic ballast, switch to a T8 fluorescent.

Why do fluorescent ballasts fail?

Causes of Ballast Failure Premature ballast failure is often caused by the surrounding environment. When it’s too hot or too cold, the ballast can burn or fail to start your lamps at all. Heat combined with prolonged condensation inside an electronic ballast can cause corrosion.

How do fluorescent light starters work?

Simply put, fluorescent starters are a timed switch. The switch opens and closes until the fluorescent tube ‘strikes’ and lights-up. If the fluorescent tube does not light, the switch repeats it’s open/close cycle and the fluorescent tubes attempts to ignite again.

Why are my fluorescent lights flickering?

If your fluorescent bulbs flicker, most likely the problem is with the bulb itself. If the bulb is very dark on either end, it may be defective and burned out. The best way to test the functionality of a bulb is to put it into a fixture you know works. Flickering fluorescent lights can also be a result of temperature.

Will a bad ballast burn out bulbs?

The ballast itself can go bad, which causes lights to flicker or even appear to be burnt out, when in fact they aren’t. They require maintenance and energy to power, on top of the power used to light the fluorescent bulb. They are a large part of the equation when using fluorescent lamps.

What does it mean when a fluorescent light turns pink?

Loss of Mercury As you know, all fluorescent lamps include a small amount of mercury liquid inside them. When a fluorescent lamp is beginning to lose its mercury, you can tell as the light it emits will begin to look pink.

Why is my new fluorescent light flickering?

It is normal for the light in new fluorescent tubes to flicker or appear to swirl in the first 100 hours of operation. If an older tube exhibits these symptoms, turn off the switch, remove the tube, then clean the ends thoroughly. Socket shapes vary, but the tube-removal process is the same.

What’s inside a ballast?

A magnetic ballast (also called a choke) contains a coil of copper wire. The magnetic field produced by the wire traps most of the current so only the right amount gets through to the fluorescent light. That amount can fluctuate depending on the thickness and length of the copper wire.

Why do my fluorescent lights burn out so fast?

There are many possible reasons why a light bulb burns out quickly: The power supply voltage may be too high. Bulbs may be loose or connected improperly. Excessive vibrations may be causing the filament to break.

How do you know if a flourescent ballast is bad?

Touch the remaining probe to the ends of the blue, red and yellow wires leading from the ballast. Depending on the ballast, you may have only red and blue wires. If the ballast is bad, the needle on the multimeter will not move. If the ballast is still good, the needle should sweep to the right across the face of the multimeter.

What is the life expectancy of a fluorescent light ballast?

Fluorescent light fixtures are commonplace in both residential and commercial settings. Fluorescent light bulbs have a typical lifespan of 8,000 to 15,000 hours, and ballasts often work for more than 50,000 hours.

What is the purpose of a ballast in a fluorescent light?

In a fluorescent lighting system, the ballast regulates the current to the lamps and provides sufficient voltage to start the lamps.

What is the best way to test a fluorescent ballast?

Testing Process: Turn Off the Circuit Breaker. For any electrical works, you must ensure that the circuit breaker is in the OFF position. Remove the Ballast. As the ballast generally connects with a bulb or lighting devices. Multi-meter Ohm Setting. Check the multi-meter ohm setting. Connect the Multi-meter Probe with Wire. Re-installation.