Florescent Light Problems

Florescent lights are inexpensive to purchase and install making them an appealing light source for homes, workshops, utility rooms, and storage rooms.  Installation of the light is simple since the fixture is lightweight and generally anchored with two molly bolts through gypsum drywall board.  The power source is also easy to connect to the light fixture.

 But sooner or later, everyone deals with florescent light problems.  The bulbs begin to flicker, or the bulbs completely go out reducing the lighting in your room.  So, you get a ladder, fight with removing the lens over the bulbs, and replace the bulbs.  Maybe it works or maybe it doesn’t.  If full lighting is restored, then success is achieved.

Ohhhh, but if the lighting still doesn’t work, where do you go from there?  What else could possibly be wrong?  Well, the answer is most likely a defective ballast.

 The ballast is the internal part of the florescent light that reduces electrical voltage in the light bulbs.  It is typically elongated and black with wires sticking out the ends of the ballast.  Lights typically have one or two ballasts per fixture.  So, what are your options for getting the light fixed if the ballast is defective?  Generally, there are two options – replace the ballast or replace the light fixture.  Replacing the ballast can be tedious and time consuming.  Also, ballasts are not universal – meaning there are many different sizes and capacities so running over to your local electrical supply store to get a ballast may be more difficult than planned.

 Unless you are experienced and qualified to manage electrical repairs, it is time to call a licensed electrician.  An electrician can provide guidance for repair or replacement of the light fixture.  Be aware that technology has evolved providing alternatives to the traditional florescent light fixture.  One common alternative is the use of LED light bulbs in the fixture.  Use of the LED light bulb with likely mean unnoticeable changes to the fixture will be required.

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