Dim fluorescent lights?

I have a fluorescent light that is comprised of 2 4' lights. They recently became extremely dim. Do the lights need replacement, or something else like ballast? thanks
i
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Could be. Try new bulbs first. That's cheaper.
Also: Are the lights somewhere where it's cold (shed, workshop, garage or some other unheated room)? They make special lights for cold temps....
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wrote:

Thanks.
No, they are in the warm, cozy, finished basement.
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On 4 Nov 2004 17:31:48 GMT, Ignoramus27412

If the bulbs are dark near the ends, replace them. Sometimes the contacts go bad. Run your hand up and down the tube a few times--sometimes that gets them going.
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You already ruled out cold, and as suggested old lamps get dim. You can try replacing them. A dark end is a sure sign of an old bulb.
It may also be a bad ground, but I would start with the new lamps.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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Most often during peak summer loads, voltage sags will seriously dim my fluorescent lights. They are much more sensitive than regular bulbs.
As to your problem, the cheapest and simplest thing to do is swap the bulbs first. Last time I had a bad ballast, it was cheaper to buy a new shop-lite than to buy a ballast for the old one.
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Usually in a dual or quad 4-foot fixture two bulbs going very dim is from one bulb burning out. The other bulb is usually close to burning out, so it is a good idea to replace both bulbs.
For confirmation of this diagnosis, look for severe darkening/blackening that usually occurs at one end of the bad bulb.
Sometimes one bulb of a pair goes dim and the other goes completely out, and sometimes both are very dim with one dimmer than the other, and the bad one is sometimes the brighter of the two.
Less likely: Bad contact - try twisting the bulbs to scrape corrosion off the contacts or seat them better if replacing them both gives similar results.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com, http://www.misty.com/~don/ltrouble.html )
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